Beth Damsgaard-Rodriguez began as an Interfaith Consultant in 2010. She has been committed to interfaith work for over 13 years and is a well-known leader in interfaith youth work. She is respected locally for organizing interfaith volunteers to complete community service projects to meet the needs of the underserved in many areas of the St. Louis area, including the urban core. Her work in community building has spanned over 30 years, in various positions in the non-profit arena including serving in the US Peace Corps.
Under Beth’s leadership as Executive Director, Interfaith Partnership/ Faith Beyond Walls received FOCUS St. Louis What’s Right with the Region Award as well as The Distinguished Community Service Award from the Anti- Defamation League.
She enjoys bringing diverse groups of people, particularly of various faiths, together for interactive activities focused on interfaith understanding.
Beth’s work as an Interfaith Consultant has allowed her to assist several organizations in interfaith understanding and creating interfaith experiences, such as youth lead House of Worship tours. Her work includes creating interfaith experiences for youth and staff of the YMCA of Greater St. Louis, establishing the Faith Advisory Board for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, working with a team of national leaders with the Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program to explore effective approaches to religious diversity training in youth development programs.
She has taken the lead in creating a partnership between Interfaith Quest, Bal Vihar (Center for Indian Cultural Education) and the St. Louis Science Center to create a mural made of cans for a temporary exhibit with an interfaith theme, called a CANstruction, related to an OMNIMAX movie. The CANstruction involves 30-40 local youth representing various faith groups in an intense interactive process, that has now become an annual event.
Beth has been chosen as an Impact Fellow through FOCUS St. Louis to address issues raised in the Ferguson Commission. She serves on the Board of Directors Room at the Inn and is also a member of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Faith Community Advisory Board, in which she played a key role in establishing.