Samuel Ropa

I am senior studying geography and cultural anthropology. I was raised in the Madison area by an Episcopalian mother and a Buddhist father, so my involvement in inter-religious dialogue is quite personal. During my first year at UW I lived in the International Learning Community (ILC), a community of international students, students of international studies and world language learners; here, I experienced firsthand how a diversity of perspectives can shape a strong community. After living in Varanasi, India in Fall 2017, where religious practice is a visible part of public life, I sought out the CRGC as a place to share my experience and explore religious visibility in my community. I was drawn to the Fellowship because it offers a space to have conversations like the ones that take place in my home and because, in the interfaith tradition, it considers pluralism and activism necessary to create cultural change. I look forward to thinking about religious identity and citizenship on campus with other CRGC Fellows this semester.