Community Radio: “Let’s Talk About the Middle East”
“Let’s Talk About the Middle East” is co-hosted by CRT’s Andy Blanch and Juliana Musheyev on WSLR 96.5, Sarasota’s community radio station. The show focuses broadly on Middle Eastern politics, culture, religion, and history. It aims to humanize the conflict in Israel and Palestine as well as other conflicts in the Middle East by interviewing people that have a stake in the issues.
Women’s Interfaith Network
The Women’s Interfaith Network invites women of all ages, abilities, beliefs, cultures, faiths and races to learn about and value our similarities and differences. We work to eradicate stereotypes and prejudice beginning in our own communities in order to promote our common humanity and build a peaceful world. The Women’s Interfaith Network (WIN) of Sarasota-Bradenton completed its fifth year of activities in December 2012. Currently, there are over 100 members representing a variety of religious orientations, including Judaism, several forms of Christianity, Islam, Wiccan, Humanism, and Metaphysical as well as indigenous and spiritual traditions. WIN’s mission is to work towards understanding and cooperation across religious, racial, ethnic, cultural and national boundaries.
Visit the website at womensinterfaithnetwork.org
Finding a Path to Peace Educational Series
The Center for Religious Tolerance has partnered with the Peace Education and Action Center and ANSWER Suncoast to host the “Finding a Path to Peace” educational series in Sarasota, Florida. The series is about the conflict in Israel and Palestine and incorporates expert speakers, interactive workshops and discussions, and documentary film screenings. 2016 is the second year that the CRT has co-sponsored this series.
Working with Local Youth
Through our Young Peacemakers initiative, the CRT has reached out to local youth in Sarasota County to help create the new generation of people working towards peace. In 2010 we partners with the United Religions Initiative to create a six-month study in Sarasota High School called, “Healing Racism”. We also pilot tested a program that provided training for teachers in Sarasota High School in how to create conflict-free classrooms and defuse potentially threatening situations. The initiative was funded by a small grant from Teaching Tolerance, an initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center. CRT also provides internship opportunities in the United States and Israel for local high school and college students. Students get a chance to meet the peacemakers in person, organize interfaith events, and use their own skills and talents to help build a more peaceful future (Unfortunately, with rare exceptions we cannot fund travel or housing costs.)
Read Jason’s blog from his internship in Israel during the summer of 2010.
Religious Courage Award
This annual award will be given by CRT to an individual who has spoken or acted with courage to promote interfaith understanding, religious tolerance, diversity, and/or social justice. The goals of the award are: 1) to keep alive the memory and spirit of Ms. Elisabeth Schilder and her students; and 2) to bring attention to individuals and groups who represent that spirit in action in today’s world. The award will be presented at World Peace Day, an annual event sponsored by the South West Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice.
The 2015 Elizabeth Schilder Religious Courage award was given to Pastor Carl vom Eigen of Tarpon Springs. A retired Presbyterian Minister, Pastor Carl is Treasurer of Peace4Tarpon; serves youth in the community as a tutor, mentor, and guardian ad litem; and has led interfaith discussions regarding sacred texts. By creating opportunities for citizens to speak out – particularly those who have been forgotten or subjected to social injustice – he demonstrates that the sum of seemingly ordinary acts can add up to an extraordinary life.