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.

 

Religious Diversity Journeys draws hundreds of students from across the Tri County area representing:

Berkley Public Schools

Beverly Hills Academy

Birmingham Public Schools

Brandon School District

Christ the King School, Detroit

Clarkston School District

Dearborn Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools Community District

Detroit Waldorf

Farmington Public Schools

Hamtramck Public Schools

Huda School & Montessori

Muslim American Youth Academy

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

Redford Union Public School District

The James and Grace Lee Boggs School

Troy Public Schools

Walled Lake Consolidated School District

Warren Consolidated Schools

Waterford Montessori Academy

Waterford School District

West Bloomfield School District

WISE Academy

 

Introducing a Reimagined RDJ for the 2020-2021 school year

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.

 

 

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