Julie Payne Britton
The IRI awarded Julie Payne Britton the 2020 Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman InterReligious Leadership Award, where Britton is a master of divinity student, and honors the passionate commitment to interreligious engagement modeled by the late Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman. Britton’s winning proposal will develop a writing group designed to challenge spiritual silos, religious intolerance, implicit biases, and fear of the other in her hometown of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Britton’s work will take place in early 2020 during a six-week session where a small group of people who orient differently (or not at all) around religious identity will come together for an interreligious writing group. Through the sharing of their own personal stories, participants will build community and trust, breaking down some of the walls that divide and creating space for nuanced understandings to grow. Her program will culminate with a celebration and public reading of participants’ stories, a Q&A session, and the debut of a small, self-published anthology.