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Religions and Homelessness High Level Roundtable

October 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

A wide-ranging interfaith roundtable will convene at USC on Wednesday, October 18th, to discuss religions and the Los Angeles homelessness crisis. The roundtable, which will be held in the Vineyard Room of the Davidson Center, is co-sponsored by four USC organizations–the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, the Office of Religious Life, and the Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness. Among the nearly 60 interfaith leaders in attendance will be Archbishop José H. Gómez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the largest Catholic Archdiocese in the nation.

LA has many, and I mean many, different religions,” said Father James L. Heft, the founder and president of USC’s Institute for Advanced Catholic. “LA also has a homelessness crisis. People in these different religions are doing good things to address this crisis. But they often work by themselves. I thought it would be good for the leaders of the different religions to talk with each other, learn from each other, and through these conversations find even better ways to work at solving the crisis of homelessness.”

Heft is co-chairing the event with Brenda Wiewel from USC’s Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness. Participants will include representatives from Catholicism, Judaism, Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and more.

“It is important for these faith leaders to spend time together and consider their response to homelessness,” Wiewel said. “When faith leaders develop a strong mission and communicate that to their organization, there is potential for tremendous energy and transformation unleashed toward ending homelessness.”

Among the speakers before, during and following the roundtable discussions will be Heft, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Dean Varun Soni from USC’s Office for Religious Life, Dr. Benjamin Henwood from USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Executive Director Brie Loskota from USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture, Rev. Zach Hoover from LA Voice, USC Provost Michael Quick and a pair of citizens with lived-in homelessness experience.

“The goal of the round table is threefold,” Heft said. “First, we want to better understand the complex issue of homelessness and learn about the most effective ways to address it. Second, it’s important for leaders of different religions to sit down in small groups and get to know each other. And third, we want to promote greater cooperation among religions in addressing a serious challenge that our whole community faces.”

The roundtable will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

The roundtable will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

For more information, please call Shelia Garrison at 213.740.1864 or skgarris@dornsife.usc.edu or contact Brenda Wiewel at 213.821.2876 or brenda.wiewel@usc.edu.





October 18, 2017
10:00 am - 2:30 pm


USC Davidson Conference Center
3409 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007 United States
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