I began this journey with Interfaith because I liked the idea that people from different backgrounds were coming together. I wasn’t entirely sure why people from different faith backgrounds would come together, but I wanted to find out. Holding to the view that God has created each person unique and special, I am an avid fan of diversity. A native to California, I’ve had the privilege of living amongst people from many different ethnic backgrounds. I am also biracial and no stranger to the sting of racism. Growing up I didn’t feel brown enough for the Hispanics or white enough for the whites, culturally speaking, however, Growing up in a secular home, It wasn’t until I became a Christian at age 19 did I begin to understand the discrimination felt by religious groups, even a religious majority. Since starting this journey I have grown to understand that people from other religious backgrounds feel the alienation I do living in a secular society that compartmentalizes religion. Another factor that drew me to interfaith originally is that I lacked a venue, outside of the walls of my church, to talk about “my faith”. I wondered if interfaith could be such a venue where I would find students who talked about God, were passionate about their faith, and saw justice as a part of that faith. Now, being at a university, and involved with Interfaith Allies where I can be who I am, and where talk about God is valued, I feel so liberated. I began my research of interfaith by reading a memoir by Eboo Patel, an American Muslim who founded the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), and by participating in a group called interfaith allies, an IFYC affiliate on my campus at California Lutheran University. Since that time, the journey continues getting richer and more surprising as things unfold…to be continued….
-Lacey Soto, Interfaith Ally, Religion DA