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2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence Conference
May 22 - 24, 2017 

The 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence is designed to focus on the themes of Identity, Community, Leadership, and Research amalgamating for conversation and collective action in regards to Religious, Secular, and Spiritual initiatives in higher education. This convergence will address the intersectionality of identity, religion, and spirituality with students, community members, and professionals and how those entities converge through one's work and collegiate experience. Furthermore, the content presented through the 2017 Convergence will be reflective of research and policy and is intended to spark thoughtful conversation, strategic action, and enhancement of professional practice towards creating more socially just and inclusive campus environments that support religious, secular, and spiritual exploration and practice in our communities.

Call for Proposals due January 31, 2017.  Submit yours today! 


Hindu Beliefs on Campus with Anju Bhargava, J. Cody Nielsen
Live Briefing: January 26, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Among the most marginalized groups on our college campuses are a small but growing group of Hindu students that are becoming more and more present and visible every single academic year.  Despite being the 3rd largest religious group the world, Hindu’s are largely contained to the eastern hemisphere, and an American population of less than 1% makes Hindu practices and beliefs all the more invisible.  Join Expert in Residence Cody Nielsen with Anju Bhargava, an original member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership & Varun Soni, Hindu and University Chaplain at the University of Southern California for this discussion around Hindu beliefs and how to support students on campus.

Hindu populations in the United States, while small, are growing and will continue to grow especially on our college campuses.  The needs of Hindu students are diverse and important, and despite the population of the group need be taken seriously. Join Expert in Residence Cody Nielsen with Anju Bhargava, an original member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership & Varun Soni, Hindu, and University Chaplain at the University of Southern California for this discussion.  Hindu students will be discussed at length and beliefs and belief systems of Hindus understood and explained. 

Participants joining in this discussion should feel welcome to ask any number of questions during the discussion regarding Hindu practices and beliefs.  Participants will come to learn about Hindu prayer practices, how the university calendar and potential events like Holi can educate and accommodate for all students, and how Hindu students can greatly add to the interfaith discussions taking place on campus.


Sikh Beliefs on Campus with Simran Jeet Singh, J. Cody Nielsen
Live Briefing: February 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Sikhs are the most confused group in America.  Often mistook for Muslims, Sikhs have been the target of dozens of Islamophobic acts of violence since 2001.  But Sikhs hold very diverse beliefs from Muslims, and just like others, hold a special and important place in the spectrum of religious, secular, and spiritual identities in the world.  Join Expert in Residence Cody Nielsen alongside preeminent scholar Dr. Simran Jeek Singh for this informative discussion that will unravel some of the mystery surrounding Sikhs and will help professors better support the lives of these students.


Since 2001, Sikhs have been further and further misunderstood as the rash of Islamophobia grows across the nation.  Sikhs have been targets of violence, have been subjected to horrible conditions in airport security, and have endured hatred from many groups.  And yet all the while, almost not no knew that these persons were in fact not even Muslim.  And while Sikh’s are a very small group in America, the expectation of growth more than adequately calls for greater understanding by higher education professionals.


Join Expert in Residence Cody Nielsen alongside preeminent scholar Dr. Simran Jeek Singh for this informative discussion that will unravel some of the mystery surrounding Sikhs and will help professors better support the lives of these students.  Participants in this live briefing can expect to learn much about Sikh beliefs and practices and will be able to better accommodate for their needs on their campuses.  Furthermore, professionals will be encouraged to ask questions during the live briefing and will be able to interact with Dr. Singh, a preeminent scholar and practice Sikh who has appeared on numerous news shows including a significant segment on Comedy Central’s Daily Show last year.


Sikh populations may be small in the United States, but diversity working will genuinely appreciate how to support these students and will be better able to create accommodations necessary in recruitment and retention of these students.  Professionals who are Sikh themselves should be encouraged to participate in the discussion and anyone who is interested in adding to the conversation should feel free to email Cody at [email protected] for more information.