Some stories are best told first-hand. So we’re introducing a feature in Happenings to give all in the Chapman Community an opportunity to do just that. And we named it for you, the writer. It’s called “My Post.” You’ll find details about how to submit your essays for “My Post” at the bottom of this debut piece, which comes from Patricia Abouabdo ’13.
By Patricia Abouabdo ‘13
That distinguished statue of Charles C. Chapman that we Chapman University students know so well may at first seem like an unlikely spot for a noisy drum circle dance.
But, in fact, we thought it was a most fitting place for a heartfelt closing to the second annual Southern California Student Multi-Faith Leadership Conference hosted Feb. 16 by the Fish Interfaith Center. The event was in conjunction with the White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge and the Interfaith Youth Core’s “Better Together” campaign. This was a group of people passionate about interfaith work and ready to make a world where we truly are better together, some of the very same values shared by our university’s founder.
University students and staff from Chapman and throughout southern California joined together for the day-long conference, aimed at promoting interfaith cooperation through education, dialogue and collaboration.
The day started with an opening ceremony, featuring an encouraging keynote given by Professor Najeeba Syeed-Miller, from the Claremont School of Theology. Throughout the rest of the day, attendees were able to choose from multiple breakout sessions led by Chapman students, staff and religious leaders from several schools and the community. Topics included “Talk Better Together: Interfaith Dialogue and the Art of Tackling Tough Conversations,” “Dress Better Together: Dress and Religious Identity,” “Eat Better Together: Religious Dietary Practice,” and “Serve Better Together: The How To’s of Civic Engagement.”
The conference culminated with a closing ceremony featuring an interactive drum circle led by Christine Stevens, the founder of UpBeat Drum Circles. We huddled in a circle next to the Charles C. Chapman statue, playing instruments, dancing and laughing. You could feel the energy of the group. With instruments in tow, participants played to the beat of the words “better together.”
We think he would have approved.
My Post is a place for your stories about life, work, and study at Chapman, from quirky musings about a study abroad experience to a thoughtful take on something that helps tell the Chapman story. Think of them as coffee-break moments and keep them short, 300 to 650 words. My Post essays are written first-person and may include personal reflections, but are still relevant or of interest to the larger Chapman community.
If your essay is chosen for publication, you will be notified before it posts to discuss any minor editing and a photo. Once published, you get the fun of linking it and telling colleagues and friends everywhere to check out “My Post.”
Submissions for My Post may be emailed to email@example.com. Please include My Post in the subject line. We welcome contributions from faculty, students, staff, administrators and alumni, but reserve the right to select those that best fit the publication’s needs.