Class 10 (2011-2013)
Jessica Trijsburg, Australia
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Education
Jessica’s area of expertise is multicultural interfaith dialogue, especially between and within Muslim and Christian communities. During undergraduate studies at the Australian National University and Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (Indonesia), and subsequent work in Indonesia, Jessica developed an appreciation for the complexities and implications associated with interfaith conflict and peace. In 2008 she initiated work on an annual international program, Uniting through Faith, to facilitate relationship development and mutual education between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia and Australia. This program, with an annual participation of over 4000 individuals, seeded a number of other interfaith initiatives including ongoing local relationships between churches and mosques; university inclusivity programs; international interfaith youth programs and a student interfaith conference. Following the success of the Uniting through Faith pilot program, Jessica was employed by a network of church schools and further assisted in the support of intercultural and interfaith contexts within those environments. Schoolies with a Cause was a major outcome of this relationship and Jessica managed the first three cause-based youth programs in 2010: Schoolies for Reconciliation; Schoolies for the Environment and Schoolies for Our Global Community. Following her energizing experience working with schools, Jessica elected to pursue her Peace Fellowship in the School of Education at UNC and is interested in researching and developing methodology to promote understanding of emerging and stigmatized religious groups within mainstream society.