Since 2014, the University has regularly recognized an outstanding individual who exemplifies the spirit of global interfaith understanding, cooperation, and peacemaking in pursuit of the common good. This Interfaith Leadership Fellow visits campus, often during UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, the first week in February, or another appropriate time.

The Fellow’s visit highlights Northeastern University as a model for broader society in the heart of Boston—one of the most religiously and culturally diverse cities in the United States. The Fellow also advances important Northeastern initiatives including the establishment of the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service (CSDS) and the Presidential Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

The Fellow delivers a keynote address and engages the Northeastern community in a range of settings – meeting with students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni/ae, and members of the wider interfaith community. Audiences include individuals concerned for the University’s shared values of global citizenship, peace and social justice, pluralism, religious freedom, and civic sustainability. The Fellow embodies the importance of experiential learning and civic engagement for a lifetime of service and personal fulfillment.

In addition to the Keynote, opportunities for engagement with the Fellow often include a reception, a master class/workshop, class visits, a dinner dialogue with interfaith student leaders, and where appropriate, a book signing, film screening, or interfaith community service event related to the Fellow’s work. Planning and administration of the Fellow’s visit are coordinated by CSDS in Student Affairs, in collaboration with the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the Humanities Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the University Scholars Program, and other partners.

Previous Fellows include:

2014: Dr. Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC)
2015: Dr. Jenny Peace, Rabbi Or Rose, and Chaplain Celene Ibrahim of
Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College
2016: Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Liberia
2017: Ms. Valarie Kaur, Esq. The Sikh civil rights activist, filmmaker, and interfaith leader

In 2016, the Fellow’s visit coincided with Northeastern’s launch of the first New England Interfaith Student Summit (NEISS) in partnership with President Obama’s White House Interfaith and Community Service Challenge (coordinated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships) and leading universities and interfaith nonprofit agencies across New England.

For more information, contact:
Alexander Levering Kern, Executive Director
Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service, 617-373-4931