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Democracy and Debate

Interfaith America: An Overview

Do you bring a religious, spiritual, or secular tradition to your identity? Are you comfortable discussing your religion or beliefs? On public campuses like Michigan, philosophical or religious beliefs provide support and community for many students, yet those beliefs are rarely encouraged or openly expressed.

We all have some type of philosophical belief shaping our world view. A person’s beliefs or faith are observed or practiced in literally hundreds of variations across our communities and our country. These vast differences in interfaith practice are usually avoided - completely absent - in debates or public discussion about policies shaping our democracy. Why?

The purpose of this short-video series featuring U-M students and alums is to highlight the critical role religious/spiritual/secular (RSS) identity has in the practice, scholarship and experience of students on campus. Three sub-themes have been identified including:

Centering Faith to Take Action

Navigating Turbulent Times

Honoring Differences

Our goal is to build a more inclusive environment by strengthening awareness and normalizing discussion and engagement around worldview identity and how those identities shape not only student experience on campus, but in the world.

To supplement the educational value of this video series, we have created a facilitation guide featuring additional resources and reflective writing space for each video. You are welcome to utilize this guide to help further your thinking about the topics discussed in the videos.

View the facilitation guide here.

This project has been created in partnership by the following groups: University of Michigan Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the Trotter Multicultural Center, the Center for Campus Involvement, and the Center for Academic Innovation.