"Who Is Your Neighbor?" Interfaith Dialogue

Pikes Peak Habitat held an interfaith dialogue focused on neighborliness and partnering with civic officials to address the need for affordable homeownership. More than 90 people from a variety of faith traditions attended this free event held in celebration of the 2024 United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week!

Sunday, Feb. 4, 4 - 6 p.m.
Berger Hall at University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS)
1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity, the Pikes Peak Inter Faith Coalition, the City of Colorado Springs Mayor’s Office and various community partners participated in an important discussion seeking to answer: who is your neighbor? At this free community event, panelists representing diverse faiths articulated examples of neighborliness and what that means in the context of their belief systems.

Additionally, representatives from the City of Colorado Springs Mayor’s Office articulated the city’s plan to address this community issue as well as actionable steps that faith communities could take to get involved.

Following the panel, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a unique, facilitated interfaith dialogue discussion. Snacks and refreshments were provided.

Who is your neighbor? showing silhouettes of people

Representatives from the City of Colorado Springs

Steve Posey

Chief Housing Officer

Steve is the Chief Housing Officer for the City of Colorado Springs' Housing and Community Vitality Department.

Headshot of a smiling man
Headshot of smiling man in blazer and button-down shirt

Thomas Thompson

Community Affairs Advisor

Thomas Thompson is the Senior Advisor for Neighborhood, Leadership, and Faith Communities in the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs at the City of Colorado Springs.

He has served the last 30 years leading churches, non-profits, and his own company helping point leaders scale their teams, level up their leadership, and navigate what’s next in their life and career.

The Advisor on Community Affairs serves as the presence of the Mayor with the faith, leadership, and neighborhood communities in the City. The purpose is to build goodwill, develop trusting relationships, and foster collaboration for the good of Colorado Springs.


Dick Conn

Former Executive Director, Partners in Housing, and Founding President, Temple Beit Torah

Dick served 31+ years in the U.S. Air Force in both enlisted and officer status, retiring in 1993 in the rank of Colonel. His final assignment was the Director of Manpower and Personnel, NORAD/U.S. Space Command.

Shortly after retiring from the Air Force, Dick was selected to lead Partners In Housing (PIH) as its first full-time executive director, serving in that position for about 15 years. PIH guides families with children in housing crisis from insecurity to stability, self-reliance, and prosperity. PIH also provides affordable housing to other low-income families and individuals.

Dick was the Founding President of Temple Beit Torah in Colorado Springs and served on its Board for many years. He has also served on several community nonprofit boards including Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network, Leadership Pikes Peak, The Center for Christian-Jewish Dialogue, Housing Colorado, and the founding board of the Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust.

Headshot of a man in a suit and tie

Dick is the proud recipient of the Leon D. Young Award for Nonprofit Leadership; the Leadership Pikes Peak Modeling the Way Award; the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Outstanding Program of the Year Award; and the Award for Excellence, Colorado National Alliance of Housing Resource Officials. He was presented the title of Executive Director Emeritus upon retiring from PIH.

Dick graduated from The Ohio State University (cum laude); University of Utah, MBA; Air Command and Staff College, Distinguished Graduate; The Air War College; and Leadership Pikes Peak, Class of 1997.

He married his wife, Marilyn, in 1962, and they have three daughters, ten grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

Gilas and her son sitting on a blanket outside


Future Pikes Peak Habitat homeowner

"I am a naturalized American from Kurdistan, and my religion is Yarsani. I moved to the U.S. in 2017, learned English, and then went to Pikes Peak Community College to study phlebotomy. I work as a phlebotomist at a local hospital. My son Romeo is 12."


Future Pikes Peak Habitat homeowner

"I moved into the mobile I’m living in around November 2018. I inherited the home from my niece, who had gotten a job in Texas. The home was built in 1971, so it has many problems.

I work as the kitchen manager for a local high school. I also paint and draw for a hobby and have exhibited work in outside art shows around town.

I’m a widow since 2011. We were married 23 years. My husband and I had three children; two are grown, and one is still in high school.

I volunteer at my church. I’m a member of Springs Reformed Presbyterian Church."

Woman in kitchen with bird in foreground
Smiling man

Kamel Elwazeir

Kamel is the former president and board member of the Islamic Society of Colorado Springs, entrepreneur of an auto export company, founder of a non-profit that focuses on providing clean drinking water by building water wells in developing countries, and a liaison between the Muslim and greater Colorado Springs communities.

Habitat for Humanity International Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

We are compelled by our Koinonia roots to put God’s love into action and pursue housing justice for all by driving diversity, equity, and inclusion with accountability and trust while attracting and retaining diverse, mission-driven talent representative of the global communities we serve.

Please contact Chloe Henry with any questions