Joel Harter and the Truitt Center awarded Interfaith Leadership Lab grant
The grant will help fund Ripple 2017, a conference to focus on the theme of "Mindfully Plural."
Joel Harter, associate chaplain for Protestant life, has received, on behalf of the Truitt Center, a $3,000 Interfaith Leadership Lab grant from the Interfaith Youth Core to support the second annual Ripple Conference, a regional interfaith gathering of university students, faculty and staff.
Ripple 2017 will be held on Elon's campus in February 2017 and will focus on the theme "Mindfully Plural." Sessions will explore how diverse traditions and worldviews engage mindful or contemplative practices, including secular perspectives, and provide leadership training and networking for emerging interfaith leaders.
"This truly is a unique conference experience," explains Harter, "because Ripple is student-driven and encourages student attendees to present and share from their own experiences and expertise." Elon student and multifaith engagement intern Miranda Baker '17 developed the original idea for Ripple last year, and Baker and Alexandra McCorkle '18 are the student directors for Ripple 2017. The conference will include expert plenary sessions, as well as student-led workshops and sharing groups.
To be held. Feb. 24-26, Ripple 2017 (will include three events open to the public. "An Evening with Rumi" will combine performative readings of Sufi poetry with Persian music and discussion of Mindfulness in Sufi mysticism. Two panels will engage the conference theme. "Mindfulness Across Traditions" will explore mindful and contemplative elements in diverse traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. "Buddhism Beyond Beliefs" will consider the influence of Buddhism on nonreligious perspectives and experiences, including secular, scientific and clinical approaches to mindfulness.
The grant will be directed by Joel Harter and Carrie Seigler, multifaith and intern coordinator, in collaboration with student leaders who are part of Elon University's SAGES Multifaith Engagement Program. Additional advisors for the conference include University Chaplain Janet Fuller; Brian Pennington, director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society; Alexis Franzese, assistant professor of sociology; Julie Lellis, associate professor of communications; and Jennifer Brigman, a counselor with student counseling.
Additional funding for the conference is coming from the Truitt Center and the Fund for Excellence.