Citation for Promoting Dialogue and Understanding
The fledgling Libertas Center for Interconfessional and Interreligious Dialogue has won the annual “Face of the City” award bestowed by Lviv’s City Council and its Chamber of Commerce.
The CIU and Berrie Foundation-sponsored non-profit was cited for its work and outreach promoting dialogue and understanding among the oft-times contentious religious groups in Ukraine.
The Libertas Center was opened only a year and a half ago, in May of 2013, by Dr. TarasDzyubanskyy, its director and a former student of Rabbi Bemporad’s at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum, Rome) and of the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Dialogue there.
The winning contestants were selected for their excellence in creating business, investment, jobs, and other social opportunities, thus promoting Lviv as an attractive location in economic, social, and humanitarian spheres. There were 30 finalists in the “Face of the City” contest and 15 winners, all of whom actively participated in the “Maidan,” or “Revolution of Dignity” last fall and winter. The Libertas Center was a prime candidate because Dr. Dzyubanskyy organized over ten interreligious and ecumenical events this year alone, attended by nearly 1000 people.
Dr. Dzyubanskyy was touched by the award and said, “For me personally, this award is a sign of recognition and a signal of support and gratitude from my own community.”
The award ceremony took place in the ornate Church of Saint Peter and Paul, originally built as a Jesuit church in the 17th century.
The Libertas Center got its start with a grant from the Berrie Foundation, as well as CIU funding for its Roundtable in May, 2014, which addressed the war and chaos in Eastern Ukraine in light of the teachings of Nostra Aetate.