Eboo Patel, a leading voice in the movement for interfaith cooperation, will present “Better Together: Bridging the Interfaith Barrier,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 9, in Illinois State University’s Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. The event, part of the Illinois State University Speaker Series, is free and open to the public.

Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground, and Interfaith Leadership. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel served on President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council.

Patel is a regular contributor to the public conversation around religion in America and a frequent speaker on the topic of religious pluralism. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. For more than 15 years, he has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help realize a future where religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division.

Patel’s presentation is sponsored by the Illinois State University Office of the President and Office of the Provost; Evelyn Chapel at Illinois Wesleyan University; and The Parret Endowment at the First United Methodist Church of Normal.

The Illinois State University Speaker Series seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process. All talks are free and open to the public.