Education for Action: The Urgency of Interreligious Leadership for the Global Good

On May 7th 2019, 150 Attendees, 34 Russell Berrie Fellowship Alumni and 20 Interfaith Organizations participated in the International Conference celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.

The International Conference, Education for Action, brought together representatives of various faith traditions, scholars, practitioners, students and organizations actively involved in interreligious dialogue, both at the local and international levels. The event started with a Marketplace of Ideas session during which participants were able to meet, learn about and network with leaders and organizations active in interreligious dialogue (IRD) and peacebuilding initiatives at the grassroots and global level.

A panel discussion followed where well-known leaders in interreligious dialogue discussed how education can move to action in a world where establishing dialogue between different faith traditions is ever so important and urgent. Angelica Berrie, President of The Russell Berrie Foundation said: “when we invest in one Fellow, we plant a seed, and through him/her we can transform communities, societies.” Other panelists included Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Co-Director of the John Paul II Center; Fr. Michal Paluch, Rector of the Angelicum; Huda Abuarquob, Regional Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace; Aart Bos, CEO of MasterPeace; Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq., CEO of Tanenbaum; and Sister Lucy Thornson of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion.

This panel discussion was followed by four Russell Berrie Fellowship Alumni giving TED-style talks about their work in the field of IRD. The conference ended with a poster session, showcasing Alumni interfaith initiatives to the audience.

On May 8th, the 34 Alumni also gathered for a day of interreligious dialogue skill-building workshops and to explore how the Alumni network can work together to promote dialogue globally.

The Education for Action Conference in Rome was the final event in a series of events and conferences during this 10th Anniversary year, including a co-sponsored conference at the Harvard Divinity School in Boston, Massachusetts in September 2018, followed by an event at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem in January 2019.

To read more about the event, please click here.