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The Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action is pleased to host NAIN CONNECT 2018. The conference will be held at MacEwan University in downtown Edmonton. This is the second time that the Edmonton Interfaith Centre has hosted NAIN Connect. NAIN supports an interfaith movement that includes justice issues, community building and multiculturalism, and that welcomes people of all faiths and spiritualities. The movement respects diverse beliefs and brings communities together for mutual learning.
As part of this year’s conference, the program committee is seeking applications for participants for the Young Adult Summit, to be held on the first day of the conference (Tuesday, July 31). The Summit will feature a full day of panels and workshops, focused on allowing participants to engage in meaningful conversations with one another and with various faith community leaders on a variety of topics related to this year’s theme, ‘Pilgrimage: Journeys of Discovery’. Summit participants are also invited to stay for the remainder of the conference, which will build on our first day together and allow us to share our conversations with other NAIN Connect participants, helping to inform their experience at the conference as well. There will also be opportunities to experience the city of Edmonton, including tours of some major points of interest.
Some examples of topics we will cover in the Summit include:
• Journeys that we take toward and away from one another. These conversations will be informed by current issues around pluralism, multiculturalism, immigration, and refugee movement, with special focus on the ways in which we are informed by our faiths as we engage with these issues and with one another.
• Journeys that we take within ourselves, in recognition of the fact that many journeys begin and often remain internal. This will allow us space to discuss esoteric perspectives on our faith traditions, as well as the pragmatic journeys we take to decolonize ourselves and others as we strive towards a more just and less oppressive world.
• Physical journeys that we make, with an awareness of both the real, tangible pilgrimages that are part of many religious traditions, as well as the ways in which we engage with the lands that we travel, including the ways in which we have engaged and continue to engage with the Indigenous lands we currently occupy. Here, there will be special attention given to Indigenous rights and the need for us to honour our treaties, particularly because Edmonton is on Treaty 6 land.
Interested youth & young adults (age 18 to 35), are encouraged to apply by emailing Netta Phillet at intfaith@shaw.ca or filling out the form found at https://nain2018edmonton.ca/young-adult-summit/. Please include your name, your religious/spiritual background, and a brief, 250-500 word explanation of why you would like to participate in these conversations, and what you think you will be able to add to them. Please also include your mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address, as well as your preferred language of communication and if you will need a translator or interpreter.
Note: the Program Committee recognizes that these types of conferences can place an undue financial burden, particularly on young people, which often hinders their ability to participate. In light of that reality, we have tried to keep costs low for this demographic. Cost for the Young Adult Summit is $50 and participants in the Summit can also register for the remainder of the NAIN conference for an additional $150, which should be quite worthwhile as we are hoping to include summit participants throughout the conference. We are also working on finding innovative ways to help address this issue, including billeting. Interested participants should also consider applying to be one of NAIN’s Young Adult Scholars. Details about this program is available on the NAIN website (http://www.nain.org/young-adults.html).