The Illinois Conference on Interfaith Collaboration will feature some of the leaders of the movement who are working to make interfaith cooperation happen on the national level. These are individuals who have dedicated their life to the virtues of pluralism and civic engagement. Register today at https://my.engr.illinois.edu/icic13. Speakers include:
Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago based organization building the global interfaith youth movement. Author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith, Eboo is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today and CNN. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. Read more at www.ifyc.org
Joanna Brooks is a national voice on faith in American life and an award-winning scholar of religion and American culture. The author of The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith (Free Press), she is a senior correspondent for the on-line magazine ReligionDispatches.org and has been named one of “50 Politicos to Watch” by Politico.com and one of “13 Religious Women to Watch” by the Center for American Progress. She is the recipient of the 2012 Eve Award from the Mormon Women’s Forum. Brooks is also writing about Mormonism and public life for the Future of Religion in America book series (Columbia University Press) and writes a regular column at Askmormongirl.com.
Dr. Manuel Gomez
Few individuals have had greater impact on the University of California than Manuel Gómez. In a career spanning 38 years, he helped create and support programs that have benefited tens of thousands of Californians — many from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to his work for the university, Gómez has also consulted for the U.S. Department of Education, advised the California Postsecondary Education Commission and testified before numerous legislative committees. Ultimately, Gómez returned to UC Irvine and his first love: serving students. His legacy includes spearheading a number of initiatives on spirituality and interfaith engagement at UC Irvine. A published poet, Gómez served as a counselor and, later, director for UC Irvine’s Educational Opportunity Program, then as assistant and associate vice chancellor for enrollment services before retiring in 2010 as vice chancellor for student affairs.
Usra Ghazi, Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) campus engagement associate, was thrust into interfaith work with IFYC as a high school senior and became captivated by the need for young religious voices in the media, in global interfaith work, and the mosque community. She worked on literacy initiatives in Chicago with IQRA’ International Educational foundation, and ca me to IFYC after a 2-year stint in Jordan teaching English and doing writing/research work with Islamica Magazine, The Royal Aal al Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, and the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre with HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad. On most weekends and evenings you’ll find Usra catching up with her family around a pot of tea.
Alana Kinarsky, Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) campus engagement associate, supports colleges and universities as they assess and refine how students engage and navigate religious diversity. Holding a degree in international relations from Loyola University, Alana studied in Beijing and spent a year working with a participatory media NGO in India. While in India, she became mesmerized by a film’s ability to share stories and stimulate dialogue. When not at work you can find her watching movies, volunteering around town, or trying her hand at yet another DIY project.