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Leading Religion and Interfaith Scholar Eboo Patel to Speak at OU

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Leading Religion and Interfaith Scholar Eboo Patel to Speak at OU

Eboo Patel



CONTACT: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701

NORMAN —Eboo Patel, one of the nation’s leading scholars in religion and interfaith studies, will speak at a President’s Associates dinner at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, Sept. 9. Prior to dinner, Patel will meet with OU students for an informal discussion.

Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders, Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization that promotes interreligious understanding on college campuses nationwide.

The Interfaith Youth Core helps college students learn about religious differences and find common bonds among their faiths. In addition, the Youth Core works with colleges across the country to develop new courses and to teach students how to handle questions about their own faith while they work to understand the practices of others.

“Eboo Patel is one of the most important leaders around the globe in the effort to strengthen interfaith dialogue, and mutual respect and understanding between different religious groups,” said OU President David L. Boren. “Clearly, religious intolerance is a major cause of violence in the world in which we live. His cause should become the cause of all of us.”

Patel has authored two books: Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion; and has a third, forthcoming book, Interfaith Leadership: A Primer. He is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR, and CNN.

He was an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select group of social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the world; and was recently awarded the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an award given to an individual to enhance awareness of the crucial role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace.

In 2009, both Patel and the Interfaith Youth Core were honored with the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Worship Medal.

Patel is a highly sought-after speaker, having spoken at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and the TED Conference, as well as numerous schools across the country.

He was named by Islamica Magazine as one of 10 young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America and was chosen by Harvard’s Kennedy School Review as one of five future policy leaders to watch.

Patel serves on President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In addition, he serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the Board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, on the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation USA and on the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-based Advisory Council.

Patel holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz Mansuri, and their two sons.

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty and staff, with overflow seating available to the public. For reservations, more information and accommodations on the basis of disability, please call OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 or email

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