Honored with a Ford Foundation Freedom of Expression grant, NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) recently launched a project entitled “Religious Leadership, Civil Discourse and Democracy in the Public Square: Advancing the Positive Role of Faith Leaders in America.” This two-year initiative seeks to heighten the awareness that the language of a “wall” separating church and state does not reflect the historical ways Americans use their faith as citizens. The hope of the project is to provide a framework for illuminating the roles religion and religious leaders play as primary civic actors – not simply as defenders of the faith, but as civics educators promoting civic engagement and involvement in American political life and policy-making. A key element includes convening thoughtful and influential religious leaders and thinkers from across the religious and political spectrum to serve in a critical advisory role. The group represents an opportunity to reflect on ways that, within each faith tradition, pluralist democratic values and civic engagement could be taught. The initiative is directed by NYU Wagner’s Professor David Elcott.
On October 21-22, the project will convene U.S. thought leaders and foremost faith leaders at the Wagner school (295 Lafayette St., 2nd Floor, New York, N.Y.), beginning at 10 a.m.
The conference is open to NYU students and faculty only. To register to hear specific panel discussions, please visit: http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/religiousleadershipcivildiscourseanddemocracyproject.
(Please note- the conference will include several interactive workshops, although audience members are asked to observe only.)