UNF Interfaith Center hosting conference Thursday

Julia Croston, Managing Editor

The University of North Florida Interfaith Center will host a conference, at the Robinson Theater on April 7, to discuss “Religious Literacy for a Diverse Democracy.”

“We are excited for this new initiative where we can learn about religion together in public, considering sound scholarship and how our diverse religious and non-religious identities contribute to the conversation,” Associate Director of the Interfaith Center Matt Hartely shared in an email. 

Along with student leaders, the Interfaith Center is collaborating with the UNF Religious Studies program, the University of Florida Religion Department and local faith leaders.

The conference will have several events, kicking off with a religious studies and interfaith lunch and ending with Keynote Speaker Robert P. Jones. UNF will host the Jacksonville Religious Diversity Panel and Dr. Ali Altaf Mian from the University of Florida. 

Jones is the CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute. He has written books addressing racism associated with religion throughout history. In 2020, Jones published his most recent book titled White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. 

Courtesy of the Interfaith Center.
Courtesy of the Interfaith Center.

Below is the event’s schedule:

11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Kickoff and Meet Religious Studies and Interfaith Lunch

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Interfaith Workshop with Interfaith Center Student Leaders

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Religious Studies Student Presentations

2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. Jacksonville Religious Diversity Panel

3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Scholar Presentation: Dr. Brandi Denison (UNF Religious Studies) – Powwows and Christmas Trees: Ute Land Religion and Reconciliation

4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Dr. Ali Altaf Mian (University of Florida) – Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism and the Legacies of Colonialism

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Small Group Discussion and Dinner with Robert P. Jones, Keynoter

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Keynote with Robert. P Jones, CEO of PRRI

[Break for Islamic breaking of fast at 7:50 pm]

8:30 p.m. Book Signing

“We hope this will become an annual conference with UNF becoming a hub to help our region and nation understand religion toward the end of an equitable, diverse democracy,” Hartley concluded in an email. 


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