The conference, hosted by the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, will be held online Feb. 19-20.
The Ripple Conference focuses on encouraging others to build relationships around common values. The annual student-led event, to be held Feb. 19-20 this year, will inspire participants to promote change and lead in their own unique way.
While the interfaith conference is usually hosted in person at the Numen Lumen Pavilion at Elon University, a variety of virtual meeting options this year offers the opportunity reach students, faculty and staff at multiple locations. The events will include panels, breakout sessions, and community and identity small groups. Many sessions will be recorded and available to view later.
“I think I’m most excited about the impact Ripple can have because it is more accessible than ever,” said Multifaith Coordinator Allison Pelyhes. “We are thrilled with the interest and are hopeful that the theme leaves everyone with new learnings, new hope, and legitimate takeaways to spark real change.”
Each year, the events of the weekend center around a common theme. This year’s theme, “Intersectional Interfaith,” will focus on exploring privilege and discrimination. The panels will include discussions on how to make interfaith an anti-racist and intersectional movement, with an emphasis on equality for all.
The conference has a planning team of about 15 students from Elon, Hope College, Queens University, Guilford College and Warren Wilson College, including Student Executive Director Caroline Penfield ‘22. This is Penfield’s second year in a leadership position for the conference. She was asked to codirect the conference last year, after spending her first year as a Multifaith Intern with the Truitt Center.
“I loved watching our space be filled with conversations between strangers about their beliefs and experiences,” said Penfield about her previous conference experience. “Having to go virtual was disappointing at first, but it has been such a gift to connect with campuses and speakers nationwide that normally would not be able to participate in the weekend.”
This year’s panelists include:
- Keynote Speaker Blair Imani, activist and author of Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History
- Preeta Banerjee, who is the first Hindu Chaplain at Tufts University
- Olivia Elder, who works on the criminal justice reform team at FWD.us
- Kaitlin Curtice, poet, public speaker, and author of NATIVE: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God
- Sensei Alex Kakuyo, chaplain and author of Perfectly Ordinary: Buddhist Teachings for Everyday Life
“You will absolutely come away from the weekend having learned something new, heard a new perspective, and been called to question something about yourself or your world view,” said Penfield. “You will make connections with people who will support you through all of it.