By: Lindsay Montgomery, Managing Editor
OneJax, a nonprofit interfaith organization, is now affiliated with UNF.
The institution’s mission is to promote understanding between different religions, races, cultures and beliefs. It will complement programs already provided to faculty, staff and students by UNF’s Interfaith Center and Intercultural Center for PEACE.
OneJax is and will remain a self-sustaining organization, said UNF Chief of Staff Vice President Tom Serwatka. The university will not allocate funds to the institute, which is supported by entities such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Publix and The Commmunity Foundation in Jacksonville.
The institute will have offices in UNF Hall, and some of the Interfaith and Intercultural Center’s offices may also be moved there from the Student Union. OneJax’s only office has previously been located in Riverside.
This affiliation was not required for OneJax to work with UNF, but Tarah Trueblood, the Interfaith Center coordinator, and Oupa Seane, the Intercultural Center director, said they are looking forward to having OneJax on campus — partly because it brings OneJax closer.
“It seems like a natural way for us to expand our reach into the community,” Trueblood said. “When we’re doing interfaith work, we need to be involved in the faith community around us. We need to know the religious leaders — and OneJax has all of those relationships.”
Seane said it is important for UNF to educate students not only in the classroom but outside of it. OneJax has incredible programs to serve that purpose, he said.
The affiliation should benefit OneJax, as well, said Celeste Krueger, the executive director of OneJax, citing research opportunities as one advantage.
The first program sponsored through this affiliation is Feb. 28 — Oneness of Humanity: On Common Ground at 7 p.m. in the University Center, presented by OneJax and the Interfaith center. Dr. Diana Eck, professor, lecturer and director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, will be the featured speaker, discussing “The Power of Religion — Practical Pluralism in a World of Difference.”
Email Lindsay Montgomery at [email protected]