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by Emma Nobbe, ’24

A New View Film Series started off the semester with a screening of The Loving Generation. This documentary series offered insights into the experiences of biracial families and individuals since the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court verdict in 1967 which legalized interracial marriage. The series told the stories of several individuals who shared their experiences over the past few decades of finding their own identity in a society that has continuously assigned conflicting stereotypical labels and expectations for who they were meant to be.

After the film, three panelists were invited to speak about their own stories and sense of identity as biracial and multiracial individuals. They offered insights into what it was like growing up with parents of different races and expressed the difficulty of living with a parent who could not understand what it was like to live as a mixed-race person. They also expressed the fears they often face in being misidentified and underrepresented in their health care, as one panelist stated that assumptions over her racial status could lead to doctors overlooking some of the valid medical risks that are often concerning for black individuals.

The conversation turned to their experiences and feelings of representation in media, with a particular focus on what it was like to relate with multiracial families and celebrities on television. Blackish, K.C. Undercover, and a few other television shows were mentioned involving onscreen depictions of biracial characters and families, but one common theme for under-representation was the desire to see more depictions of mixed families with black mothers.

Through their discussion of identity, representation, and life experiences, the panelists concluded with the message that they hoped to bring representation to their community and other underrepresented groups through their future careers.


by Cora Parker, ’25

As the Center for Faith and Vocation’s Communications Intern for the 2022 Fall semester, I wanted to take a moment and reflect upon some key takeaways from my internship.

First and foremost this internship has not only allowed me to build on previous skills and learn an abundance of new skills in many different areas of communications, it has also given me the opportunity to work in a diverse, communicative, and welcoming environment that is the Center for Faith and Vocation.

Before starting this position I was aware of the Center for Faith and Vocation’s presence on campus. I had attended a few CFV sponsored events, but after that my personal connection to the CFV was limited. Throughout my time here over the course of this semester I never quickly came to realize that the CFV is a place of light, guidance, and community. This building is a wonderful resource to students of all kinds, a place that promotes diversity in all religious backgrounds, personal beliefs, and perspectives. Among that, all of the welcoming, positive aspects of the CFV I was able to promote in my work at Communications Intern. I promoted CFV events on various social media platforms, handled weekly newsletters, communicated information with the staff for weekly meetings, and covered on campus events through several of my own blog posts.

Although communications work is an industry I had in mind as a career choice before joining the CFV team, this internship has shown me an alternate side of work I can do for community and student organizations which I greatly enjoyed as it is always good to have variety within your professional experiences.

by Rebecca Kural, ’25

Rebecca Kural (L), Alana Daeger (R)

Rebecca Kural (L), Alana Daeger (R)

My Interfaith internship at the CFV has been one of the highlights of my semester. This is my first internship experience, and I feel so lucky to have had the unwavering support and encouragement of Daniel Meyers and Marguerite Stanciu.

My role as the interfaith community engagement intern is very flexible and unconfined, so I was a little intimidated at first. While I have continued with previously established interfaith engagement activities such as Cookies and Questions, and helped with Refresh & Reconnect, my role calls for interfaith “passion projects”. And while I did not have much experience or expertise, I certainly have passion.

In fact, my passion for music led to my curiosity of Voices of Deliverance-the once thriving gospel choir that took a hard hit during the pandemic. I started asking questions and researching how it fell from great success, realizing that while the pandemic and retirement of the faculty advisor was unavoidable, that the choir was missing a faith group to draw from.

While all Butler faith groups on campus strive for diversity and inclusion, as I talked to my black peers, they expressed the sentiment that there was not a faith group that seemed meant for them. Not only was this extremely important to hear in general, I couldn’t help but draw connections back to VOD. Gospel has strong roots in the black church, so it would be much easier to support VOD if there was a faith group connected to it.

I found myself in a position I certainly did not expect- I have no personal ties to the church, and I’m not black. However, these two facts challenged me to listen harder and decenter my own ideas when helping with the creation of a new faith group. Now, Black Christian Faith Group is set to begin meetings next semester, led by Raeghan Jefferson and an incredible executive board. They have done so much work to make it happen, and it is exciting to have played a small part in the group’s facilitation. VOD is still in the works, but many students are interested in being part of its revival.

