Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III is one of America’s foremost spiritual leaders and educators. He is President of State University of New York College at Old Westbury and Pastor of the nationally renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York. He is widely known for his accomplishments on behalf of social justice, civil rights, economic development, and education.
As President of The College at Old Westbury, Dr. Butts works continuously to create an invigorating environment dedicated to academic excellence and the development of leadership qualities in students. Through its broad multidisciplinary liberal arts programs, the College confers degrees in more than 40 majors leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Professional Studies, Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees.
Along with his Presidency at the College at Old Westbury, Dr. Butts continues as Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York — among the most historic churches in the nation. Under his leadership, Abyssinian Baptist Church is committed to its active role in the ongoing development of its New York City home. He is also Founder and Chairman of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a community-based nonprofit organization that is responsible for $600 million in housing and commercial development to Harlem.
A lifelong, iconic New Yorker, Dr. Butts is sought after for his comments on educational, religious, social, and ethical issues. He has conducted speaking engagements nationally and internationally before an array of colleges and universities, business and professional organizations, religious congregations, and governmental agencies. Dr. Butts earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, a Master of Divinity Degree in Church History from the Union Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in Church and Public Policy from Drew University.
Dr. Larycia Hawkins is a scholar, speaker, and activist. In a December 10, 2015, Facebook post, she declared her intention to don a hijab in solidarity with Muslim sisters as an act of Christian Advent devotion. The post initiated a national and international conversation about the nature of God and the possibilities for multi-faith solidarity in a time where Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism are as, if not more, prolific than any time in history.
Dr. Hawkins publications and research engage the intersection of race/ethnicity, religion, and politics. Her writing, speaking, teaching, and scholarship are squarely animated by a conviction that political science should be relevant to the real world. Thus, the perennial questions that plague our polity are the questions that plague her: What does it look like to live out the stated constitutional commitment to justice? What does it mean to transcend theoretical solidarity with the oppressed and move to actual, embodied solidarity with the oppressed? What does conscientious citizenship look like?
Indeed, at a time when the boundaries of citizenship are actively contested on multiple fronts, Hawkins is working on a project related to the reproductive politics of Tea Party women. While the notion that women’s worth is derived from reproducing citizens is not new, the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and religion in the Tea Party merits examination. The Tea Party politics of women frames citizenship as white by weaving narratives about the organicity and authenticity of Americans and making claims about the maintenance of the polity. While reproduction is not inherently an ideological act, Tea Party women have transmogrified motherhood into a political act in a way that expands the boundaries of the political right. In this sense, claims by “conservative feminists” need to be examined in the context of the rhetoric and activities of Tea Party groups like Mommy Patriots and in the context of the broader political milieu. A book length project on the politics of black Catholic parishes in Chicago explores how black liberation theology as preached and lived in the South and West sides of Chicago create reverberations that not only change the contours and considerations of local political concerns and issues, but also force issues onto national political agendas. The fact that these communities are primarily communities of color with white priests makes the phenomena of white priests embodying black politics all the more remarkable. Race and parish matter for politics. Dr. Hawkins recent publications include “Prophetic and Priestly: The Politics of a Black Catholic Parish” (2015) and “Jesus and Justice: The Moral Framing of the Black Agenda” (2015).
She previously founded and directed the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Wheaton College, where she served as Associate Professor of Political Science until 2016; and serves currently as a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.
In recognition of her courageous embodied solidarity with Muslim women the Interfaith Institute of ICLI is delighted and honored to present Dr. Larycia Hawkins its first annual award.
You can follow Dr. Hawkins on Twitter at @LaryciaHawkins.
Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council
Stanley M. Bergman is the immediate past president of AJC (American Jewish Committee) and Chairman of the Board and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest provider of healthcare products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners.
Stan serves as a board member or advisor for numerous institutions including New York University College of Dentistry; the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; the Columbia University Medical Center; the World Economic Forum’s Health Care Governors, the Business Council for International Understanding and the Metropolitan Opera, among others.
His awards include being the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Together with his wife, Dr. Marion Bergman, Stan and Marion are active supporters of organizations fostering the arts, higher education, cultural diversity and grassroots health care and sustainable entrepreneurial economic development initiatives in the United States, Africa and other developing regions of the world.
Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council
Farooq Kathwari is the Chairman, President and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. He has been president of the company since 1985, and Chairman and CEO since 1988.
Mr. Kathwari serves in numerous capacities at several nonprofit organizations: He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee (IRC); a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); a director and former chairman of the National Retail Federation (NRF); Director Emeritus and former chairman and President of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA); a member of the International Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); a member of the advisory board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); Chairman Emeritus of Refugees International (RI); an advisory member of the New York Stock Exchange; and a director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. He also serves on the board of the Western Connecticut State University Foundation, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, and Arts Westchester. He founded the Kashmir Study Group. Additionally, he served as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from 2010 to 2014.
This event attracted a large gathering, received extensive TV and print media coverage in Newsday, Long Island Press and Islamic Horizon magazine.
Earlier this year when we heard about the visit of Pope Francis we extended an invite for him to formally launch the interfaith institute at ICLI which he was unable to accommodate.
The presentation was very well received. We were able to share a short video from the Oct 25th launch of the interfaith institute of ICLISee full story
When some countries began to ban the hijab of Muslim women and attack the Islamic dress code, Dr Larycia Hawkin, a Christian and former associate professor...
John Andrew Morrow speaks during interfaith event at the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury on Sunday 25, 2015. (Credit : Steven Sunshine)See full story
Dr. Farooque Ahmed Khan is shown in front of the triple arches that lead into the newly constructed building that will house the Islamic Center of Long Island...See full story