New seminar seeks to connect students across racial, religious boundaries

Executive Director of UW Hillel Greg Steinberger says he thinks students are living in a time of increased tension — something he wants to work toward easing with a new seminar.

“I think people feel a raw discomfort at the moment in society, where there’s this polarization, or there’s this intensity everywhere we turn about race, or ethnicity, or immigration,” Steinberger says.

With the aim of bringing students with different backgrounds together, Steinberger reached out to the new Center of Religion and Global Citizenry to form a five session seminar on race, faith and civic responsibility called the “Necessity of Now.” The program has now accepted 21 applicants, and the seminars started Feb. 8.

After the seminar portion, the students will go on a trip to Washington D.C. March 7-9 to visit social justice and civil rights sites in Washington D.C., including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The goal is for the seminars to be a space where students can have peer-to-peer discussions about important issues, such as civic responsibility, race, religion, social action, being an ally and how these things interact with personal identity.

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