Committed to thoughtful, respectful, and socially impactful inter-religious engagement, confident that religion can be a powerful force for social good, and inspired by a shared belief in the value of transformative, relational, experiential learning, AIC is honored to announce the Dr. Shakeela and Dr. Zia Hassan Institute for Interfaith Encounter (SZHIIE). The Hassan Institute will serve and enable meaningful, life-changing inter and intra-religious encounters across the city of Chicago and beyond. The scope of the Hassan Institute’s vision and activism will include research, teaching support, faculty fellowships, student internships, public lectures and workshops, community outreach, educational trips, and public programs all for the promotion of transformative encounters between diverse believers and faith communities.
The Hassan Interfaith Fellowships will be an integral part of the new Institute’s mission and vision. Inspired by the University of Chicago’s Metcalf Fellowships, these single-semester, paid, immersive work experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students will
- create new, meaningful internship opportunities that give students a deeper dive into faith and/or interfaith-based contexts and organizations so that they can come to understand why work is being done a certain way or why initiatives are being developed and chosen;
- empower students to dream up their own intra and interfaith initiatives and receive support and guidance from both the Institute and the College as they work to bring their visions into reality;
- make bright talent available to faith and/or interfaith-based organizations and workplaces that may not be able to budget for interns;
- provide real-life, immersive work experience to students and so enhance the connectivity and relevance of their studies to the wider world;
- require student fellows to write meaningful impact statements based upon their experiences, and these essays can then be used to guide aspiring HI Fellows who are interested in similar fields or experiences.