The Potluck and Interfaith Advocacy – Jacob Brevard

Our annual interfaith potluck took place Tuesday December 3rd, though we started planning for this meeting weeks before in different committees. I was not sure how many people would show up, but we had a pretty good turnout with about 40 or so attending. Up to this point all our interaction with interfaith dialogue had been among fellows. This event enabled us to share our mission and get the conversation of interfaith dialogue to people outside of our fellowship. One of our main goals as fellows is to share and learn amongst one another but also to be advocates for interfaith dialogue across campus. We encouraged people to bring a dish to pass that had some religious or cultural significance to them. One of our fellows led the dialogue as we talked in small groups about our religious/non-religious backgrounds and other faith topics related to campus life. I felt strongly connected to my group as I shared my background and learned about others. 

We discussed how we as a group can continue to advocate for interfaith dialogue across campus, distinguishing between words and action. Someone can talk about advocating but this does not solve anything until they put those words into action. Midway through our discussion we broke for dinner and enjoyed a great spread of unique foods. As we were eating, we shared more about the different groups we were involved with on campus. Then finally we came up with some ideas of how we could coordinate with some of the other student organizations on campus to host different events and activities. Some of these ideas were a queer interfaith network and advocacy projects on campus to get the word out regarding interfaith dialogue.

This event was a great transition from the first semester to the second semester and our spring project. We have not made a final decision for our spring group project but some of our ideas include a film on american religious identity, an advocacy dinner and a joint conference with another student group on campus. The goal of our spring project is to make a lasting impact on our community and help to spark interfaith dialogue on our campus. 

This potluck was meaningful to me first because it was satisfying to see our hard work pay off from the planning/coordinating prior to the event. The people who attended seemed to really enjoy themselves. Another thing I observed during the event was everyone seemed to be really interested in interfaith dialogue and interested in sharing their relationship to the topic. This inspired me that there are students on campus that are interested in what we are working on. This potluck wrapped up our first semester as fellows and was a great way to transition into our next and final semester. I have already learned so much from all the fellows and leaders. I am looking forward to the spring semester and what is to come for our group.