Ripple Conference to explore ‘Sustained Interfaith’ in a hybrid format

Hosted by the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, the conference will be held Feb.18-19.

Now in its seventh year, the Ripple Conference aims to create space for interfaith dialogue so people with different beliefs can learn from each other. Ripple also teaches what the concept of “interfaith” really means so that attendees can take knowledge of interfaith work and dialogue back to their own campuses. It will be held from Feb.18-19 this year.

Multifaith Coordinator and Ripple Conference advisor Allison Pelyhes said interfaith is not about creating a singular belief system, but rather conversations between those who have different beliefs.

“It’s about the interactions between people who have different worldviews, whether that’s religious or spiritual or from a secular or non-religious orientation,” Pelyhes said. “It’s essentially creating meaningful interactions so that people can collaborate and build community and work together for the common good.”

Interfaith is particularly important now because of national and international polarization, Pelyhes said, which can impede common goals. “It’s essential to build those skills of how you encounter differences, and how do you work together to find the commonalities enough so that you can address real-world problems?” she said.

This year the conference will take on a hybrid model, with students, faculty and staff participating in person and online. Ripple usually just has attendees just from the southeast region but holding the conference virtually in 2021 allowed more schools from different regions to participate. The hybrid model brings back the in-person component in addition to having a wider variety of schools.

This year’s theme is “Sustained Interfaith” which intends to spark conversations around environmentalism and sustainability as it relates to interfaith work. The theme focuses on the fact that we are all responsible for sustaining the earth, as we are all connected by this planet.

“Sustained Interfaith” asks, “What does it mean for us all to work collaboratively together to address injustice in our communities and, acknowledging that we all walk this earth?” Pelyhes said.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Keynote Speaker: Huda Alkaff, ecologist, environmental educator, and the founder and director of Wisconsin Green Muslims, a grassroots environmental justice group formed in 2005.
  • Leah Thomas, founder of eco-lifestyle blog Green Girl Leah and Intersectional Environmentalist, a community and resource hub centering BIPOC and historically excluded voices.
  • Amira Chandi, environmental equity consultant, multimedia artist and model, and researcher of localized fibersheds, food systems and Ayurvedic healing.
  • Sabs Katz, founder of platform, Sustainable Sabs and a cofounder of Intersectional Environmentalist.

Full information about the conference as well as registration details are available here.