Religious Diversity Journeys Student Videos

Amani Mubeen and Navya Paingool, First Place Winners

A visit to a mosque, temple, church, synagogue, or gurdwara can be an eye-opening experience for the 7th grade Religious Diversity Journeys participants.

“It can,” says Orchard Lake Middle School participant Abby Freitag, “completely change the way you look at different religions.”

This year’s students were challenged to share that learning with others through a video contest. Students were invited to create a 5 minute video about the importance of religious diversity and interfaith learning.

Abby and her friends Samantha Cooper and Amulya Setlur thought it was a great opportunity to show what they had learned from the journeys, and decided to enter the contest.

“It was just a fun thing to do, just to work together on a project outside of school,” says Freitag.

The video starts with her explaining that “interfaith understanding is super important. If everyone understood every faith, there wouldn’t be as many false stereotypes and misconceptions about religious faiths.” She suggests that if you don’t understand a religion, you should talk to someone who practices that faith to get beyond false assumptions to true understanding.

“Without different religions,” continues co-creator Samantha Cooper, “we would all have the exact same beliefs, and we couldn’t learn anything from each other.”

They continue with an interview with Setlur about Hinduism and its importance to her, and conclude lightheartedly with a few filming bloopers.

The trio’s first foray into film won them second place in the contest, and will be shown at their school, along with presentations from participating students, as part of the program’s efforts to take RDJ learnings back to the wider school community.

Please take a moment to watch and to share the terrific work of our students:

First place: Amani Mubeen and Navya Paingol from Abbott Middle School. Watch the video.

Second Place: Abby Freitag, Samantha Cooper and Amulya Setlur from Orchard Lake Middle School. Watch the video.

Third Place: Mick Gordinier from Orchard Lake Middle School. Watch the video.

Nasrene Mroue, Tabarek Ahmed, Ola Albayati from Unis Middle School. Watch the video.