Archive for the ‘URI Multiregion Blogs’ Category

Invitation to THE BRIDGE in New York City

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

USA premiere in New York of CARAVAN’s strategic peacemaking interreligious art exhibition,

THE BRIDGE

at St. Paul’s Chapel bordering Ground Zero, a national place of reconciliation since 9/11

(part of the historic Trinity Church Wall Street)

THE BRIDGE runs at St. Paul’s Chapel through 28 February 2016

All are invited!bridge_ny

Multiregion Women’s Conference – Rescheduled!

Sunday, February 7th, 2016


uri_womens_conference

Please join our Women’s Virtual Conference 

Rescheduled to February 20th 8AM Pacific Standard time 4PM GMT 

Click Here To join our conference on

Domestic Violence – Facilitated by Rupsi Burman –a dynamic IT professional with two decades of experience, graduate-level education and a career transition to the non-profit industry. She is a bold stand for love and peace and is committed to ending domestic violence through her non-profit, Hope In Life Foundation which was established for the purpose of empowering women, men and children through training and education. 

Women in Conflict Areas – Facilitated by Despina Namwembe- who has a social science background which has enabled her to work with different people from diverse walks of life. Her past and present connections with interfaith and ecumenical movements worldwide has given her the contacts to promote URI work within her region. She has been successful in leading several national and international events that motivate people to act on issues of concern. 

Women’s Healing for World Interfaith Harmony Week

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Women’s Healing for World Interfaith Harmony Week

Women's Healing for World Interfaith Harmony Week

Elana Rozenman and Ibtisam Mahamid speak about their work in this video

(From our Friends in the Middle East…)

Dear Friends,

Israeli and Palestinian women – Christian, Druze, Jewish, Muslim – have a legacy of suffering in the Holy Land because of religious intolerance. Our land is dripping with blood of combatants and innocents who have been sacrificed in religious violence in recent months as well as throughout the years.  

For World Interfaith Harmony Week we will embark on a day of healing and bonding among the women of different faiths. We will travel to Tiberias along the border with Jordan. We will visit therapeutic mineral baths to soothe and heal ourselves. We will lunch near the tripoint where the borders of Jordan, Syria, and Israel meet.  We will visit a unifying Holy Site – Nabi Shuaib – the tomb of Jethro – mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the father-in-law of Moses and venerated by the Druze and Muslims — where we will be received by a Druze sheik. We will offer prayers from each religion about religious harmony and strengthen our own interfaith sisterhood. 

We will be women with sons, daughters, and husbands serving in the Israeli Army – some of whom have lost loved ones in the conflict. Women whose sons have been wounded by Palestinian terrorists or wounded by Israeli police.  Women whose friends and neighbors have recently been killed by terrorists or by soldiers.  Women whose mothers and grandmothers fled the Shoa to come and live in our land, and women whose mothers and grandmothers fled or were expelled from their villages to live in other villages in our land. We will heal our traumas and strengthen the harmony between our religions by spending a loving restorative day together. 

Please send healing prayers to us on Thursday for the healing of everyone in our region.  

Our trip has received support from Barbara Meislin in California, and from the MENA region and is part of the WIN MENA celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week. 

Blessings and love,

Elana Rozenman

Ibtisam Mahamid

Siham Halabi

Interfaith women at Nabi Shuaib, Tomb of Jethro

World Interfaith Harmony Week Activities 2016

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

World Interfaith Harmony Week Activities 2016

Youths for Peace CC celebrates World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 in Bangladesh

The United Religions Initiative family is celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) around the planet. The United Nations has designated February 1-7 of every year as a time to celebrate interfaith peace and cooperation worldwide. Stay tuned and keep checking this page for more URI celebrations, as we are adding new stories and photos every day!

To include your event on this list and map, fill out this survey

For tips on how to get the best press coverage for your WIHW 2016 event, click here

View celebrations by region:


WIHW and URI at the United Nations:

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and The Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN are hosting “Interfaith Harmony: Implementing the Transformative Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals” honoring the 2016 World Interfaith Harmony Week. URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian will be one of the panel speakers.

World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN

World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN

Victor Kazanjian with URI’s Representative to the United Nations Monica Willard, Cooperation Circle members Jaya Reinhaulter (Kashi Foundation), Shayda Sales (SIVIC), and Aspyn Adams and Johnny Martin (SunDABT)

This week URI Global Staff, the URI at the United Nations Cooperation Circle (CC), and URI leaders from Kashi Foundation CC, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) CC, and Sun Devils Are Better Together CC from Arizona State University gathered at the United Nations to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week and bring a message of hope to proceedings focused on countering religious extremism and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals around the world.

