2032 Southside Blvd. Jacksonville, Florida 32216



(904) 386-0206

Thursday May 5 2016 6:30 pm, Adam W. Herbert University Center UNF campus

Many Jacksonville leaders and interfaith supporters joined us for an engaging and insightful conversation among Indonesian Counselor for Political Affairs Ardian Wicaksono, at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington D.C, Indonesian Muslim clerics Imam Shamsi Ali and Ustadzah Fauziah Fauzan, Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull, UNF Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies, Dr. Julie Ingersoll, UNF Professor of Religious Studies, and facilitator, Dr. Parvez Ahmed, UNF professor of finance and a frequent writer about the American Muslim experience. Program was interactive and many guests presented expert panelists with thought provoking questions.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, which overwhelmingly rejects religious extremism, including violence, formation of an Islamic state and the imposition of sharia law, the religious legal system governing members of the Islamic faith.

Prior to his current position, Wicaksono served as deputy director for West Europe Affairs. In 1995, he joined the Foreign Ministry, where he held several positions, including first secretary of economic affairs in the Indonesian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland, vice consul-information and socio-culture in the Indonesian Consulate General in New York and special assistant to the ambassador-at-large for non-aligned movement.

Ali is a leading religious scholar and interfaith bridge builder in New York and beyond. Currently, he leads the Jamaica Muslim Center, one of the largest Muslim community centers in New York, and is the founder and president of Nusantara Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on building peace and harmony between peoples of all backgrounds through interfaith dialogue. He was chosen by New York Magazine in 2007 as one of the seven most influential religious leaders in New York and as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Jordan Strategic Studies and Georgetown University.

Fauzan is the director of the Islamic Boarding School for Young Muslims. She is a member of several organizations, including the Indonesian Council of Islamic Leaders for the West Sumatera Region, the Organization of Islamic Leaders of Padang Panjang and the Education Council of Padang Panjang City, to name a few. She’s won several awards, including the Top 50 Leaders of Indonesia, Woman of the Year for Indonesia and Strategic Leader.

Lukens-Bull, author of “A Peaceful Jihad: Negotiating Identity and Modernity in Muslim Java” and “Islamic Higher Education: Continuity and Conflict,” has spent almost 25 years examining Islamic education and leadership in Indonesia, including multiple debates about the future of Islam in a modern, plural nation-state and in the context of globalization. Ingersoll, author of “Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction,” approaches religion as a mechanism for social formation, drawing on a blend of history and ethnography as research methods to explore religion in American culture, especially politics, gender, the religious right and religious violence.

This Distinguished Voices Lecture is sponsored by UNF Academic Affairs and the Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville.


Friday, February 6, 2015 - 6:00pm     WJCT Studio, 100 Festival Park Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Speaker: Dr. Scott Alexander,Director of the Catholic-Muslim Studies Program,Catholic Theological Union

Atlantic Institute Jacksonville and various partners organized Atlantic Lecture Series "Islam & Muslims: Moving beyond Media Sound Bites. Attendance was full house at WJCT Main Studios. Dr. Alexander who is an expert in Islam studies at Catholic Theological Union presented an interactive and engaging argument that there was more to the faith of Islam & Muslims than how media sound bites and delivers. A sincere thanks to WJCT and OneJax for their continous efforts to Religiously Diverse Democracy in the United States.

Scott Alexander is currently an Associate Professor of Islam at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he is also Director of the school's Catholic-Muslim Studies Program. He received his PhD in the history of religions, with a concentration in Islamic studies from Columbia University. From 1986 to 1990, Scott taught courses on Islam and the history of religions at Columbia, Fordham, and Princeton University, and in 1991 he took a position on the religious studies faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington where he taught as an assistant professor of Islamic studies from 1993 to 2000.

Scott has been a regular consultant on Catholic-Muslim relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and for Centro Internazionale di Studi e Ricerche Oasis at the Marcianum in Venice, Italy. He sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, is co-editor of A Dictionary of Christian-Muslim Relations (Cambridge University Press, anticipated 2013), and is the author of a number of articles on Islamic history and religion and Christian-Muslim Relations published in scholarly journals, edited collections, and encyclopedias. In March of 2007, Scott was one of five U.S. scholars to be awarded an Association of Theological Schools Lilly Faculty Fellowship in support of his research and writing. Beyond his extensive work with the Muslim community in Chicago and the U.S., Scott also has first-hand experience with Muslim communities in the traditional Muslim world and is currently working to expand the outreach of CTU's Catholic-Muslim Studies Program to similar programs in Nigeria, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Sunday February 28 2016, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Adam Herbert University Center, UNF

UNF Interfaith Center and Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville organized one of the largest community discussions on Middle east peace. WJCT's First Coast Connect host, Melissa Ross, sat down with a panel of nationally acclaimed faith leaders, Rev. Molly Marshall, President of Central Baptist Theological Seminary KS. Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University and Rabbi Donniel Hartman, President of Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem and joined with four UNF students and millennial change makers for an afternoon of storytelling and practical solutions for a better world. Conversations explored the role faith communities may play in resolving one of the most intractable international conflicts of our time. Discussion was lively and informative while guests participated in active interaction at the end of program. UNF Interfaith Center promoted guidelines for civil discourse, here are the golden rules;

Use "I" Statements
Its okay to disagree
One person speak at a time
Listen more/Speak in turn
Suspend Judgement
Keep Confidentiality
Practice Forgiveness
No Debating



pointAll photos are available in original size at our Flickr account.




Tuesday May 19, 2015 - 6:30pm at Istanbul Cultural Center at Jacksonville


Rabbi Joshua Lief, The Temple Congregation Ahavath Chesed
Rev.Dr. Nicholas Louh, St.John The Divine Greek Orthodox Church
Dr. Parvez Ahmed, University of North Florida

Abraham is considered the father of the three monotheistic faiths in the world, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In the spirit of dialogue and in honor Abraham, the Atlantic Institute regularly hosts a panel program that brings community leaders and clergy from the three Abrahamic faiths to engage in a dialogue about the commonalities of and common issues concerning the Abrahamic communities over delicious food.

The Second Annual Table of Abraham organized by Atlantic Institute- Jacksonville on May 19th, 2015. The mission of this event is to bring the believers of the Abrahamic traditions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, together to strengthen the dialogue and friendship and to celebrate their shared history, values and traditions.

This event catered to about 70 distinguished guests from The Temple - Congregation Ahavath Chesed, St.John the Divine - Greek Orthodox Church, Riverside Presbyterian Church, Istanbul Cultural Center and Muslim community in Jacksonville. Hence, the event served as a "melting pot" between Judaism, Christianity and Islamic traditions in Jacksonville.

Rabbi Joshua Lief from Temple, Rev. Nichoulas Louh from St.John the Divine and Dr. Parvez Ahmed from UNF were our panelists. The topic of the evening was Family values in Abrahamic Traditions. Each of the panelists had explained the place of families in their traditions.

After panelists concluded their speeches,guests in each table were engaged in discussion with each other. They had a chance to explore and learn more about each others' faiths and traditions.

This event acknowledges the demand and importance for interfaith dialogue and the positive role it plays in society. Although this event represents Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all religions are welcome to the table.

This program was free, open to public and organized by the Atlantic Institute.