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Since 2012, Interfaith Philadelphia has held an annual Dare to Understand Concert and Awards Presentation.
The 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. This award celebrates those who boldly “dare to understand” and applauds the courage it takes to cross lines of difference in order to work together for the common good. Awardees lead their communities by example, demonstrating humility, curiosity, and respect, qualities imperative in interfaith work.
For more information about this event, please contact Sara Zebovitz, at:

Past Recipients

Dare to Understand Award Recipients


Valarie Kaur 


Msgr. Michael Carroll

Sr. Maria Hornung



Dr. Ala Stanford

Founder of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases



Milan Kunz

On behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philadelphia Area

Rev. Steven Lawrence

On behalf of NewCORE (New Conversation on Race and Ethnicity)



Krista Tippett

Journalist, Author, Host of National Public Radio Program and Podcast "On Being"




Accepted by Elizabeth Murphy

Husnaa Hashim

Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate, Walking the Walk Aluma

Jane Golden

Founder, President of Mural Arts Philadelphia



Eboo Patel

Founder, President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC)



Gity Banan-Etemad, MD

Founding Board Member, Philadelphia Baha'i Faith Leader


The Honorable Michael A. Nutter

Former Mayor of Philadelphia




Helen Cunningham

President of the Samuel S. Fels Fund


SEPTA/General Counsel Gino Benedetti

Leaders in the Center's coalitional effort to mount a public response to the anti-Islamic ad campaign on SEPTA buses


Read remarks from our 2015 Walking the Walk Alumni Presenter, Hanna Elmongy


Interfaith Philadelphia 10th Anniversary Awards

Current and Past Board Chairs:

Rev. Richard Fernandez

Imam Muhammad Abdur-Razzaq Miller

Sr. Gloria Coleman, SHCJ

Lawrence Silverman, Esq.


S.A. Ibrahim

CEO of Radian; Sponsor of Ibrahim Fellows Program (interfaith initiative for young adults) Convener, Business Leaders Roundtable of Interfaith Philadelphia


Michael Pasek (Student Recipient)

Alumnus of the Interfaith Center's Walking the Walk Youth Program; Ph.D. Candidate, Penn State in Diversity & Psychology



Thomas Stewart, In Memoriam

Banker and Board member of Interfaith Philadelphia whose interfaith activism followed the tragic loss of his son-in-law in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

About the Award Artwork

Artist Krista Bard's series, "Sacred Words," has garnered acclaim through exhibitions in Paris, Palm Beach, Miami, and Washington, DC. Bard created the piece "Under
standing" as a gift to Interfaith Philadelphia. In it, she meticulously translated the word into numerous languages. Bard believes "Understanding" embodies Interfaith Philadelphia's mission and is one of the most powerful word in the world. According to Bard, “It raises the human spirit and calls forth that which is best in each of us. It is precisely what the world needs at this moment.”

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