In 2010, Focus on the Family became the new sponsor of the event once known as the Day of Truth. Now it boasts a new name, while maintaining the same goal it’s always had since its founding—encouraging honest and respectful conversation among students about God’s design for sexuality.
The Day of Dialogue®, as the event is now called, is scheduled for April 18, 2013.
“We’re excited about shepherding the next phase for this student-led event,” said Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family and director of the Day of Dialogue Web site in a press release announcing the sponsorship. “We’re helping to ensure Christian students have the chance to express their viewpoint,” she said. “What is freedom of speech, after all, but a guarantee of the right to have dialogue?”
Below is a brief history:
2005: The Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund) launched an event called the Day of Truth with the goal of supporting students of faith who want to peacefully engage in a free exchange of ideas and respectfully share a Biblical perspective when issues like homosexuality are brought up and celebrated in their public school.
Since its founding, thousands of students annually celebrated the Day of Truth. The Alliance Defending Freedom has always provided free legal assistance to students who want to participate in the event, but encounter unconstitutional censorship at their school. Participation in the event has always been voluntary and student-directed—meaning it’s completely up to students, Christian clubs and youth groups to register online and then lead the activities in their school.
2009: While continuing to offer pro bono legal assistance to students, in 2009, the Alliance Defending Freedom transitioned sponsorship to Exodus International due to Exodus’ excellent experience in providing a Biblical point of view on sexuality issues. With 230 member organizations in the U.S. and internationally, Exodus is the world’s largest ministry offering a redemptive perspective on homosexuality.
2010: Focus on the Family announced it had become the new official sponsor of the event—with the Alliance Defending Freedom continuing to provide pro bono legal assistance for students. Focus on the Family felt this was a logical step due to the ministry’s long history of supporting individuals—especially students and their families—who want an equal opportunity to express their faith-based viewpoint in a loving and respectful way. For instance, Focus recently launched a Web site called truetolerance.org, an online tool for families who want to ensure a balanced treatment of these issues when they are brought up in schools.
Through the Day of Dialogue, Focus hopes to encourage peaceful, student-initiated conversations and ensure there is a safe space for different perspectives and viewpoints, including faith-based ones.
“Our focus for this year’s event, is going to be on dialogue and giving students of faith an opportunity to express the model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible—who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people and defending those people from harm,” said Cushman.