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Community

’The Interfaith Experience’: Hidden Villa hosts first youth-led conference in April

Hidden Villa has scheduled “The Interfaith Experience,” its first youth-led day of conversation, information and sharing, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 20 at the nonprofit organic farm, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills.

As part of a new social-justice-focused initiative adopted during the organization’s recent Strategic Planning process, the inaugural “Duveneck Forum” will address community building, interfaith conflict and issues of social justice.

“My grandparents continually sought to use Hidden Villa to promote environmental education and advance issues of social justice,” said Hidden Villa board member David Duveneck, grandson of the nature preserve’s founders, Frank and Josephine Duveneck.

More than a dozen local high school youth representing myriad faiths have been involved in planning the topics, workshops and details of the event.

The conference, free to the public (though preregistration is required), is designed for teens, their families and teen leaders.

According to organizers, the goal is two-fold: to teach young people how to bring diverse perspectives together to facilitate positive community building, and for participants to discuss how to use their experiences and beliefs to strengthen one another and make the world a more tolerant and interesting place.

Keynote speakers Sumbul Ali-Karamali and Jim Burklo will kick off the conference. Ali-Karamali is author of “The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing” (White Cloud Press, 2008). Burklo is associate dean of religious life at USC and author of “Hitchhiking to Alaska: The Way of Soulful Service” (St. Johann Press, 2013).

Following a morning session that includes a youth-led panel and small-group interfaith discussions, the afternoon will include interactive workshops exploring how art, nature, dance and issues like discrimination relate to community and faith. The event will conclude with a presentation on how to move from discussion to implementation and a musical celebration.

To register or for more information, call 949-9704 or visit www.hiddenvilla.org.

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