Hidden Villa has scheduled its inaugural Duveneck Forum, “The Interfaith Experience,” a youth-led day of conversation, information and sharing, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 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 Interfaith Experience” 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 registration is required), is designed for teens, their families and teen leaders.
“I would love for this conference not only to educate teens about religions other than their own, but also to inspire them to spread their different faiths to their communities and try to make their world a more tolerant and diverse place – like what we are doing with creating this conference,” said one student organizer.
According to organizers, the goal is twofold: to teach young people how to bring diverse perspectives together to facilitate positive community building and to provide space and time 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” and “Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam.” Burklo is associate dean of religious life at USC, the former campus minister for the United Campus Christian Ministry at Stanford University, an avid blogger on Progressive Christianity and author of “Hitch-Hiking to Alaska: The Way of Soulful Service.”
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 and for more information, call Public Programs at 949-9704 or visit the Calendar of Events at www.hiddenvilla.org.