SPEC 27
Arab-American & African-American Communities of Detroit: An Exploration through Interfaith Dialogue Winter 2023

Class Details

The Chaplains’ Office’s Winter Study Course looks at two significant people movements in Michigan — African Americans during the Northern Migration and Arab Americans, particularly from Syria and Lebanon. These people will give students an opportunity for interfaith dialogue in the context of cultural and ethnic differences. This trip will look at issues related to the environment, poverty and racism in the context of the diversity of religious and spiritual perspectives. This trip allows students to learn from those who are doing the social justice and humanitarian work in an area with a rich but complex history. We hope this course will inspire students to learn more about these issues and how surface explanations are not the ones that lead to solutions. Throughout the entire trip, students will be invited to reflect on questions of ethnicity and race, privilege, and social justice. To this end, students will visit numerous religious and cultural locations, including the Charles H. Wright and the Arab American National museums. Students will also meet with religious leaders about their experiences with social justice in their communities. Instructors: The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer, Chaplain to the College, Aseel Abulhab, graduate student at Northwestern University and former Muslim Program Coordinator, and The Rev. Teresa Wakeen, priest missioner, Episcopal Diocese of Michigan (https://www.edomi.org/congregationallife/the-church-at-crossroads/).
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 13
Expected: 13
Class#: 1294
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final group presentation that will be divided into smaller presentations done by teams of two or three; short paper consisting of a journal that is kept during the course
Prerequisites: a reader will be compiled as we consult with faculty
Enrollment Preferences: based on application

Class Grid

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