TU Students Participate in Interfaith Awareness Program

MOSQUE DEDICATION: Students and officials at the University of Tulsa recently participated in a dedication ceremony for the new Muslim Student Center on the TU campus. At the ceremony are, from left, Mohammad Khawaja, president of the TU Muslim Student Association; Steadman Upham, TU president; and Pam Smith, advisor for the Muslim Student Association.

BECKY OLLAR for GTR Newspapers

As part of the celebration of interfaith awareness during October, Faith & Values Media has partnered with the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) and the Interfaith Youth Core to launch “CampusQuest,” an interfaith outreach project. “Campus-Quest” is designed to help students promote interfaith dialogue during the 2004–2005 school year, and to make this dialogue a vital and visible part of campus life. Students at the University of Tulsa have joined the program to increase interfaith and intercultural understanding in the community.

The NCCJ is a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism in America.  Interfaith Youth Core seeks to build a movement that encourages religious young people to strengthen their religious identities, foster inter-religious understanding and cooperate to serve the common good.

The launch of local “Campus-Quest” campaigns will coincide with the national premiere of “The Quest for Peace,” an original television documentary presented by Faith & Values Media, which is airing this month on the Hallmark Channel.  The partnering organizations will provide screening tapes of “The Quest for Peace” for student groups to preview at an official launch party to kick-off the start of their local “CampusQuest” projects.  In addition, participating campuses will have access to support resources at www.campusquest.org, national publicity, and marketing materials including brochures, t-shirts, posters, pens, and a trailer of the program on DVD to promote the program on campus.  Faith & Values Media will also offer cash grants to student groups, selected by an expert review panel, whose interfaith projects hold the greatest promise for increasing understanding across faith lines.

“By developing their own initiatives to explore interfaith and cross-cultural relationships on college campuses, students will have an opportunity to be creative,” said Edward J. Murray, president and chief executive officer of Faith & Values Media.  “With the help of ‘Campus Quest’ online support and resources, students can encourage interfaith understanding on their campus and in the broader community.”

Students, faculty, and staff from participating colleges can log on to www.campusquest.org to find information about creating and implementing an interfaith dialogue project. 

The “CampusQuest” activities are modeled on “The Quest for Peace” television program, which follows three multi-faith, multi-cultural teams of students as they study the sources of interfaith conflict around the world.  During their six-week journey through communities in the Middle East, North Africa and the United States, the Jewish, Christian and Muslim students are shown exploring complicated questions about religious tolerance and the prospects for peace.  The 12 students from the television program will serve as virtual guides and mentors for participants as they begin their own “quests” on local campuses. 

“The Quest for Peace” was produced for Faith & Values Media by Pantheon Studios, Inc., and is a key component of Faith & Values Media’s celebration of interfaith awareness during the month of October.

Visit www.campusquest.org or send an e-mail to info@campusquest.org for more information about starting a campus project.

Updated 11-12-2004

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