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Since 2011, The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee has piloted Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues with great success. From summer 2013 through spring 2014, a generous grant from the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee enabled the Interfaith Conference to expand the program.
The Dinner Dialogues are based on the Amazing Faiths Project co-founded in 2006 by The Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University and Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston with official sponsorship from the Office of the Mayor of the City of Houston. The Boniuk Center houses the Project as a whole. Interfaith Ministries produces the Greater Houston Dinner Dialogue and other Project activities in the larger Houston area.
The cornerstone event of the Project, the Dinner Dialogue, was initially created in 2006 by Dr. Jill Carroll, who at that time was the Executive Director of the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Carroll was part of a team of community interfaith leaders in Houston convened by Mayor Bill White in the fall of 2006 to create an initiative that would capture the spirit of The Amazing Faiths of Texas, a beautiful book of photography and spiritual expression by Roy Spence.
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston partnered with the Boniuk Center at Rice to begin the Project, and produce the first Dinner Dialogue in Houston in January 2007 with 250 people and 20 host homes. The Dinner Dialogue was repeated in Houston and two other Texas cities in November 2007 with 850 people and 75 host homes. In November 2008, ten cities throughout the United States produced the Dinner Dialogue with over 1500 participants - all on the same night in hundreds of host homes.
The Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University develops and manages the Project as a whole as it spreads nationally and internationally. Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston produces the Greater Houston Dinner Dialogue and other Project activities in the area. Houston is the "laboratory city" for the Project in many ways. Many partnering cities produce the Dinner Dialogues on the same night with Houston; others produce the event at different times of the year. While the Dinner Dialogue is the cornerstone event of the Project, other activities and events fill out the year in all the cities in which the Project has a presence. Lectures, faith tours, women's spiritual gatherings, book discussions, classes and more are available through the Project's sponsoring organizations throughout the year in every partnering community.