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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Peace activist to speak at Santa Fe about religious tolerance

World-renowned peace activist the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell will talk about religious tolerance and her life as an activist tonight at Santa Fe College.

The lecture, sponsored by SFC’s Humanities and Foreign Languages Department, is free and open to the public. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at SFC’s Fine Arts Hall, 3000 NW 83rd St. Parking at the college will also be free.

Bill Little, department chair of the Humanities and Foreign Languages Department, said about 300 people are expected to attend the event.

“We are all truly honored to have this international speaker at our college,” he said. “This is a major event for our campus.”

Campbell’s accomplishments include having held local and national office positions such as being the first ordained woman to become a general secretary for the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. She also holds 11 honorary doctorate degrees. Campbell is the director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua Institute in New York.

SFC President Dr. Jackson Sasser said he looks forward to having Campbell talk about her message of religious tolerance.

“To understand humanity is to understand and respect the great religions of the world, and to have someone as distinguished as Joan Campbell to provide a better understanding of the central core of religion, which is compassion, is a positive experience,” he said.

Campbell will also talk about her “Charter for Compassion,” a document she co-authored promoting the restoration of compassion in the world, as well as tolerating differences in religion and ideology.

Sasser said he agreed with the document’s purpose.

“That’s what a public institution should be doing — promoting understanding and tolerance in all religions,” he said. “Important parts of the community, such as colleges, should not be promoting one religion over another, or any religion, for that matter.”

So far, about 90,000 people have signed Campbell’s document online. When Campbell concludes her lecture tonight, Sasser, representing the SFC community, will sign the document on stage.

“When that charter is signed on behalf of SF College,” Little said, “it will be with the intention of affirming the values that we already promote here in our community.”

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