Elon students organize and host interfaith conference – Feb. 25-28

Join us for the Ripple Conference and engage in multifaith learning and exploration around the theme of "Sacred Sounds"

Alexandra McCorkle '18, Rabbi Meir Goldstein, Margaret Bryant '16, and Jan Register at the Parliament of the World's Religions
Fifty students from 12 different colleges and universities in the Southeast will gather at Elon University the weekend of Feb. 25-28 for the first ever Ripple Interfaith Conference.

The conference is a collaboration of Elon University and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), but it all began with Elon student and multifaith engagement intern Miranda Baker ’17, the conference’s executive director.

“I thought of Ripple after attending the Coming Together conference at Yale University last spring,” Baker said. “Coming Together offered more of a chance to build real connections and to learn from each other. We often talk about interfaith and multifaith at Elon, but at the Coming Together gathering, I felt I was really experiencing it.”

Coming Together brings student religious leaders together from college campuses across the United States and Canada every two years. Miranda came back inspired to create something similar at Elon for campuses in our region.

The conference includes interfaith leadership training from IFYC and the immersive and student-led sharing of Coming Together. Public events include Todd Green (“Islamophobia”), the Rev. Julian “J.Kwest” DeShazier (“Hip Hop, Justice, and Prophetic Speech”), L.D. Russell (“Religion and Rock ‘n’ Roll”), Hijabi Monologues, and a screening of the award-winning film The Journey Within. All are welcome at these events.

In addition to these public events, there will also be student-led and facilitated breakout sessions and times for worship and centering exercises from different traditions, including Jumu’ah Muslim Prayer, Taizé Christian worship, yoga, and meditation. “This truly is a unique conference experience,” said Joel Harter, associate chaplain for Protestant Life, “because Ripple is student-driven and encourages student attendees to present and share from their own experiences and expertise.”

Multifaith Coordinator Diana Abrahams echoed this sentiment. “It’s really exciting to see so much student leadership and interest — both from Elon students and from other students in our region,” she said.

Conference Director Alexandra McCorkle ’18 added, “I am looking forward to meeting like-minded people from nearby schools and growing as interfaith leaders. My hope is that this conference is just the beginning of something much bigger as each attendee takes the experience back to their campus.”

The Ripple Conference is part of the SAGES multifaith engagement program at Elon University and sponsored by the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and Interfaith Youth Core.

Co-sponsors for the public events include the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society; the Office of Inclusive Community; and the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education.