Topics include understanding the five pillars of Islam, unpacking misunderstandings about Islam, recognizing one’s own discomforts, how to advocate in the public square for religious tolerance & diversity (particularly with respect to Islam), etc.
Educational philosophy and multicultural work teach us that most people learn best through experience, through doing and through exposure. Thus, the workshop program includes didactic presentation, Muslim panelists to answer questions, small group discussions, Islamic food and music.
Lay and professional leaders from UU and non-UU congregations are welcome to attend. Muslims are of course welcome with the primary audience being non-Muslims.
Please come & extend a hand of friendship across the chasm of fear.Please contact us for further information if you are interested.
“I liked so much–I enjoyed meeting and hearing the Muslims speak from their experience and about their faith. It was just a wonderful workshop. Thank you.”
“Because of the way the workshop was organized by [Rev. Kennedy] and the communicative skills of the Muslims on the panel (and the individual small group discussions), this was the best workshop dealing with human interaction and gaining a better understanding of people other than myself that I have ever attended.”
– Neil Richardson, Episcopal activist for Middle East Peace
“Coming from a Muslim background, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Kennedy for her efforts to establish a clear and concise understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. These efforts have been translated in her organization of a useful and effective workshop titled “Facing Islamphobia” on March 10th that I was part of. I attended that workshop because it tackles an important subject [and] we all (Muslims and non-Muslims) do need to join the call for it. Addressing Islamophobia and building bridges of understanding and friendship among non-Muslims and Muslims is one of the basics to remove the state of fear that we all live in these days. I really liked the way the workshop was organized to fulfill its objective. The [relational ground]rules that have been stated and explained were clear and helped us attend[ing] to be in an enjoyable environment. I do feel that I learned a lot from the workshop. I listened to, thought about, and discussed different topics that are essential between Muslim and non-Muslims. Topics such as fear from Muslims and why is that happening, fundamentals of Muslim faith, and women and Islam were brought to discussion.
I think in order to prosper and lead nations, we need to learn and study other religions and cultures and Islam is a great faith in our universe that we cannot ignore. Peace and Unity Bridge organization is a viable work that needs to be continued not only because of its objectives but also because it opens a window of opportunity for people to learn.”
-Thank you, Ibrahim N. Mohammed
Here’s a great article about the Milford, NH, workshop: Speaker Aims to Break Down Walls.
Based on evaluations conducted after three of these workshops, a majority of participants have an emphatically positive response to the program. Specifically, all respondents reported that they found the program worthwhile, while 81% of them strongly agreed with that assessment. Nearly 93% reported leaving with a deeper understanding of Islam, and nearly two thirds strongly agreed on that point.