I pledge to respect others no matter their creed, race, culture, gender, or opinion. I pledge to peacefully live alongside others even if their beliefs or opinions do not agree with mine and I pledge to remember that although we are not all brothers and sisters in the same faith, we are brothers and sisters in humanity.
In the summer of 2011 Oglethorpe students, faculty, and staff members collaborated to draft a proposal to meet The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, which challenged more than 300 colleges and universities around the country to promote intentional interfaith dialogue and community service.
Taking on Obama’s challenge, OU students, faculty, and staff members created COEXIST Oglethorpe. In partnership with Oglethorpe’s Center for Civic Engagement, the members decided to focus its initiative on health and hunger. Throughout the 2011-2012 academic year, members of the OU and local community participated in various service projects, discussions, and events surrounding interfaith dialogue with a focus on alleviating hunger.
2011-2012 COEXIST Oglethorpe Events
September 11, 2011: COEXIST Oglethorpe Interfaith Community Dialogue and Roundtable Discussion
COEXIST OU held its inaugural event, which combined several service projects with an educational interfaith dialogue. Participants donated healthy nonperishable items for the food drive, blood for the blood drive, and wrote letters to soldiers and veterans (below right).
October 1, 2011: Atlanta Day of Service
During COEXIST’s 2nd event, 89 students, parents, staff, and faculty members volunteered at five different nonprofit organizations across Atlanta. Volunteers beautified Lynwood Park (below right), created trails and dams at Blue Heron Nature Preserve, interacted with senior citizens at the Sunrise Assisted Living Fall Festival, reorganized the Suthers Center of Christian Outreach Thrift Store, and prepared meals for chronically and terminally ill patients at Open Hand.
February 2012: COEXIST Oglethorpe Food Drive
During our first food drive, over 600 items were donated to the Suthers Center for Christian Outreach Food Pantry, Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless, and the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Volunteers brought donations to ACFB and sorted and packed nearly 10,000 pounds of food items in the Product Rescue Center (below right).
March 7, 2012: COEXIST 101: A Fireside Chat
During COEXIST Oglethorpe’s last event of the academic year, students representing Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam spoke on a panel. Over 40 students, faculty, and staff members asked questions and held dialogues with the panel and people around the room.
Become a part of COEXIST Oglethorpe!
Please contact Ruwa Romman if you'd like to get more involved with COEXIST Oglethorpe. Make sure to check back soon for updates on this year's upcoming events and like our facebook page to stay in the loop of our activity on campus and in the local community!