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News Release

September 15, 2011

Ohio University Interfaith Challenge invites community to get involved 

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 13, 2011) – The Ohio University Interfaith Challenge partnership will host a kickoff event from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, in Baker University Center Ballroom B. The university and Athens communities are invited to attend.

The event will feature a keynote address from Vice Provost for Diversity, Access and Equity Brian Bridges, a student-produced video describing the goals and initiatives of the Interfaith Challenge, and a panel discussion featuring local residents from diverse faiths. Refreshments will be available after the panel discussion.  

"The kickoff will inform the campus about the good work that is already taking place to bring people from different faith groups together to solve civic and social problems," Bridges said. "It will also get people excited about this project being launched by President Obama, and it will allow us to rally support from the community to become involved."  

Melissa Wales, executive director of United Campus Ministries, said, "We are hoping that students, faculty, community members, local congregations and faith groups, and others are inspired to get involved with this interfaith service challenge and expand on the opportunities we already have planned.”  

The Interfaith Challenge was created by President Barack Obama as an incentive for higher education institutions to commit to one year of interfaith cooperation and community service programming to build understanding between diverse communities and contribute to the common good. 

The Ohio University Office for Diversity, Access and Equity and other OHIO offices, departments and student groups, United Campus Ministry (UCM): Center for Spiritual Growth and Social Justice, and several other local organizations are partnering in the challenge. 

The White House's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Corporation for National and Community Service will evaluate all the efforts of the more than 250 colleges and universities participating in the challenge and invite the most exemplary ones to the White House next summer.

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