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'Coexist' sends useful message


IU alumni's business spreads goal of unity, tolerance

By Alyson Brodsy




Muslims, Jews, Christians.\nIn Jerusalem, followers of all three of these faiths densely populate the city limits, yet one look at a map would show each religious group keeps to its own corner. Though they live together, they live apart. These tensions are tantamount to the religious divisiveness echoed across all corners of the Earth. \nBut five IU alumni have taken a personal interest in mobilizing a positive message: Coexist. \nThe clothing brand Coexist sells signature T-shirts with the logo uniting symbols of three of the world's monotheistic faiths. A crescent moon of Islam stands for "C", a Star of David represents "X" and a cross serves as "T". The other letters spelling "coexist" are filled in between the symbols.\nThe education of designer Joe Sadler highlights the flexibility and usefulness of the Individualized Major Program. Sadler combined artistic inclinations into a degree of "Lifestyle Design." Sadler's IU experience also speaks well to athletics: He credits baseball as the place where he learned the most about hard work at IU. The Coexist team has succeeded in creating a product that high-end retailers such as Fred Segal want to stock. \nThis University has fostered many successful entrepreneurs and is nationally known as one of the prime producers of new business leaders. Among these new leaders, we'd like to see even more IU-educated entrepreneurs take initiative in contributing to greater social consciousness. It reflects that this University is not only concerned with profit but values as well.\nEven on this campus, a University that touts socially progressive attitudes, religious tensions still occasionally occur. Just two months ago, a holy Islamic symbol, called the bismillah, was desecrated when an individual or group decided to paint it onto the sidewalk. By doing this, it caused students to tread on it while traveling tp and from classes. Many Muslims were hurt by the incident, and -- as a result of all prejudices -- so was our campus's integrity. It's not enough to condemn those who have prejudice attitudes; we must strive to propagate the right ones. \nAlthough we already have the resources at IU to develop an international perspective, these shirts could be another reminder. The more we think and talk about global issues, the better our University and our world will be.\nIf you wear the Coexist shirt, be ready to talk about and embrace the message. Let your shirt reflect your attitude. \nNo, this shirt won't stop wars or end hate. However, if it gets a few people, fashionistas included, to think about the concepts of coexisting and world religions, the brand Coexist has helped. \nBetween the fashion itself and what it can do to promote world peace, all the Miss Americas should be wearing this communicative couture.\nSure, living together in relative peace might seem like a long shot, especially given the headlines that appear daily in this newspaper and others. But it's possible that the generation wearing the Coexist shirts will be inspired to consider and work toward the goal: to simply coexist.

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