Wings of knowledge: Empowering youth to improve their rural communities

To further elaborate, I think it is important to point out the transformation of the American university to illuminate the historical context of Abdu'l-Baha's call to colleges and universities based on our Baha'i Revelation. I believe that through this transformation, involving spiritual forces, the doors are opening more and more to the development of spiritual education. Abdu'l-Baha challenged "the stale assumptions and prejudices of our age" by introducing spiritual education. The implications of the Baha'i Revelation and Abdu'l-Baha's writings/guidance are addressed particularly focusing on understanding interracial unity in the context of student learning in the American university. For example, why is it that we learn more about the conditions of racial oppression and injustice in our past and present day than we do about the "other side of history"--i.e., interracial unity and cooperation, especially involving the moral conditions and spiritual experiences that have transformed people's lives for the better?

  • Inclusivity
  • Development
  • Education
  • Agriculture

  • Vahid Motazedian

    Trained as an engineer, Vahid has transitioned from a career in high tech to fulltime engagement with Olinga Learning—a non-profit that he co-created and that enables him to work with youth in rural communities in California to address problems related to farming. The agency currently works in four different rural communities offering a day/after-school program for the youth, seeking to connect the school learning to practical challenges in the community.

  • Bradley Wilson

    Bradley Wilson is associate professor of geography at West Virginia University and founding director of its Center for Resilient Communities. His research explores community responses to economic crisis, food insecurity and environmental injustice in Central America and Central Appalachia. In recent years he has been engaged in action research in West Virginia with community organizations to build grassroots capacity for food system change and to advance the right to food.


45th Annual Conference

In the Footsteps of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá: Contributing to the Discourses of Our Time


The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.