Religious Diversity Journeys

Religious Diversity Journeys (RDJ) was established in the 2002-03 school year by a local teacher who was concerned that her immigrant students were being isolated and bullied. As metropolitan Detroit’s population has become more diverse, an increasing number of educators have recognized the need to teach cultural and religious literacy and the program has grown to include schools in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Religious Diversity Journeys participants, who attend public, private and parochial schools, represent the diversity of Detroit’s suburban and urban environments. The program introduces students to local Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Christian and Hindu houses of worship and faith as a way to teach respect towards others and support Michigan’s 7th grade social studies curriculum in World Religion.

At each Journey, students, parents and teachers meet clergy and volunteer community leaders to learn about a faith’s historical roots and stories of American integration, important holidays and life-cycle celebrations, and view religious objects. At a church, participants can touch a robe worn by clergy and taste Christmas cookies. At a synagogue, students hear Hebrew chanted as it might be for a Jewish bar mitzvah and learn about Jewish dietary laws. 

At a mosque, students feel the clay coin used by some during prayer and are taught by their Muslim peers how to wear a headscarf. At Sikh Journeys, students learn how to wrap a turban, guess the seasonings in Indian food, and learn about the importance of selfless service to others. On Hindu Journeys, students dress try on traditional Indian clothing, eat vegetarian Indian dishes and learn that vegetarianism is a valued lifestyle-choice for many. At each Journey, students, parents and teachers meet clergy and volunteer community leaders to learn about a faith’s historical roots and stories of American integration, important holidays and life-cycle celebrations, and view religious objects. At a church, participants can touch a robe worn by clergy and taste Christmas cookies. At a synagogue, students hear Hebrew chanted as it might be for a Jewish bar mitzvah and learn about Jewish dietary laws. At a mosque, students feel the clay coin used by some during prayer and are taught by their Muslim peers how to wear a headscarf. At Sikh Journeys, students learn how to wrap a turban, guess the seasonings in Indian food, and learn about the importance of selfless service to others. On Hindu Journeys, students dress try on traditional Indian clothing, eat vegetarian Indian dishes and learn that vegetarianism is a valued lifestyle-choice for many.

This academic year Religious Diversity Journeys is offering engaging, relevant interfaith and intercultural learning opportunities using remote experiences and creative virtual content.

 

Leaving school to experience RDJ is not required!

 

Enrollment Options

  • The Foundation Track gives every 7th grader the opportunity to participate in RDJ this year! Through partnerships with Detroit Public Television and the Detroit Experience Factory students will participate in remote field trip experiences to local houses of worship.

 

  • The Ambassador Track supports emerging leaders with skills and strategies for building intercultural and interfaith connections. Ambassadors will engage in peer-to-peer bridge building in partnership with Interfaith Youth Core, participate in interactive Q & A sessions with local faith leaders and enrich their learning with the full Foundation Track curriculum.

Financial Assistance

Due to the generosity of our supporting foundations and partners, RDJ has always been able to offer tuition assistance. Especially in light of the current economic uncertainties, we will not let this commitment change! Schools seeking tuition assistance are encouraged to submit a request ASAP via RDJ’s simple TUITION GRANT REQUEST FORM.

Tuition 

Foundation Track tuition: $1,000 per school*
Ambassador Track tuition: $500 per school* plus $120 per student
*50% discount on per school tuition for districts
enrolling 3 or more schools.

 

 

Introducing a Reimagined RDJ for the 2020-2021 school year

CLICK ON PHOTOS BELOW TO ENLARGE

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