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Interfaith Forum

  • Kingsborough Community College 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Lighthouse/MAC Rotunda Brooklyn, NY, 11235 United States (map)

KCC Interfaith Forum: Promoting Religious Pluralism and Inclusive Citizenship

Our public forum, featuring nationally recognized scholars of religion and interfaith studies, will explore with students, faculty, staff, and the wider community some of the challenges and opportunities presented by religious diversity at our public college and in civic life.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Forum is offered in collaboration with the Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY), the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and The Democracy Commitment for Community Colleges (TDC).

Open to the public.  Classes are welcome.  Please RSVP to Janine Palludan at For additional information, please also contact Janine Palludan at or at (718) 368-5252.

This event is preceded by Faith Based Voices in the Classroom Workshop, held on Oct 26, 2016, 3:00pm – 5:00pm


Our Speakers Include:

Jennifer Howe Peace is Associate Professor of Interfaith Studies at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA and founding co-director of the Center for Inter-religious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE) a joint initiative between ANTS and the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College.  In addition, Dr. Peace is Visiting Associate Professor on Religious Pluralism at the Harvard Divinity School and a senior consultant to the Pluralism Project at Harvard. Dr. Peace’s involvement in interfaith organizing includes being a founding board member of the United Religions Initiative, a founding member of the Interfaith Youth Core’s leadership team, and a founding member of the Daughters of Abraham. Author of numerous articles, essays and chapters on interfaith cooperation, Dr. Peace’s latest book project is a volume co-edited with Eboo Patel and Noah Silverman called Towards a Field of Interfaith Studies. She is the co-editor of My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Orbis 2012) and series editor for Interreligious Studies in Theory and Practice for Palgrave, Macmillan.

Imam Khalid Latif is the University Chaplain for New York University, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and a Chaplain for the New York Police Department.  He was appointed the first Muslim chaplain at NYU in 2005. In 2007 Mayor Michael Bloomberg nominated Imam Latif—at age 24-- to become the youngest chaplain in NYPD history. Imam Latif was appointed to Mayor Bill De Blasio's transition team and to a "NYC Task Force to Combat Hate," which deals with the rise of Islamophobic, anti-semitic and anti-sikh sentiment.  In 2012, Imam Latif co-founded with NYU's Vice-Chancellor Linda Mills, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, and Chelsea Clinton the Of Many Institute, a groundbreaking model for multi-faith leadership at the university level.   Imam Latif has been featured in the Huffington Post, BBC, NPR, CNN, the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Colbert Report, Katie Couric, Newsweek, Time, BET and GEO TV.  He has shared stages with Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama, and many grassroots movements and diverse communities throughout the world. 

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna is the Executive Director of the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University (NYU), the University Chaplain for NYU and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Rabbi Sarna has received numerous awards for his work including the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence from Hillel International in 2008. In 2009, he was listed as one of the "36-under-36" by The Jewish Week. In 2012, Rabbi Sarna received an award from Temple of Understanding with NYU's Imam Khalid Latif and Chelsea Clinton for their work in, "advancing a new model of integrating interfaith and cross cultural education into campus life." In 2013, he was honored by Yeshivat Har Etzion as "Alumnus of the Year."

Michael Feldberg is executive director of the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom. The goal of the Institute is to help students, teachers and public leaders worldwide to go beyond “mere” toleration of our religious differences to sincere respect for each other’s beliefs and observances. From 1991 to 2004, he served as Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society and from 2004 to 2008 was its Director of Research. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Rochester.

Event Program:

10:00-11:20 - Welcome by Dr. Joanne Russell, KCC Provost; Dr. Caryn McTighe Musil, Senior Scholar, Association of American Colleges and Universities/Director, National Citizenship Under Siege Project; and Verdis Robinson, Interim National Manager, The Democracy Commitment.

We Need Each Other: What Interfaith Work teaches Us about Civic Life, Keynote Address by Professor Jennifer Peace, Associate Professor of Interfaith Studies at Andover Newton Theological School. Introduction by Dr. Debra Schultz, KCC Department of History

11:30-12:30 - Encountering Diversity, Engaging Pluralism: Multifaith Living in Today's Society, Imam Khalid Latif and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, Chaplains, New York University and co-founders of NYU’s Of Many Institute. Introduction by Dr. Reza Fakhari, KCC Vice President for Workforce Development

12:40-1:40 - Lunch and Facilitated Conversation With Guest Scholars:  Professor Peace, Imam Latif, and Rabbi Sarna. Moderated by Dr. Henry Goldschmidt, Interfaith Center of New York

1:50-2:50 - Workshop on The First Amendment and Guarantees of Religious Freedom. Presentation and facilitated discussion on how these guarantees relate to some of today’s most pressing legal and political issues.  Led by Dr. Michael Feldberg, Academic Director, George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom.  Introduction by KCC “My Turn” Student Julia Bedard about Lady Deborah Moody and 17th century religious tolerance in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

This event is made possible by:




Earlier Event: November 14
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Later Event: March 20
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