University YMCA
University YMCAthe Y | service, reflection and action since 1873
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Faith and Justice

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“Before I participated in interfaith dialogues, I was really afraid to voice my opinion until I experienced this safe space where I could feel comfortable saying that I don’t understand and asking others about their experiences,” said Shivali Patel, 2016 Intern For the YMCA's Faith & Justice Initiative. To Shivali, an understanding of the unique perspectives others can bring to an issue is so important in recognizing the power of people, of different faiths and backgrounds, taking action together. Watch Shivali's Interfaith story here:


Interfaith Programming at the Y:

First Tuesday Interfaith Dialogue Series

It seems like wherever you look, you’ll find stories of religious strife and images of hatred and violence. It’s no wonder the narrative around religious difference is constantly about conflict. Let's come together to tell a different story. 

Join us for the first Tuesday of every month during the fall and spring semesters for the First Tuesday Interfaith Dialogue Series at 7:00pm at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign. Let's come together to find connections, explore ideas, fellowship, and strengthen our ability to promote dialogue through interfaith cooperation.  All people of religious and non-religious philosophical traditions are welcome! Questions? Contact Ann Rasmus at

Interfaith In Action

Interfaith In Action, a student program of the University YMCA, works to bring together students of different faith backgrounds in community service and interfaith dialogue through programs such as the First Tuesday Interfaith Dialogue Series and Days of Interfaith Youth Service.


Faith has always been an important part of the mission and programming of the University YMCA. The Y has become a hub for student-led initiatives and community engagement around issues of faith, ethics, justice and equality. In 2008, staff proposed and the University YMCA's Board of Governors approved a set of new program initiatives, including Faith and Justice as a point of emphasis for our programming.

Recognizing that for many people their faith calls them to servie and work for justice, Y staff work to generate programs which connect faith with justice issues. The Y's building is often used to host interfaith action projects, as an example a Faithful Friend event organized near Thanksgiving brought memebers of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian congregations together to package meals for families in our community.

The Y is recognized as a safe, thoughtful interfaith space by both campus and community members. Following the tragic events of 911, the Y was an essential gathering place to talk, process and pray for students and faculty of all faiths.