Dr. Patrick Wing and I attended the LTAI:MJ workshop in Denver, CO on August 15 and 16, 2013. It was an interesting trip, which got me very excited about implementing the plans we had developed and outlined since a year ago.
Because of logistical limits, the book discussions will be held at A.K. Smiley Public Library’s Assembly Room. However the speaking events and the film screening series will all be held at different locations on the University of Redlands campus.
One take-away I gained from the LTAI:MJ workshop was emphasizing the ‘journey’ in Muslim Journeys. When we think of Islam, Muslim Americans, Muslims around the world, and current events happening in the Muslim-majority societies in the Middle East, the temptation is great to simply assume that Islam, Muslim societies, and associated events and stories are monolithic and never-changing. One of the most important ideas that this Bridging Cultures initiative aims to emphasize and achieve are that people, and the matters we all care about, are not monolithic and impervious to change. Bridging Cultures intends to encourage us all to see and appreciate the fluid nature of history, culture, and the labels and representations of selves and others.
Our theme, Points of View, emphasizes these exactly. The speakers matter. As do the vantage points from which they speak, what they speak about, and who they are speaking to. We advocate that there is a lot to learn about Islamic faith, traditions, and the cultures and histories of its followers. The programs we have planned are all meant to develop understanding and inquiry. Please join us.