The Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU) will partner with Augsburg University’s Interfaith Institute to hold a webinar on January 26, titled Neighbors Together in a Divided Nation: An Inter-Religious Conversation.

Students, faculty, administrators and staff at our member institutions across North America are invited to join in this important conversation. Together we’ll reflect upon religious and secular traditions and the ways in which they call for our engagement to love and serve the neighbor, work for healing, justice, peace and mercy, and care for creation in a divided nation and world.

The 27 colleges and universities of NECU have a shared mission to empower students to serve the neighbor so that all may flourish. That mission will falter if we fail in these troubled times to foster interreligious understanding in our communities of teaching and learning. NECU thanks Augsburg for offering this webinar to our colleges and universities. We hope you will join us — register in advance at this link or by clicking on the poster below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Following the presentations we will hear from student respondents, and there will be time for questions and conversation.


About our presenters:

Farhan Latif is a philanthropic leader, social entrepreneur and cross sector mobilizer on minority inclusion.  His work is inspired by democratic values and universal norms shared by faith traditions and his leadership has challenged global extremism and ideologically motivated hate.  He is the President of the El-Hibri Foundation, focused on cross sector approaches to foster inclusion across religious and political divides. His work focuses on investing in Muslim leaders in partnership with allies to build capacity and resilience.  

Imam Makram El-Amin has worked for  more than two decades as a religious and community leader, firmly rooted in the principle of our inherent human dignity. In addition to his weekly teaching duties, Imam El-Amin leads Al Maa’uun (Neighborly Needs) Community Outreach Services ( that addresses food insecurity, affordable housing, career services, and mentoring. A student of the late religious leader and scholar Imam W. Deen Mohammed, his thoughtful and moderate approach to Islam has afforded Imam El-Amin opportunities to share the stage with Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. He was a delegate to a historic interfaith event in Rome with Pope John Paul II and member of an interfaith clergy delegation to the Holy Land.

Lori Brandt Hale is Professor and Chair of Religion and Philosophy at Augsburg University, where she has taught since 1998. She holds degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of Chicago Divinity School, and the University of Virginia. Brandt Hale has devoted her academic career both to teaching and to studying the life and legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Rabbi Arielle LeKach-Rosenberg serves as Assistant Rabbi, with a focus on music, prayer and activism.  She was ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in June 2017.  She spent her final two years of rabbinical school working as a full-time rabbinic fellow at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City, where she developed innovative initiatives for people of all ages and backgrounds to deepen their relationship with prayer, music and spiritual practice.