Emre Celik

Emre Celik

Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Systems Engineering (2001)

President and Chief Executive Officer, Rumi Forum

UTS: Community Alumni Award 2016

In the current global socio-political climate, the work of Emre Celik in championing the cause of diversity, pluralism and social cohesion is more important than ever.

Celik is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rumi Forum, a Washington DC-based organisation dedicated to increasing social harmony and inclusion through interfaith dialogue and engagement. Here, he has brought together Christian, Jewish and Muslim speakers to publicly debate social issues, and run numerous events under the auspices of the White House, with the support of the United States President.

“The support of President Obama and the Whitehouse is critical,” explains Celik. “It enhances our credibility, strengthens our cause in the eyes of others and allows us to directly communicate our concerns to the administration.”

"It is a privilege to be a catalyst for social change; to play a role in alleviating the concerns of others and bring together diverse communities to overcome social discord and misunderstanding"

As a student, Celik was a founding executive of the UTS Muslim Students Association. Later, he brought together politicians, activists and community leaders in interfaith dialogue at the first ever Federal Parliament Ramadan Dinner in Canberra, and delivered community programs across Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Following an open invitation Celik issued on ABC Radio Melbourne, more than 400 Australians were welcomed into the homes of Muslim Melburnians to break bread and engage. His ‘Building Bridges’ project unified Melbourne’s Jewish and Muslim communities, bringing together 15 families from each faith for a year of engagement and peaceful exchange in each other’s homes.

The ripple effect of cultural change and awareness is often most powerful when the message begins early. For many years Celik has promoted interfaith understanding as both a teacher and an agent of education reform. He speaks on issues of pluralism and diversity at universities and brings attention to the cause through the New York Times, Washington Post, CBS and NBC in the United States, and media outlets across Germany, Australia and Turkey.

“It is a privilege to be a catalyst for social change; to play a role in alleviating the concerns of others and bring together diverse communities to overcome social discord and misunderstanding.”

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