The Interfaith "Thursday Night" Supper is a weekly gathering of Brown students, faculty, and staff, held in the home of the Reverend Janet M. Cooper Nelson, chaplain of the University. Dinner is always followed by a discussion with invited speakers, who offer "food" for thought on issues such as interfaith dialogue, spirituality, and religion in the academy. Begun in 1964, "Thursday Supper" or TNS, as it is affectionately known, has been a place for delicious food, inspiring speakers, and invigorating conversation.
The Spiritual and Religious Life Advisory Board (SPRLAB), formed in 2017, collaborates with the Chaplains to assess, review and advise proactively on matters of religion, religious identity, and spiritual practice. These efforts endeavor to monitor and enhance Brown's diversity; to strengthen the campus climate; and to monitor and assess resources and systems for religious accommodation, literacy, and practice in the Brown community.
For information about any of these Interfaith Initiatives, please email [email protected].
Narrow Bridge Project (NBP) is an application-based Jewish student cohort experience, which meets to discuss the past, present and future of Jewish peoplehood, Zionism and antisemitism, students' differing definitions of each of these, and how these differences impact their Judaism, activism and life experiences as Jews today. NBP is a radical strategy for addressing a diminishing sense of Jewish interconnectedness, rising bilateral antisemitism and the flammable subject of Israel/Palestine on campus. It is rooted in a belief that positive developments in any of these realms necessitates Jews discussing the relationships of these subjects to one another, together, across divides. Facilitated by Rabbi Dardashti, this is a joint project of the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life and Brown RISD Hillel.
Soul Food is an informal discussion group for Black-identified undergraduate students. Beginning as a pilot program in 2017 as "The Barbershop," the discussion group officially launch in 2018, under the name Soul Food. Soul Food serves as a place where students have a chance to discuss their experiences ranging from microaggressions to student leadership. Along with dinner, guest speakers including scholars and leaders in the Providence community share their insights on life lessons and leadership principles to navigate college and beyond.
Interfaith Student Leadership Awards
Nominations are solicited each spring by the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life for recipients in the following award categories. Full instructions can be found on the PDF attached to this web page.
The President James Manning Medal
The President James Manning Medal is awarded to a senior in the college whose pursuit of excellence in the study and practice of religion is exemplary. This award is given in honor of Brown's first president who exemplified the synthesis of intellectual precision and spiritual engagement. The academic study of religion enables students to become critical thinkers and move beyond personal piety into responsible leadership achieving a balance between the particularity of respective faith traditions and a sense of community and global responsibility.
The Interfaith Leadership Award
A generous award to the Brown University Chaplaincy from the Kapstein Foundation, administered through the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island, makes possible the honoring of a senior in the college who has demonstrated interfaith leadership both on campus and beyond, within the confines of the academic year and/or during time away. This award will acknowledge the energy, insight, imagination, and service of a student in the realm of inter-religious community building and programming. The Interfaith Leadership Award honors the late Reverend Charles A. Baldwin, Chaplain of the University, 1958–1988.
The Levi Adams Citation
Inaugurated in 2001, the Levi Adams Citation honors a senior in the college for distinction and service in the leadership of a campus based religious organization, project, or initiative. This award is given in honor of Dr. Levi Adams, whose retirement from Brown in 1994 concluded a distinguished career during which he served on Brown's faculty, as one of the Deans of the Medical School and Vice President of Government and Community Relations. His resilience, imagination and strength in his varied tasks were always ground in deep spiritual convictions. Empowered by Dr. Adam’s example this citation is made to honor such service.