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Interfaith Dialogue Dinner Series Returns on Oct. 2 with ‘Queer Spiritualities and Liberation’
The University’s ongoing Interfaith Dialogue Dinner Series, “Common and Diverse Ground: Raising Consciousnesses by Acknowledging the ‘Hidden’ Things that Divide Us,” returns for Fall 2019 on Wednesday, Oct. 2. The 2019-20 series will open with an in-depth discussion on queer identities, spirituality and liberation. The two dialogue dinners this semester will be co-facilitated by community partners and Syracuse University students.
The first dialogue, “Queer Spiritualities and Liberation” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Noble Room of Hendricks Chapel. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. The guest co-facilitators for the evening’s dialogue will be Wildecy Fatima de Jury from the East Bay Meditation Center and Imani Gayle Gillison from the Brooklyn Zen Center, both in New York City. Both guest co-facilitators are Buddhist Dharma Teachers of Color and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. The dialogue is part of the University’s LGBTQ+ History Month programming in partnership with the LGBT Resource Center.
“The Insight Meditation tradition is one of the branches of Buddhism that has flourished in the United States. Through the training of teachers of color, queer teachers and teachers with other, intersecting marginalized identities, such as Fatima and Imani, this tradition has succeeded in creating centers that more closely reflect the communities in which they are located,” says Bonnie Shoultz, Buddhist assistant chaplain and series co-organizer.
“Now these teachers are teaching the rest of us, not just about Buddhism but also about how we can awaken together. It is essential that as we practice our faiths, we have the opportunity to experience diverse perspectives and ways of examining truth and developing wisdom. I am happy that we’re able to bring these two wonderful women to Hendricks Chapel for this dinner dialogue.”
The gathering will include a shared meal, facilitated dialogue and two periods of mindful meditation (at the beginning and the end). American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and inclusive food will be provided. Requests for accommodations or food queries should be made in advance by contacting Bonnie Shoultz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fall 2019 “Common and Diverse Ground” series is co-sponsored by Hendricks Chapel, the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach in the Burton Blatt Institute, Intergroup Dialogue, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. For several years, the series has brought members of the campus community together in an inclusive environment to explore challenging contemporary issues.
“The Interfaith Dialogue Dinner Series seeks to serve as a direct expression of Syracuse University’s longstanding commitment to fostering and supporting an inclusive, accessible campus community of opportunity for a richly diverse student body,” says Hendricks Chapel Dean Brian Konkol. “We at Hendricks Chapel are honored to support these important opportunities alongside such committed campus and community partners, because together we affirm that education informed by multiple points of view, life experiences, ethnicities, cultures, abilities and belief systems is essential to academic excellence.”
The second and final dinner dialogue this semester will be “The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank” on Monday, Nov. 11. Gillian Walnes Perry, co-founder and honorary vice president of the Anne Frank Trust UK and author of “The Legacy of Anne Frank,” will be the dialogue co-facilitator. The evening is co-sponsored by Syracuse Hillel and will take place at the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life at 102 Walnut Pl. Dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the dialogue will run from 6 to 8 p.m.