Eboo Patel, an American Muslim of Indian descent, is the founder and director of Interfaith Youth Core, an international nonprofit that is building an interfaith youth movement combining pluralism and compassionate service. His first book, Acts of Faith, is a fascinating memoir about his calling to educate a new generation to the values of religious tolerance and service to all humanity. He followed that up with
Sacred Ground in which he identifies the hard work that must be done to shore up, strengthen, and extend religious pluralism in the United States. He believes that American pluralism is under attack and both religious and spiritual people must take on the responsibility of protecting and repairing it.
Interfaith Leadership: A Primer is Patel's third book and it is a corker!
After spelling out the identity of an Interfaith Leader, pondering the meanings of this mission, and exploring its vision and knowledge base,
he masterfully reflects on the five key skills needed for interfaith leadership:
- "Building a radar screen for religious diversity
- "Developing a public narrative of interfaith cooperation
- "Building relationships and mobilizing religiously diverse constituencies
- "Creating activities that bring together people who orient around religion differently
- "Facilitating interfaith conversations with a religiously diverse group."
Patel hits high stride with his hope that new interfaith leaders will arise who are bridge-builders. Among the personal qualities they will need are grit, relatability, and craft.
The Interfaith Observer (TIO) is a free monthly electronic journal created to explore interreligious relations and the interfaith movement as a whole. Paul Chafee is the editor. Its June 2016 edition is devoted to the writings of Eboo Patel. Here is a helpful and enlightening overview of this young, ardent, creative American Muslim who is the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core that has a staff of 45 and a $6.5 million budget. This package of information from TIO includes a profile of Patel, "Spokesperson in the Making," Courtney Martin's interview with Patel in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and a link to a 15-minite TED talk by Patel.