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W&M celebrates religious diversity week

  • Interfaith Display
    Interfaith Display  The I-Faith display board in the Sadler Center showcased poems, photos and other expressions of religious diversity during the College's Religious Diversity week.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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Religious diversity is being celebrated on the William & Mary campus this week.

The College’s interfaith club, I-Faith, placed a display board in the middle of the Sadler Center that showcases poems, photos and other expressions of religious diversity submitted by members of the William & Mary community.

On Friday, the week will culminate with the College’s first-ever interfaith dialogue and dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Campus Center’s Little Theater. The free dinner is open to all members of the campus community.

I-Faith was established in the spring of 2010, and the Week of Religious Diversity is their first campus-wide event. It was designed to serve two purposes, said Sarah Mellman ‘12, co-founder and co-president of I-Faith.

“First, it lets the broad campus community know who we are, what we are about, and what events with us are like. It also serves to further our broader goals as an interfaith organization,” she said.

“Through this Week of Religious Diversity, and in particular William and Mary's first-ever all-inclusive interfaith dialogue, I-Faith hopes to increase the William and Mary community's awareness of the rich religious diversity that exists on this campus. We also hope to promote religious understanding and tolerance among people at William and Mary and the broader world. There is so much intolerance, misunderstanding, fear, and hatred on the basis of religious prejudice that exists in the world, and the William & Mary community is not immune. We encourage members of William & Mary community to learn about others' religious identities by actively and respectfully engaging with people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs."

Mellman said the week is dedicated to the memory of Whitney L. Mayer, who served as an executive board member.

“Her passion for and dedication to peace, unity, and interfaith work continue to inspire those whose lives she touched,” she said.