by Kevin Childress,
Social Media Manager of The Interfaith Center of New York
In the days following the Presidential election, The Interfaith Center of New York’s website and social media channels saw a significant uptick in visitors. People seemed to be seeking out a specific type of content, with posts like these attracting the most attention:
“NYC will sue if Trump implements Muslim registry: de Blasio”
“What to do if You Encounter Someone Racially Abusing Someone Else”
“ICNY is Improving Public Safety for all New Yorkers with a Religious Diversity Training film for the NYPD”
This response is something I have witnessed repeatedly as the social media manager at ICNY. Over the years, I have monitored traffic to ICNY’s website and social media platforms, and consistently seen large increases in traffic after major troubling events take place.
Why would such large numbers of people look to ICNY when something distressing has happened? Judging by the types of content they are looking at, I believe that people come to us at those times, not simply because they want information, but because they are seeking assurance, and hope.
Certainly, we deliver that message of assurance and hope, but it isn’t something we post online only in quick response to a tragedy. Instead we build that message on a daily basis, throughout the year, in our work. For people who would like assurance and hope for the future of our city and our world, check this out:
We developed a religious diversity training film that is now mandatory viewing for every cadet in the NYPD.
Our ongoing NEH-sponsored Summer Institute trains public school teachers across the U.S. to teach kids about diverse religions in ways that foster respect for difference.
Our annual Conference for Social Workers gives social workers continuing education credits while raising their cultural competence, to help them provide more compassionate service to clients.
We’re helping faith communities in Harlem support parolees returning from prison so that they get jobs and become productive citizens, instead of falling into criminal behavior that would land them back in jail.
Our ongoing faith leader retreats bring Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and other faith leaders from around New York City together with city officials to discuss mutual concerns like homelessness, child welfare, racial profiling, etc., and to figure out how they might work together for change.
This is a glimpse of the day-to-day work we do at ICNY that enables all kinds of New Yorkers to work towards a better city and world. And this, I believe, is why people are right to look to ICNY in times of crisis – because our message isn’t a lament for a tragic present, it is an assertion of a peaceful future.
I’m pointing all this out to show that supporting ICNY’s work is a way you can take positive action in turbulent times. Your contribution helps make the city a safer place for diverse members of our community, and a kinder place for all of us. In this world of negativity and fear-mongering, ICNY’s voice of assurance and hope is precious and worth nurturing. Please take action now, and help ICNY’s voice be heard.
ICNY’s work is dependent upon contributions from people like you.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.
Or mail a check made out to The Interfaith Center of New York to:
The Interfaith Center of New York
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 540
New York, NY 10115