The pillar of freedom unites 123 countries around the world in the institution called democracy. Whether each of these countries is truly democratic and whether the definition of freedom is […]
Our first day in Panama, we stepped off the plane and into the synagogue, a large, beautiful building with a wrought iron gate to seal the deal. Of the sixteen of us on the trip, I, being the daughter of an Argentine immigrant, was the only one who spoke fluent Spanish and I noticed many of my traveling companions already felt out of place since every time they wanted to ask for something they needed me to translate for them.
That was not the case, and I knew it wouldn’t be when my teacher paused and took a look at the classroom after the opening slide of the presentation was up. She seemed to be thinking carefully as to what she was going to say. Finally she took a deep breath and asked a simple, but striking question, “How many of you have had or have negative thoughts about Islam or Muslims in general?”
Hey everybody! My name is Bron and I am a Freshman at WT Woodson High School in Virginia.
I’m incredibly excited to serve as an alumni consultant during the development of this year’s National Youth Justice Training, and can’t wait to see program come to fruition in the following months. This transformative three-week social justice training for high-school youth offers interactive social justice education and real-world internships.
After last week’s #DCfaith twitter chat, I began thinking more about my experiences with interfaith in my small town. Although at least one interfaith group exists where I live, I never seem to hear about events until after they’ve already happened, and as far as I know, none of them have been specifically for youth.
Something I learned from public school was that not everybody has the same opportunities as you, and some people have more opportunities. I learned about different cultures of my friends who are not from the Unites States, and I also learned to become friends with people I normally wouldn’t be friends with.
I myself am an atheist as well as a Unitarian Universalist, and I found Faitheist incredibly inspiring, both as a manifesto for atheist interfaith work, and as a human story of changing belief and perspective. I often find myself agreeing with many New Atheist critiques of mainstream religion, as well as pluralistic messages of interfaith understanding and engagement, and Faitheist helped me resolve the conflicted feelings about religion and interfaith work I still, to a certain degree, hold.
When I stumbled onto the video above about Hayward Demison III’s story of suffering a heart attack while playing a high-school football game- it reminded that I don’t have it so bad. Hayward had every excuse to quit, and even after he decided to take the risk and persevere, he had every excuse to not challenge himself.