Our volunteer faculty, Glenn and Sipra Johnson and Henrietta Mount, provided an extraordinary learning experience, showing a commitment to LEADD and Interfaith Alliance that stretches across the full five-year history of the program.
Our four counselors are also an extraordinarily committed group! Tyler Kirk (Master of Theological Studies at Boston University) has staffed four LEADDs; Rahil Rojiani has been a LEADD student, a junior counselor, a senior counselor and started the Tampa Interfaith Student group after his first experience with LEADD in 2006 (He is now a sophomore at Brown University); Yasmeen Zaid and Sarah Albahadily from Oklahoma City and Tulsa, respectively, were counselors at last year’s Oklahoma City LEADD and in conjunction with the Interfaith Alliance Affiliates in Tulsa and OKC are working on a locally-run Oklahoma City LEADD in the next year. Both young women have also joined the board of directors of their local Affiliates.
Rev. Janice Johnson, another longtime LEADD faculty member, was unable to attend this LEADD, but she recruited Joyce Griffin, who did a wonderful job running the conflict resolution workshops this time around.
The NYC LEADD was, as all the LEADD programs have been, filled with curiosity, intelligence, energy and exuberance. From morning into the night our LEADDers shared their experiences, explained their traditions and learned about the things that make them unique and those that unify them, against the backdrop of our Constitution and the American democracy.
A special note of remembrance: This was the first LEADD without Jerry Davidoff, who passed away last fall and would have had a great time with this group of kids. His commitment to civic education and interfaith dialogue lives on in LEADD and in the life of every student it touches.
Our next Weekend LEADD program is coming together in the Twin Cities, MN area and is planned for October 2010. New Jersey, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado LEADD programs are currently in discussion.
Here’s what our NYC LEADDers had to say in their anonymous program evaluations:
" I was surprised to learn how most religions that I thought were different are actually based on the same principles."
"How much this has empowered me and how many new ideas that I have now. What an amazing thing people can do when they put aside their differences to learn."
“I have already started planning for an interfaith group in Queens."
"LEADD is an outstanding program and addresses serious religious and political issues."
" I gained extensive knowledge about the Constitution, how the Supreme Court works, different faiths and practices and conflict resolution."
" I will remember the different beliefs of faiths, the rights we have, court cases about religious matters and communications skills."
" I was surprised at the diversity of people who came."
" LEADD is an amazing experience where you learn a lot. You will make many friends and will learn stuff that you will take away for a lifetime."