Interfaith America and More Perfect convene network leaders around bridgebuilding initiatives in higher education

CHICAGO — What does bridgebuilding work look like in the higher education space? How can campuses expand this work to address rising polarization in the U.S. and ensure that graduates are equipped to bring people together across deep divides in their professional and civic lives? Interfaith America and More Perfect are gathering a group of higher education association leaders to collectively envision and plan opportunities to collaborate on initiatives that advance bridgebuilding across college and university campuses around the nation. The convening will be hosted at the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2023, and is supported through a grant made possible by the Walmart Foundation.  

Leading up to the gathering, Interfaith America partnered with More Perfect to interview key leaders in the field, including campus leaders, nonprofits, and higher education associations, to gain deeper insight into the scope, models, and outstanding needs of bridgebuilding work in higher education.  

The results of the landscape analysis will be shared at the convening to help inform the planning and vision for future bridgebuilding collaborations. Press and media professionals are invited to join the morning session from 11 am to 12:30 pm and the landscape analysis session from 1:15 pm to 2 pm for coverage, but the remaining afternoon sessions will be closed-door for discussions. 

“Forces of polarization are increasingly threatening our democracy and causing deep divides in our nation,” said Rebecca Russo, Senior Director of Higher Education Strategy at Interfaith America. “It is essential that higher education prepares our future generation of leaders with the knowledge and skills to strengthen their communities by bridging divides across deep differences.

About Interfaith America 

Founded in 2002, Interfaith America is the premier interfaith organization in the United States, with a $15M budget, 50 full-time professional staff, and $5M in grants distributed in 2021. Through its initiatives and partnerships, Interfaith America is equipping individuals and professionals with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership in a religiously diverse world. 

For more information, please visit their new website and follow Interfaith America on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Interfaith America also recently released a new video “We Need to Build an Interfaith America,” where Patel outlines a vision for the next chapter of this organization. 

About More Perfect  

More Perfect is a national campaign to marshal energy, visibility, resources and results around a common, nonpartisan vision for a more effective and enduring democracy. More Perfect is an alliance of 14 Presidential Centers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Karsh Institute of Democracy at the University of Virginia, National Archives Foundation, and more than 100 partners to help protect and renew our democracy as we approach the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and beyond. 

About Philanthropy at Walmart represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg. 


For more information, contact Silma Suba, Editor, Interfaith America, at [email protected]  


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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