Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters Program A moment of interfaith dialogue from a Muslim-Jewish Halaqa-Seder dinner We find ourselves in a moment where we are deeply polarized as a nation by divides—cultural, religious, political--that impact our communities and even our families. At this critical juncture in our history, we want to advocate a simple model for effecting social change: working at the grassroots level in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, houses of worship, and civic organizations to model the civility and respect we want to see upheld by everyone. This is why Islamic Networks Group has launched the Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters Program with simple yet impactful tools and resources for reaching out to build mutual understanding and respect among all our fellow Americans. Studies show that all you need is a ten-minute non-confrontational encounter with a person from a different background to dispel stereotyping and prejudice. We believe that if enough Americans join our campaign by participating in one or two simple actions of mutual encounter, we can strengthen our communities, foster relations among all Americans, and live up to our national ideal of being one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We invite you to participate in this effort by using the suggestions and resources on this webpage for individual and community actions. By building bridges across our current divides we can build the community and nation that we all want to live in. What is the Know Your Neighbor Program? Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters (KYN-ME) is a national grassroots interfaith program that is the outgrowth of the Know Your Neighbor coalition of around 15 groups that was launched at the White House in December 2015 to work on policy concerning civil rights. Founded on American values of religious freedom, pluralism, and inclusion, and motivated by a desire to build peaceful communities at the grassroots level through community engagement, the KYN-ME program was created by Islamic Networks Group (ING) in February 2016 to promote understanding and mutual respect among Americans of diverse religious and ethical traditions. KYN-ME has grown into a collaborative effort of 100 partners with diverse missions and objectives who work together on campaigns that push back against bigotry and discrimination while promoting civil dialogue across differences, building relationships and peaceful communities, and advancing human rights and justice. For a historical look at the reach and effect of KYN-ME campaigns, check out our impact report. See this page to learn how to join the KYN-ME program as an organization and go here to get a closer look at our current program partners. You can also get caught up on past campaigns, newsletters, and webinars on interfaith best practices. Individuals: Have a quick conversation with someone – 5 minutes or less Check out Civity's guides to engaging in dialogue across differences Relationships Across Difference One-on-One Conversation Guide -- based on Civity Conversations Have a quick conversation with someone you see at the gas station or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Ask them questions to build understanding, but do not be rude or invasive SocialPro offers a guideline on how to start conversations Euphrates Institute has this resource for dialogue with those holding different viewpoints: Communication Guidelines--Circle of Trust Go out for a coffee break with a neighbor or co-worker or talk to your neighbor while sitting on a plane – 20 minutes or less Invite your neighbor or coworker to coffee and have a chat with some guided conversation topics or strike up a conversation on the plane SocialPro offers a guideline on how to start conversations Check out Civity's guides to engaging in dialogue across differences Relationships Across Difference One-on-One Conversation Guide -- based on Civity Conversations Euphrates Institute has this resource for dialogue with those holding different viewpoints: Communication Guidelines--Circle of Trust For other ideas on questions to ask your neighbor visit Lifehack: 45 Questions To Ask To Get To Know Someone Invite people to your home to share a meal Invite people whom you know little about into your home or to a safe space over good food to get to know them and engage in dialogue. Make it potluck, a barbecue or just cook an easy meal yourself SocialPro offers a guideline on how to start conversations Religions for Peace offers an excellent discussion guide called "A Seat at the Table" The Interfaith Youth Core has a toolkit for an event it calls "speedfaithing" that can liven up any setting Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston has a guide featuring best practices for the "Dinner Dialogues" program The United Religions Initiative has guidelines for post-election healing dinner conversations The United Religions Initiative also has a guide for general home gatherings Watch our Know Your Neighbor webinar on Interfaith Dinner Dialogues Euphrates Institute has this resource for dialogue with those holding different viewpoints: Communication Guidelines--Circle of Trust Check out Civity's guides to engaging in dialogue across differences Relationships Across Difference One-on-One