To advance equity and belonging for persons of all religious, secular, and spiritual identities by fostering human connection, interfaith understanding, and collective transformation.
We seek to cultivate a vibrant and pluralistic culture in which persons of all religious, secular, and spiritual identities are cooperatively engaged in the work of growing a community of belonging through grass-roots engagement, shared power, and critical hope.
Beyond tolerance, we value:
A Framework Of Critical Hope
The term ‘critical’ has numerous implications, all of which are relevant to our project. The first is the sense of importance - critical as vital or essential. Secondly, critical implies a sense of urgency or immediacy. Lastly, to be critical means to be discerning or analytical. In theoretical contexts, critical thinking implies an explicit exploration of power, oppression, privilege, and the status quo.
Hope looks to a collective vision of a better future. It is what guides and sustains us in the incremental journey on the arc of history that bends towards justice. Hope is more than passive optimism or the naive expectation that change will happen overnight. Hope is an active pursuit of a reality not yet realized. Hope is the essential starting point and ever-present companion to justice-seeking work as it grapples with politics, emotions, relationships, lived-realities, and identities.
Philosopher Darren Webb described critical hope as follows:
“To persevere with humble serenity while being driven by a rage that renders serenity impossible; to wait with patience and yet impatiently refuse to wait; to denounce the ambitions of the irresponsible adventurer while proclaiming education to be adventure full of risk; to keep oneself focused on a scientific study of concrete reality while acknowledging that a scientific knowledge of reality is not enough; to restrain oneself to the discourse of the real-Possible and yet declare that the role of the educator is to make possible the impossible by dreaming it.”
Critical hope invites us to hold conflicting truths in a single space and time, to sit in tension with differences, and to sustain a complex and shared pluralistic vision of a better world. Such change must be rooted in and arise from collective reimagining. This form of hope is brave and challenging and necessary. To engage in interfaith work is to engage in critical hope.
For those interested in learning more about the thought-provoking term of “critical hope,” we strongly suggest checking out Kari Grain’s book, Critical Hope: How to Grapple with Complexity, Lead with Purpose, and Cultivate Transformative Social Change.