The Interfaith Action alternative break(s) for 2013 will be focused on interfaith cooperative efforts in the areas of social services and faith-based community organizing. Students will receive training in methodologies of interfaith dialogue, volunteer with a multifaith-supported service agency, and learn from community organizers engaging religiously diverse congregations in cooperative action and advocacy.
Intergroup Dialogue Training
Prior to the trip students will learn about the various approaches to interfaith dialogue and discuss how to utilize different methodologies in different scenarios. Emphasis will be placed on domestic, local community-based dialogue focused on building collaborative partnerships.
On the trip students will receive training from professionals in the field on topics potentially ranging from implementing international interreligious dialogue to utilizing faith-based groups in community organizing efforts.
Multifaith Service Organizations
Most of the trip will be spent working with a non-profit founded by or supported by religiously diverse communities. Our service area will vary from site to site, including topic fields like environment, healthcare, immigration, and poverty. Many U.S.-based multifaith organizations took shape during the Civil Rights Movement, and generally focused on coordinating the efforts of different ministries or uniting social service programs. In more recent years, multifaith organizations have developed around issues like environmental stewardship and agricultural reform.
Faith-based Community Organizing & Advocacy
At most sites students will also have the opportunity to learn about community organizing, specifically when involving communities from different religious/spiritual traditions. Diversity within a neighborhood, especially religious diversity, can be a challenge to groups seeking to organize around a common cause. Faith-based community organizing helps neighborhoods move beyond sectarian boundaries to advocate for the common good of the community.