Gabriella Pierce, of Tulsa, looked out into a group gathered at Oklahoma City University and immediately felt a kinship. The sense of belonging went beyond the fact that many of the young men and women were college grads like herself.

The young people gathered June 12-14 were all Muslims who had come for an annual  event aimed at encouraging young men and women of the Islamic faith to become leaders in their communities. The Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium was hosted by the Oklahoma chapter of the  Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"I think it's important for us to come together," said Pierce, a University of Tulsa graduate who will start medical school at the University of Oklahoma in the fall. "We face the same sort of challenges every day."

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