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How to Have Difficult Conversations: A Virtual Panel Discussion

Virtual September 16, 2020

On Wednesday, September 16 at 8pm EDT, Heterodox Academy will be hosting How to Have Difficult Conversations, a virtual panel discussion. This event, featuring Karith Foster, Irshad Manji, and Eboo Patel will explore ways to approach conversations on difficult topics – like the ones taking place at high schools, colleges, and universities this fall – and how to use these conversations to promote critical thinking, respect, and mutual understanding.

This event will only be open to HxA members and affiliates. Advanced registration is required – register below. Following the event, we will post a recording on our public social media pages.

Please note that we will be accepting audience questions for the panelists in advance and there is a field to submit your questions on the registration form.

More information on our panelists:

Karith Foster is a stand-up comedian, motivational speaker, TV and radio personality, actress, author, and entrepreneur, who has appeared on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, the Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today Show and Last Comic Standing, and VH-1’s Best Week Ever (just to name a few). She transitioned her comedy into a speaking career and frequently addresses colleges, universities, and corporations on issues related to diversity, leadership, and team building. She is also the founder of the “Laughter Bootcamp” workshop and is the author of “Laugh Your Way to Happiness: 101 Ways to Have a Great Laugh” and the soon to be released children’s book “Lealah Finds Love.”

Irshad Manji is the founder of Moral Courage College, which equips people to do the right thing in the face of fear – particularly in the fractious space of diversity and inclusion. Manji teaches “honest diversity,” which holds that different viewpoints, not complexions, are the key metric of pluralism. A fellow with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights, Manji is also an internationally best-selling author and Emmy-nominated filmmaker. Her latest book, Don’t Label Me, is being used by schools to teach a new generation about how to harvest common ground from our differences. Manji also sits on the HxA Advisory Council.

Eboo Patel is the founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core. For over 15 years he has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and is the author of Acts of FaithSacred GroundInterfaith Leadership: A Primer, and Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. Patel also sits on the HxA Advisory Council.

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Heterodox Academy hosts a variety of events throughout the year, ranging from skill-building member workshops to awards dinners to public lectures. If you have any questions about our events, please email


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