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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should attend the ILI from my campus?

IFYC recommends that campuses bring multiple students and educators to the ILI so that when you return to campus, you have a network already established to implement the skills gained. For this reason, there is no cap on delegation size. We recommend sending a diversity of students and educators from various faiths and traditions, majors, and level of involvement with interfaith cooperation.

The various 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 leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org if you have questions about this and strategies regarding who you should bring to an ILI from your campus.


What are some strategies for building a delegation to bring to the ILI?

Our training tracks are designed for new and advanced leaders. We encourage delegations to come with representatives from a variety of student organizations and academic pursuits. For educators, we recommend a mixture of staff, faculty, and administrators to ensure that multiple perspectives are brought from your campus to engage in interfaith leadership. It is also important that those who attend are empowered to return to campus to bring their new interfaith skills to their role on 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 leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org and ask.

Dietary Needs and Food Allergies  ​
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, zabiha/halal, and kosher certified meals are all available for participants to select in their registration and there is space to include food allergies. We ensure that our caterers can provide or acquire foods that meet any dietary needs and allergies and no beef, pork, shellfish, or alcohol-based meals are served at the ILI. Please be sure to share your dietary needs and allergies in registration to ensure your needs are met.

Event and Hotel Space​
The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile is accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Information about accessible hotel rooms can be found on the hotel's webpage about rooms. If you need assistance while on site at the ILI, please speak with your trainer or find an IFYC staff person at the registration desk on the 7th floor. 

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
Interpreters for American Sign Language are available and can be requested within registration for the ILI. All videos shown in plenary sessions and within the training spaces will have closed captioning. Additionally, all presentations and downloadable resources are available for Braille programs upon request within registration.

Allergy Accommodations and Fragrances
As a courtesy to attendees with chemical sensitivities, we ask participants of the ILI to refrain from using scented products, like cologne and perfume, to help ensure the comfort of everyone at the ILI.  

Gender Neutral and Gender Specific Bathrooms 
Gender neutral (labelled as all gender) and gender specific bathrooms will be available at the ILI near all meeting spaces and signage will be posted to help direct attendees.  

Scooter and Wheelchair Rentals 
IFYC can arrange for wheelchairs and scooters for attendees, which can be requested within registration. Two wheelchairs are also available for guests to use within the hotel where the ILI will be located and can be requested at check-in/hotel front desk. 


How do I attend the ILI and meet my observance needs?

We recognize that a weekend leadership institute can bring up challenges to observing your faith or worldview practices. Therefore, we make every effort to provide space and time for participants to meet their observance needs.

IFYC provides the following accommodations for our participants. If you still have concerns, please contact us at leadershipinstitute@ifyc.org.

  • Interfaith Room – Throughout the ILI, an interfaith room is available for prayer, meditation, reflection, and more. Participants are encouraged to use this shared space at any time during the ILI. The room is outfitted with prayer rugs and sheets for the floor, candles, kosher challah bread, kosher grape juice, a whiteboard, and markers. Due to the great diversity of traditions and practices represented, IFYC does not provide organized services or observances. Instead, we encourage participants to use the whiteboard and markers to organize their own DIY reflections and observances with fellow participants.
  • Break Times – The ILI is sprinkled with short breaks so that participants can take the time to meet their physical, spiritual, and mental needs. For example, on Friday there is a break between the opening lunch and the first training session when Muslim participants can break away for jumma service. Additionally, free times on Friday and Saturday may be used by Jewish participants to organize Shabbat observances in the interfaith room.
  • Area Places of Worship – We recognize that not all observances can take place within our conference space. During the ILI, our CrowdCompass app will list a selection of local places of worship to assist with your practices. IFYC staff are happy to directly connect participants with local places of worship or observance as well. If you need to step out during a training session, trainers will excuse any participants that choose to attend services. For example, Christian participants may leave to attend mass or church on Sunday.
  • Meals – Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, zabiha/halal, and kosher-certified meals are all available for participants to request. For Shabbat observant participants, you can request a boxed dinner for Saturday night in advance when you register at no additional cost.


What activities will we do we do at the ILI?

  • Network inside and outside of training spaces with fellow participants from across the country.
  • Hear from IFYC's Founder and President, Eboo Patel, and ask him about important isssues in interfaith cooperation.
  • Connect with people with similar interests on topics that you choose during our Unconference.
  • Meet IFYC alumni, who serve as trainers and storytellers, and learn how they took their interfaith college experiences to their professional lives.


What do I learn as a new student at the ILI?

You’ll have the opportunity to explore and develop interfaith leadership skills with students from colleges and universities across the country. Through hands-on learning exercises with your expert trainer, small group conversations, and activities in the training room, you’ll learn the basic foundations of interfaith leadership and how to apply them back on your campus. In other words, after three short days, you’ll hone your mobilization skills, tackle challenging conversations with an eye toward relationship building, identify your campus assets and design programs to increase interfaith cooperative programs.

By the end of the ILI, students will be able to:

  • Apply specific skills of interfaith leadership based on their training experience.
  • Understand key terms, concepts, and definitions that make up the knowledgebase of interfaith leadership.
  • Recognize key practices for advancing interfaith cooperation on college and university campuses.
  • Identify next steps to act on and organize meaningful interfaith programs at their campuses.
  • Believe in their ability to successfully act toward interfaith cooperation.


What do I learn as a returning student to the ILI?

For those undergraduate students who have been to a previous ILI, we have three advanced tracks to help you dive deeper into a specific skill. So, if you are looking to sharpen your mobilization skills, develop facilitation skills for inviting your peers into healthy, if not challenging, dialogue on religious pluralism, or enhance your ability to stand up against religious bigotry, we have trainings for you! Plus, you’ll have a chance to network with peers from campuses across the country in our Unconference session, too.


What do I learn as an educator (campus professional staff, faculty, or graduate student) at the ILI?

Educators will have the opportunity to connect with their peers from campuses across the country to learn the skillset to advance effective interfaith initiatives as well as how to serve as mentors and advisors to students. Through four tracks ranging from the foundational concepts to advanced tracks on facilitating interfaith workshops, educators from a variety of experiences will find a place a the ILI. Outside of the training room, multiple opportunities will be provided for networking with peer institutions and building regional coalitions to assist in your efforts to build capacity for structural and cultural change.