2022 - 2023
For the first time Interfaith Philadelphia will simultaneously run a Walking the Walk program for middle schoolers and high schoolers!
The Walking the Walk youth initiative is a nationally-recognized leadership program, bringing youth together from across different faith and spiritual traditions. Young people can 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.
From September 2022 through May 2023, Walking the Walk participants will:
Learn about the religious and cultural diversity of their peers through visits to different houses of worship
Strengthen their own identity and leadership skills by participating in different activities together
Build friendships across lines of difference.
NOTE: Interfaith Philadelphia is committed to the safety of youth, their families, and our community in the face of COVID-19. For our in-person sessions, Interfaith Philadelphia will continue to follow the CDC guidelines and protocols with mask wearing as mandatory in all spaces and regularly evaluate our policies on in-person gatherings throughout the program.
If you have any questions concerning the program or COVID-19 safety, please contact Elexus Freeman-Filmore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.”