Charlie Wiles — Executive Director
For me, authentic interfaith engagement affirms my faith in humanity. If we approach interfaith community building with curiosity and humility, it can be transformative. I believe that it is an essential tool to help overcome many of the challenges we face in the modern era. It is also fun and very enriching!
I was born and raised in a loving Catholic home and community in Indianapolis, Indiana. However, my extended family includes Seventh Day Adventists and a Lebanese grandfather whose parents were Orthodox and Maronite Christians.
I have a political science degree from Indiana University and spent several years working at the Indiana State Legislature. I have also spent several years in construction, managing a not-for-profit focused on peace education, and served as a combat medic in the United States Army Reserves.
My wife is from Tokyo, Japan. We are attempting to raise our three daughters with an appreciation of their diverse religious and cultural traditions. However, I admit that it is a work in progress, and we are learning all of the time.
I love traveling, playing and listening to music, and being in the outdoors.
Favorite quote (sacred text, story, poem, other):
I have many favorite verses from the Bible that inspire me to be humble and serve others while being vigilant in the pursuit of justice. A favorite poem that has guided my interfaith journey comes from Langston Hughes (I first read this poem as a third-grader in an all-white elementary school on the east side of Indianapolis and immediately committed it to memory):
I stay cool and dig all jiveLangston Hughes
That’s the way I stay alive
My motto, as I live and learn,
is dig and be dug in return