Franklin College will host “Oracles of Change: Interfaith Understanding Through the Art of Poetry” as part of the prestigious 2021 Spirit & Place Festival, as well as part of the college’s Carlson-Stauffer Visiting Writer Series. The event will be held virtually on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.
All guests should register at www.franklincollege.edu/interfaitharts to receive detailed information on how to access the event. Franklin College faculty, staff and students will also have the option of attending a watch party in the Branigin Room of the Napolitan Student Center.
Poets Sadiyah Bashir and Preeti Kaur Rajpal will share their work via livestream as a way to contemplate community change – even when that change results in violence and prejudice. Particularly considering the tragic FedEx shooting, this event seeks to provide community members a way to engage and celebrate the growing diversity of Central Indiana through poetry as well as moderated conversations between readings. During these small group conversations, audience members will be asked to think about how art and faith can help heal communities.
Sadiyah Bashir, poet, fashion blogger and freelance writer, is a two-time youth Grand Slam poetry champion. Her poetry has been showcased on various media such as Al-Jazeera, Apple, Busboys and Poets and UNICEF. Her first book, Seven, explores trauma and triumph through the lens of Black Muslim womanhood. She is currently working on a second manuscript documenting the history and lives of Black Muslims in America.
Preeti Kaur Rajpal writes poetry and nonfiction. Her work can be found in literary publications, including Spook, Tupelo Quarterly, and Lantern Review. She has been a Poetry Fellow at Loft Literary, POETRY Incubator, Tin House, Kearny Street Workshop, and other literary institutions around the country. She received a 2019-2020 inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship in Literature. She is a writer-in-residence at Storyknife and Anderson Center in 2021 and at Djerassi in 2022. Her forthcoming book of poems explores contemporary Sikh experience in the United States through the lenses of family, nation, history, and memory.
In 2020, Franklin College hosted its first annual Interfaith Understanding through the Arts event during the Spirit & Place Festival. The initiative is the inspiration of Franklin College Professor Emeritus David Carlson, Ph.D., and Franklin College Director of Religious Life and Chaplain Hannah Adams Ingram, Ph.D., who have long been drawn to interfaith dialogue and understanding. Carlson and Ingram are active with the Center for Interfaith Cooperation based in Indianapolis and have represented Franklin College at various interfaith celebratory events and educational workshops, including the annual Festival of Faiths.
Carlson believes “interfaith” is more than just working to understand the significant differences and similarities between the world’s religions, but also working together for peace and healing in a world that is quick to judge, blame and distort. He hopes events like these will serve as a bridge to understanding.
The initiative is funded through a grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation. The goal is to bridge understanding of the world’s religions by highlighting the differences and similarities of various faith traditions through artistic expressions rooted in the arts and humanities – such as dance, visual arts, music, poetry and film making. Carlson believes that Franklin College is the first institution of higher education to invite artists from different religious traditions to share their artistic gifts as a way of promoting religious understanding.
Learn more about the grant at https://franklincollege.edu/news/clowesgrantaward/.
For more information, please contact Rev. Hannah Adams Ingram, Ph.D., director of religious life and chaplain, at (317) 738-8140 or go to www.franklincollege.edu/interfaitharts.
About Spirit & Place:
Celebrating the theme of CHANGE in its 26th year, Spirit & Place honors the role the arts, humanities, and religion play in shaping individual and community life. Through its November festival, people-centered community engagement, and year-round activities, Spirit & Place connects Central Indiana residents through creative events, community conversations, and skill-building opportunities aimed at launching innovative experiments, amplifying invisible stories, and sparking radical collaborations. Spirit & Place is a collaborative community initiative housed in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. For more information, visit spiritandplace.org.
POSTED Oct 5, 2021