Renowned spiritual leaders and activists will convene in Louisville, Kentucky for the 21st annual Festival of Faiths later this month to address strategies for peace in an increasingly violent world. The interfaith gathering, which is put on every year by the Louisville-based Center for Interfaith Relations, will host figures like Karen Armstrong, Pico Iyer, Vandana Shiva, Linda Sarsour and Jim Wallis for a long weekend of events centered on the theme “Sacred Wisdom: Pathways to Nonviolence.”
Amidst rising police shootings, such as those that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as “the vitriol directed at American Muslims as a result of actions by terrorists, and the perilous health of our natural world, violence has become an accepted norm for many,” Sarah Reed Harris, managing director of the Center for Interfaith Relations, told The Huffington Post. “We believe our Festival of Faiths offers a recipe for the restoration of balance, thoughtfulness and sanity,” she said.
The title panel, Pathways to Nonviolence, takes place on May 18 and will explore the role of media in shaping narratives surrounding peace and violence. Other sessions during the week will address Islamophobia, Black Lives Matter and the interfaith community’s role in fostering harmony. “Our speakers have been invited to share their own spiritual practices and the wisdom that is rooted deep within their faith traditions, and which informs the work they are called to do,” Harris said.