Finding Our Common Humanity Within The COF

On February 11, Colleges of the Fenway, with funding from an Interfaith Youth Core grant, hosted the the one-day “Finding Our Common Humanity” conference at MassArt. Over 30 students, faculty, and staff engaged in dialogue and explored ways to better support one another, particularly those belonging to religious communities most affected by hate and intolerance.

Guest speakers included Ahmed Rashed, instructor at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, who discussed establishing solidarity across different faiths or belief systems. In addition, Dr. Liza Talusan, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at The Park School in Brookline, facilitated a workshop exploring an individual’s relationship to bystander intervention. The conference concluded with Becca Hartman, Campus Relations Manager from Interfaith Youth Core, who encouraged participants to identify ways in which to strengthen communities through positive action steps.

Sarah Ijaz, Simmons College ‘19, attended the conference and enjoyed the thought-provoking faith-based discussions. “As an attendee, I felt that my opinions and voice were welcome in every discussion and I enjoyed the time I spent getting to know how people different than me were reacting to different ethical dilemmas and the current state of American politics. It was valuable for me to have a day set aside for building relationships with people outside of my own faith community”, she said.

An additional participant shared, “I’ve learned to think deeply about what it means to help and how my upbringing informed it. I also learned that my own weaknesses and vulnerability does not exempt me from stepping up!”

Stay tuned for upcoming programs sponsored by COF Communities of Faith and to learn more about Interfaith Youth Core’s work, visit: