NVP hosts 6th year of Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative!


What a wonderful summer it was for our Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiatives!  We had over 150 high school students and college mentors participate in our three day programs at USC, Chapman University, and Long Beach State.  At each of these events, students explored their own religious identity, learned about privilege and standing up for the less privileged, made friends and built a unique interfaith community that can be a model for the kind of diverse leadership our country and world so need right now.  Here are some highlights from each program:

At USC – Visited the Los Angeles Baha’i Center, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, and the Islamic Center of Southern California.  We worked at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row, and heard from speakers Umar Hakim, Deborah Sanchez, Estee Chandler, and Marwa Balkar.  We also had fun at the Santa Monica Pier!

At Chapman University – Visited the Islamic Society of Southern California, the Hsi Lai BuddhistTemple, and the BAPS Hindu Temple.  Our community service was done at Rise Against Hunger, and we heard from Music in Common.  We had a blast at Boomers, too!

At Long Beach State – We visited a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple, Temple Israel, and the Zoroastrian Center of Southern California.  We did a Beach Clean Up, and heard from Native American bands Miracle Dolls and Scatter Their Own.  Here we had fun together at Mulligans Family Fun Center.20748175_1481023215323880_1306817085805770188_o 20748245_1481017885324413_2890282104060903105_o 20776491_1481017541991114_3183418745996796029_o 20776841_1481023075323894_5507115168884184537_o 20818872_1481003281992540_8243778047019666193_o 20819731_1481013688658166_9150029066265393550_o 20861702_1481023615323840_2651898034800602377_o 20863237_1481022951990573_9061731633410135248_o

5th Year of IYLI Creates New Young Leaders throughout Greater Los Angeles

In the beginning of August, we concluded our 5th Annual Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative (IYLI) Summer Programming. This summer we completed our 5th L.A. program at USC, our 4th Long Beach program at CSULB, and our 3rd Orange County program at Chapman University. We had the opportunity to work with over 100 students from 11 different faith backgrounds across all three programs. Students spent each of the days with their mentors doing activities, conversing about their faith traditions, and finding common ground among all their faith traditions.

During our Los Angeles program we visited the Islamic Center of Southern California, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and the International Buddhist Meditation Center. We had an engaging conversation during our Interfaith Leadership Panel with Edina Lekovic (Public Affairs Consultant at Muslim Public Affairs Council), Rabbi Sarah Bassin (Former Executive Director of New Ground: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change), and Rini Ghosh (Peace and Non-Violence Activist, Past President South Coast Interfaith Council, 2009). Our LA group volunteered at Union Rescue Mission by passing out water to homeless individuals on Skid Row, reorganizing rooms in the housing department, and helping with paperwork among other tasks. We also spent an evening at the Santa Monica Pier so our participants could have fun together and create bonds with students of other faith traditions.cropped-OC-Food-Bank-Group-Photo.jpg

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IYCOC 12th Annual Faith Forum and 2nd Annual Arts Festival

On Sunday, March 13th IYCOC had its 12th Annual Faith Forum with about 100 high school participants from 12 different faith traditions. The program theme was “Merging Worlds” and it comprised of open dialogue between youth from different faith traditions on a variety of topics, a panel discussion about continuing interfaith work after high school, and a candle lighting ceremony done by members of each faith present at the event. The youth bonded with other students from different faiths, and had great conversations about their faith traditions and what they thought about events taking place around the world and in our own country.

In addition to the forum, we had our 2nd Annual Arts Festival. We had numerous paintings, drawings, and photographs submitted as visual art pieces. The performing arts portion was filled with youth playing instruments, dancing, and singing. We had a group perform on Japanese drums, a Hindu dance, a Hindu song piece, a Sikh song piece, an LDS choir, a Bahai’ piano piece, and an IYCOC Board intercultural dance. Families and students enjoyed watching the youth perform pieces that represented their faith traditions and cultures.

It was a great event and we are looking forward to doing it again next year!

New Vision Partners takes over IYCOC Administration

New Vision Partners is taking on the administration of the Interfaith Youth Council of Orange County (IYCOC). IYCOC’s mission statement is to “come together to promote respect, understanding and appreciation for the integrity of each others beliefs, cultures, and traditions, through interfaith dialogue, education, and activities.” We look forward to working with the youth in Orange County and building relationships in their community.


IYCLAC at the IYCOC Faith Forum.

4th Year of IYLI Summer Programming a Success!

The last week of July we concluded our 4th Annual IYLI Summer Programming. This summer we completed our 4th L.A. program at USC, our 3rd Long Beach program at CSULB, and our 2nd Orange County program at Chapman University. We had the opportunity to work with 100 students from 11 different faith backgrounds across all three programs. Students spent each of the days with their mentors doing activities, conversing about their faith traditions, and finding common ground among all their faith traditions.

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3rd Annual Student Advocacy Trip to Washington D.C.

In June, New Vision Partners took a group of six high school students of different faith backgrounds from Los Angeles and Orange County to Washington D.C. for a five-day advocacy trip. Our group had the opportunity to experience democracy in action, meet with elected officials, visit advocacy groups, and tour historic sites and monuments around our nation’s capital in collaboration with Close Up Washington D.C. We saw up close how our government works, met with lawmakers and opinion-shapers, visited non-profit organizations standing up for human rights, and learned about our role in shaping the democratic process.

We had an amazing time on our trip and are already looking forward to next year!


IYLI Summer 2015 Programs

Now accepting applications for IYLI 2015 Summer Programs!

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 and July, New Vision Partners will be holding its fourth year of programming for 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 the college of their choice. All high school students (incoming freshman through seniors) are eligible for the program. Applications for the Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative in the summer of 2015 are now available online. Save the date, submit your application, and help spread the word. IYLI Dates and links to applications for 2015:

**Application deadline is May 15th for all programs so apply ASAP!**


Interfaith Film Festival & Student Film Competition

On April 12th, 2015 New Vision Partners hosted its Second Annual Youth Film Competition and First Interfaith Film Festival at All Saints Church in Pasadena, where we screened short films by local filmmakers along with high school student films created along the theme “For the Common Good”. We showed “American Made” by Sharat Raju, which was about a Sikh American family whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and “The Foolishness of God: A Forgiveness Journey with Desmond Tutu” by Karen Hayes, a documentary following Desmond Tutu around the world. We also screened “The Belief,” an animated short about war, by Iranian filmmaker Amir Vahedi and presented the short with the World Cinema Humanitarian Award.

The winners for our 2015 Student Film Competition are as follows: Maisune Abu-Elhaija received 1st Place and a $1000 scholarship for her short film “#ForGood”, Ishaan Jain received 2nd Place and a $500 scholarship for his short film “A Donation of Tolerance”, and Farah Ali received 3rd Place and a $250 scholarship for her short film “Making a Difference.” Honorable mentions to Noor Said for her film “For the Common Good” and to Alanis Galang, Evan Hansen, and Zehra Siddiqui for their film “The World of Interfaith.” To view the submissions, please visit New Vision Partners’ YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/user/NVPCORAL).


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!

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)