In order to promote social harmony and inter-religious understanding, 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 the region's residents 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.
With a focus on long term, enduring impact, all of our initiatives incorporate the following critical components:
Equip Individuals with Competencies for Interfaith Engagement
We provide individuals with interfaith experiences, skills and knowledge that will increase understanding and improve attitudes. We help people embrace our region’s rich religious diversity and enhance their comfortable engagement across difference. We serve to be a point of entry for those curious to learn about different faiths and traditions, including those who orient around religion differently - from orthodox or evangelical, to secular or atheist. The skills we teach are transferable: Developing genuine curiosity can extend to ways we engage others in political and social discourse as well. We are committed to being the region’s expert resource for programming in diverse settings on the subject of interfaith understanding.
Build Authentic Relationships of Mutual Trust and Solidarity
We hold interfaith relations as a priority for our community and sustain urgency around the importance and need for interfaith engagement. We serve as an avenue for collaboration and for the building of mutual support. We also serve as a central “connector” for religious, community and civic leaders, able to facilitate strategic introductions and essential conversations. We function as our region’s expert voice for this work among diverse audiences and sectors, fostering honest conversation and effective communication, managing shared data collection and analysis, and (when needed) mediating conflicts.
Advance Interfaith Understanding in the Public Sphere
We want Philadelphia to be known as a place where diversity is celebrated and religion is critical to that conversation. We want to approach our work in the public sphere with greater intentionality and emphasis, both to play a significant role in shaping public discourse, while also developing sophisticated responses to emergent issues. Our efforts strive to touch diverse audiences and ensure that our impact is greater than a single event, program or crisis. Our tagline, Dare to Understand, 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.