Student Religious Leaders Look to the Fall

Image depicts four webinar speakers: Sohini Bhatia, JJ Kapur, Bianca Kermani, and Ella Ramos

As the start of university classes approaches, our webinar, Student Leaders Prepare for the Fall 2020, featured four student leaders from different campuses and worldviews talking about their expectations for campus life radically transformed by Covid-19, calls for racial justice, and other momentous issues. Sohini Bhatia (from Mt. Holyoke College), JJ Kapur (from Stanford University), Bianca Kermani (from UC-San Diego), and Ella Ramos (from the University of Illinois-Chicago) talked about their hope and anxieties for the coming semester, how interfaith work will be more needed than ever, and what staff and faculty can do to support students on their campus.

“The way I think about priorities is very different,” Bianca mentioned as she talked about how the importance of her family and religious community rose in prominence for her during the pandemic. This shift in priorities was echoed by each student. “It’s easy to get lost when we are all virtual,” Sohini noted when talking about the importance of personalized outreach to students from faculty. JJ echoed this point when talking about how one of the things he most misses from “in-person life” is the traditional langar meals that his Sikh temple organizes for all in their community. Ella had a similar longing for being able to pray next to others during Catholic Mass. Asked at the end of the webinar for a final reflection, Ella shared that, along with thinking about what’s been lost during this time, she always thinks about what we all are doing to make our society “bearable and better.”

Watch the full recording.

#Interfaith is a self-paced, online learning opportunity designed to equip a new generation of leaders with the awareness and skills to promote interfaith cooperation online. The curriculum is free to Interfaith America readers; please use the scholarship code #Interfaith100. #Interfaith is presented by IFYC in collaboration with ReligionAndPublicLife.org.

 

more from IFYC

Lessons from Thich Nhat Hanh, the person who nominated Martin Luther King Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize and encouraged King to speak out against the war in Vietnam.
What Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and activist Thich Nhat Hanh taught me about the power of mindful breathing through art.
A scholar of democratic virtues explains why Dominican monk Thomas Aquinas’ thoughts on hope are relevant today.
From covering spirituality in Silicon Valley to writing an online newsletter about her own journey to Judaism, reporter Nellie Bowles keeps finding innovative ways to reflect on religion and technology.
Six ways religious and spiritual leaders can help the internet serve their communities right now.
At the request of his editors at Religion News Service, Omar Suleiman writes about waiting with hostages’ families.
Regardless of what happens on Capitol Hill, the PNBC leaders said they plan to lobby Congress in March and register voters weekly in their congregations and communities.
King’s exasperation at self-satisfied white Christians holds up a mirror that is still painfully accurate today.
A day before the U.S. Senate was expected to take up significant legislation on voting rights that is looking likely to fail, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s eldest son condemned federal lawmakers over their inaction.
The congregation’s rabbi, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, is particularly well connected to the larger interfaith community and on good terms with many Muslim leaders.
For Martin Luther King Day, an interfaith panel reflects on the sacredness of the vote and the legacy of Reverend King.
In his new book, Princeton historian Julian E. Zelizer reexamines the life of Abraham Joshua Heschel and finds lessons for interfaith political activism today.
King drew criticism from Billy Graham, who told journalists that he thought King was wrong to link anti-war efforts with the civil rights movement.
Some are calling out historical injustices the church has carried out against Native Americans, even as others find their faith empowering.
IFYC’s Vote is Sacred campaign launched on January 13. Faith leaders, public intellectuals, activists, and organizers are joining to advocate for an inclusive, nonpartisan interfaith approach to restoring and protecting our democracy.
One out of five Muslims is in an interfaith relationship, surveys suggest. But few imams are willing to conform the traditional Muslim wedding ceremony to their needs, couples say.
In her popular podcast series, Corrigan invites guests to wonder about 'the elephant in America's living room': belief and religion. 'I hope I have a hundred more conversations like these in 2022 and beyond,' she says.
In his annual address to the Vatican's diplomatic corps, the pope stressed the individual's responsibility 'to care for ourself and our health, and this translates into respect for the health of those around us.'
The very people who have been subject to the worst of the United States have embodied its best.
The Jan. 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol drew recent attention to the phenomenon of Christian nationalism, but religious and spiritual leaders acknowledge its existence long before that.
A new interfaith curriculum designed for Christian universities and seminaries recently got a test run. One professor who tried it says it's opened hearts and minds: "The desire is very much there."

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.