Racial Equity & Interfaith Cooperation Award to support Witness to Injustice events and follow up dialogue

Racial Equity & Interfaith Cooperation Award received from the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) to support collaborative work across The Barnes Center, Hendricks Chapel, and the Intergroup Dialogue Program

This is an announcement for the event with details that are also provided on the webpage through text. There is an image in the announcement of Turtle Island with colors including dark green, lighter green, yellow, orange, and red. The event details are listed below on the webpage

This December (2021), the Intergroup Dialogue Program together with Hendricks Chapel was awarded a “racial equity and interfaith cooperation co-curricular grant” from the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). Hendricks Chapel will be matching the IFYC grant ($1000) to augment the Spring 2022 activities of the Syracuse University Collaborative Working Group for Racial Equity and Interfaith Cooperation. The working group gives thanks to the generosity of IFYC and Hendricks Chapel. With these funds, the working group is partnering with The Barnes Center and staff member Diane Schenandoah to support and promote two Witness to Injustice / Blanket Exercises (3/29, 4/11); and offer a subsequent dialogue (4/20)

Diane Schenandoah, Oneida/Haudenosaunee Faithkeeper of the Wolf Clan and Honwadiyenawa’sek at the Barnes Center at The Arch, is bringing the “Witness to Injustice” exercise to Syracuse University to seek common understanding and spiritual healing. Witness to Injustice (WTI) is a unique 2-3 hour interactive group teaching tool using participatory education to foster truth, understanding and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Participants learn about Indigenous experiences and historical impact for the past 500 years including colonization, conquest, and attempted genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, especially in the territory stewarded by people of the Onondaga Nation and other Haudenosaunee Nations. The exercise is designed to raise awareness of European conquest and Indigenous resistance and survival. Participants engage and explore this shared history that non-Indigenous peoples rarely learn. The exercise, at Syracuse University, is facilitated by the Syracuse community-based NOON organization (Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation) together with residents of the Onondaga Nation.

The subsequent dialogue to be offered by the working group in partnership with Diane Schenandoah, will take place a week after the final exercise this spring. This dialogue seeks to provide space for exchange across racial, ethnic, and faith based communities and asks, “Now that we have this awareness, what can we do as a Syracuse University community?”


Next WTI Exercises – Faculty, staff, administrators and students invited to attend

Tuesday 3/29                4-6:30 pm                    Noble Room, Hendricks

Monday 4/11                4-6:30 pm                    Noble Room, Hendricks

To register:                       Diane Schenandoah      dlschena@syr.edu

Follow-up dialogue – Past SU participants from any of the WTI Exercises invited

Wednesday 4/20        4-5:30 pm                    Noble Room, Hendricks

To register:                       Diane Swords               Click here to register!

To note: Any change in location/format will be announced to registrants by email and updated here.

The cross-campus collaborative group coordinating the IFYC “racial equity and interfaith cooperation co-curricular grant” activities at Syracuse University currently includes: Diane Swords (Facilitator/Trainer) from the Intergroup Dialogue Program; El Java Abdul-Qadir, Director of the Southside Innovation Center and adjunct professor at the Whitman School of Management; Mariana Rufin, undergraduate student (Arts & Sciences, ‘22) and NOON intern; and chaplains from Hendricks Chapel including Rabbi Sarah Noyovitz (Campus Rabbi and Jewish Chaplain), Gail Riina (Lutheran Chaplain), JoAnn Cooke (Buddhist Chaplain), and Bonnie Shoultz (Assistant Buddhist Chaplain). For more information about the IFYC grant project at Syracuse University, contact Diane Swords (drswords@syr.edu).