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Purdue University North Central has joined more than 250 colleges and universities from across the county in becoming part of The President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.
The President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge is intended to bring together people from different religious and non-religious backgrounds to tackle community challenges together while helping to build social capital and civility. Projects can range from volunteering together, mentoring students, helping clean up the environment or collecting food for a food pantry.
President Obama has emphasized interfaith cooperation and community service as a key means to build understanding between different communities and contribute to the common good.
The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Department of Education, Corporation for National and Community Service and the Interfaith Youth Core hosted a national convening in Washington, DC with meetings at the White House and George Washington University in early August to kick-off this year long initiative
Purdue North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin, Laura Weaver, PNC Service Learning coordinator and Cassandra Chester, Human Resources Management student were part of the day-long event which featured remarks from Jashua DuBois, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Martha Kanter, Under-Secretary for the Department of Education and Eboo Patel, Executive Director and Founder of the Interfaith Youth Core.
The participating institutions of higher education agreed to commit to a year of interfaith cooperation and community service programming on campus in their local communities.
"Purdue North Central has long practiced in the tenets of interfaith cooperation and community service," said Dworkin. "We bring together students, faculty and staff from across the globe and we come together as friends and colleagues to help out when and where we are needed in our communities. We look forward to being part of this national commitment to illuminating the positive aspects of erasing boundaries and working together toward a common goal."
The PNC Interfaith Initiative will focus on cultivating appreciative knowledge about diverse religious and non-religious identities through interactive service and educational activities including Alternative Fall and Spring Break projects, partnering with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration held in January 2012, and Building Bridges Interfaith Conference in April 2012.
Interactive educational panel discussions and workshops will meet throughout the year to identify shared traditions and values at the same time encouraging awareness, understanding and respect.
All events will be open to the public.
"One of the tremendous things about the Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge is that it will bring together people of all faiths, practices and beliefs who share a common bond of sharing, caring and service," said Waver.
At PNC, two students will take a lead role in organizing and coordinating activities in their roles as AmeriCorps Interfaith Service representatives in partnership with a state-wide Interfaith Service Corps initiatives administered by Indiana Campus Compact and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Further information may be obtained by contacting Weaver at 219.785.5200 ext. 5742.