In the past, I saw my leadership strengths as motivating and generating good ideas. However, my experiences thus far as an intern have made me appreciate my ability to be extremely invested and excited about projects that do not even directly involve or benefit me. Having an internship that prioritizes interfaith work has opened my eyes to that feeling- that work outside of my own personal interests can still be passion projects.

By Shiza Noveer, ’23

My first introduction to the Center for Faith and Vocation was during the fall semester of my junior year. I had decided to apply for the Interfaith Council after hearing about it from numerous friends. After my first Interfaith Council meeting, I was hooked. Those meetings became something I looked forward to every other week. When the end of the year rolled around, I decided to apply for an internship with the CFV. I ended up getting accepted and became the Interfaith Council Chair for next year.

The backbone of my internship consists of planning out and executing the IFC meetings. I am responsible for picking out a topic for discussion and planning questions that the rest of the council can engage with. It was always a rewarding experience after planning out a meeting and seeing the council actively engage and lead discussions. I enjoyed the autonomy that my internship allowed me to have. I could execute my vision however I wanted. Of course, I had a lot of help available, both Daniel and Marguerite helped my vision come to life. They supported me and my endeavors along with giving me a space to work.

Apart from IFC, I was involved with the CFV wherever I could be. I led two Refresh ’N’ Reconnect sessions with one of my fellow interns. These sessions consisted of leaders from various CFV communities around campus coming together to talk about leadership, growth, and struggles. As leaders you often have different perspectives, you can gain insight and ideas from other leaders while engaging in collaborative work. In my role as the IFC chair, I was able to utilize the knowledge from these conversations to better my own leadership style.

I had many successes and areas of growth during this semester of my internship. I learned what it meant to be a leader and conduct a group. While it was necessary to exert my role as a leader at times, I also wanted to convey the idea of equality to the group. I wanted the rest of the council to know that I am on the same level as they are and this is “our” group not just “my” group. Together we will have discussions beyond the limitations of a classroom, authentic discussions where we can be our true selves.

Halfway through my internship, I can confidently say I have grown and gained a lot of knowledge since I started. Being surrounded by people who are different from me, different majors, different viewpoints, different ideas, and different traditions has allowed me to be exposed to so many new things. I am thankful for this internship for allowing me to interact with people that I wouldn’t have crossed paths with. I was also fortunate enough to be able to experience practices from a couple of different faiths. It is one thing just learning about them, but it is another experience putting yourself out there in new environments with people who are different from you.

by Mackenzie Winchester, ’23

During the Fall 2022 semester, I was given the opportunity to experience firsthand how a faith-based organization can contribute to the development of the community. Despite growing up right outside of the city, I had never felt close to the Indianapolis community. Once a week, I would go to the Expungement Help Desk, a part of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, in downtown Indy and meet individuals from all walks of life with a shared goal of receiving a second chance. The Help Desk, also known as Project Grace, emphasizes the importance of not judging others but rather accepting them and allowing for growth.

Over the course of the semester, I learned how to draft paperwork including court cost waivers, conviction and non-conviction petitions, and intake forms. These were types of paperwork that I did not even know existed in September, but through this work, I expanded my knowledge of legal jargon. The internship was not only challenging allowing me to grow, but it was very rewarding. As a college student, it is difficult for me to give because both time and money are scarce, but through this internship, I was able to prioritize helping the NCLC accomplish its mission. At the same time, I discovered my own passion for helping other people. While I am unsure what my future may look like, I am excited that it includes being a part of the Indianapolis community. The work that I was able to do for the Expungement Help Desk helped impact lives in a meaningful way. Every individual I interacted with had a different story to tell, and I witnessed how powerful grace and compassion could be in the lives of those who need it the most.




by Noah Giddings, ’24

Center for Interfaith Cooperation Internship 

The Center for Interfaith Cooperation is a local Indianapolis non-profit focused on improving the relationships between different faith groups and creating community between religious groups. The CIC hopes to improve the relationships between different religious communities through mutual exposure, thereby demonstrating the humanity common to all. Over the course of the fall semester, I had a chance to participate in these community building efforts and witness the role of interfaith within our modern world.  

