Student to Host Coexistence Dinner
On Saturday, December 10, 80 individuals from colleges across Rochester will attend the first annual “Coexistence: Dinner and Dialogue” event at St. John Fisher College, organized and hosted by Fisher student Husain Bawany.
Bawany, a religious studies and biology major, has been working with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence as a Gandhi Service Fellow, and wanted to tie his own personal interest in religion and spirituality into a program that would meet the need of interfaith and intertraditional understanding.
“Aside from the non-violent leadership training, seminars, and service opportunities presented to me as a fellow, I have been sponsored to make a service vision of my own a reality,” said Bawany. “It is distressing to hear about a crime motivated by hate, and it’s often due to a simple lack of understanding of another’s beliefs.”
Bawany is expecting students from the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Nazareth College, Monroe Community College, and the University at Buffalo to attend the program. Through art, group service, and dialogue, the participants will learn about the various ways college students find their own sense of spirituality on campus.
“They will leave the event with the knowledge that there will always be someone who disagrees with them. Respecting differences and appreciating them is a skill that can be learned from events such as this,” he said.
He hopes that by creating the event, college students will leave their institutions with more than a simple degree, and that they graduate ready to embrace today’s globalized society.
The event is being made possible thanks to support from the M.K. Gandhi Institute, as well as support from Dr. Richard DeJesús-Rueff, Vice President of Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs.