Dialogue Fellowship Program in Ukraine
The Libertas Center for Interreligious Dialogue, in partnership with the Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Institute for Religion and Society of the Ukrainian Catholic University, launched its Dialogue Fellowship – a unique training program aimed at emerging community and religious leaders to learn about interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
The Program is dedicated to Bishop Basil H. Losten, Bishop-emeritus of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the U.S., who is celebrating his fiftieth anniversary of episcopacy this year. Bishop Losten and Rabbi Jack Bemporad worked together for Jewish-Christian dialogue in North America.
The Dialogue Fellowship, led by Dr. Taras Dzyubanskyy, Director of the Libertas Center for Interreligious Dialogue, aims at supporting individuals who demonstrate special interest in the theme of dialogue and the social doctrine of the Church and who want to further develop their leadership skills. It also aims to educate leaders of the Ukrainian society to confront contemporary challenges and strengthen their capacity for dialogue by empowering representatives of religious groups of the population, leaders of the civil society and representatives of the cultural field to work together and develop values-based approaches. The Dialogue Fellows will use networking that builds on faith and trust for transformative action in their communities.
The Dialogue Program targets a wide range of young leaders. Participants include theologians, religious and civic activists, scholars and educators, artists, journalists, and bloggers. The inaugural Program has a wide range of trainers and speakers including Myroslav Marynovych, Andriy Kostiuk, Anthony Cernera, Rabbi Bemporad and Murat Suleiman.
The first block of the Program began on June 30 in Lviv with the conference “Social Responsibility of Business” with a focus of “Monetization in Culture.” The event also featured the launch of the United Nation’s EDIN (Empowering Dialogue and Interfaith Networks) social media campaign about religious diversity in Ukraine. The culmination of the Dialogue Fellowship Program’s first pilot year will be a presentation of the projects by the participants as well as the first annual lecture dedicated to Bishop Basil Losten.