Research Report

Diversity Training Series: Educating Chicago's Law Enforcement on the City's Many Religions (2006)

The Situation

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, America experienced a rude awakening of its multi-religious landscape in the form of public religious prejudice, stereotypical mentalities, hate crimes, and outright ignorance—all of which created an atmosphere of two extremes: those who were feared, and those who were fearful. According to Unequal Protection: The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2005, an annual report issued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR...

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Snapshots of Muslim Women's Leadership (2006)

In recent history, Muslim women around the world are taking on different kinds of leadership roles. What follows are some snapshots of Muslim women's leadership in North America and in other parts of the world. This list is not intended to be comprehensive.


The spring of 2004 saw the election of Canada's first Muslim woman as a Member of Parliament. Yasmin Ratansi, originally from Tanzania and elected from Toronto, describes herself as “a business person with a strong social conscience.” Her election comes after fifteen years...

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Boston Ten Civic Practices (2006)

Boston is a microcosm of religious diversity and civic engagement in the United States. This list of ten religious practices for civic engagement was compiled from a two-year search of Boston Globe articles relating to religious diversity and civic engagement. These practices were selected to highlight the variety of religious engagement in civic life in Boston, such as great lobbying efforts, artistic expressions, youth leadership, and networking with other organizations.

The following practices are not exhaustive of the religious engagement in Boston civic life, nor...

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America's National Day of Prayer (2006)

On May 4, 2006, Americans across the nation came together to celebrate the National Day of Prayer. The first Thursday in May was marked by Congress in 1952 as a date to “turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”[1] Some ceremonies were held in public civic places, others in churches as community gatherings; some included many faiths, and others restricted public prayers to Christian voices alone. As a variety of people offered their prayers and reflections, a debate within religious America over the nature of...

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Homosexuality in the World's Religions

This is a compilation of resources on homosexuality in the world's religions, organized by religious tradition, focusing on the American context. Included are web resources for gay people coming together as minority groups within religious traditions, links to religious activist groups for and against homosexual rights, resources being created by gay people dealing with their religion and their homosexuality, and resources being created by religious activists who oppose homosexuality. The anthology Gay Religion, edited by Scott...

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Samhain (Halloween) in Boston (2005)

While the cultural celebration of Halloween involves children, costumes, treats and perhaps tricks, the religious celebration of the same day, called Samhain, is celebrated by Pagans in both public and private rituals. In Boston in 2005, there were at least four public ceremonies available over the weekend and on Samhain, October 31, itself.

Women's Lodge

On Saturday night, Women's Lodge held their annual circle in a rented church space in Newton. Over 50 women were in attendance. The ritual included circle dancing, singing, and...

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Airport Chapels: Shifting from Denominational to Interfaith (2005)

Approximately fifty years ago, the first airport chapel in the United States was built in Boston’s Logan International Airport. This chapel, along with the few others established at this time, was Catholic. Over the past few decades, as the religious landscape of America has changed, so has the orientation of these chapels. Now one can walk into almost any major U.S. airport and expect to find an interfaith space where people of all faiths are welcome to pray and worship. Most significantly, these chapels include features that cater specifically to the needs of Muslim worshippers. These...

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Wynne v. Great Falls, SC (2005)

In the rural town of Great Falls, South Carolina, Darla Wynne requested that prayers used to open Town Council meetings not privilege a deity exclusive to one particular faith. Wynne, a Wiccan priestess, won her court case putting a stop to the use of the name Jesus Christ in legislative prayer. She also won upon the town's appeal to the 4th circuit court, which in July of 2004 found the “Town Council's exclusive practice of explicitly advancing exclusively Christian themes to be unconstitutional.” The town of Great Falls had been in the habit of opening each and every one of their Town...

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Coming Together: College Multi-Faith Councils (2005)

First Annual Gathering of College Multi-Faith Councils Convenes at Princeton University

On February 17, 2005, over 90 students representing over 30 colleges and universities from across the country convened on Princeton University’s campus for the first annual national gathering of college multi-faith councils, “Coming Together: A Venture across Religious Boundaries.”

Planned and led by students, “Coming Together” was created as a resource for students across the country to learn from one another about interfaith councils. Some students arrived...

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Baccalaureate Services and Pluralism (2005)

The renewal of baccalaureate services in colleges and universities across the country has been met with increasingly diverse student populations. The manners in which schools approach this growing plurality of religious faiths are as diverse as the institutions themselves. Some schools no longer include a baccalaureate service as part of their commencement activities, some maintain a traditional Christian form, and some provide an interfaith service of one type or another.

Public and private institutions alike host interfaith baccalaureate ceremonies, as do religiously affiliated...

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South Asians in the US: India Abroad (2005)

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Achievements: Business, Entrepreneurship, and Philanthropy, Appointments, Awards, Government Involvement, Less Typical Successes

III. US-Policy and India: US-India Relations, Immigration and Visas, NRI Involvement in India, India

IV. Culture and Business: Religious Announcements, Current Affairs, Cultural Events and Festivals, News Announcements

V. Conferences and Organizations: Medical/Science Organizations, AAPI and its Annual Convention, Other...

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Chicago Police Department Diversity Videos Educate Officers on Non-Christian Faiths (2005)

After the terror attacks of 9/11 there was an alarming number of incidents of violence across the United States against people who were perceived to be Muslim. In Chicago, Police Chief Terry Hillard held a multi-cultural forum to hear feedback from people of all religions on post-9/11 backlash. At these forums he learned that his officers were often ignorant about non-Christian faiths and were sometimes rude to people from these communities. Using a grant from the Justice Department and guidance from lay leaders and clergy in each religious community, the police department created a series...

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