The founder of Interfaith Youth Core and author of "Acts of Faith" will be the next Distinguished Speaker on the Oklahoma City University campus.
Eboo Patel will give a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Freede Center. The presentation, titled "Sacred Ground: There Is No Better Time to Stand Up for Your Values Than When They Are Under Attack," is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance and OCU’s Owen Wimberly Center in Religion for Continuing Education.
Patel will be the latest in a stellar lineup of world-class thinkers, writers, and opinion-leaders to address audiences at OCU.
Patel is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, and CNN. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.
Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel leads Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization working to build the interfaith movement on college campuses.
His book "Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation" won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. His latest book is "Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America."
Two OCU students and University Chaplain Rodney Newman recently traveled to a Chicago event to learn about Patel’s goal of engaging diverse religious and non-religious identities to build interfaith movements on campuses. In June, they attended the Interfaith Leadership Institute at Loyola University.
Religion junior Matt Patrick, from Claremore-First UMC, along with Samer Abdelkader, a Muslim student and biology senior from Oklahoma City, said they appreciated the opportunity to be part of a creative process of sharing their stories and hearing others’ stories of faith.
"The conference opened my eyes to a new definition of interfaith work," Patrick said. "I met all kinds of new people from many different faiths, and I was drawn to the idea of finding a way to make interfaith cooperation work back here in Oklahoma."