Kelly Bean on Plurality 2.0

This piece is part of an on-going blog series called Plurality 2.0 (watch video here). Full schedule of guest authors throughout April and May is available here.

Kelly Bean is community cultivator/pastor of Third Saturday Community, co-Coordinator and founder of Convergence, local and international networker and activist, writer and artist. Kelly’s most remarkable endeavor is learning from her three children: Elliot the ace guitarist (age 13), Kate the adventurer (age 19) and Emilie the kind hearted (age 23), and gorgeous grandson Gabriel (age three), along with Kelly’s marvelous Harley riding husband, Ken. More info can be found at Kelly-Bean.com.

Close Encounters of the Real Kind

kellyWords as varied as diversity, strident, tolerant, mission statement, idealism, hope, fear and peace come to mind as I consider the topic of “Plurality.” It brings to mind dark-skinned friends; friends of varied sexual orientation; distinct houses of worship; multicultural kid scenes from Sesame Street as well as recollection of painful theological battles

Thank goodness for The Pluralism Project work developed by Diane Eck of Harvard University. Eck’s work has been my excellent guide to the “real thing” when the waters of plurality get murky. (A nod to fellow Plurality 2.0 blogger Eboo Patel for his May 5th citation of Eck’s work too.) Eck writes:

“Pluralism is…active engagement with plurality. Pluralism and plurality are sometimes used as if they were synonymous. But plurality is just diversity, plain and simple — splendid, colorful, maybe even threatening. Such diversity does not, however, have to affect me. I can observe diversity. I can even celebrate diversity, as the cliche goes. But I have to participate in pluralism….Pluralism requires the cultivation of public space where we all encounter one another.

[Read more…]

Eboo Patel on Plurality 2.0

This piece is part of an on-going blog series called Plurality 2.0 (watch video here). Full schedule of guest authors throughout April and May is available here.

Eboo Patel is founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international non-profit building a movement of young people committed to religious pluralism. Recently appointed to President Obama’s White House Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, he writes The Faith Divide, a Washington Post blog, and is author of Acts of Faith.

Diversity and its Discontent

Eboo PatelThe first thing my wife and I comment on when we go to a restaurant or a park is the diversity. We generally want more. We’re part of a generation of Americans raised on the “celebrate diversity” mantra. Our elementary school books were illustrated with pictures of kids of different colors. We read Toni Morrison and Richard Wright in college.

[Read more…]