Foundation Beyond Belief and the Humanist Community at Harvard (HCH) are excited to announce a partnership to encourage community service and interfaith projects: the Values in Action (VIA) Fellowship position. The new VIA fellow, Zachary Cole, will assist Beyond Belief Network (BBN) staff in developing resources for humanistic service events and interfaith projects, promote humanistic civic engagement nationally, and work to develop the VIA fellowship program into a national model for humanist service.
The VIA program is HCH’s community service and interfaith initiative with a three-fold goal: to better the conditions of life for others through service to humanity, to build alliances between religious and nonreligious individuals and communities, and to combat the misconception that the nonreligious do not contribute to society.
HCH staff, including the new VIA fellow, organize monthly community service events for the greater Boston area. Although many of these service events are designed to engage the local nonreligious community, VIA also builds relationships with religious communities and works collaboratively to plan interfaith community service events to work toward mutual understanding and tolerance among those with different viewpoints and beliefs. The more that humanists, atheists, and the nonreligious participate in these events, both as an identifiable nonbelieving community and in concert with religious groups, we demonstrate that the stereotype of nontheists as immoral is false (for evidence that interfaith work can reduce anti-atheist prejudice, read this post by Beyond Belief Network Coordinator Brittany Shoots-Reinhard).
Zachary comes to HCH and FBB after earning his bachelor’s in religious studies and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds a MA in higher education administration from Boston College. While working toward his master’s, Zachary worked in the Office of Student Life at the Harvard Divinity School, where he planned weekly community events and supported student organizations. Stay tuned for future updates, resources, and blog posts from Zachary, and feel free to email him.