The Norman Transcript

Education

September 10, 2013

Interfaith scholar encourages residents to accept diversity

NORMAN — As interfaith scholar Eboo Patel spoke about the importance of interfaith understanding at the President’s Associates Dinner on Monday evening, attendees said it was clear that his cause should be their cause.

Patel said college campuses have always been a place of diversity. A student’s best friend could be a Kappa, a roommate could be from a town so small there is only one stoplight, a study partner could be Catholic, and a favorite professor could speak six languages.

Patel described college campuses as the intersection of a window to the expanse of the world and depth of history and the road to passion and purpose.

“People do not magically come together. Bridges must be built,” Patel said, calling on the Norman community and the world to become activists of religious acceptance.

Patel, one of the nation’s leading scholars in religion and interfaith studies and founder of Interfaith Youth Core, did not always see interfaith acceptance as the center of diversity problems.

When Patel’s father told him that for all of the lectures on diversity he had given to his family on visits home from college, he had never mentioned religious diversity, this struck a cord with Patel. From that point on, he began to consider how the world is defined by religious turmoil.

“I found that my heart’s great gladness met the world’s great need when I built bridges between people who orient around religion differently,” Patel said.

Patel encouraged others to become interfaith leaders by telling stories of cooperation, shaping positive situations and articulating to the world why one’s religion finds interfaith work holy.

Patel emphasized making personal connections with others who are religiously diverse as a way to cure prejudice.

One attendee asked Patel what she could do as an OU student to create a more loving campus if she encountered negative religious interactions. Patel said to show that there is a positive religious interaction.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Education
  • honor_roll.jpg Local students make the grade

    Norman Public Schools has released the most recent honor rolls. Click a school to see if you know a student who made the grade.

    View honor rolls for Norman High School | Norman North High School
    Alcott Middle School | Irving Middle School | Longfellow Middle School | Whittier Middle School

    June 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Little Axe students eligible for GEAR UP University

    Little Axe Public School students entering the ninth-12th grade in the fall 2014 are eligible to apply to GEAR UP University, a summer academic and leadership program available only to 24 state school districts during June 2014....

    April 18, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Free Employment Law webinar offered by MNTC

    On May 6, Moore Norman Technology Center’s Business Development Center will host a free webinar titled “Employment Law — The Basics.” The hourlong webinar, led by Robert Norman, Esq., attorney with Cheek & Falcone PLLC, and Greg Kieson, ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High, North named top schools in nation

    Norman High and Norman North have once again been identified as two of the most rigorous high schools in the state and nation. The Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, the first of annual national high school ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • MNTC to host board meeting this week

    The Moore Norman Technology Center Board of Education will meet in a regular board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Norman campus, 4701 12th Ave. NW....

    April 15, 2014

  • Dar Local students win contest

    Three Norman students were rewarded first place for trying their hands at fiction essays for the Oklahoma Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay Contest. Sean Cheng, Karina Feng and Keever Jane Greer wrote captivating ...

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo