Interfaith Youth Core Rebrands as Interfaith America to Expand Mission to Build Civic Bridges and Help Heal our Nation
The Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) today announced its official rebrand to Interfaith America, the next step in the organization’s mission to build bridges of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions. Supported by a diverse set of philanthropic organizations, including a $6M gift from Mackenzie Scott, Interfaith America will serve as the premier interfaith organization in the United States. Founded in 2002, Interfaith America will be celebrating its 20 years of bridge-building work throughout this year.
Interfaith America also announced the release of a joint survey with the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) that measures American sentiment on the country’s rapidly changing religious make-up. Key findings in the previously unreleased analysis, The New Religious Paradigm: Judeo Christian to Interfaith America, include that 70 percent of Americans are proud to be part of a nation that is becoming more religiously diverse. Additionally, the analysis reveals that two-thirds of Americans reject the statement that God intended America to be a new promised land where European Christians could create a society that could be an example to the rest of the world, a signal that Americans are willing to embrace a more religiously pluralistic society.
“Religious diversity is one of the most vitally important issues in American life. Faith must be a bridge of cooperation, never a barrier of division,” said Eboo Patel, the Founder and President of Interfaith America and author of a new book, WE NEED TO BUILD: FIELD NOTES FOR DIVERSE DEMOCRACY. “We are the world’s first attempt at religiously diverse democracy, and we are the most religiously diverse nation in human history. It is time to write the chapter after Judeo-Christian in the great story of American diversity. The goal of Interfaith America the organization is to help build Interfaith America the nation.”
“In recent decades, we have seen tectonic shifts in the religious diversity of our nation as well as a marked increase in Americans’ willingness and desire to work across religious lines,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute. “Such times of cultural change often fuel fear but also generate opportunity. We applaud Interfaith America’s mission of building bridges between people of different faiths, providing much needed critical infrastructure to foster collaboration and understanding.”
Interfaith America celebrates America’s religious diversity to achieve a truly pluralistic society, to improve civic society, and advance shared goals. In the past two years, Interfaith America organized and launched major initiatives to advance public health and racial equity through interfaith bridge-building, including the Faith in the Vaccine Ambassadors program and the Black Interfaith Project. The organization also helped shape the Building Civic Bridges Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) to establish an office of bridge-building within AmeriCorps. Interfaith America’s core work with college campuses and supporting interfaith student leaders will also continue to grow as the organization expands its scope.
Interfaith America will inaugurate the new name and mission on May 10, 2022, in an interfaith ceremony and panel discussion hosted by the Georgetown Center on Faith and Justice. Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will deliver the keynote address at the Georgetown event. Peter Manseau, Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and Joshua Dubois, Founder and CEO of Values Partnerships and former head of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships under President Obama, will also speak at the event.
“At a time of deep political, religious and social polarization in America, interfaith bridge-builders are more valuable than ever,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, Inaugural Holder of the Chair in Faith and Justice at the McCourt School of Public Policy and Founding Director of the Center on Faith and Justice. “I look forward to working with Interfaith America to ensure that the United States can live up to its ideals and become a true multi-racial, multi-faith democracy.”
“With this new expanded mission, Interfaith America will help address many of the most pressing issues facing the U.S., such as racial inequity, climate justice, and voting rights,” said Reverend Fred Davie, a Senior Advisor to Interfaith America and Union Theological Seminary. “Interfaith America will help our nation to achieve its true potential as a religiously diverse democracy, by developing interfaith leaders of all ages and forging meaningful partnerships with institutions of every size and discipline.”
The event livestream and recording can be accessed here.
Interfaith America will be advancing many of these initiatives in high profile venues in the following weeks:
- May 11: Journalism and Religion Fellowship Roundtable with Deputy International Editor at the New York Times Laurie Goodstein (Invite Only)
- May 17: Black Interfaith and Climate Justice event with former Vice President Al Gore and Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, Author of Green Deen, at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, D.C.)
- May 18: Announcement of Interfaith America Vote is Sacred Project with former President George W. Bush at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum (Dallas, Texas)
About Interfaith America
Founded in 2002, Interfaith America is the premier interfaith organization in the United States, with 50 full-time professional staff and $5M in grants distributed in 2021. Through its initiatives and partnerships, Interfaith America is equipping individuals and professionals with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership in a religiously diverse world.
For more information, please visit their new website and follow Interfaith America on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Interfaith America also recently released a new video “We Need to Build an Interfaith America,” where Patel outlines a vision for the next chapter of this organization.