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Interfaith Youth Core founder, director Eboo Patel is final guest in The University Lectures 2007-08 series
Interfaith Youth Core founder, director Eboo Patel is final guest in The University Lectures 2007-08 seriesMarch 18, 2008Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), will visit Syracuse University March 27-28 as the final guest in The University Lectures series for the 2007-08 academic year.
Patel will speak on “The Impact of Interfaith Youth Service” on Thursday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The lecture, co-sponsored by The University Lectures and Hendricks Chapel, is free and open to the public; parking will be available in the Irving Garage at a reduced rate.
In addition to the lecture, Patel and his collaborator, Noah Silverman, will lead invitation-only sessions with two different groups of students earlier that day. Patel and Silverman will co-facilitate a morning workshop with a diverse group of 40 SU and local high school students on the ideal of community engagement. That afternoon, both will participate in a question and answer session with a group of 25 SU students moderated by Pamela Heintz, director of SU’s Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service.
On March 28, Patel and Silverman will lead two invitation-only events — a morning meeting with community leaders from diverse religious communities, and an afternoon farewell luncheon with Hendricks Chapel chaplains and staff.
The Interfaith Youth Core (http://www.ifyc.org) is a Chicago-based international organization that brings young people from different faith communities together to build understanding and cooperation. Patel is the author of “Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation” (Beacon, 2007), a remarkable account of his coming of age and coming to understand what led him toward religious pluralism rather than hatred. The book is a hopeful and moving testament to the power and passion of young people, and to the notion that we find the fulfillment of our identities in the work we do in the world.
One young person who has taken up Patel’s charge is Nikole Saulsberry, a senior in SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Saulsberry was named last year as an IYFC Fellow. As a fellow, Saulsberry received a year-long stipend to support interfaith organizing work on the SU campus, received skill-based training on how to be an effective interfaith organizer and received resources and other tools to enhance interfaith work. Saulsberry’s work will be evaluated by Silverman and IFYC representative Megan Hughes on March 26, and they will discuss further opportunities on campus.
In conjunction with Patel’s visit, Kim Harris, a senior in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Marion Entwistle Leadership Intern in the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service, is encouraging students to volunteer for one of several service projects under way in the Syracuse community, including the Empowering Minds Conference, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and the Big Event, a day of community service sponsored by SU.
“I encouraged Kim to think about a service project related to Eboo’s philosophical model from the perspective of how to work together to make an impact, rather than simply trying to put together another one-day service event,” says Heintz.
Patel received a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He serves on the boards of the Aga Khan Foundation USA, CrossCurrents Magazine and Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center.
He is an Ashoka Fellow, part of an elite network of social entrepreneurs with ideas that have the potential to change the world. Patel is also an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Religious Advisory Committee, the EastWest Institute’s One Nation Project and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Task Force on American Muslims.
About the University Lectures
The University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment in the areas of architecture and design; the humanities and the sciences; and public policy, management and communications. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s trustees, alumni and friends. The series’ 2008-09 schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or for additional information about The University Lectures, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at (315) 443-2941 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://lectures.syr.edu.