Once again, it was extraordinary to witness the work of URI’s United Nations representative in New York, Monica Willard. Monica’s years of networking and relationship building in the UN system have made her a force for promoting interfaith peacebuilding within the United Nations and building partnerships between UN Agencies and URI. All one has to do is mention Monica’s name and doors open—not because she wields power or influence like so many try to do at the UN, but because Monica is known as an authentic, kind and talented person who is trusted by everyone from the Secretary General and his wife, to ambassadors, to agency directors, to staff, secretaries and security guards. Monica embodies the true spirit of URI. People at the UN know the spirit of URI through her, and also through the spectacular members of the URI at the UN Cooperation Circle. Rev. Deborah Moldow, Rabbi Roger Ross, Amb. Leslie Gatan, Dr. Martha Gallahue, Swamini Sri Lailtambika Devi, Debbra Gill, Audrey Kitagawa, J.D., Zunaira Mubasher and Saidzhan Abdullaev model URI’s unique culture of being a circle of dedicated and connected equals working for peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. Monica and Deborah were key planners of Wednesday’s Global Interfaith Harmony Week event. Joining us and giving voice to key principles of peacebuilding and justice seeking were four URI leaders—Johnny Martin, Aspyn Adams, Shayda Sales and Jaya Reinhaulter—who let their presence be known especially on behalf of younger peer leadership and youth empowerment. They are fantastic peacebuilders!

It was an honor for me to represent URI on two panels during the sessions hosted by the Alliance of Civilizations, the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, and the UN Department of Public Affairs. One of my central messages in both sessions was to challenge people to reexamine their notions of “leadership” and see empowering the grassroots as a key to sustainable community and global peace and justice.

When people in these settings talk about interfaith peacebuilding, their focus is almost always on “religious leaders” whom they define as those persons ordained or selected for official leadership of religious communities. But this definition leaves so many “leaders” out of the picture, including women leaders, Indigenous leaders, younger peer leaders, and ordinary folks of all identities who provide leadership for the peacebuilding movement on the ground, and in communities, often behind the scenes and/or without recognition. In URI, official religious leaders are honored as wise partners in the work, but no more so than every other member of URI. In a URI context, as embedded in the URI Charter, we are all equals, each with our own unique gifts and perspectives; each bearing wisdom and perspective essential for the work of peacebuilding. This is one of the teachings that URI brings to the United Nations—that peace comes through partnership among people in all places in society and communities, and that sustainable peace comes only when people at the grassroots are included as equal partners in the process.

On Wednesday, the United Nations Alliance and Civilizations and the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations hosted a major event attended by more than 500 people. Monica and Deborah did so much to make this happen. The theme of the event was Interfaith Harmony: Implementing the Transformative Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There was beautiful music and ritual celebrating of the Sustainable Development Goals and two panels focusing on partnerships between interfaith and faith-based organizations and the United Nations in engaging the SDGs.

My remarks highlighted the history of partnership between URI and other interfaith groups and the UN and how essential this partnership is to realizing the goals of peace and justice that we all seek. The second panel event on Thursday, Promoting Peace and Reconciliation to Counter Violent Extremism, was hosted by the UN Department of Public Information. It was attended in person and through UN Web TV by many people within and outside of the UN system who were involved in or interested in this important topic. During this panel, I was able to delve more deeply into URI’s work in the world explain in about URI’s dual strategy of interfaith bridgebuilding and community actions to address the causes of conflict that lead to physical violence and structural violence. You can read the full text of my remarks on Interfaith Harmony: Implementing the Transformative Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals and Promoting Peace and Reconciliation to Counter Violent Extremism on the URI website.

I am so inspired by the work of URI’s UN Staff Team, including Monica in New York, Mussie Hailu in Nairobi and Patrick Nickisch in Geneva. This is an aspect of URI’s work that often is less visible because our focus is (rightly) on Cooperation Circles as the heart and soul of URI. But the United Nations is a valuable resource for our CCs and for the overall work of URI in terms of networking, peacebuilding resources, and funding for CC work, and URI has been a valuable resource for the United Nations in helping that body to understand the importance of interfaith peacebuilding to the UN’s mission. We see this in action with URI CC participation in events such as World Interfaith Harmony Week and the International Day of Peace, both of which URI helped to start and in which URI continues to provide leadership. 

In the year ahead, Monica, Mussie, Patrick, Sally and I, working with regional and CC leaders who already work closely with the United Nations agencies and regional offices, will be producing a guide for URI that helps all CCs and regional offices to better understand the United Nations as a resource for their work. In addition, we will continue to build bridges with UN partners and create opportunities for URI grassroots voices to be heard in international forums related to building enduring daily interfaith cooperation, ending religiously motivated violence and creating cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

 

Johnny Martin and Aspyn Adams of Sun Devils are Better Together CC

 

 

URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian with Reverend Adam Russell Taylor, Lead, Faith-based Initiatives at the World Bank Group

 

Victor Kazanjian and Monica Willard with Taj Hamad, Secretary General, Universal Peace Federation

 

