Lecture at GVSU to examine Religious Hate Crimes in America

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GRAND RAPIDS — An upcoming lecture at Grand Valley by a renowned interfaith scholar and activist will focus on hate crimes and religiously motivated discrimination in America.

Simran Jeet Singh, assistant professor of religion at Trinity University and senior religion fellow with the Sikh Coalition, will present the annual Rabbi Philip Sigal Memorial Lecture on March 30. The presentation will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. in Loosemore Auditorium, located in the DeVos Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. This event is LIB 100 and 201 approved for students.

“As we often see, religious, racial and ethnic minorities in America get lumped together as a categorical ‘other,’ and thus suffer similar acts of discrimination or violence,” said Katie Gordon, campus interfaith resources coordinator for the Division of Inclusion and Equity, and program manager for the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. “The way that many religious minorities are targeted and stereotyped calls for not only an intersectional understanding of race and religion, but also an intersectional response from the communities such discrimination affects.”

Singh’s expertise focuses on the history of religious communities and literatures in South Asia. He is a prolific writer who has contributed to more than 50 opinion pieces to news outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. Singh also frequently speaks on a variety of topics related to diversity, inclusion, civil rights, religion and hate violence.

The annual lecture is named for Rabbi Phillip J. Sigal, a pioneer of the interfaith movement in West Michigan until his death in 1985. Aside from his duties at Ahavas Israel Synagogue, Sigal was instrumental in opening the lines of communication among severalreligious leaders from various faiths in the area. After his death, a group of local academic and interfaith enthusiasts established the Sigal memorial lecture in his honor. Since that time, the event has brought some of the most important voices in religion and social movements to churches, schools and other venues in West Michigan.

This year’s lecture is sponsored by Campus Interfaith Resources, the Community Reading Project through the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and Office of Integrative Learning and Advising, Division of Inclusion and Equity, Muslim Students Association and the Religious Studies program.

To register for this event, presented by the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, visit http://gvsu.edu/s/0pr

 . For more information, visit the gvsu.edu/interfaith , or call (616) 331-5702.

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