Across April, SCN Senior Manager Rebecca Skellett spent two weeks in the U.S. training Muslim-Christian Faith Leaders from across 12 U.S. cities in CVE practice at Duke University with the organisation Peace-Catalyst International, including stakeholders from our member cities New York, Louisville and San Diego.
Peace Catalyst International will be working across cities in the U.S. to launch a partnership project to strengthen relationships between faith communities across 2018/19.
Rebecca then travelled to Louisville, Kentucky to conduct a study trip in the city. Famous as being the ‘City of Compassion’ and hometown of Muhammad Ali, Louisville offers an opportunity to understand how a city can build resilience and improve its safety through a focus on compassion, inclusivity and economic growth. Rebecca spent two days meeting the Police Department, school teachers, community representatives, City Hall departments and NGOs to understand how the values of kindness, lifelong learning and economic growth can positively impact cities. Dr. Muhammad Babar, Founder of Muslim Americans for Compassion, hosted a dinner of Muslim Community Leaders from the city to introduce Rebecca and the SCN’s work, and to understand the role faith communities play in building tolerance, compassion and kinship between residents.
As the birthplace of Muhammad Ali, Louisville is also home to the centre which bears his name. In a meeting with its Director, Rebecca had a chance to learn about the resonance of Muhammad Ali’s life, both globally and for the city. To learn more about his life please see Mayor Fischer’s recent podcast.
The trip culminated in a chance to witness the volunteering ethos of Louisville in action during the launch of the Mayor’s ‘Give a Day’ week of volunteerism. For more information on the Give a Day programme please click here.
Religion plays a vital role in the whole character of faith. In recent times around the global, religion has been conned as the hub for recruitment of violent extremist individuals or groups. It’s a good gesture that you had time to interact with the two and other like-minded institutions and shared the importance of cohesion against extremism.