The Olive Tree Foundation has announced that a grant has been awarded to the Institute Of Canadian Archives and the Christian- Jewish Dialogue Toronto for the project, “Hearts and Minds – Interfaith Living Library (HAMILL 2017)”.
The ‘Hearts and Minds – Interfaith Living Library’ is a series of facilitated conversations between individuals in a library setting – a Living Book and a Reader.
‘Living Books’ are individuals who represent groups within society who are at risk of suffering from discrimination. The ‘Living Books’ often have unique personal narratives ranging from professional excellence in exciting careers, to a history of social exclusion. The conversations will happen in an inclusive environment, where Books give Readers permission to enter into a dialogue with them.
“This is an innovative and timely initiative that we are proud to support,” said Naeem Siddiqi, Vice-President of the Olive Tree Foundation, in announcing the grant. “These conversations that will be facilitated through the HAMILL 2017 project will go a long way to increasing understandings between cultures.”
“As racism continues to increase globally, Canadians are also slowly witnessing an increase in hate incidents and hate crimes,” said Azfar Rizvi, Executive Director of Institute of Canadian Archives (ICA). “These have mostly translated into acts of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and a general fear of anyone who subscribes to a different faith.”
“Conversations break barriers. Historically, Living Library events have been instrumental in confronting stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue between books and readers from different backgrounds.”
“The support for our work from the Olive Tree Foundation is an important sign of support from a leading Canadian Muslim community foundation,” added Rizvi.
The Olive Tree Foundation is a philanthropic foundation that promotes community development through the collection of endowed funds and charitable contributions to fund services for the long-term benefit of the community.
The Institute of Canadian Archives (ICA) has been Canada’s premier interfaith storytelling initiative. The purpose of the Institute is to encourage and build the capacity of Canadians to create digital stories. It has a track record of creating, curating celebrating multicultural diverse stories.
The Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto (CJDT) works to promote, encourage and facilitate a better understanding between members of the Christian and Jewish communities, with the hope of eliminating the prejudice and bigotry, which has marred interfaith relations for generations.