 The work of the CIC challenged my beliefs of what our community is and who makes it up. On the board alone, some nine different faiths are represented, and even more exist within the Indianapolis community at large. On a personal level, it was a shock to see the religious and cultural diversity in a community I thought I was familiar with. Like many raised from the Midwest, I wasn’t exposed to much cultural or religious diversity growing up. I came to mistakenly assume that our communities lacked any significant cultural, ethnic, or religious diversity. The work of the CIC, through their events like the Festival of Faiths, the Interfaith Banquet, and community religious dialogues, demonstrates the incompleteness of that view: considerable diversity exists within our communities, and merely needs an opportunity for exposure. The CIC highlights and raises the profile of many faith communities that may not otherwise receive such exposure. Within Indianapolis alone, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Jains, and Pagans all call the city their home. Similar diversity can be found in most cities across the country — even if our mainstream culture doesn’t highlight their role.  

 In a larger sense though, the work of the CIC captures the pluralistic ideal that we aspire to as a society. Far from idle talk about inclusivity and cultural diversity, the CIC activity facilitates tolerance, understanding, and empathy our society aspires for. By introducing people to unfamiliar religious, cultural, and ethnic traditions, they become more empathetic to those groups of people. In this way, a stranger becomes a friend.  

 Perhaps the greatest takeaway of my time at the CIC and my interfaith experiences is that it demonstrates the humanity in people who, on the surface, may appear dissimilar to yourself. The superficial distinctions of dress, custom, or cuisine can lead people to believe that others are unlike themselves; that nothing is shared in common, and perhaps the “other” isn’t fully human at all. But a simple introduction to someone who seems unlike yourself will illustrate the fiction of this idea; although people may dress differently, eat unique food, or practice a different set of rituals… They are still people. We have a chance to learn this firsthand when we come into contact with these people, providing an opportunity to change and challenge our beliefs. Without these encounters, our beliefs may unfairly calcify and become distorting caricatures of those around us.  

 Though there may still be ideological or political differences across lines of faith, we come to see the humanity in people of different faith backgrounds than our own — the first step to creating a truly interfaith community and facilitating cooperation amongst all people. The importance and value of pluralism and interfaith collaboration may be best described through a political analog: while Liberals and Conservatives may disagree, both recognize the right of the other to live within the larger community; both are equally endowed to citizenship in a shared national space. Interfaith engagement attempts to cultivate shared citizenship in a common social space — whether a Jain, a Pagan, a Christian, or a Sikh, everyone has a place in the modern world.  




By Cora Parker, ’25

Much like any other forms of art, ballet is rooted in a world of tradition. From the music played to the choreography performed, the rich history of the art form is one that stretches across centuries and is actively demonstrated in performances today. Behind its beautiful nature, the industry happens to be filled with affirmed standards of what a picturesque prima ballerina should be. One with skin that gleams like a porcelain doll, an elongated body type void of all curves and weight, and a preconceived notion that highly sought-after parts should be performed by dancers sharing the same look of those who performed it traditionally.

However, diversity is often a characteristic that strays from the model of early 20th century traditional ballet, despite the efforts towards cultivating acceptance and inclusion in society today. A Ballerina’s Tale moves the curtain to what takes place beyond the stage, away from the audience’s eye, and sheds light on the industry’s dying need for the normalization of diversity and belonging.

The documentary follows the story of Misty Copeland, a world-renowned American Ballet Theater dancer, and first African American woman to dance a principal role in the company. Director Nelson George looks beyond the stage and illuminates the difficulties of people of color in the industry.

Opening with the sounds of point shoes gliding across the hollow dance floor, overlaid with recorded footage of Misty Copeland’s childhood home, family, and beginning roots of dance, a sense of genuine hard work, passion, and dedication is felt from the film’s initial scenes. Moving from that, the story is narrated by Misty herself, as well as her mentors, friends, family, and all those who helped her along the way of creating a name for herself in the world of dance, even when it seemed all odds were stacked against her. Among other challenges such as a debilitating injury and career threatening surgery, Misty never gave up. She saw herself as something bigger than just a principal dancer, she represented a community of marginalized people in the industry and upheld a position as a beacon of hope for all those like her.

