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Twenty-one leaders for the 21st century

Release date: 26 April 2018 

In a world first, media outlets serving the three Abrahamic faiths in Britain are joining forces to celebrate the way in which young people are promoting interfaith collaboration.  

The 21 for 21 project — 21 leaders for the 21st century — seeks to find 21 young people who are making a significant difference to understanding and harmony between people of different faiths.​

These 21 — seven Jews, seven Christians, seven Muslims — will be at work today, leading projects, creating dialogues, running organisations: all demonstrating in their work and their lives how their faith makes them more open, not less, to friendships and social action across cultural boundaries. Nominations via the website* are invited from the general public.​

Nominees will be considered by a distinguished panel of judges, and the chosen 21 will be presented with their prizes at a reception at Lambeth Palace on 19 November.

​This project is the first on which the Jewish News, the Church Times, and British Muslim TV have combined forces, in partnership with Coexist House. Each outlet will profile the successful candidates.​

The deadline for nominations is 29 June 2018. 

The judges:

  • Christian:

    the Revd Michaela Youngsan, President of the Methodist Conference; the Most Revd Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, and Inter-faith lead for the RC Church in England and Wales; (a third judge to be confirmed)

  • Muslim:

    Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, Islamic scholar and Imam; Sarah Joseph OBE, writer and broadcaster; Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Director-General of Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society

  • Jewish: Rabbi Harvey Belovski, United Synagogue; Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi of the Movement for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi, S&P Sephardi Community

  • Others: Jonathan Hellewell, special adviser on communities to the Prime Minister; Sir Bernard Rix, chair, Coexist House; Michael Wakelin, director of programmes, Coexist House.

  • Chair of judges: Andrew Gilbert 

A spokesperson for the four partner organisations said: “The narrative of faiths in constant conflict is all too dominant today — often perpetuated by the media. Through this unique collaboration, we look forward to shining a light on those demonstrating in their work and their lives how their faith makes them more open, not less, to friendships and social action across cultural boundaries. 

“With a combined audience of more than 350,000 across the three communities, we are uniquely placed to highlight the many glowing examples of positive interactions to our readers and viewers, and to spread awareness to wider society.” 

More details on the website*. 

Who we are:

The awards are run as a partnership between four organisations: 

Jewish News is the biggest-distribution newspaper serving the UK's 300,000-strong Jewish community. It also boasts an exclusive UK digital partnership with the Times of Israel and has created a number of initiatives to encourage pride and participation, including Night of Heroes, Jewish Living Expo, and Jewish School Awards. 

The Church Times is an independent news organisation, founded in 1863, reporting on the Church of England and Christian concerns worldwide in print and online. Recent initiatives have included the Green Church Awards, the Festival of Preaching, and the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature. 

British Muslim TV is a fresh and exciting TV channel, bursting with a range of educational and entertaining content. Broadcasting 24 hours a day, and available to watch free on Sky or stream online, the station is an exclusive destination for high-quality programming that’s focused on the British Muslim community. 

Coexist House is an organisation dedicated to transforming public understanding of the practices and perspectives of the world’s religions. It was created in 2015 in partnership with the City of London Corporation, the University of Cambridge, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Inner Temple, and the Coexist Foundation. 

For more information, please contact Michael Wakelin on 07740 051517 or via email.

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