About Religious Diversity: A Social Justice Issue

I thought Otelia Cromwell Day was inspiring as well as thought (and action!) provoking. I am so appreciative of all the imagination and creativity that went into the production of such a rich day. I was especially taken with the historical connections that Latoya Peterson made, and that she noted the need to remain ever vigilant for the “fracturing” that can happen inside our movements when we begin to ignore what is near and dear to our fellow people. I feel that paying close attention to ourselves and our relationships with one another is a crucial part of interfaith work.

With respect to religious diversity in particular, I am struck by the fact that it was difficult to have conversations about religion even (or especially) in academia following 9/11, and that some of those conversations have now started to happen. I am also struck by what fertile soil there is to be tilled, and how far we still have to go…

Please read this courageous post below—by a student responding to an incident which occurred on campus a few weeks ago in which anti-Muslim slurs were vocalized from a passing car. Islamaphobia is a pervasive and widespread social justice issue—micro-aggressions occur more than we probably are yet able to even identify.

Religion is interwoven with so many other things—history, race, class, culture, colonialism and globalization—it is the subject of a crucial conversation that needs to be had, conversations that are hard to enter into. But once we do, we have begun the work of transformation.

Author: Matilda Cantwell

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