Los Angeles, CA - Dr. Danielle Allen, Harvard University political theorist and author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in the Defense of Equality argues that equality was as important as freedom to our Founding Fathers. Leaders read, reflected and told their own stories of local fights for both.
A seminar with Princeton University Professor of History Jeremy Adelman afforded organizers and leaders the opportunity to learn about the life and impact of Albert O. Hirschman. Adelman's most recent book World Philosopher, covered Hirschman's work as a development economist and original thinker on loyalty, agency and action.
[In photos: Professor Adelman chats with Ernesto Cortes and Sr. Christine Stephens; participants present what their group learned from one chapter of the book.]
Dallas, TX - Professors Luke Bretherton (author of Resurrecting Democracy: Faith Citizenship and the Politics of a Common Life) and Charles Mathewes (author of Theology of Public Life) met with leaders and organizers for engaging conversation about the intersection of faith and citizenship, and its application in public life.
When the Interfaith Education Fund organized a two-day seminar with rabbinical Tamara Cohn Eskenazi of the Hebrew Union College, clergy and lay leaders of all backgrounds responded. Participants not only read and discussed her commentary on the Torah (in addition to chapters from Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther), leaders re-enacted the cunning of the 5 daughters of Zelophehad as they succeeded in re-writing patriarchal land laws in their favor.
Race, Education & Prisons
The Interfaith Education Fund hosted an intellectually rigorous and emotionally engaging two-day seminar with Brown University economist Dr. Glenn Loury in Jackson, Mississippi. Clergy, organizers and lay community leaders tackled the writings of Dr. Loury, delivering presentations that included utility curves and a letter from a mother searching for her incarcerated son.
Leaders and organizers convened in San Antonio for an engaging discussion of modern pressures on families, including health, education and the economy. Renowned journalist Michael Lind, author of Land of Promise: Economic History of the US, outlined major political and economic shifts. Leaders engaged Harvard economist Richard Murnane about the class based achievement gap and education policy. His forthcoming book is Restoring Opportunity: How Stronger Schools and Families Can Rekindle the America Dream. Boston professor Mary Jo Murnane surveyed the latest cancer research and strategies patients can consider.
In October, the Interfaith Education Fund hosted seminars with Harvard University public health professor Kathy Swartz and MIT labor economist Frank Levy. Sixty-seven leaders and organizers analyzed opportunities and dangers within the Affordable Care Act and well as the costs and benefits of paying for community college with loans. Leaders returned to their cities and launched successful campaigns around healthcare, public education and the labor market.
In July, the IEF hosted a seminar with renowned political journalist EJ Dionne about his latest book, Our Divided Political Heart. Leaders and organizers from across the West / Southwest IAF network convened in Austin to discuss the book with its author and connect chapters to organizing experiences. In August, leaders and organizers reconvened in Los Angeles for a seminar with UCLA historian Gary Nash about his booksThe Unknown American Revolution and Friends of Liberty.