August 6-8, 2021
What is the ILI?
The Interfaith Leadership Institute (ILI) is the largest gathering of students and educators with a commitment to American religious pluralism. Each year, hundreds of people who care about the future of our religiously diverse society converge to learn, train, share, and get inspired to bring the movement for interfaith cooperation back to their campuses and communities. Over the course of three days, participants learn to bridge divides and forge friendships across lines of religious and worldview differences. For the 2021 ILI, we are excited to gather virtually with you.
Come to the ILI with the passion to bring people together, and leave equipped with the knowledge and skills to make it happen.
Who is the ILI for?
Any undergraduate student, graduate student, or educator at an undergraduate college or university within the United States is eligible to attend the ILI. Learn more about the 2021 ILI's programming and we'll continue to update the offerings for 2021. Email email@example.com if you have questions or want to talk with an IFYC staff member.
2021 Virtual ILI Schedule
Friday, August 6th
- Lounge Area Opens 10:00am-10:30am CDT
- Orientation (optional) 10:00am-10:30am CDT
- Opening Plenary with Eboo Patel 10:30am-11:15am CDT
- Screenless Break 11:15am-11:30pm CDT
- Session 1 All Tracks 11:30am-12:45pm CDT
- Conference Break 12:45pm-1:30pm CDT
- Session II All Tracks 1:30-2:30
- Talk Better Together (elective) 2:30pm-2:55pm CDT
- End Day I 3:00 pm CDT
Saturday, August 7th
- Lounge Area Opens (optional) 10:00am-11:00am CDT
- Session III All Tracks 11:00am-12:15pm CDT
- Conference Break 12:15pm-3:00pm CDT
- Synchronous Elective Sessions 1:00pm-3:00pm
- End Day II 2:00pm/3:00 pm
Sunday, August 8th
- Breakout Breakfasts (elective) 9:30am - 10:15am CDT
- Lounge Area Opens 10:15am-10:30am CDT
- Session IV All tracks 10:30am-11:45 am CDT
- Break 11:45 am-12:15 pm CDT
- Closing Session 12:15pm-1:15pm CDT
- 1:15pm: End of Day III
Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Chaplain at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
Criminal Justice Reform Associate at FWD.us
2021 Student Training Tracks
Introductory training tracks are designed to support students new to this work by laying the foundation for interfaith work. Both advanced training tracks are designed to help students continue to build their skills in interfaith topics. Check out our descriptions of our students' tracks below.
- New to Interfaith
Best For: Students beginning their interfaith work.
As an introduction to interfaith cooperation, this track will focus on the fundamental concepts of interfaith engagement. By highlighting both frameworks and real-life examples, students will start to understand how to promote pluralism in a religiously and racially diverse campus or community.
- Interfaith at the Intersection
Best for: Students who have previously attended ILI or have significant interfaith experience.
How do student leaders committed to engaging difference think about the crossroads our country and campuses face today? The coronavirus pandemic, the movement for racial justice, and the commitment of young people to making change are all at significant turning points in 2021. This track will foster discussion about the role interfaith leadership in engaging these intersections and help develop the skills and knowledge needed to address them.
- Storytelling to Connect Communities
Best for: Students who have previously attended the ILI or have significant interfaith experience and have an interest in storytelling techniques.
Articulating a narrative vision is a key part of effective leadership. In this track, students will hone storytelling and communication skills that contribute to their ability to connect communities, both in-person and online. Previous experience in writing, public speaking, art-making, or other storytelling skills is helpful for this track.
2021 Educator Training Tracks
Introductory training tracks are designed to support educators new to this work by laying the foundation for interfaith work. Both advanced training tracks are designed to help educators continue to build their skills in interfaith topics. Check out our descriptions of our educators' tracks below.
- Foundations of Interfaith Leadership
Best for: Staff or faculty new to interfaith work.
