Interfaith Leader Eboo Patel to Speak in Bloomington-Normal

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Eboo Patel, a leading national interfaith activist and former speaker at Illinois Wesleyan’s Founder’s Day Convocation, will return to Bloomington-Normal on Oct. 9 to deliver a talk at 7 p.m. at Illinois State University’s Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall, co-sponsored by Illinois Wesleyan University. This event is free and open to the public.

Having served on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Patel is a national authority on religion and interfaith relations in America. He is also the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national nonprofit working to build interfaith cooperation through partnerships with American colleges and universities. IFYC provides ongoing training and learning for students, faculty, administrators and alumni to address issues of interfaith cooperation both worldwide and on campus.

Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel has spent over 15 years working with governments and social sector organizations in order to facilitate interreligious dialogue. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground, Interfaith Leadership and Out of Many Faiths, and is a frequent speaker on the topic of religious pluralism. Patel graduated from the University of Oxford with a doctorate in the sociology of religion.

Patel’s talk, “Better Together: Bridging Interfaith Barriers,” is part of the Illinois State University Speaker Series, and is sponsored by Illinois State University Office of the President and Office of the Provost; Evelyn Chapel at Illinois Wesleyan University; and The Parret Endowment at the First United Methodist Church of Normal.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21