Now Accepting Applications for IYLI 2014

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Do you know a high school student who is interested in expanding their leadership skills and knowledge of other faiths so that they are better equipped to interact respectfully with people from different backgrounds? This upcoming June, New Vision Partners will be holding its third year of programming of the Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative (IYLI). During the 3-day program, students will build relationships with people of other faiths, take ownership of their own faith perspective, visit different houses of worship and act out their faith through service of the larger community.

The program is free of charge. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will earn a $100 scholarship which they may apply to college of their choice. All high school students (freshman through seniors) are eligible for the program. Applications for the Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative in the summer of 2014 are now available online. Save the date, submit your application, and help spread the word.

IYLI Dates and links to applications for 2014:

Now Accepting Mentor Applications for IYLI 2014

Mentors play an important role in IYLI. Each program has a total of 50 student leaders… which means we need 10-15 mentors to connect with the youth and help the program go smoothly. These exceptional individuals are part of a team that helps the young leaders connect with each other as well as community leaders around them.

All mentors must complete a background check and go through an orientation prior to the programming in June of 2014. Upon successful completion of the program, each mentor will earn a $100 scholarship to help her/him with their college education. Mentors are individuals who are college sophomores through graduate school.

Click here to apply!

Mentors are seen helping participants create collages that represent their faith tradition.

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

100+ Attend AFPI Screening of “My Neighbourhood”

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On Feb. 25, 2013 the Abrahamic Faiths Peace-making Initiative (AFPI), hosted the Executive Director of Just Vision, Ronit Avni, for a public screening and discussion of the

award-winning documentary “My Neighborhood”. One-hundred audience members came from across Southern California– spanning the area from Huntington Beach to Pasadena. Continue reading