Despite a keynote address being postponed due to a blizzard on Thursday, Feb. 9, the New England Interfaith Student Summit (NEISS) continued on. The address was moved to Friday, and students held dialogues about faith and empathy in the recent political climate.
NEISS, hosted in the Curry Student Center at Northeastern University, featured Valarie Kaur, filmmaker and civil rights activist, who talked to students and faculty. Her uncle Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man, was killed four days after 9/11 in a hate crime for wearing a turban. She also spoke to people at NEISS about a video she made, where she and her other uncle Rana Sodhi, Balbir’s brother, called Balbir’s murderer. She spoke to the crowd about revolutionary love, a concept about which she is working on a book, and is the idea that love should be spread to where it is not. In Kaur’s case, this means to even her uncle’s murderer, who apologized to Kaur for Balbir’s death in the video.
People sign in for the New England Interfaith Summit at the Curry Student Center on Friday, Feb. 9. The start of NEISS was delayed after a blizzard in Boston the day before.
Northeastern University Interfaith Council E-board Member and coordinator of NEISS Martha Durkee-Neuman, right, concludes the master class with Valarie Kaur and transitions into speed faithing.
Civil Rights activist and filmmaker Valarie Kaur talks to NEISS participants about the current political climate and how to approach it.
Fifth-Year neuroscience major Mark Johnson leads a speed faithing discussion on Hinduism. “[Interfaith dialogue] expands your own perspective of what human nature is like. On a more human level, on an emotional level, it helps you empathize,” Johnson said.
Left to right, Boston University theology major Matt Lewellyn-Otten and Emerson College’s Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Harrison Blum discuss interfaith dialogue and its importance. “Inter-religious engagement is essential for action for times such as this because of the political climate. Inter-religious engagement is important for all peoples,” Lewellyn-Otten said.
Center for Spirituality Dialogue, and Service student workers serve NEISS participants to lunch after speed faithing sessions.
Center for Spirituality Dialogue, and Service student workers serve NEISS participants to lunch after speed faithing sessions on Friday, Feb. 9.
Valarie Kaur discusses her uncle’s death and the call she made with her other uncle, Rana, to the murderer. “The path to love is not easy, and it is not safe. (But,) there’s still hope,” Kaur said.
NEISS participants pose for a group photo before breaking up into groups for speed faithing on Friday, Feb. 9.