Colleges and universities serve as microcosms of the religious diversity that is shaping American life. These spaces are quite unique and are filled with an assortment of opportunities for learning, unlearning, questioning, and creating a more beautiful social order. They’re laboratories of sorts, spaces to be innovative, and spaces that serve as a model for the rest of society by helping us visualize what an Interfaith America can look and feel like.
They give us a picture of what can unfold when we experience and live in a community that positively engages across lines of religious, spiritual, philosophical, and secular differences. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students, in this once-in-a-lifetime sacred space and time, converge from all around the world or just a few miles away, carrying with them countless faiths and worldviews. As conveners, disrupters, and educators, you are leading, intentionally or not, an increasingly vital role in engaging this diversity by creating encounters and experiences that lead to cooperation instead of conflict, love in response to hate, and a more understanding and open mindset. We all need to hold ourselves accountable for this, not only in the academy, but in every aspect of our lives.