Press Release


The Public Square at the IHC hosts a lunch discussion of Patel‘s new book on Wednesday, July 25 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

CHICAGO – The 21st century will be the century of the faith line–a line that does not divide Christians and Muslims or Hindus and Jews, but religious pluralists and religious totalitarians–argues Eboo Patel, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, in his new book, Acts of Faith: The Story of An American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation.

Will thedefining struggle of the 21st century be faith-based? What is the future of secular democracy in our increasingly global world? What is the role of pluralism in today’s social movements, and how do we even define it? Lisa Lee, founder of The Public Square and Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, will lead a lively conversation on these questions and Patel’s intriguing personal journey. The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the Interfaith Youth Core, and the Chicago Cultural Center are the co-sponsors of this event.

Join us for this discussion on Wednesday, July 25th from 12:30-2:00 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.). Lunch will be served. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made by e-mailing or by calling 312.422.5580.

More about the panelists:

Dr. Eboo Patel is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core. He received his doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. Patel is a regular guest on Chicago Public Radio and a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed pages of The Chicago Tribune. Additionally, he has written for The Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, Utne Magazine, The Journal of Muslim Law and Culture and National Public Radio. He is co-editor of Building the Interfaith Youth Movement: Beyond Dialogue to Action (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).

Dr. Lisa Yun Lee is currently the Director of the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. She is also Co-Founder, former Director, and current Advisory Committee Co-Chair of The Public Square at the IHC. She received her doctorate in German Studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute Chicago in the Department of Critical and Visual Studies and serves on the boards of the Chicago Humanities Festival, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Young Chicago Authors,Bryn Mawr College, and the Ms. Magazine Advisory Board.


The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations.

This program is part of The Public Square’s Artists, Authors and Activists After Hours (AAAH) series. AAAH programs are intimate, informal discussions over meals that allow for meaningful exchanges among people who share some connection to the work of a visiting artist, author or activist. Since coalition building is one of the cornerstones of social change, AAAH programs are structured to give individuals a chance to meet others engaged in similar struggles and projects.More information about The Public Square at the IHC is available at

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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