Feb 19, 2013 6:05 PM by KATC
A series of reading and film programs at Edith Garland Dupré Library will give Acadiana residents a chance to learn about Islam and the cultural heritage of Islamic civilizations around the world.
They are related to the National Endowment for the Humanities' Bridging Cultures initiative, which is intended to promote understanding of and mutual respect for people with diverse histories, cultures, and perspectives. The theme for this year is "Muslim Journeys."
The programs are funded by grants from the NEH and the American Library Association. The grants were obtained by April Grey, head of Cataloging and Metadata at Dupré Library, and Dr. Chad Parker, a history professor at the University.
The grant award provides 25 books, three films, and promotional materials that will serve as resources for programming. The books in the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection support five themes: American stories, connected histories, literary reflections, pathways of faith, and points of view.
Films to be shown will include "Prince Among Slaves," "Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World," and "Koran by Heart." "Prince Among Slaves" will be shown at 4 p.m. on March 20 in Room 147 in H.L. Griffin Hall. Dates and times of book discussions and the other film screenings will be announced at a later date.
The materials were chosen with a view to familiarizing the American public with Islam and the cultural heritage of Islamic civilizations around the world. They are intended to address the need of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations.
"These are topical issues and this is a program with the idea of bringing cultures together and having discussions about intercultural understanding," Parker said.
Recent studies show that students' encounters with diversity on campus and in course work bolster their critical thinking skills.
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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It's a public institution that awards bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes - Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns - compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.
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