The Spotlight Is on Interfaith Youth: Better Together Day, World Faith, and More

By Shani Belshaw, Parliament of the World’s Religions Intern

The global interfaith movement is expanding rapidly through youth engagement. Building impact through innovative approaches to dialogue and action, the spotlight on interfaith youth organizations is bright in recent weeks.

  • World Faith-Interfaith Youth In Action announced the introduction of three new members of its Board of Directors, Alexandra Karasavva, Rev. Jennifer Bailey, and Savneet Singh.
    • Karasavva graduated from NYU with a major in Middle Eastern Studies and international politics. She has worked for eight years as the Director at TransPerfect Translations, a global business solutions provider.
    • Rev. Jennifer Bailey is a Nathan Cummings Fellow and Truman Scholar; she leads a multi-faith movement and organizes community events as the Founder and Executive Director of the Faith Matters Network (FMN).
    • Savneet Singh is a Cornell University alumnus, where he majored in Applied Economics and Management. He is the Founder and President of Gold Bullion International (GBI), the first electronic business where individuals can buy, sell, and trade physical precious metals.

Read more about these new World Faith Board here.

It’s time to get the word out for “Better Together Day” on April 14th.

The campaign by Interfaith Youth Core is all about getting our world more connected because we really are better together.

It all starts with a pledge.

For Better Together Day you pledge to meet someone from a different religious or non-religious background and start a conversation with him or her about what they believe and about your beliefs as well. These conversations break down the stereotype that you can’t casually talk about religion with someone that you don’t know very well, a stereotype that isn’t true at all.

Click here to take the Better Together Day Pledge right now!

IFYC’s website offers many tips on how to start aClick here to take the Better Together Day Pledge right now! conversation and even a shared values toolkit. The website has a lot of great ideas on how to get more involved on “Better Together Day”. One way they mention is by “speedfaithing”, which is where you spend 20 minutes learning about a religious tradition the other partakes in. Another idea to get involved is to take a new friend selfie: introduce yourself to a stranger, tell them about “Better Together Day”, share something meaningful with each other, and then snap a selfie with them!

There is even a “Better Together Day” Conversation Space on Facebook!

Take the pledge and let your friends know about “Better Together Day”. We are in a world blessed with technology, but we are still disconnected as ever. Religious tension globally is at a six year high. We should all be using social media like Twitter and Facebook to stay more connected. Use the hashtag, #WeAreBetterTogether to let all your followers know about this amazing movement.

IFYC is partnering a network of 3.6 million young advocates that take on global issues. DoSomething.org will work with IFYC to promote dialogue through the “One Text Under God(s)” program.

All you do is text IFYC to 38283 and you can have the chance to ask four IFYC members from four different backgrounds about their faith; Thomas is an atheist; Keryn is a Mormon, Pavitra is a Hindu, and Sara Rahim, a Muslim, who is an IFYC alum and serves the Parliament as a UN youth representative.

Read about Sara Rahim in this recent profile featured in“The Muslim Observer”

When Sara Rahim recounts the details of her past accomplishments, it is with a breezy, cheerful tone. This is at once disarming and refreshing, given that they are long and of the highest caliber, especially for a person so young: the twenty-three-year old’s résumé is peppered with accolades from the State Department, the United Nations, and the White House, to name a few.

But for someone who thinks so globally, who speaks a laundry list of languages, her recipe for changing the world, Rahim says, starts simply: with sharing a meal, or starting a conversation.

It is this attitude that propelled her to the UN stage on February 6, 2015 as the youth keynote speaker for World Interfaith Harmony Week. Rahim has served as the Youth Representative of the Parliament of the World’s Religions for a year, one of the oldest interfaith organizations in the world.

Continue reading…

Congratulations to these emerging leaders. All young and bold interfaith advocates are invited to bring their talent and energy to this year’s 2015 Parliament at reduced student rates! Check it out here.

Parliament Communications Team Member Nafia Khan contributed to this article.  

Featured Image courtesy of Blue Boat

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