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Emory, Ga. Tech launch partnership on leadership, multi-faith

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Dr. William Foege is an epidemiologist, senior fellow with the Gates Foundation and professor emeritus of international health at Emory University. Emory Photo/Video.

A public symposium Feb. 18 on "Compassion and Leadership in a Multi-Faith World" is the first event of the newly established Leadership and Multi-Faith Program (LAMP), a joint initiative between Emory University's Candler School of Theology and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The half-day working symposium will feature a keynote address by Dr. William H. Foege, epidemiologist and author of "House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox." Foege also is Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Health at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. The event is free, but registration is required.

Candler's Elizabeth Corrie, director of the Youth Theological Initiative and assistant professor of youth education and peacebuilding, and Ellen Ott Marshall, associate professor of Christian ethics and conflict transformation, are among the panelists. Professor emeritus Brooks Holifield will act as a panel moderator.

The Leadership and Multi-Faith Program (LAMP) seeks to address the need for multi-faith understanding and community building in Atlanta and the surrounding region through a partnership between Candler and the Ivan Allen College at Georgia Tech − a private-public venture in higher education. The partnership includes the establishment of a faculty position at Candler and the development of public programming to be offered by the Ivan Allen College.

"LAMP is focused on the complexities of life, work, and leadership in a world where many faith traditions converge, whether our encounters are local, regional, or global," says Candler Dean Jan Love.

"More than in any previous period in American history, people of many different faith commitments − or no faith commitments − go to work, schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, grocery stores and malls together, but they often don't understand each other's religious identity or communal practices very well."

That ignorance, says Love, has the potential for breeding contempt that can cause a degradation of public discourse and − in the worst cases − spawn violent acts.

LAMP will light the way toward understanding by offering students, civic and business leaders, and the general public training in multi-faith relations, through courses at the two schools and continuing education programming such as seminars and experiential learning opportunities that draw on the expertise of Candler faculty and other renowned specialists.

"Compassion and Leadership in a Multi-Faith World" will be held Feb. 18 at the Historic Academy of Medicine, 875 West Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30309. The event will include a reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres.

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