A Note About Walking the Walk 2021-22:
This year, we are launching a Walking the Walk Pilot Leadership training program. The goal for this program is to equip our youth to become Interfaith Leaders and to feel confident in being an ambassador in their own faith communities and neighborhoods. The training sessions will guide youth through recruitment, relationship development, facilitation, and leadership. The skills you develop here you can carry forward to your college, career, and beyond.
Interfaith Philadelphia is committed to the safety of youth, their families, and our community in the face of COVID-19. The Walking the Walk youth initiative is scheduled to begin in-person, outdoors as much as possible, and with masks required at all times. Interfaith Philadelphia staff and host communities will continue to evaluate our policies on in-person gatherings throughout the year.
If you are only comfortable or able to join the program in a virtual format, please indicate this in your application in the appropriate section.
Applications are due by October 20th, 2021.
If you have any questions concerning the program or COVID-19 safety, please contact Elexus Freeman-Filmore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Walking the Walk Youth Initiative is a nationally-recognized youth leadership program. Teens engage with peers in their community, explore their values and moral imagination in the world, and participate in activities and conversations that stretch them to grow as leaders with empathy, curiosity for difference, and skills for allyship and solidarity.
The Walking the Walk program meets 1-2 Sunday afternoons per month between October and April.
Completion of the program will result in an award of 30 hours of community service as well as a Certificate of Completion.
Pillars of the Walking the Walk Youth Initiative
We provide a safe environment for youth of diverse faith traditions to come together, break down stereotypes, share their distinctive practices and beliefs, and learn common values.
From sharing ritual objects to touring faith communities to question and answer sessions with religious leaders, youth learn about other religions while strengthening their own religious identities.
A critical and constant component of the program is helping youth develop tools for integrating their experiences and expressing what those experiences mean for them as young people of faith engaged in their communities. Creative reflection takes on many forms including poetry, journaling, and collage.
The program aims to strengthen communities on individual, congregational, and regional levels.
It strives to highlight key elements of healthy development for youth, such as: feeling empowered, being valuable resources for the community, forming supportive relationships with peers and adult mentors, and building positive identities.
Each network is paired with one or more social service organizations which address a social justice issue or community problem. Through service-learning at the particular site, participants put their interfaith values into action.
The Walking the Walk Youth Initiative integrates meaningful service with focused learning and engagement with constituents so youth can examine the complexity of societal ills.
In this program, you will:
Experience worship spaces and holidays of many traditions
Appreciate traditions and identities of others, and take pride in your heritage
Build friendships and discover shared values
Learn to stand with others in solidarity
Discuss local and global social issues, and deepen your understanding of your community responsibility
Actualize values through thoughtful community service
Develop leadership and facilitation skills to carry into your future - college, jobs, relationships, and more!
Join a tightly-knit community of Walking the Walk Alumni
Field-tested in urban and suburban settings with schools and congregations of many faiths over the course of more than 15 years, the Walking the Walk Youth Initiative features an innovative curriculum designed by a multi-faith professional team with expertise in youth development, service-learning, and systems change. Group Leaders are hired and trained by Interfaith Philadelphia to facilitate Walking the Walk sessions and coordinate partnerships with congregations and service sites.
Dr. Eboo Patel, Founder of Interfaith Youth Core
NPR Interview 2/12/08
“Walking the Walk is the most sophisticated youth program I have seen across the country.”