Conversation Guide -- based on Civity Conversations Invite friends or neighbors to your house of worship or community center Invite friends or neighbors to a special event or religious service to observe how your faith or ethical tradition conducts communal gatherings. Be sure to inform administrators about their attendance and make sure your community or place of worship is ready to welcome visitors Look at our advice on how to best do this: Tips For Inviting Others To Your House Of Worship Before the event make sure that you share relevant guidelines on how to dress, behave, and respect specific protocols at various events and houses of worship and give examples of what different services look like Check out this book called How to Be A Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook Can’t attend a faith service? Look at Spokane Interfaith Council's video series on various houses of worship called “Meet the Neighbors” Attend an event hosted by a community that you are not familiar with Check out the Know Your Neighbor map to find local events like Iftar (breaking the fast) dinners and interfaith gatherings Find a United Religions Initiative cooperation circle in your area Our partner organization Se7enfast is a great resource for finding interfaith iftars (Muslim Ramadan fast-breaking dinner) and events in your area You can find events to participate in your area hosted by the One America Movement by using this form If there are none in your area, host your own; here are some guidelines for organizing interfaith events and groups Try using United Religions Initiative's tools for creating an interfaith group: Model Appreciative Inquiry for initial gathering For a Jewish-Muslim dialogue, initiate a Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom chapter in your area Complete a questionnaire to reflect upon your own beliefs Take this questionnaire about your faith, beliefs, ideology, self-perception, and some creative questions that would make for great discussion in a group. Use it to create a space for personal reflection Increase your impact by sharing your story with others on social media You can increase your positive impact on your neighbors and nation by sharing on social media Use our social media examples either by copying directly or drawing inspiration from them Try downloading and using our partner organization Interfaith Youth Core's Frameworks for Interfaith Conversations Write a letter to someone who identifies with a different religious identity than your own Send holiday greetings to your local faith communities You can download and write your own message using our postcard: KYN: ME Postcard If a local house of worship in your area has been the target of a hate crime, send them a note or flowers, bring them cookies or find other ways to demonstrate your support You can download and write your own message using our postcard: KYN: ME Postcard An example of what to say to a targeted house of worship: “We want to offer our hands in solidarity to you in the face of this ugly act of hate. We extend our support to your house of worship and all its congregants. Let us know what we can do to help. We hold you in our hearts and prayers.” Stay up to date on hate crimes against groups like Muslims though Muslim Advocates or against Sikhs through The Sikh Coalition Other ways to reach out to your neighbor Bring your neighbor a dessert or special food on your holiday or give them a small gift such as a potted flower to plant, but make sure this gift is culturally sensitive Check out this article on Religion and Dietary Practice Send your neighbor or coworker a postcard, you can download and write your own message using our postcard: KYN: ME Postcard Invite a co-worker or neighbor to an activity you both enjoy such as to play a board game, join you at a pottery class, go bowling, attend a sporting event, go for a hike, etc Volunteer to serve on an interfaith council Find them on our interactive map Find a United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle in your area Ask your community about interfaith organizations in your area or search for local interfaith gatherings in your area Join an interfaith book club Join or create an interfaith book club, such as The Daughters of Abraham You can also refer to the The Daughters of Abraham's recommended reading list as well and use that to create your own reading list Communities: Encourage your community members to invite their friends and family to attend a worship service or community event Practical Tips for Inviting People to Join a Scheduled Worship Service Check out our guidelines on how to invite those of other traditions to attend a worship service or community event: Tips For Inviting Others To Your House Of Worship We want to briefly note that places of worship have services at different times of the day and week. As a guide: Islam: Jummah prayers are typically held between at lunchtime on a Friday. If the community is large, there may be two services, one after the other Judaism: Shabbat services may be held on Friday night or Saturday morning, depending on the denomination Christianity: Church worship services take place at various times on a Sunday, typically in the morning and sometimes in the early evening. Some churches have Saturday evening services also Hinduism: Many Hindu communities do not