The Role of Religion in Racism: An interfaith conversation and gathering at CRSM

As race continues to be a tough topic in cities across America, scholars from Judaism, Catholicism, Sikhism and Muslim and more than 100 community members came together on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2017 at Cristo Rey St. Martin to build friends and to be challenged by our religious traditions to confront racism and division.

Sharing a meal and seated at roundtables, attendees delved deeper into presentations from the panel of speakers: Rabbi Zachary Silver; Sister Judy Sieberlich, Sinsinawa Dominicans, (supporting community of CRSM); Parminder Mann of Gurdwara Sahib Palatine and Ahmadiyya Muslim Imam Azam Akram.

“Today is a good opportunity to welcome our brothers and sisters of other faiths and it brings a sign of hope that peacemakers are at work to try to create bridges and to combat racism,” said Jim Dippold, director of CRSM Campus Ministry. “Part of our mission as Catholics is to help heal the divisions and to bring love and respect to others who are hurting. By sitting together and sharing a meal and interactive conversations we are demonstrating that we have much more in common. We are here to explore what the role of religion is in combating racism and hopefully to teach others through our actions.”

In honor of “Religious Founder’s Day,” the event brought together people of all ages from the four faith traditions. The theme of the afternoon of sharing was: “The Role of Religion in creating Peace in our Society.” The Ahmediyya Muslim Community (AMC) of Zion, hosted the event and provided dinner.