Teaching Diversity Online - A Chronicle Webinar

On March 4th, IFYC sponsored the webinar, The Next Dimension for Online Education: Teaching Diversity and Difference hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The webinar resonated with many, and more than 1,500 people registered for the conversation.

Little did we know that just a few days later, the entire world of higher education would be upended by Covid-19. What seemed like a conversation aimed at the future quickly became immediate action necessary as most campuses moved to online learning for the duration of the 2019-20 academic year.

Dr. Paul LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University, which has been at the forefront of online learning throughout the past decade, was one of the webinar panelists. President LeBlanc commented recently on our current moment and why the webinar matters so much. “Because of the pandemic, America is engaged in a massive experiment with online education,” said LeBlanc “Many faculty who have never taught online -- and may have looked down upon it -- are now trying to understand how to teach in a virtual setting. If they can master the teaching of diversity online, they will not only serve that important goal itself, but they will develop the tools needed to teach the kind of complex, important, and distinctly human skills they thought impossible in virtual spaces.”

Dr. Eboo Patel, Founder and President of IFYC, agrees saying, “Because of Covid-19, almost every college student in the United States is doing some of their higher education online. As the leader of an organization dedicated to promoting the civic value of religious diversity, the webinar helped crystalize my belief that online learning can engage diversity positively in ways that are organic and unique to the online environment.”

You can view the full transcript of the conversation here.

Access more resources on how to teach about religious diversity here and here.

If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

more from IFYC

This is a sampling of sacred texts and statements, listed in alphabetical order by religion, that religious communities have used to engage in the work of public health amidst this global pandemic.
Ms. Moore discusses what an Office of Equity and Racial Justice does, how she and her team adapted amid the pandemic, and how religious communities are crucial partners for social change, connection, and healing.  
"We know that people of all faiths and philosophical traditions hold shared values that can serve as a foundation for a common life together."
How do we fight the evil and darkness during this time? No matter how small or how far we might be from the situation, we could use our voices to speak up, come to stand together as one human kind.
Musa writes an insightful analysis of data at the intersection of race and religion. He writes: "non-Black Americans seem to be fleeing religion because it’s become too political. Blacks seem to be leaving because it’s not political enough."
And as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins, the currently closed museum is highlighting these artifacts tied to Islam on its website's blog.
In light of the urgent need for care within our families, communities, and movements, where can and should interfaith leaders fit in?
In the United States, our laws assure the separation of Church and State. So Sikh and Muslim kids growing up in public schools will never be taught that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem.
Vaisakhi, which falls April 13 or 14 depending on which of two dueling calendars one follows, marks the day in 1699 when Sikhism took its current form.
The presentation focused on how chaplains and spiritual life professionals can discover and utilize meaningful data to demonstrate the value of their work in higher education.
Still, there were glimmers that Ramadan 2021 could feel less restricted than last year, when Islam’s holiest period coincided with the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar commemorating Muhammad’s reception of the Qur’an, begins on Monday.
"Ramadan can be an opportunity for Muslims in interfaith relationships to introduce their partners to the core beliefs and teachings of Islam, as well as to the ways different Muslim cultures share what is a deeply communal experience."
This year, Ramadan will begin on Monday or Tuesday (April 12 or 13), depending on when Muslims around the world sight the new moon that signals the beginning of the lunar month.
"In the Qur’an, God – Exalted Be He – proclaims that we should ask the people endowed with knowledge…All the experts are saying the same thing: please get vaccinated and do it now."
"Among the topics educators must address to reduce bullying and to ensure representation in the classroom are religion and religious identity."
Whether I am based in Los Angeles, Washington DC, or Kansas City, I remain committed to building bridges of mutual respect and understanding among people of different backgrounds.
Biden said the partnership between the seminary and a community health center is one of many that are happening between religious and medical organizations across the nation.
"All the more so, we need more translators to help us understand what exists before our eyes, yet remains elusive to our understanding."
'Montero' is the anthem of a Black gay man roaring back from years of self-hate caused by anti-LGBTQ+ theologies. As a queer child of the Black church, it’s an anthem that resonates with me.
The rise of the "nones" — people who say they have no religion — is to some extent the result of a shift in how Americans understand religious identity.

The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.