Following the screening, Butler University’s very own Professor of Dance, Ramon Flowers, led an open, communicative discussion for all those in the audience. Professor Flowers is a longtime friend and colleague of Misty, he shared his own relation to A Ballerina’s Tale and how going forward he strives to create an atmosphere of belonging and inclusion among all disciplines of dance.

I had the opportunity to speak to Professor Flowers a few moments after the screening ended and asked him what he felt the classical ballet industry needed in terms of growth in the modern era. Just like the message Misty vocalized in the documentary, Professor Flowers reiterated that the fault of classical ballet’s roots in systematic inequality will continue to hinder progression in the future. Without creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable, valued, and feels as though they belong, so many individuals with talent are left behind or looked over.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are crucial elements of growth that relate to every aspect of our lives, and A Ballerina’s Tale is a powerful example of how prevalent conversations about DEI need to be in all industries. It takes the actions and power of every individual to continue to strive for growth and change.

By Cora Parker, ’25

Right beyond our front door surges of activism spread throughout Indiana everyday. Some may go unseen overall while others are the face of progressive movements in communities, but nonetheless, each one is crucial to helping those in their times of need.

On Tuesday, October 25th, audience members found their way to Shelton Auditorium to hear from a panel of local Indiana philanthropists and nonprofit leaders that are passionately pursuing callings of service toward their prospective communities. Students and community members listened with soft hearts and open minds while David Bethuram with the Catholic Charities, Lori Joundi with Muslim Alliance of Indiana, Josh Riddick with the Black Churches Coalition for Faith in Indiana, and Ray Wilson with Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, shared experiences from careers centered around nonprofit work, and their continuing work to enhance the lives of all Indiana citizens.

The panelists spoke on a series of questions mediated by the 2022-2023 Faith and Activism Seminar director, Dr. Brent Hege. One question however, deeply resonated with me; the question of whether one’s personal faith belongs in nonprofit and activism work. The panelists gathered their thoughts for a moment, then began to speak from their point of view, but the undertone of every answer held a similar core value. Faith is the backbone of each panelist’s personal drive for nonprofit work, and for their perspective organizations. Josh Riddick said as he began to speak that “faith is the sustainable factor for supporting activism and its results.” A background of faith in many different varieties is what each panelist looks to for the motivation to tirelessly work towards assisting Indiana communities. Faith itself is not only a feeling or belief, but a foundation of grounding values at the core of everyone’s calling of service. Activism is ignited by one’s passion for change, but without faith, there is nothing to turn towards when things grow difficult.

After a series of guided questions by Dr. Hege, the auditorium was opened towards the audience for their questions and feedback. Audiences of both students and community members asked thoughtful and inquisitive questions about numerous areas of nonprofit and activism work. The final question of the event came from a fellow student, asking the panelist about their advice for students wanting to be involved in activism work. As a Butler student myself this was incredibly applicable to me, and the insight shared by each panelist was tremendously encouraging. They urged students to allow themselves grace in how much we try to take upon ourselves in the duration of our college experience. College is a time for growth and discovery and better activism in the future is formed by these foundation periods of life, but that does not mean if a student is passionate about a cause it cannot be pursued. Each panelist mentioned that they value the ideas and minds of our generation. We think in a new path, which is crucial to the growth of society, not just nonprofit and activism work. College is also a wonderful opportunity to build community around those who share similar passions and callings, so use every opportunity it can provide for you.

Overall, Faith in Indiana was an extraordinary event, each panelist gave thoughtful, genuine words and provided the audience with new perspectives to bring into their own lives and communities. It is easy for people to become wrapped up in the world around themselves, leaving room to forget those that are in need. Faith in Indiana was a reminder of the life changing work happening in our state every day, and we have the opportunity to bring our values, insight, and passions to help continue the growth and equality for everyone living around us.

The Power of  Faith, Activism, and Educational Conversation

by Cora Parker, ’25

What role do Faith and Activism play in modern society? The annual Butler Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs plans to answer exactly within the four part lecture series: Faith and Activism. 

