Christian, Muslim, Baháʼí, Jewish, Buddhist, and beyond, Interfaith Philadelphia is led by a a professional team and Board of Directors whose members reflect a broad spectrum of religious, ethnic, and racial communities. These leaders advance the agency’s mission by drawing on their collective experience in interfaith relations and diversity work conducted in civic, governmental, community, and educational settings.
Interfaith Philadelphia’s holistic approach to learning engages the head, the heart, and the hands through teaching, dialogue, and service. Formal projects, or Signature Initiatives, have the same goal, which is to create communities of hope and reconciliation throughout our region—in workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods. We bring together religious leaders, congregants, and youth to get to know each other as people and to learn how to value and respect the “other” while maintaining (and often strengthening) their own religious identities.
Interfaith Philadelphia works strategically with people in workplaces, congregations, schools, and neighborhoods. Based on the social-ecological model, Interfaith Philadelphia posits that change cannot occur without impacting multiple levels of influence. Social change at Interfaith Philadelphia is defined as increased social harmony. Consequently, we focus on changing attitudes and increasing knowledge at the individual level, developing relationships across difference at the inter-personal level, building bridges between diverse communities at the community level, and creating a new public narrative at the societal level. This approach cuts across all of our programs and guides our focus into the future.
In order to promote social harmony and inter-religious understanding, the Interfaith Philadelphia equips individuals and communities for interfaith engagement, builds collaborative relationships, and stands in solidarity with our diverse neighbors.
Since our founding in 2004, Interfaith Philadelphia has challenged Philadelphians to dare to understand one another. Our bold vision is to have our region reflect the vibrancy of a religiously diverse democracy, one in which all people are valued, distinctive traditions are welcomed, and people of diverse backgrounds collaborate to shape a just and compassionate society.
Dare to Understand
Our tagline, Dare to Understand, is both a statement of fact and a call to action, encapsulating so much of what makes our work unique. It conveys a sense of the courage required to participate and engage in interfaith work, the fear of the “other” felt by so many, and the need to overcome such fears. It challenges us to be bold in learning about one another, to dare to listen sincerely to the crying needs of our time, and to work together to contribute to the good of our region. Not only is our tagline a call for a deeper understanding of the “other,” but it is also an invitation to continued self-discovery and appreciation of one’s own heritage.