Berkley Center Knowledge Resources Home Berkley Center Home Berkley Center on iTunes U Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's Vimeo Channel Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's iTunes Page Berkley Center's Twitter Page Berkley Center's Facebook Page Berkley Center's Vimeo Channel Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's iTunes Page WFDD's Twitter Page WFDD's Facebook Page Doyle Undergraduate Initiatives Undergraduate Learning and Interreligious Understanding Survey Junior Year Abroad Network Undergraduate Fellows Knowledge Resources KR Classroom Resources KR Countries KR Traditions KR Topics Berkley Center Home Berkley Center Knowledge Resources Berkley Center Home Berkley Center Forum Back to the Berkley Center World Faiths Development Dialogue Back to the Berkley Center Religious Freedom Project Back to the Berkley Center Religious Freedom Project Blog Back to the Berkley Center Catholic Social Thought Back to the Berkley Center Normative Orders Collaborative
April 24, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
 
Programs People Publications Events For Students Resources Religious Freedom Project WFDD

BLOGGER

Aamir Hussain Aamir Hussain is a Government major and Theology minor with a pre-medical concentration in the Georgetown University Class of 2014. He is originally from Farmington, CT. Aamir is a Muslim of Indian...
This blog features an ongoing conversation among Georgetown students, staff, and faculty involved in interfaith service, as well as their efforts to further interreligious understanding engagement with communities in the Washington DC, area. Older posts detail the university's participation in the 2011-2012 President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an invitation to institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith and community service programming on campus. Read more about interfaith service at Georgetown here.

OTHER POSTS

Acting for the Right and Wrong Reasons

April 23, 2014

Hip-Hop Heals

April 23, 2014

Different Faiths, One Practice: Interfaith Meditation

April 22, 2014

Rediscovering the Festival of Colors: Holi 2014

April 15, 2014

Lingering Questions on Interfaith Marriage in America

April 15, 2014

Learning to Engage with Religious Diversity

April 14, 2014

The Power of Dialogue: Alternative Spring Break 2014

April 8, 2014

1525 Lesseps Street: Alternative Spring Break 2014

April 7, 2014

A Religious Experience on the Peaks of Aspen Grove

March 26, 2014

What They Forgot to Teach in Kindergarten: The Problem of Religious Illiteracy

March 24, 2014

Building Interfaith Bridges Both in Policy and Interpersonally

March 21, 2014

In the Name of God: DC Young Adults Faith Leaders Summit 2014

March 21, 2014

Bottom-Up Conflict Resolution: Finding Solutions Using a Diverse Set of Tools

March 20, 2014

Improving Healthcare, Saving Lives

March 11, 2014

Talking about God: Reflections on Interfaith Dialogue

March 4, 2014

Tips for Interfaith Organizing on College Campuses

February 27, 2014

Coordinating Georgetown's 2014 Jesuit Heritage Week

February 26, 2014


>> more

RELATED RESOURCES: INTERFAITH

Interfaith Alliance
Organization
Charta Oecumenica
Publication

Rivals on the Court, Teammates in the Fight Against Hunger

February 1, 2012

In two weeks, Georgetown students will be unified in our passion to “Juice ‘Cuse” in our annual basketball game. However, Georgetown and Syracuse are rivals in more than one way; both universities are candidates for White House recognition for exemplary interfaith service campaigns as part of President Obama’s nationwide Interfaith Campus and Community Service Challenge.

Despite these rivalries, this year’s game is an opportunity for something unthinkable: an unprecedented partnership between Georgetown and Syracuse that emphasizes working together for a common cause. Throughout the week of February 1-8, 2012, inter-religious student organizations at both colleges are holding a canned food drive through partnerships with athletic teams, The Corp, and various other campus groups. This drive will culminate at the Georgetown vs. Syracuse Basketball Game on February 8; all donations from Syracuse will be sent to the Food Bank of Central New York, and all Georgetown donations will be sent to Capital Area Food Bank. The goal of this partnership is to increase awareness and mobilize support for the fight against hunger by harnessing each university’s enthusiasm for basketball and interfaith community service.

This revolutionary idea started almost a year ago. In 2010, the Interfaith Youth Core launched the Better Together Campaign. The Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that aims to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Their Better Together campaign seeks to mobilize college students to pursue social justice on a wide range of issues through interfaith dialogue and community service. Both Georgetown and Syracuse chose to run Better Together campaigns throughout 2011 in response to the nationwide White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an initiative sponsored by President Obama that calls for American institutions of higher education to become leading advocates of interfaith community service. Campuses with the best campaigns will be recognized by the White House in June 2012.

Georgetown’s premier Better Together interfaith campaign involves a wide variety of campus groups including Campus Ministry, The Corp, DC Reads, DC Schools Project, and many other faith and non-faith-based organizations that are committed to social justice. Ironically, as a Jesuit institution, our school is among the best choices for an inter-religious campaign because many religious and interfaith groups on campus are very prominent and active. President Obama’s Interfaith Challenge is a unique opportunity for us Hoyas to strengthen partnerships among seemingly disparate campus groups, and to show our community service commitment to the rest of the nation.

This December, a student from Syracuse’s interfaith organization contacted me. He outlined the amazing potential of both of our colleges to help our local communities, if we cooperated with each other. Then, Georgetown and Syracuse students, faculty, and staff met at an Interfaith Leadership Institute this January sponsored by IFYC and decided to become partners due to their similar Better Together issues: Georgetown is addressing poverty and education in DC, while Syracuse focuses on hunger in their region of upstate New York.

By combining their passions for social justice in preparation for their much-anticipated basketball game on February 8, 2012, members of both universities want to show the nation that they are truly “better together”. Georgetown and Syracuse, while remaining starkly different universities in many respects, can be united by their commitment to interfaith cooperation and improving their local communities. By taking the first step, Syracuse has demonstrated that they were willing to put petty rivalries aside and join forces in a fight that truly matters: a fight against hunger and poverty.

Obviously, we need to cheer for our Hoyas on the court, but we can also translate our commitment to excellence into donating a few cans for a good cause. As Georgetown students, we have the responsibility to follow suit and stay true to our Jesuit ideals of “Men and Women for Others” and “Inter-religious Understanding.” Basketball and religion are often the most divisive issues among universities, but this year, we can change that narrative and integrate both of them into an exemplary, unprecedented, inter-collegiate partnership by simply donating canned food. Syracuse has already begun the process; as Hoyas, how can we do any less?