Eboo Patel

Dr. Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a non-profit organization working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America. 

About

He is a respected leader on national issues of religious diversity, civic engagement, and the intersection of racial equity and interfaith cooperation. He is the author of four books and dozens of articles and is a frequent keynote speaker at colleges and universities, philanthropic convenings, and civic gatherings, both in person and virtually. He served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council.

Born in Mumbai, Eboo grew up as an Ismaili Muslim in the western suburbs of Chicago, experiencing bigotry, but also taking inspiration from friends and neighbors from diverse backgrounds. As a student at the University of Illinois, he was involved in social justice work and soon came to realize that the leaders he respected most, found their inspiration in faith. While earning a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship, Eboo began organizing interfaith projects around the world, laying the groundwork for what would become IFYC. Over two decades, he has led the organization from a handful of volunteers to a nationwide non-profit that empowers students and educators on almost six hundred U.S. college and university campuses. 

IFYC is now a national nonprofit that equips the next generation of citizens and professionals with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership in a religiously diverse world. Partnering with educational institutions and civic organizations, IFYC is dedicated to making interfaith cooperation the norm and building Interfaith America in the 21st century.

Eboo is an Ashoka Fellow, a member of the Young Global Leaders Network of the World Economic Forum and has served on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation. He was named a Future Policy Leader by the Harvard Kennedy School Review in 2008 and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report in 2009.  He has been awarded the Louisville Grawemeyer Prize in Religion, the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, the El Hibri Peace Education Prize, the Council of Independent Colleges Academic Leadership Award, along with honorary degrees from 15 colleges.

Eboo’s contributions include the books Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a GenerationSacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of AmericaInterfaith Leadership: A Primer; and Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise. His op-eds and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, on National Public Radio, and The PBS NewsHour. 

Eboo lives in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz, and two young sons. He is a die-hard fan of Notre Dame Football, Wilco, and really good coffee. 

@Twitter

@Facebook

Image
photo of Eboo Patel

Agenda

Oct
19
Gathering the faithful and the secular: Cross-belief bridging for social justice and belonging
Faith leaders of many religions have long been at the forefront of movements for social justice, and yet are often overlooked in the stories and narratives we tell about those very fights. This is perhaps due to a longstanding discomfort and disconnect between secular justice leaders and those who are faith-based, despite the central role that religious belief and spiritual communities play in the lives of people of all backgrounds.
Oct
19
Panel 2 - On Good Conflict: What If We Called In, Rather Than Called Out?

Outrage and conflict have long offered an easy way to build political power for advocates on both the political right and left. While moral outrage is a critical motivator for change, being kept in a constant high state of tension and conflict by these forces has also served to divide us even further into smaller like-minded groups without the will or skill to courageously cross differences and build power for transformative social change.