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Review for Salaam Network Inc, Louisville, KY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Dr. Derek Penwell and I am the Senior Pastor of Douglass Blvd. Christian Church, as well as a lecturer of Religious Studies in the Comparative Humanities Department at the University of Louisville. I am also a board member of the Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

I am writing in support of the work of The Salaam Network. Louisville has designated itself a “Compassionate City.” As such, our community has demonstrated a desire and commitment to working toward religious inclusion. One of the primary foci has been to challenge religious stereotypes—in particular those that further marginalize the thriving Muslim community in our city. The Salaam Network has been a leader in offering varied educational opportunities, led by experts in their fields. These educational opportunities shine a light on how Islam has historically had a positive impact on the religious and cultural landscape. I have been a presenter and a panelist in two TSN offerings: Prophet Abraham and His Legacy—Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives and Women in Four Spiritual Traditions:Further Along in the Journey To Wholeness.

The work of TSN is crucial in our endeavor to see the realization of mutual respect between all people. TSN brings people of diverse religious and non-religious backgrounds together, under the assumption that our capacity for empathy and understanding is increased as we spend time with one another, learning about the lives and traditions of people who are different from us. Our moral imaginations expand as we begin to see one another as potential friends and partners, instead of as threats or competitors.

I cannot recommend the work of TSN highly enough as a critical component in making Louisville a model of religious affirmation and support, a truly compassionate city.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field