Dr. Tarek Elgawhary, CEO of Coexist, Visits
Posted 01/03/2017 06:41PM

Meets with several student groups to talk about the work of the foundation

Dr. Tarek Elgawhary, CEO of Coexist, an organization that seeks to promote understanding and cooperation across divides of faith, race, class, and ethnicity, visited Bullis in December.

Coexist may be best recognized by their blue and white interfaith bumper stickers, but the work they do is much broader and involves supporting schools in areas susceptible to instability and unrest due to cultural, religious and ethnic fault lines.

In addition, Coexist has a line of fair-trade coffees that are now available in local Safeways and other groceries. The beans are grown by a farmers' cooperative in Uganda, and proceeds from the sales go back into the work of the foundation and also support the community farmers.

Dr. Elgawhary met with two different groups of students. First, he had a small group discussion with the students in two Signature Program Capstones: Humanities and Global Studies and Entrepreneurship. The focus was the business model for a company with a social conscience—the idea of earning a profit while also doing good. He spoke about the challenges of the coffee trade (his background is Islamic law, not business!) and the fact that if the product wasn't a good one, nobody would buy it, no matter the cause.

Second, Dr. Elgawhary met with students in Middle School as well as 9th and 10th grade to speak more generally about the work of the Coexist Foundation. Student had great questions about the challenges of building schools, working to resolve conflict, and staying inspired.

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