Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Community Youth Forum at the 2019 Indy Festival of Faiths

The Community Youth Forum at the 2019 Indy Festival of Faiths drew a full house in the Indiana War Memorial
The Niagara Foundation organized a Community Youth Forum in the Indiana War Memorial at the 2019 Indy Festival of Faiths. More than fifty young people (of all ages) participated.
CIC board chair Judge David Shaheed kicks off the conversing
Participants hear the rules of the Forum. Everyone: treat others with respect. Grown-ups: listen, don’t lecture.
First table talking about values and role models

Participants discussed three topics. One concerned why individuals no longer hold to strong, positive values when they select certain role models? What challenges does this pose? How does entertainment and social media shape our selection of role models? What are alternative routes to creating and selecting positive role models? How does the absence or presence of role models play a significant role in shaping youth outcomes?

The second table discusses the challenges and opportunities religious communities face

In considering the diversity of religious orientations and traditions within our country, what types of challenges, influences, and opportunities does each community face?  What is the role of religion in tying the community together and creating common positive social goals How can different religious orientations give individuals a higher purpose, and incorporate positive moral standards and values into our norms?

The third table talks about what various religious traditions teach about positive health and well-being practices

What do various religious traditions teach us about positive health and well-being practices? What has the role of religious institutions been in working to support mental wellness? What are some effective models and practices that we can learn from? What values and principles from religious traditions motivate the work of these organizations?