have congregational services on a particular day of the week, but rather encourage individual practice throughout the week, with communal services to mark special celebrations and events at various times of the year Sikhism: Similarly, many Sikh communities encourage individual practice throughout the week rather than communal worship on a particular day. Nonetheless, many Gurdwaras have highest attendance on Sunday Buddhism: Different Buddhist denominations have different schedules of practice. Many American Buddhist communities have communal services on Sunday Host an interfaith film screening “Waking in Oak Creek” is a movie on Sikhs and police from Not in Our Town “20,000 Dialogues” is a program providing several quality films about Islam and Muslims from Unity Productions Foundation "The Sultan and the Saint" is a historical documentary with live action portions from Unity Productions Foundation that examines the relationship between Saint Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt during the Crusades. Visit the website to find screenings in your area or to set one up Find other interfaith film screenings in your area by visiting The Seventh Art Stand Organize a book club around a piece of fiction or non-fiction which explores some aspects of faith, values, culture, or identity Read and discuss The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner, which explores the story of three women who are practitioners of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and their journey towards dialogue, understanding, and friendship Read and discuss The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear by Michael Kinnamon Read and discuss Of Strangers & Enemies: A Pathway to Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims by John Robert Eagan. It is free to download here You can always look at the The Daughters of Abraham's recommended reading list as well and use that to create your own reading list Invite your community to be a part of this campaign Invite community members to sign up for this campaign as an Individual. Encourage them to sign up for emails and participate in the tasks discussed about in the "Individual" section Join the KYN movement which will provide you with resources and share interfaith events Read this document on what it means to join the coalition: KYN ME Neighbor Reach out to Kate at [email protected] to join or learn more If you are a leader within your community and would like to encourage community members to participate in our Share Your Story: Social Media Campaign you can do so by using our Know Your Neighbor (KYN) Summer Campaign Talking Points for a Sermon which demonstrates how to share the value of interfaith engagement and ways to participate in this campaign. Organize a multifaith prayer service or community event Increasingly faith communities are including multifaith prayers to their services as a way to be more inclusive and to celebrate the rich diversity of our communities. The following are useful resources of organizing multifaith prayer gathering or service Scarboro Missions offers a guide to designing a multifaith prayer service The United Religions Initiative has a guide for a candle lighting service The United Religions Initiative has a collection of multifaith prayers Hold a community interfaith event Organize a "Meet a Muslim" event Watch our Know Your Neighbor webinar on how to host these events and check out this collection of "Meet A Muslim" FAQ’s, Powerpoints, and other materials Start a "pulpit exchange", where clergy or another representative from one community speaks to another community outside their tradition, and subsequently have a representative from the other community speak to their group For information on how to do this check out our partner Interfaith Alliance's resources on ways to foster better understanding amongst leaders of religious traditions and their communities Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston has provided two examples of their past documents used to begin ceremonies, galas and celebrations with an interfaith blessing Interfaith Invocation Example #1 Interfaith Invocation Example #2 The following are selected prayers or scripture from various faith traditions Faith Shared Suggested Readings United Religions Initiative's Prayers for Peace Create an Interfaith Speakers Bureau in your area For Jewish and Muslim groups wishing to engage in dialogue visit Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism's program Children of Abraham For Christian and Jewish groups wishing to engage in conversation visit Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism's program Open Doors Open Minds Celebrate the significance and commonalities of certain holidays Host a Muslim-Jewish Halaqa-Seder, which examines the Exodus story in Muslim and Jewish holy texts over dinner Host a Mary/Maryam event where Christians and Muslims study scripture relating to the Virgin Mary from each other’s traditions over dinner. Email Kate Chance for more information Organize a social gathering centered around foods from different countries and cultures Celebrate the diversity of your community while savoring a diversity of cuisines! Invite local faith and values-based communities, congregations, or organizations to a potluck with ethnic dishes. Ask contributors to include