The founder of Interfaith Youth Core and author of “Acts of Faith” will be the next Distinguished Speaker at Oklahoma City University. Eboo Patel will give a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at OCU’s Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. The presentation, titled “Sacred Ground: There is No Better Time to Stand Up for Your Values than When They are Under Attack,” is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance.
Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. Author of the book “Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation,” which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and his latest book “Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America,” Patel is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR, and CNN.
Patel served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.
He serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the Board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, on the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation USA, and on the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-based Advisory Council.
He has spoken at the TED Conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and universities around the world.
Both Patel and IFYC were honored with the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Worship Medal in 2009 and he was recently awarded the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an award given to an individual to enhance awareness of the crucial role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace.
The Distinguished Speaker Series is designed to enrich the academic experience at Oklahoma City University. Nobel laureates have joined a lineup of world-class thinkers, writers and opinion-leaders.