Gathering the faithful and the secular: Cross-belief bridging for social justice and belonging
Faith leaders of many religions have long been at the forefront of movements for social justice, and yet are often overlooked in the stories and narratives we tell about those very fights. This is perhaps due to a longstanding discomfort and disconnect between secular justice leaders and those who are faith-based, despite the central role that religious belief and spiritual communities play in the lives of people of all backgrounds. Indeed, it may be deeply remiss for those of us fighting for justice and belonging to overlook the opportunities inherent in bridging with faith and spiritual leaders committed to furthering social justice. In this panel, we will hear from leading Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Indigenous and secular leaders about the opportunities for faith-based contributions to justice movements and how religious or spiritual identity can be catalysts for bridging and expanding who belongs in our movements for justice. What are the opportunities for bridging with faith communities and what are the challenges—and how might we address them together?