Student Interfaith Leadership: Next Level

This video was produced to illustrate what advanced student interfaith leadership can look like. 

Our advanced student interfaith leadership video features Damairis Lao, a recent graduate of University of La Verne. Not only does Damairis possess the skills of interfaith leadership, but she also has cultivated the qualities of an interfaith leader. Damairis has grit. She shares about how her commitment to interfaith leadership was sustained by a difficult moment—not threatened by it. She then led with pluralism to create spaces for people to relate to her story, empowering them to live out and share their own stories. Her interfaith leadership is a craft that she has honed for years, so much that it has become an integral part of who she is.

This video can be used for a variety of educational purposes:

  1. Damairis shares that the polarizing nature of the election year inspired her to be proactive rather than reactive. How do you see her using interfaith work as a way to meaningfully bring people together, and how could you see yourself doing so?
  2. "Religion isn’t necessarily a cool thing on a college campus.” How does Damairis’ statement resonate with your experience, and how do you notice her working with that reality?
  3.  Where did you see Damairis citing her own identity and values as motivation for doing interfaith work, and how would you articulate your own theology or ethic of interfaith cooperation?
  4. Damairis reflects that her interfaith leadership almost never happened because of her social anxiety. How did you notice her overcoming that, and what growth edges can you identify in your own leadership development?

At IFYC, we’re often asked what we want student interfaith leaders to actually do—this video was developed to give a concrete example. Use this video to observe how Damairis carries herself as a leader, how she interacts with others and the kinds of opportunities she organizes for people to come together to engage diversity in impactful ways. You can view the story of a student interfaith leader getting started 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

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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.