Of Many …

At conference last week we were lucky enough to hear the Imam and Rabbi from NYU speak about their work in setting up an interfaith group at NYU. This was an Amazing discussion of perceptions of people and the experiences of others. Some of Imam Khalifs story is outlined at : https://youtu.be/362WetK3Uhs and the trailer for the documentary about the two of them, that is also fantastic and moving, can be found at : https://youtu.be/JJ1MFPf0L44 

The long journey home begins

So that was the new york adventure !

We got up fairly early this morning and got out to see central park and 5th avenue… some shopping was done …

I had some contingency money that did not get used so I paid for a starbucks run and booked and paid for a shuttle to the airport instead of the underground, we are experts in the new york subway now !

We have now arrived at JFK airport and are all checked through to auckland.

All we have now is the 26 hours of travelling to complete then the auckland trafiic home.

More Photos to come once i can getsome more reliable internet coverage.

See you soon Auckland !

We are just transiting through LAX now with 14 hours on qf12 to sydney

And we have landed. Back in New Zealand, it’s great to be home.

Bye bye UofR

So we have left the University of rochester after an awesome week of learning, inspiration and heaps of fun.
The conference was a week of so many high points that it is hard to pick one. Many amazing speakers and gat group discussions, the meals at Danforth dining and the talent show. The baseball game and Niagara Falls !  The dance and the times spent hanging out in the dorms were many of the highlights 

We all checked out. Said a heap of goodbyes to all our new friends and got into a fleet of taxis to head to the train station. The train was delayed by half an hour but we are now heading back to NYC for the night before flying out tomorrow.


And now we are back in nyc and heading out to see some more sights

Day 5

We began today with a thundery and rainy morning.

We broke into our GAT groups and worked on our projects that we would be presenting to the whole group. The presentation was in the main ballroom and was then followed with a q and a session where the students walled around the different groups to ask questions ask about their projects as these are designed to back to school to continue.

The presentation phase


Then the walk around q and a session

After thus was some free time to visit college town to go to the college store for souvenirs before the evening social event … the dance

Rabbi sarna  and Iman latif

The two began working together after 911 and worked to break down the boundaries and barriers between their faiths. There has traditionally been a very big divide between the two belief systems. They were both head of their respective religious organisation’s at New York University.

The Rabbi and iman both worked at nyu and felt huge stigma of especially the followers of Islam after 911. They worked very hard to bring understanding to both groups of students at nyu and then colleges across America. Because of the historical boundaries between the two groups.

Iman latif spoke about perception; How you see people speaks more about your perceptions of them than how they actually are. Is this perception something that you are proud to take into the rest of your life ? Are you creating or defying boundaries ?

How do we get to a place where our thinking is not about ‘me’ but about the people we see around us. Think about a situation from the other side, why and how is this happening ? How can I be a part of the solution not the problem. How can I defy rather than define a perceived boundary. Sometimes in a problem situation you best ally is someone different to you as they will see the problem from another point of view with another set of solutions

The iman recommended a book – the new Jim Crow and an associated movie – the 13th. These are about the new racial segregation of the usa. 

The teachings of the Malcolm (x) and the Martins (mlk) say to hate with love. This comes from understanding and from this comes acceptance of others. You may not like what people do but you do need to understand what they do.

Day 4

The day began with a workshop style presentation by the Mahatma Ghandi Institute.

The two facilitators took us through a series of questions of how we can solve conflict and how we have used different methods to solve conflicts in our lives.

Boundaries in our lives can be created in a way that protects us and helps to solve a problem that we are experiencing. We worked through a series of questions and situations that we had experienced and then shared with the group so we could understand the different lenses that people use in their lives to make decisions and solve conflicts.

We spent a lot of time sharing experiences and solutions that we have used. The students gained an understanding of things that others do to resolve conflict.

We also gained an understanding of what people do and why they do the things they do.