A Multi-Faith Future: Conversation with Eboo Patel and Ed Bacon

On Wednesday, November 12th, we held an important dialogue about our Multi-faith future at All Saints Church between Eboo Patel of Interfaith Youth Core and Ed Bacon of All Saints Church, Pasadena, moderated by our own Executive Director, Steve Wiebe. We engaged in a deep discussion about our Multi-Faith future by some of the best leaders in the Interfaith community. Students from the All Saints’ youth group and the Peace & Justice Academy asked very impressive questions which provided for great conversation.
“MLK didn’t change the minds of old white racists in the South. Their daughters did, after MLK changed them. In interfaith work, it’s not your job to find the toughest nut to crack and bang your head against it. It’s your job to find people in your circles that overlap with theirs and teach them to preach.” ~ Eboo Patel
Click HERE to watch the video of the complete discussion!
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Eboo Patel (front center), Rev. Ed Bacon (back center), and New Vision Partner’s Executive Director, Steve Wiebe (far right) take a photo with students from the All Saints’ youth group and the Peace & Justice Academy.

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Meet New Vision Partners’ Inaugural Advisory Board

This fall, NVP is proud to announce it’s first-ever Advisory Board!  These are leaders in the interfaith community who are supportive of NVP’s work and are advising us on our programs and direction.  Please meet them!

Varun Soni

 

Varun Soni

Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California

 

Paige Eaves

 

Paige Eaves

Pastor, University United Methodist Church (Irvine, CA)

 

 

Sarah Bassin

 

 

Rabbi Sarah Bassin

Temple Emmanuel (Beverly Hills, CA)

 

 

Jim Burklo

 

 

Rev. Jim Burklo

Associate Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California

 

Beau Shapiro

 

Rabbi Beau Shapiro

Wilshire Boulevard Temple (Los Angeles)

 

Jay Keller

 

Jay Keller

Director of Outreach and Operations, Interfaith Alliance (Washington DC)

 

Neil Comess-Daniels

 

 

Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels

Temple Beth Shir Shalom (Santa Monica, CA)

 

 

Don Miller

 

 

Donald E. Miller

Firestone Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California and Executive Director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture

 

Lorna Miller

 

 

Lorna Miller

Former Director of Office of Creative Connections, All Saints Church ( Pasadena), former Executive Director, New Vision Partners

 

Aryeh Cohen

 

 

Aryeh Cohen

Professor of Rabbinic Literature at American Jewish University

 

Salam Al-Maryati

 

 

Salam Al-Maryati

Executive Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council

 

 

George Regas

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. George Regas

Rector Emeritus, All Saints Church ( Pasadena, CA)

 

Noriaki Ito

 

 

Bishop Noriaki Ito

Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple (Los Angeles, CA)

Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative Successful Summer Programs

This past June, the Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative (IYLI) completed its third year of summer programming and its second Washington D.C. Advocacy trip for high school students. We held three IYLI programs: our Los Angeles program at the University of Southern California, our Long Beach program at California State University of Long Beach, and our Orange County program at Chapman University. Over one hundred and twenty participants from over twenty different faith persuasions contributed to our IYLI and Washington D.C. summer programs.

During our three IYLI programs, youth participants:

  • Built leadership skills by speaking publically and sharing their own tradition with others while respecting the traditions of their peers
  • Served 500 individuals on Skid Row at the Union Rescue Mission, served the Long Beach community by taking part in a beautification project at Hamilton Middle School, and served the Orange County community by packing 480 boxes of food at the OC Food Bank
  • Visited the Islamic Center of Southern California, Los Angeles Mormon Temple Visitors’ Center, Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, Jain Center of Southern California, First Congregational Church of Long Beach, Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Islamic Center of Orange County, and the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple.
  • Engaged with speakers who included Rev. Jim Burklo, the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, Rev. Gary Bernard Williams of Faith United Methodist Church & Hamilton United Methodist Church, Rev. Peter Laarman, Coordinator of Justice Not Jails & former Executive Director of Progressive Christians Uniting, Shourouq Al-Fartoussi, Programs Coordinator at the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County & Board member on the Newport Irvine Mesa Interfaith Council, Rev. Nichelle Madrigal of the Shinnyo Buddhist Temple, Rev. Paige Eaves, Rabbi Frank Stern, Ahmed Younis, J.D. and Dr. Gail Stearns.
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IYLI Los Angeles participants at the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple.

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NVP Congratulates Youth Film Competition Finalists

DSC_0405This past Sunday, October 6, New Vision Partners held its first youth interfaith film competition at the University of Southern California along with the Office of Religious Life. The competition highlighted the work of short films which revolved around the theme “Interfaith Cooperation Through Service.” Created and submitted by young high school leaders, the 3-minute films contributed to NVP’s greater goal of empowering youth with information and tools to coexist in an ever diverse world. Three finalist films were screened and awarded monetary scholarships.

SEE: Facebook “Interfaith Film Competition” photo album (facebook.com)

In first place, and earning $1000, were Kayla Asemanfar and Ian Liu. Their film centered around teachings of diversity and compassion in different theologies. Most of all, their production highlighted that friendship is a form of service because you are creating a stable relationship where people feel comfortable and welcome. The films main message is to love one another and show compassion to others.

Neha Jain’s film earned second place with a $500 scholarship and was based on the concept of ‘pay it forward’ where people of different faith persuasions help each other regardless of the other’s religious or cultural background. Its main premise, is that if you help someone today, someone might help you out tomorrow.

