We’re beginning a dialogue. All around the country, students, thought leaders, and their communities are discussing constructive approaches to living together in a society of difference, where every voice is heard.
Especially when societal values like non-discrimination or child welfare interact with faith, many see friction and no solutions. Today’s tense public discourse drives young people away from even exploring how best to live together.
Engaging Hard Issues at the Intersection of Faith, Sexuality, and Families
For example, LGBT people face discrimination in housing, jobs, and restaurants in parts of the country. They want to be treated like everyone else.
Religious schools, employers, and small businesses seek to affirm their deeply held convictions around religious sacraments—like marriage and circumcision. Sometimes they ask to step aside from services that would violate their beliefs. Sometimes houses of worship are regulated like government buildings, grocery stores, and other public places.
Instantly, important freedoms are in tension.
Equally hard, children are dying in pockets of the US from “faith healing.” Does respecting faith mean that nothing can be done to prevent these tragic deaths? Will jailing parents save lives? Can we better protect children by engaging religious communities more deeply?
Is there a solution to hard issues that best serves all our commitments? This is where the Dialogues come in.
More Than An Idea
The Tolerance Means Dialogues challenge the misconception that it’s impossible for people of good will to find common ground on the hardest issues. The Dialogues harness and amplify the insights of Millennials and members of Gen. Z, tomorrow’s leaders, who have grown up with unprecedented diversity—and a spirit of openness and inclusivity. Just look at the essays written by our scholarship winners. Tolerance, they urge, means moving beyond ambivalence and forging a path toward genuine respect.
Graduate Winner University of Illinois College of Law
Undergrad Student Winner University of North Carolina
In our tense public discourse, valuable insights can be lost. Not only is that a shame, it is self-defeating—these insights may hold the key to solving these difficult problems. So, to guide this important conversation, we've brought together voices that capture all angles and points of view.
Each Dialogue approaches its subject with a sense of compassion and respect, with a spirit of civility. The reality is that none of us knows all there is to know. Only by listening with an open mind can we move forward together.