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south fairbanks building with the trees and the sign for the tucker center and social impact (DCSI)
diwali candles on in the dark on the green
South Fairbanks Front Facade which is white with ionic columns
a Candle at Diwali which casts a warm glow on the ground around it

This post feels particularly apt because this week I received my acceptance to go on an interfaith trip to Washington D.C. over spring break (break between winter and spring term). As a quick note, our group will be organizing an event in the spring term, and the trip cost is covered by the Tucker Center. I am helping to prepare for the trip by attending weekly meetings over winter term to prepare the group for our visits and intentions for the trip. This means I have interfaith meetings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! I am emphasizing this because I have had weekly meetings during the fall term for the LLC (Living Learning Community), so I am adding trip meetings to my schedule in the winter. I will have to see how that plays out considering I have a 4-hour chemistry lab on Monday afternoons- a mix of academics and extracurriculars! 

The heart of interfaith dialogue is being in conversation with others while maintaing our distinctness as an individual (pluralism). This fall the interfaith group, which was the LLC members and three other Dartmouth students, covered a 'passport series'. Our topics in the series are the principles of pluralism: be curious, venture out, welcome in, stand tall, and stand with. I found these topics to be wonderful for my introduction to interfaith dialogue. Here are a few of the passport questions that particularly caught my attention: How might I describe the way in which I relate to my worldview today? What is your intention by welcoming in (hospitality)? When do I feel hesitant or nervous?

Every week we had assignments in order to stay engaged with the passport content, some examples are: the Becoming Wise Podcast with Krista Tippett, conversation topics, and TedTalks- there are a couple I would highly recommend: 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story   

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

During the passport series we visited Rollins Chapel and the Hindu Temple (which is within Rollins), North Fairbanks (Muslim Prayer Room and the Meditation Room), and Aquinas House (the Catholic student center). 

Meditation Room in North Fairbanks focused on the half of the room that is set up with a Buddhist cushion arrangement
Meditation Room in North Fairbanks set up for the Buddhist Zen Group

I have also had ample opportunity to engage my planning and public speaking skills in my interfaith experience. Along with a couple other LLC members, I spoke at the Tucker Center board meeting on some prompted topics and then answered questions. Going into the final week of the term, the LLC has organized a friendsgiving event for fourth floor (our residential community) and the people who have been 'adopted' by fourth who do not live here but visit almost daily to work and socialize. Check out my previous post for more fourth floor context!

If you are interested, check out @TuckerDartmouth on Instagram. 

Also consider checking out these great resources:

Interfaith America

The Pluralism Project (Harvard)

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