For 22 years the Seminar has brought “Scholarship in combination with realistic language for the matters of daily life,” said Assistant Director of Butler University’s Center for Faith and Vocation, Marguerite Stanciu. The Center for Faith and Vocation, commonly referred to as the “Blue House ” across from the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, remains a main producer of the Seminar from its inaugural series, continuing into this year’s fully first in-person production since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking deeper into this year’s Seminar topic and its relation to society of today, Stanciu said the pandemic greatly influenced their conversations. During the midst of the pandemic, isolation was a feeling shared between all demographics of people. Those who identify with a background of faith or spirituality felt this divide within themselves, but also from a lack of engagement with other faith communities.

“We saw how the human desire for connection is related to one’s spiritual individuality and decided it would be a relatable idea to build the first in-person Seminar around, as we [hopefully] continue to round the corner from the Coronavirus” said Marguerite Stanciu.

Isolation and activism don’t typically go hand and hand, but what was once “typical” in a pre-pandemic world is now of slim significance. In 2022 activism can take on many forms, incorporating it into interfaith, a key theme of the event, Dr. Brent Hege, director of the 2022-2023 Seminar, as well as the 2015-2016 and 2018-2019 Seminars, defines interfaith activism as “the coming together of people who orient around religion differently to advocate for change.” Advocating for change doesn’t need take form in groundbreaking fashions, it “can happen in any number of ways, big and small, from an interfaith dialogue about the resources in the various religions traditions and no religious affiliation working side by side at a food pantry to a group of diverse religious and secular people protesting an unjust law or institution or act of injustice and oppression.” At its core, it should be “[rooted in] finding a common ground with people who orient around religion differently and realizing that, while our specific religious, theological, philosophical, or ethical motivations are beautifully diverse, [and] find[ing] common ground in advocacy and activism” said Dr. Hege.

In the first section of the four-part series, the lecture revolved around Youth Engagement in Interfaith Activism. When questioned about the choice of making the kickoff session focused on a younger generation, Dr. Hege answered that sparking youth engagement in any type of activism is important, but specifically in interfaith work, young people are the frontline defense for the “existential crisis [that is] the future of humanity.”

Just as new generations are born and others pass, the post COVID-19 era is buzzing with focus on youth empowerment. “Older generations did their part, but they have fallen short in so many ways. Younger people have the benefit of seeing more clearly just how older generations have fallen short [, and] the benefit of energy and enthusiasm and a certain idealism.” The igniting factor connecting youth activism and interfaith work, said Dr. Hege, and reiterated in the keynote speaker Tahil Sharma’s lecture: “these movements can’t succeed without paying attention to religion.”

The second session of the Faith and Activism Seminar will convene in the Shelton Auditorium Tuesday, Oct 25 at 7:00 PM. Faith and Activism in Indiana is an opportunity to hear from a distinct panel of speakers about interfaith activism throughout Indiana, and will conclude the fall semester’s portion of the Seminar.

Students, each session also counts as a Butler Cultural Requirement credit! Attending the second session gives you one of eight crucial graduation requirements, and you might leave with a new outlook for approaching matters of faith and activism in our local community and eventually the world.







Hi! My name is Alana Daeger and I’m an interfaith intern with the Center for Faith and Vocation here on campus. You may have seen me at my Cookies & Questions events throughout the Fall semester. If you happened to stop by, you’ve already heard my spiel. If not, here’s a brief summary of Cookies & Questions and its purpose.

I’m very passionate about interfaith cooperation, and I want to use this event as a way to promote interfaith engagement on campus. One of my big goals this year was to concentrate on educating the wider campus about the holidays and traditions of some of the minority religions that are represented on campus. Each of my Cookies & Questions events had a theme (Rosh Hashanah, Interfaith Engagement, Samhain, and Diwali) and questions that related to the theme. The questions were presented on poster boards and answered by using different colored stickers that corresponded with a religious or secular identity. Anyone who answered all the questions received an Insomnia cookie.

I’ve chosen one poster from each of the four events to show an example of the types of questions that the campus answered. These questions were answered by anyone who stopped by my table. They began by looking at a key and choosing the sticker that matched their religious or secular identity. If they did not see their identity, they were encouraged to choose a new sticker color and add it to the key. Once the participants had their stickers, they made their way through the questions, placing one sticker on each poster and finished by grabbing a cookie. The answers are anonymous, which I hope encouraged honesty and made people feel safe from any judgment.

Read more about Alana’s Fall 2021 Cookies & Questions Event here.

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