ingredients and even recipes! To spice up the event ask attendees to collaborate on a public art project such as a poster, a mural or participate in an open mic or spoken word poetry event Organize a picnic in a park or public space and invite local faith and ethical communities to participate. Make it potluck or a barbecue where a small fee is charged to cover costs. Include family-friendly sports and games, or simply get together to meet and talk Celebrate the significance and commonalities of certain holidays Host a Muslim-Jewish Halaqa-Seder, which examines the Exodus story in Muslim and Jewish holy texts over dinner Host a Mary/Maryam event where Christians and Muslims study scripture relating to the Virgin Mary from each other’s traditions over dinner. Email Kate Chance for more information Create a day of service with other communities The One America Movement brings people together across religious, racial and political divides to participate in a community service project together, have a meal together and have a conversation. You can find or help create service events to participate in your area through by using this form The United Religions Initiative has a kit detailing how to host a community-wide day of service Encourage other communities to join the Know Your Neighbor Campaign with you Reach out to local organizations and invite them to participate in this campaign with you If you don't know of local interfaith organizations you can find them by: Visiting our interactive map Find a United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle in your area Know Your Neighbor Social Media Posts and Graphics: Here are templates and graphics for posting on social media about the Know Your Neighbor Campaign: Tweets: Our diverse religious and ethical values look just like American values. Commit to #KnowYourNeighbor: www.ing.org/kyn Knowing your neighbors isn’t a conservative or liberal agenda. It’s America at its best. Join us: www.ing.org/kyn #KnowYourNeighbor Want to build a more perfect union? Here’s toolkits, tipsheets, and guides for getting to #KnowYourNeighbor: www.ing.org/kyn Do you feel like resisting political polarization in America? Start here with #KnowYourNeighbor: www.ing.org/kyn Check out our guide on inviting people to your house of worship. It's time to get to #KnowYourNeighbor: www.ing.org/kyn Not familiar with your local minority religious community? Learn how to meet them with #KnowYourNeighbor: www.ing.org/kyn Do you feel alone doing interfaith work? The #KnowYourNeighbor program can help. Get connected: www.ing.org/kyn Looking for interfaith resources? We have them. Many of them. Check it out at the #KnowYourNeighbor program: www.ing.org/kyn Stand up against all forms of hatred and bigotry before they start. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor program: www.ing.org/kyn I am a [religious/ethical affiliation], and I believe that people of all faiths & cultures belong in America: www.ing.org/kyn #KnowYourNeighbor Our communities are stronger and safer when we know our neighbors. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor program: www.ing.org/kyn Longer posts for Facebook: The #KnowYourNeighbor coalition has almost 100 members offering free interfaith resources from community organizing to dialogue to shared action. Get them here: www.ing.org/kyn We find ourselves in a moment where we are deeply polarized as a nation — a divide that impacts our communities and even families. At this critical juncture in our history we want to advocate a simple model for affecting national change: working at the grassroots level in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, houses of worship, and civic organizations to model the civility and respect we want to see upheld by everyone. It's time to #KnowYourNeighbor: www.ing.org/kyn Millions of Americans fiercely reject the idea that we are a hopelessly divided nation, but that doesn't mean that we can sit back and ignore the very real problems facing public dialogue these days. That's why over seventy religious and ethical organizations across the country are calling us all to #KnowYourNeighbor through simple interactions like dinners and coffee conversations. Learn more: www.ing.org/kyn Social science research proves that even a 10-minute conversation with someone from a different political, religious, or sexual orientation can drastically improve perceptions of that group. It's never been more important to #KnowYourNeighbor: www.ing.org/kyn Social media graphics: Know Your Neighbor Public Event Templates: We have created several public event templates that you can use to bring people together in your communities. They're meant to provide the framework that you can customize to your needs. Enjoy! Halal/Kosher Cook Off Tea Party Open Mic Night Debate Night Storytelling Night Know Your Neighbor Flyers: Know Your Neighbor Campaign Flyer Know Your Neighbor Individual Flyer Know Your Neighbor Community Flyer Sign up for the Know Your Neighbor Program: First Name Last Name How would you like to participate in the campaign?* Individual Community Youth What state/region are you in? AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingArmed Forces AmericasArmed Forces EuropeArmed Forces Pacific Organization or faith/ethical tradition? 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