Social Action For Everyone (SAFE), Youth Leadership Grant Group Recipient

Shayna Solomon, Ezra Wexler, and Sarah Schwartz, 2009-2010 Group Grant Recipients

Social Action For Everyone (SAFE)

Update, September 2016:

Shayna Solomon has stayed in touch with FFC and has continued pursuing her commitment to interfaith activism.

In May, Shayna graduated from Dickinson College, Summa Cum Laude with Honors in Political Science. Her honors thesis, Shifting Discourses of Tolerance, explored British and American governmental discourse about Muslims before and after the national traumas of 9/11 and 7/7 (the London bombings). While at Dickinson, Shayna worked for interfaith peace through the college’s Center for Service, Spirituality, and Social Justice (CS3) and through J Street U, a student organization which advocates for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Next year, Shayna will pursue a Master’s degree in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford, where she hopes to explore how Muslims are integrated into Western welfare states. Previously, at Oxford, Shayna worked with the student think tank, OxPolicy, to produce a report on better diplomatic engagement with Muslim communities abroad, which can be downloaded as a PDF.

Shayna hopes to pursue a career in policy with a focus on the inclusion of religious minorities.

FFC helped me connect faith to various social and political problems,” Shayna remembers. “It really formed my perspective on world events. I couldn’t ignore the diverse ways that people’s religious values inform decisions and actions. FFC gave me an awareness of issues of diversity that has directed my undergraduate and graduate studies and, hopefully, my career path. FFC has allowed me to collaborate with a network of other young adults who are also working for a more diverse and just society, while giving me the skills to work on my own passions and issues.”

Project Update

Following the grant recipients’ graduation from high school, Shayna’s sister, Rachel, is continuing the work of SAFE.

Project Summary

Our goal is to bring Muslim, Christian, and Jewish teens together to collectively participate in practical projects such as making sandwiches to donate to a food bank.  Such projects teach compassion towards less fortunate people, and also aid those in need in the short term by providing them with food and other necessities.

At the same time, our project will also foster compassion between teens of different religions.  While they participate in compassionate projects, the teens will also discuss how each of their religions teaches them to perform such compassionate acts.  Since our project includes not only interfaith discussions but action as well, the teens will experience how each of the Abrahamic Faiths preaches aspects of compassion that lead to a common goal of helping those in need.  By experiencing this collective effort, teens participating in our project will hopefully learn the importance of being compassionate to people of all religions, because one’s religious beliefs are no basis for hate.

Click here to read an article in Washington Jewish Week about one of SAFE’s first activities

Click here to learn about SAFE’s partnership with Bikes for the World

Click here to learn about SAFE’s partnership with a Jewish-Muslim interfaith artist organization, JAMmARTt