This track introduces educators to the fundamental skills, knowledge, and research that underlie effective interfaith work on campus. Educators will discuss how they can promote pluralism in their own role on campus and support student leadership development. Participants will leave the track with a set of resources tailored to fostering interfaith engagement at their institution.
- Bridge-Building in a Polarized World
Best for: Staff and faculty, prior attendance at the ILI required to register.
We are so polarized that we have settled into the belief that this is how it has to be. But another world is possible. Heroic bridge-builders can work with people they fundamentally disagree with, be curious and learn from those who see the world differently, and, even when conversations get tense, respect the human dignity of each other. That is the spirit of the Bridging the Gap initiative, our partners in leading this interactive advanced track. Together, participants will learn and practice the concrete skills that support courageously crossing lines of difference, including faith, politics, and worldview. And, we will delve into how to bring this approach to campuses as we seek new insights into our nation’s most pressing problems such as criminal justice, climate change and racism.
- Interfaith as Campus Change
Best for: Staff, faculty, and administrators who have previously attended the ILI and are focused on campus initiatives.
Higher education is transforming before our eyes. Educators play a critical role in shaping the priorities of their campus. This track focuses on how educators can strengthen and institutionalize interfaith initiatives on their campus. Participants will both learn about effective strategies for long-term success and connect with peers who are similarly effecting change on campus.
2021 All Participant Elective Sessions
Participants will be able to choose an elective session on Saturday afternoon to hear from interfaith leaders or engage with fellow participants through a variety of creative activities. Participants will receive information about how to choose an elective session after registration closes on July 15th.
- Creating with the Unknown
Interested in restorative art-making? This session guides participants through self exploration and discovery based on their values. Facilitated by Chaplain Marcy Miller, participants will engage in art-making, writing, and sharing in a free-flowing zone. All experience levels welcome - no prior experience required!
- Interfaith Watch Party
Join fellow ILI attendees to watch a few short films that highlight how religious diversity plays out in reality. Using a co-watching platform, participants will be able to chat and connect with one another as they watch the film.
- How Our Traditions Got Us Through
For over a year, we have all experienced a number of ground-shifting moments that have occurred at a seemingly break-neck rate. In such transformative moments, collective and personal, our traditions have been an important piece of processing and meaning making. In this session, hear from a panel who share the practices, prayers, meditations, reflections, and communities that have supported them through this tumultuous time.
- Racial Equity and Interfaith Work: Program Highlights
Since 2020, IFYC has been sponsoring campus partners who are working at the intersections of racial equity and interfaith cooperation. Join us for this session to hear the challenges and successes grantees faced while they worked for change on their campuses.
for all of us in that room
taken together were
the need for a safe
starting in interfaith
and helped show
was so practical
create an action plan
Who can attend the ILI?
Any undergraduate student, graduate student, or educator at a college or university is eligible to attend. The registration process for the ILI will help route folks to the training track best suited to their needs. Please note that graduate students are considered educators by IFYC as our student training tracks are designed with undergraduate student experiences in mind. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions and want to talk to an IFYC staff member.
- Who should attend the ILI from my campus?
IFYC welcomes a diversity of students and educators from various faiths and traditions, majors, and level of involvement with interfaith cooperation.
The training experiences are designed for both participants new to interfaith work and for those looking for advanced skills. Please be in touch with your IFYC contact directly or email email@example.com if you have questions about this and strategies regarding who you should attend the ILI from your campus.
- Will IFYC provide for my accessibility needs at the ILI?
We are always looking for ways to make the ILI more welcoming, accommodating, and inclusive for our attendees. Here are some of the ways we try to create that environment but if there is anything else we can do, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask.
- Registration: Registration for the ILI asks for information regarding accessibility needs. If you indicate that you have accessibility needs when registering, an IFYC staff member will contact you to follow up closer to the ILI to ensure those needs are met.
- Audio and Visual Needs: Closed captioning will be available in all plenary sessions. Closed captioning, audio description, and other services will be made available for individuals upon request within registration.