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Press Release:


FAU to Host Interfaith Summit

BOCA RATON, FL (March 25, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University’s President’s Diversity Committee will host the inaugural “Interfaith Summit of Florida Atlantic University” on Sunday, March 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. in the Grand Palm Room of the FAU Student Union, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

The theme for the interactive event is “Sacred Hospitality: A Tool for Peace,” beginning with a prayer by a representative of each faith, a panel discussion, as well as breakout sessions from multiple faith traditions. The summit is designed to start building a common ground between different religious traditions, in order to evoke commonalities and to begin a dialogue that moves various religions toward an honest understanding of their differences.

Jenan Mohajir, the international programs coordinator of the Interfaith Youth Core, will deliver a keynote address titled, “Sacred Stories: Interfaith Leaders in a Religiously Diverse World,” in which she will discuss what defines the interactions of people from different religions and how interfaith leadership has shaped the history of the world.

The panelists include Dr. Ram P. Agarwal, president of the Miami-Dade chapter of the World Hindu Alliance; Cantor Ann Turnoff of the Mark Center for Jewish Excellence; Lama Karma Chotso, resident teacher of Kagyu Shedrup Choling, Tibetan Buddhism; Rev. Mary Ellen Cassini, priest of the Episcopal Diocese of South East Florida and school chaplain at Saint Andrew’s School; Imam Radwan Kouatli, founder of Love God Institute, representing the Islamic Center of Boca Raton; Deva Kaur, a Sikh minister; Dr. Heather Hosseini, member of the South Central Regional Baha'i Council & Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Fort Lauderdale; and Kevin Locke of the Lakota Nation, a USIS ambassador of Native American culture.   

A kirtan concert, or a devotional call-and-response chant with world instruments, also will be led by local group Devananda, who will introduce chants from a number of different religious traditions.   Kirtan is an ancient form of chanting that is a powerful, accessible and enjoyable spiritual practice that has been shown through electro-encephalogram studies to quickly develop the brain wave patterns associated with long-term and deep meditation even in new practitioners. These chants typically employ world instruments and evocative, though simple modal (“Eastern”) melodies.

            FAU’s Interfaith Summit is sponsored by FAU’s Student Government, FAU’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education, and the President’s Diversity Committee.

For more information, contact Maria Santamarina, FAU diversity officer, at 561-297-0938 or


About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

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