Jaya Reinhaulter (Kashi Foundation), Shayda Sales (SIVIC), and Aspyn Adams and Johnny Martin (SunDABT)

 

Jaya Reinhaulter (Kashi Foundation), Shayda Sales (SIVIC), and Aspyn Adams and Johnny Martin (SunDABT)

 

 

 

Deborah Moldow, World Peace Prayer Society Representative to the United Nations; Masani Saionji, Chairperson of The World Peace Prayer Society; URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian, Maki Saionji Kawamura, Managing Director of Goi Peace Foundation; Fumi Johns Stewart, Executive Director of the World Peace Prayer Society

 

 

 

 

Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation; Dr. Azza Karam, Senior Advisor on Culture at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Reverend Adam Russell Taylor, Lead, Faith-based Initiatives at the World Bank Group; The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr., URI Executive Director; Sister Áine O’Connor, Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas; Ms. Sadyia Khalique, Director of Operations at The Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York (CAIR-NY); Swami Parameshananda, Bharat Sevashram Sangha

Multiregion Women’s Conference! – Reminder!

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

uri_womens_conference

Join Us on January 30th at 12 noon GMT 8AM Pacific Standard Time

Click here to register

Domestic Violence – Facilitated by Rupsi Burman – A dynamic IT professional with two decades of experience, graduate-level education and a career transition to the non-profit industry.  Her non-profit Hope In Life Foundation, was established for the purpose of empowering women, men, and children through training and education.

Women in Conflict Areas – Facilitated by Despina Namwembe – Holds a Social Science background which has enabled her to work with different people from diverse walks of life.  Her past and present connections with interfaith and ecumenical movements worldwide have given her the contacts to successfully promote the United Religions Initiative within her region and leading several national and international events that motivate people to act on issues of concern.

World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 is Almost Here!

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 is Almost Here!

World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 is Almost Here! 
Faiths Together Uganda celebrates World Interfaith Harmony Week 2015

World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 is approaching quickly! February 1-7 of each year has been designated World Interfaith Harmony Week by the United Nations. It was launched in February 2011 to promote harmony among people of different faiths at a time when interreligious conflict is claiming lives and livelihoods all over the world.

  • Learn more about World Interfaith Harmony Week (as well as information about the $50,000 in prizes sponsored by WIHW and King Abdullah II of Jordan) here.
  • Learn more about past URI celebrations for World Interfaith Harmony Week here.
  • See examples of upcoming WIHW celebrations from URI North America here.
  • If you are planning a celebration, please fill out the form below. We would love to add you to our map of URI celebrations around the world, as well as help to promote all Cooperation Circle activities!

To learn even more click here

Living an Intentional Life

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

We go through our days, running our chores through our head, completing the to-do list.  We are going through the motions of living our life without much thought.  

What would happen if we lived an intentional life where everything you do is done mindfully and every moment is considered a sacred moment?  Where every action is done with conscious intent to fulfill your core values?  Let’s take washing the dishes as an example.  Obviously, washing the dishes will keep your kitchen neat tidy, but it is a chore we do just to get it done.  But what if we said before we started, “washing the dishes is a service to my family and a form of meditation for me”?  How would that change the dynamics of washing the dishes?

Can embracing an intentional life make a difference for you?  If you are already living intentionally how has this made your life different, and, would you be willing to share with others what practices have helped you achieve this?

Join us this Tuesday evening, January 26th, at 8 PM EST, on Maestro Conference to engage in meaningful conversation with others about living an intentional life.

REGISTER HERE

www.WisdomCircleMinisties.org 

Voices of Humanity Write-up for URI Virtual Women’s Conference

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Dear Friends in URI,

Voices of Humanity (VoH) technology, with gender equality built in, has just been re-released in an easier to use version. Easier to use, and also more powerful. 

The technology now has a local-to-global function and check-boxes for five special Voices: Interfaith, Indigenous, Other Minority, Veterans and Refugees. These are in addition to the built in Voices for women, men, youth, middle-aged, seniors and humanity-as-one.

Voices of Humanity is designed to encourage global trust and cooperation across national, religious and cultural lines. Voices of Humanity builds morale for a successful movement for human unity.

URI Women can use the technology to create a coherent Voice of Women within URI, and within the larger Interfaith movement. Using those vantage points, URI Women can join with women globally to bring in the men and together create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.  

See how it works and sign up here: http://voh.idp.intermix.org. Be sure to check the “Interfaith” box on your profile page after you have signed up. As an additional incentive, the author of the overall highest rated message each lunar month, beginning with the new moon of March 8 (which just happens to be International Women’s Day), will be able to send donated money, a minimum of USD 100, to the nonprofit of that author’s choice.

 

Roger Eaton
+1 415 933 0153
Voices of Humanity

URI Women’s Conference

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

http://www.intermix.org/URIVWC.htm

https://www.facebook.com/iwdmarch82014.

URI Multi-Region Women's Conf FINAL