What We Do
In partnership with the other Social Justice Centers, we participate in the Intersections initiative, which looks at our complex world through multiple dimensions including race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, class status, etc. By examining our various identities, we come to a deeper understanding of how they differently situate people in the economic, political and social world. This analysis also provides opportunities for participants to consider how privilege advantages certain groups of people while disadvantaging others.
In partnership with the GVSU Community Service Learning Center, we coordinate civic engagement opportunities in the Grand Rapids and West Michigan community to participate in interfaith service projects. Previous examples include volunteer trips to local mosques and assisting with their food pantry, efforts to welcome new refugees to the city, and more. Interfaith service projects include not only direct service, but also opportunities to build appreciative knowledge about the diverse traditions of our community.
In partnership with other local colleges, including Aquinas College, Calvin College, and Hope College, we oversee an Interfaith Cohort including student interns from each school. The Cohort meets frequently and work together to promote interfaith action projects on each individual campus, between the campuses, and in the wider community. This initiative works closely with the Interfaith Youth Core model of interfaith leadership, recognizing that our campuses and communities must prepare individuals to be interfaith leaders that are able to build bridges of understanding and cooperation across lines of religious and non-religious difference.
Additional programs throughout the year include interfaith panels to promote education and awareness about religious diversity on campus, dialogue dinners to promote engagement between various faith-based organizations on campus, and other programs to respond to campus and national climate around religion and spirituality.
Ways to get involved:
Students: Join the Better Together student organization
Advisors/Staff/Faculty: Join the bi-monthly Faith-Based Advisors
Community Members: Join the Kaufman Interfaith Institute–Interfaith Service Council