Elyse Brazel’s work focuses on increasing interreligious literacy of university students and staff to help shape a more religion-positive, pluralistic campus. Her undergraduate studies were in fine arts: figurative painting and sculpture. Her graduate work was in public and pastoral leadership with a focus on indigenous and interreligious studies. Elyse has worked with refugee claimant and newcomer youth populations and has done interreligious community building on several higher-education campuses. She started her interreligious work as a member of the Faiths Act Fellowship, as one of 30 young international leaders who spent 10 months engaging young adults from a variety of faith/philosophical traditions in interfaith social action to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals and work together on service projects in Ottawa and across Canada. She was a co-founder of Faith House Ottawa, an interfaith community for students and young professionals working together for social justice and offering radical hospitality. She has also been a member of the Community of Living Traditions, a multi-religious community dedicated to promoting peace, nonviolence, social/economic/ecological justice and sustainable living that runs the Stony Point Conference and Retreat Centre/Farm in New York. She recently spent a year in Rome as a Russell Berrie Fellow studying ecumenism and interreligious engagement. A motto she identifies with is “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Kaleidoscope Project Alumni Weekend
For the past 2 years, the Faith and Spirituality Centre (FSC) has put on a weeklong intensive immersion interreligious/ intercultural literacy course looking at religious diversity in Calgary called The Kaleidoscope Project (KP). The FSC is hoping to have a free KP Alumni Weekend this July 2017, a chance for alumni to reconnect and have some fun while also putting their collective interreligious knowledge to good use! We are challenging them to work in teams to design an interreligious/ intercultural amazing race/scavenger hunt for Calgary, complete with photos, puzzles and riddles, which will be tested out at the Faith and Spirituality Centre’s Peer Helper Orientation in September 2017. We have space for 15 alumni to stay together on UCalgary campus for one weekend and Saturday night we’ll have a social evening at an Escape Room in Calgary for all alumni to join the fun.