CLU wins top Interfaith Youth award

Students hosted discussion events and raised money

Shireen Ismail, Blake Filo, Rebecca Cardone, Jamie Morriss-Benoit, Eric Foster and Lacey Soto discussed faith-related topics at the flagpoles during IFYC's "Better Together Day."

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Aug. 16, 2013) The Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) awarded California Lutheran University its Best Overall Campaign Award for students’ efforts to promote interfaith cooperation in 2012-2013.

CLU received $1,500 to increase the scope of its IFYC Better Together campaign and three free registrations for an Interfaith Leadership Institute.

CLU’s campaign “blew our minds when it came to mobilizing their campus for interfaith cooperation,” IFYC said in the announcement.

With a grant from the Vesper Society, five students and three faculty members attended IFYC leadership institutes last year. They formed the Interfaith Allies at CLU to work with different sectors of campus to plan events. They held monthly “Come Together Now” dialogue dinners, visited various religious sites, and worked to make CLU more welcoming to non-Lutherans. They sat for hours by the campus flagpoles talking about interfaith issues and organized an hourlong interfaith reflection at the campus’ Relay for Life. The Interfaith Allies also supported the addition of new resources for people of different faiths and the formation of a Muslim Student Association.

Together with CLU President Chris Kimball and presidents and students at other Lutheran universities, the Interfaith Allies accepted the nonprofit organization Water to Thrive’s challenge to spread awareness about the global water crisis and raise money to build wells in rural Africa. Their water-wise campaign culminated with a weeklong challenge to students to track their water use and consumption, drink only tap water, and donate the money they would have spent on other beverages to build a well in Ethiopia.