North Park University to Host "Women Making a Difference" Interfaith Dialogue Nov. 16

Interfaith Dialogue

Dialogue to explore role of women in interfaith relationships

CHICAGO (October 28, 2011) – Women in religious leadership roles will participate Nov. 16 in an interfaith dialogue at North Park University, Chicago. The program, "Interfaith Dialogue with Women Leaders: Christian, Muslims, and Jews Making a Difference," will be held at the University's Anderson Chapel beginning at 7 p.m.

"It is very exciting and important to have the presence and voices of women faith leaders and scholars engaging in interfaith dialogue," said the Rev. Velda R. Love, director for justice and intercultural learning, North Park University Office of Diversity and Intercultural Programs. Love and Prof. Anis Said, lecturer in Arabic, are organizing the event.

"All of our speakers bring to this conversation a necessary framework of how women leaders, teachers, and advocates of social justice speak about the challenges and triumphs of women leading the way in bridging communities toward cooperation, peace, and empowerment," Love added.

Panelists will engage each other in dialogue, answer questions from the audience, and conclude with prayers from each religious tradition, Love said. As many as 300 people are expected to attend. The interfaith dialogue is part of the University's commitment to President Obama's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. North Park is one of nearly 250 participating colleges and universities which pledged to strengthen communities through service and uniting people across lines of faith through dialogue and understanding.

Religious leaders who will participate in the dialogue are:

The Rev. Karen E. Mosby-Avery, pastor of pastoral care and administration at Second Baptist Church, Evanston, Ill. Pastor Mosby-Avery has collaborated with numerous organizations and agencies to identify resources to address social issues that negatively affect diverse families and communities. She previously was director of contextual education at Chicago Theological Seminary and was senior pastor for 18 years at Good News Community Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Chicago.

Rabbi Andrea C. London, Beth Emet: The Free Synagogue, Evanston, Ill. Rabbi London has served at Beth Emet since July 2000, and in 2010 became Beth Emet's senior rabbi, only the third rabbi to hold that position in the synagogue's 60-year history. She has worked to build bridges between Chicago-area Christians, Jews, and Muslims and is involved with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs' Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative.

Dr. Marcia Hermansen, Professor of theology and director, Islamic World Studies program, Theology Department, Loyola University, Chicago. Dr. Hermansen teaches courses in Islamic studies and world religions at Loyola. She has lived for extended periods in Egypt, Iran, India, Jordan, Pakistan, and Turkey and conducts research in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu, as well as major European languages. Dr. Hermansen has written numerous academic articles on subjects such as Islamic thought, Islam and Muslims in South Asia, Muslims in America, and women in Islam. She earned a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Chicago.

Rummana Hussain, Chicago Sun-Times criminal courts reporter, metro editor, and occasional columnist, will serve as the dialogue moderator.  She is a member of the South Asian Journalists Association and serves as a vice-president of print of the Chicago chapter of Asian-American Journalists Association. She also serves on the board of the Chicago Headline Club. Rummana was awarded a journalism fellowship from Honolulu's East West Center to study the rising economy in India and Pakistan in 2006. She previously worked for the Chicago Tribune and the former City News Bureau of Chicago.

North Park University's sponsors of the event are the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Programs, the Collaboratory for Urban and Intercultural Learning, and the Middle Eastern Studies Initiatives.


Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522. Learn more about North Park University.

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