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College Students Seek Understanding and a Road to Peace Through Interfaith Dialogue

In October, Faith & Values Media, The National Conference for Community and Justice, and the Interfaith Youth Core launched CampusQuest, in which participants are invited to join a national youth movement for interfaith awareness by creating a CampusQuest in their own communities.

By Faith & Values Media

NEW YORK, October 12, 2004 – As part of the celebration of interfaith awareness during October, Faith & Values Media has partnered with The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) and the Interfaith Youth Core to launch "CampusQuest," an interfaith outreach project. CampusQuest is designed to help students promote interfaith dialogue during the 2004-2005 school year, and to make this dialogue a vital and visible part of campus life.

The NCCJ is a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism in America. Interfaith Youth Core seeks to build a movement that encourages religious young people to strengthen their religious identities, foster inter-religious understanding and cooperate to serve the common good.

The launch of local CampusQuest campaigns will coincide with the national premiere of "The Quest for Peace," an original television documentary presented by Faith & Values Media, which is airing this month on Hallmark Channel. The partnering organizations will provide screening tapes of "The Quest for Peace" for student groups to preview at an official launch party to kick-off the start of their local CampusQuest projects. In addition, participating campuses will have access to support resources at www.campusquest.org, national publicity, and marketing materials including: brochures, t-shirts, posters, pens, and a trailer of the program on DVD to promote the program on campus. Faith & Values Media will also offer cash grants to student groups, selected by an expert review panel, whose interfaith projects hold the greatest promise for increasing understanding across faith lines.

"By developing their own initiatives to explore interfaith and cross-cultural relationships on college campuses, students will have an opportunity to be creative," said Edward J. Murray, president and chief executive officer of Faith & Values Media. "With the help of 'Campus Quest' online support and resources, students can encourage interfaith understanding on their campus and in the broader community."

Students, faculty, and staff from participating colleges can log on to www.campusquest.org to find information about creating and implementing an interfaith dialogue project. Through the interactive CampusQuest Website, students, faculty, campus clergy and student advisors can access a variety of resources and are invited to begin developing a "plan of action" for a six-month mission, to culminate in April 2005. Participants will find practical suggestions for developing a strategic plan, examples of successful interfaith activities, and other resources, including: historical background and facts about the three Abrahamic faiths, suggested readings, and practical suggestions from the cast of the television documentary.

The Website will also include opportunities for participants to submit comments about their project experience as it unfolds, to report monthly progress, and to correspond with other student teams around the country.

The CampusQuest activities are modeled on "The Quest for Peace" television program, which follows three multi-faith, multi-cultural teams of students as they study the sources of interfaith conflict around the world. During their six-week journey through communities in the Middle East, North Africa and the United States, the Jewish, Christian and Muslim students are shown exploring complicated questions about religious tolerance and the prospects for peace. The 12 students from the television program will serve as virtual guides and mentors for participants as they begin their own "quests" on local campuses.

"The Quest for Peace" was produced for Faith & Values Media by Pantheon Studios, Inc., and is a key component of Faith & Values Media's celebration of interfaith awareness during the month of October.

Please visit www.campusquest.org or write info@campusquest.org for more information about starting your own campus project.

About Faith & Values Media: Faith & Values Media is the nation's largest coalition of Jewish and Christian faith groups dedicated to media production, distribution and promotion. Its member association is made up of denominations, organizations, and individuals who encompass most of the recognized Jewish and Christian faith groups in the United States. Together, these faith groups have more than 200,000 congregations with 120 million congregants. (A list of member faith groups and organizations is available upon request.) The award-winning programming services of Faith & Values Media are available on Hallmark Channel and on www.faithandvalues.com. Faith & Values Media is a service of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc., established in 1987.

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