Dialogue Institute to Host Two Summer Programs on Religious Pluralism for International Students and Scholars



June 8, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA—In a national context of increasing anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other religious-based hate crimes, the Dialogue Institute (DI), based at Temple University, will host two different programs on religious pluralism for groups of international students and scholars this summer.

Both programs are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs). The first, officially called the Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Scholars on Religious Pluralism in the United States, is designed for 18 scholars from 18 different countries, June 24-August 15, 2017. The second, called SUSI for Students on Religious Pluralism in the United States, welcomes 20 young adult students from the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey), July 15-August 9.

There will be several public events for anyone interested in meeting and interacting with the program participants.

The Institutes provide five-to-six-week academic experiences which explore the history, culture and diversity of the United States through the particular lens of religious pluralism and democracy; promote a better understanding of American people and government/civic institutions; and with the scholars only, develop or expand curricula on U.S. studies in colleges and universities overseas.

The programs consist of a residential component in Philadelphia, on Temple’s main campus—including religious, cultural and historical site visits—as well as study tours to Lancaster (scholars only), New York City, Denver (scholars only), Arizona (scholars only), Atlanta (students only), western North Carolina (students only), and Washington, D.C.  

Topics include: religious pluralism, the relationship between religion and state, freedom of religion, separation of powers/checks and balances, one person/one vote, rule of law, the nature of American citizenship, volunteerism in civil society, protection of minority rights (including LGBTQ and disabilities concerns), interfaith dialogue, critical thinking, nonviolent conflict-resolution, civil rights, ethnic diversity, women’s rights, and immigration.

A variety of SUSI programs are offered nationally, but the Dialogue Institute is the only organization currently selected by the State Department to host Institutes focused on the theme of religious pluralism. The DI has hosted State Department-sponsored programs on religious pluralism for Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian students since 2010; to date, more than 240 alumni have participated. This is the first year the DI will be hosting the SUSI for Scholars program.

For more information: dialogueinstitute.org/susi-overview.

Contact: Tim Emmett-Rardin - 215.204.7570 / [email protected]

U.S. Department of State Contact: [email protected]

(PLEASE NOTE: interviews with program participants can be arranged)