Thursday, June 6, 2024
Join us on June 6th to celebrate, as we gather the youth, leaders, and community partners who have been the heart and soul of our work.
At this 20th Anniversary celebration, we are proud to present our 2024 Dare to Understand® Awards to four individuals who have led Interfaith Philadelphia and committed vital and invaluable efforts and passion to this work. We will also celebrate the nearly 1000 alumni of our Walking the Walk Youth Initiative, along with the group leaders, parents, mentors, congregations, and service partners, who have been central to living our vision, and whose dreams will shape the future of interfaith work.
Imam Dr. Quaiser D. Abdullah is an accomplished academic, business, community and religious leader. He serves as the Board Chair for Interfaith Philadelphia (2021-2024), and is an Assistant Professor at Temple University's Klein College of Media and Communication. He is Co-President of the Association for Conflict Resolution and served under former Mayor Kenney as Co-Chair for the Mayor's Commission on Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs. Additionally, he is the President of Statera Coaching and Leadership Consulting, LLC, a private company specializing in conflict resolution, leadership development, and workforce training. Quaiser is an Imam at Masjid Quba.
The Reverend Jesse B. Garner has dedicated his life and career to his faith and serving others. The Rev. Garner led churches in Tennessee and Alabama before moving in 2001 to First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where he served as pastor until his retirement in 2018. He joined the Board of Interfaith Philadelphia in 2009, and was Board Chair from 2018 to 2021. He has also served on the Board of the Christian Association at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn’s Village.
Marjorie N. Scharf has dedicated her four-decade career to fostering community health and inter-group understanding. Marjorie became the City's first Public Health Nutritionist, developing widely adopted health education materials for pregnant mothers in English and Spanish. She also promoted healthy eating in schools through the Food Trust. Passionate about interfaith understanding, she co-founded and directed the Walking the Walk Youth Initiative at Interfaith Philadelphia. Throughout her journey, she has remained committed to empowering others to live self-reliant, fulfilled lives and has built connections with people from diverse backgrounds in Philadelphia.
The Very Rev. Judtih A. Sullivan is the retired Dean of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral where she served for 13 years. While with the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, she was a principal author of a strategic plan for dismantling racism within the Diocese. She is a former Chair of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and a member of the Diocesan Transition Task Force. She has also been an Adjunct Faculty member at the United Lutheran Seminary and served on the faculty of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation's Preaching Excellence Program for students in Episcopal seminaries. Dean Sullivan was the Board Chair of Interfaith Philadelphia from 2014 to 2018. Currently, she is the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Episcopal Community Services and is a trustee of the United Lutheran Seminary.
About the Dare to Understand Award
Interfaith Philadelphia’s Dare to Understand® Award honors individuals, communities, and businesses of distinction, that have championed the work of interfaith engagement and understanding across lines of difference. Awardees lead their communities by example, demonstrating humility, curiosity, and respect, qualities imperative in interfaith work.