“Diversity is not just the differences you like”
We live in an era where people choose sides and prepare for battle. What would it look like to be a leader who sought the well-being of the whole – both people you identify with, and people you don’t; people you agree with, and people you don’t; people on this side of the line, and people on the other side. What would it mean to engage in multicultural and interfaith work with the recognition that diversity is not just the differences you like?
In this talk, Patel will draw on inspiring examples from American history and religious traditions to show how we can build a country where all people thrive. The best symbol for this is not a melting pot, but a potluck dinner. After all, a diverse democracy does not benefit from endless sameness, but upon the various gifts that its diverse people bring. If people don’t contribute, the nation doesn’t feast.
Eboo Patel is the author of four books and dozens of articles, has spoken on more than 150 campuses, and served on President Obama’s inaugural Faith Council. For over two decades, he has led IFYC from a handful of volunteers to a nationwide non-profit that empowers students and educators on almost 600 U.S. college and university campuses.
Recognized as a key voice in national discussions around religious diversity and civic engagement, Eboo’s contributions include the books Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation; Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America; Interfaith Leadership: A Primer; and Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise. His op-eds and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, on National Public Radio, and The PBS NewsHour.