Third place and a $250 scholarship was awarded to the work of Jasmin Johnson. Her submission affirms that her involvement in interfaith work sparked her passion for social activism. She is now in the process of starting an interfaith club at her school to better inform her peers about different faith traditions.

Special thanks to the University of Southern California Office of Religious Life for sponsoring the event. NVP would also like to express its deep gratitude to the competition’s esteemed judges who are all entertainment industry insiders and documentarians: Barry BeronaPatrick Stewart, and Craig Detweiler.

Stay tuned for the release of the winning shorts.

Interfaith Leaders From Los Angeles and Saudi Arabia Come Together for a Frank Roundtable Discussion on the Relevance of Interfaith Relations

Dr. Steve Wiebe (top left) and the speaker panel: (top row from left to right) Ali Husein Alreza, Naomi Ackerman, Omar Ahmed Bahlaiwa, (bottom row from left to right) Dr. Selwa Al-Hazzaa, Reverend Dr. Gwynne Guibord, Dr. Maher Hathout, and Samar Fatany.

On Sunday, September 15th, over 30 interfaith leaders and supporters gathered at the Pico Union Project center in Los Angeles to discuss how interfaith work is relevant today. The event was moderated by Dr. Steve Wiebe, Executive Director of New Vision Partners, while the speaker panel included seven interfaith leaders from Los Angeles and Saudi Arabia: Dr. Maher Hathout, Reverend Dr. Gwynne Guibord, Naomi Ackerman, Omar Ahmed Bahlaiwa, Dr. Selwa Al-Hazzaa, Ali Husein Alreza, and Samar Fatany. Continue reading

100+ Youth Break Barriers and Build Bridges

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IYLI Los Angeles Participants visit a Sikh Gurdwara.

New Vision Partners leads interfaith programs in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Long Beach. Over 100 students from 17 different faith backgrounds were selected for these competitive leadership programs to build conflict resolution skills, relationships and live their faith through service work.

Students participated in leadership building activities and visited numerous houses of worship including a Sikh Gurdwara, Jewish Temples, a Catholic Cathedral, a Latter Day Saints Chapel, and a Mosque. Participants also listened to a panel of service and faith leaders. In addition to interfaith and leadership activities, youth were involved in different service projects. Los Angeles participants volunteered with Union Rescue Mission to serve 700 people on Skid Row while our Long Beach participants cleaned up one square mile of public beach space.

For more information on how to get involved with the Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative programming throughout the year, click here.

Click on the following for photos from our Los Angeles and Long Beach programs.

IYLI Long Beach participants look at a Torah while visiting a Jewish Temple.

 

Press Conference at the Islamic Center of Southern California

Rev. Susan Russell, Episcopal priest and activist at All Saints Church in Pasadena speaking at press conference. Faith based leaders discussed the tragedy in Boston Marathon at The Islamic Center in Southern California in Los Angeles Friday, April 19, 2013.  On behalf of the Islamic Center of Southern California and Muslim community at large, we extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers for the families of those who died and were injured as a result of the explosions during the Boston marathon. We pray that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to justice ASAP. In the current climate of unknown fears and misunderstandings about Muslims seeks to enhance understanding and perpetuate peace among people across all faiths.(SGVN/Photo by Walt Mancini)

Rev. Susan Russell, Episcopal priest and activist at All Saints Church in Pasadena, is shown speaking at a press conference at the Islamic Center of Southern California after the bombings in Boston. (SGVN/Photo by Walt Mancini)

Faith based leaders discussed the tragedy in Boston Marathon at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles Friday, April 19, 2013. On behalf of the Islamic Center of Southern California and Muslim community at large, we extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers for the families of those who died and were injured as a result of the explosions during the Boston marathon. We pray that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to justice ASAP. In the current climate of unknown fears and misunderstandings about Muslims interfaith leaders seek to enhance understanding and perpetuate peace among people across all faiths.

Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue Conference, Qatar

Aziza Hasan, NVP's Director of Interfaith Programs, was one of few sharing the Abrahamic Faith Peace Making Initiative (AFPI) curriculum on peace building in the Abrahamic traditions with, Jocelyn Anne Armstrong, an educator who wrote a curriculum for high school students on world religions in New Zealand.

Aziza Hasan, NVP’s Director of Interfaith Programs, sharing the Abrahamic Faith Peace Making Initiative (AFPI) curriculum on peace building in the Abrahamic traditions with, Jocelyn Anne Armstrong, an educator who wrote a curriculum for high school students on world religions in New Zealand.

From April 23-25, 2013, Aziza Hasan, our  Director of Interfaith Programs, was one of 300 people from 70 countries world-wide selected to take part in the Tenth Annual Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, in Doha, Qatar. She shared her expertise in effective ways to engage in interfaith dialogue with attendees from around the world. She also appeared on Qatar State television as well as Cordoba television.

 

Pope Francis and Interfaith Footwashing

One of the strangest traditions in the Christian church is that of washing people’s feet.  Usually when folks outside of the Christian tradition hear about it, they arch their eyebrows and ask “what?”.  My own daughter said “eeew” when she heard about what Pope Francis did.  But footwashing started with Jesus, who washed his disciples’ feet during the Last Supper.  It was meant to show his humility and willingness to serve his followers by taking up a dirty job (think 1st century sandals, dusty roads, and no pavement). Continue reading