November 02, 2010
On October 21, 2010, three members of the Rollins Interfaith Living Learning Community, along with Professor of Philosophy and Religion Yudit Greenberg, attended the 7th Annual Dialogue Dinner hosted by the Nile Foundation.
The Nile Foundation is an Orlando not-for-profit aimed at creating stronger ties and understanding among the Turkish and American Central Florida communities. It places a strong emphasis on inter-faith and inter-culture dialogue, appreciation and acceptance.
The theme of this year’s dialogue dinner was “Empathy: Walking in Another’s Shoes!” This theme was truly realized as Rollins Interfaith students got to know members of the Orlando Turkish community. Dinner was followed by two keynote speakers and live Sufi music.
Orlando City Commissioner Robert Stuart brought into question our use of the term “tolerance.” He asked why people different from us had to be tolerated, as if we were better than them. He suggested that to instead think of others in terms of mutual respect.
Elvan Aktas, professor of finance and representative from the Istanbul Center, shared his own personal experiences. One story was about a picture his son had drawn. The drawing was of different colored people, some even blue and green. Aktas wanted us to learn from his son’s easy acceptance of everyone, even green people.
To find out more about the Nile Foundation and other events and programs they offer, visit www.nilefoundation.org.
By Ariane Rosen (Class of 2011)
Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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