FAU and the Florida Commission on Human Relations Present ‘Interfaith Symposium 2008’ (Media Advisory)

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (October 27, 2008) - Florida Atlantic University, in partnership with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, will host “Interfaith Symposium 2008” on Wednesday, October 29 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at FAU’s Higher Education Complex, 111 E. Las Olas Blvd., 11th floor, Room 1110, Fort Lauderdale campus.

The intent of the program is to educate attendees about the growing trend of hate crimes and religion-based discrimination occurring in South Florida, and inform the audience about the consequences of these issues.

“This Symposium is uniquely significant because it will give attendees an opportunity to develop a plan for taking positive action in stopping discrimination in their communities regardless of their own religion,” said Dr. Maria Santamarina, diversity officer within the university’s department of human resources, and assistant professor in FAU’s department of communications and multimedia studies.

Rev. James Eaton, Rabbi Zev Katz and Imam Sayfayet Mohamed will make up the panel that will debate these issues, as well as lead an interactive discussion with attendees to develop community solutions for religious discrimination and hate crimes in their own communities.

“We are deeply concerned about the increase in discriminatory acts taking place in Florida,” said Derick Daniel, executive director of the Florida Commission on Human Relations. “It is our hope that opening the lines of communication between people of varied faiths will not only create a sense of unity, but will also lead to solutions in preventing future discrimination.”

The Florida Commission on Human Relations is a state agency responsible for enforcing the state’s civil laws and serves as a resource on human relations for the people of Florida. The Commission is responsible for promoting fair treatment, equal opportunity and mutual respect among members of all economic, social, racial, religious and ethnic groups, and works to eliminate discrimination against groups and their members.

For more information, contact Dr. Maria Santamarina at 561-297-0938 or msantam3@fau.edu , or Leah Barber-Heinz at 850-528-1597 or Leah.Barber@fchr.myflorida.com , or visit http://fchr.state.fl.us.