Press Release for Wednesday, June 25, 2014
UNF Interfaith Center Only Public University to Win National IFYC Award
Jessica Scott, Public Relations Specialist
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida Interfaith Center is
the only public university and the only Florida university to win a national
Interfaith Youth Core Award. Of the 162 competing schools across the country,
only six were named winners by the Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that works
with institutions of higher learning to build interfaith cooperation by
committing to religious diversity on an institution-wide basis.
student leaders in the Interfaith Center were recognized
for the “
Better Together @ UNF
” campaign, a
national movement across college campuses in which people organize across lines
of religious difference to make an impact on some of the most important issues.
The purpose is to show that various religious and philosophical backgrounds can
be a bridge of cooperation and that the world can be made better together.
Interfaith Center’s professional staff serves as mentors to the student leaders
of Better Together @ UNF, which was formed by UNF senior Hana Ashchi two years
ago,” said Dr. Tarah Trueblood, Center director. “We could not be more proud of
their achievements. Recognition by Interfaith Youth Core is well deserved.”
The goal of the “Better Together @ UNF” campaign is to raise awareness about
human trafficking. Florida is ranked third in the United States for the most
reported human trafficking cases, making this issue particularly relevant. The UNF
group strategically partnered with
, a local
organization that works with survivors of the sex trade, and made their primary
goal to help the community understand human trafficking as a reality.
The campaign featured informational
sessions, documentaries, survivor talks, art exhibits and a series of community
service projects to inform the campus about the issue. The group incorporated
the issue into a Better Together Day event in April, gathering donations for a
human trafficking survivor drive. In total, the campaign reached 3,000 people
on campus and showed how interfaith leadership can have an impact on an
The “Better Together @ UNF” campaign
lasted through the 2013-14 school year and tied in with President Obama’s call
to action in his “
Community Service Campus Challenge
,” which encouraged students and communities
across the country to bridge the differences in belief systems and serve the
community for the greater good.
mission of the UNF Interfaith Center is to engage the UNF campus around
religious pluralism, support the religious and non-religious identities of
students and provide distinctive programs and services for students to voice
values, engage with others, act together and lead others to do likewise.
university located on an
environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to
enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures
through a well-rounded education.