Archive for the ‘URI Multiregion Blogs’ Category
Dear Family and Friends,
I wanted to share my response to those who are asking me, “What does
walking have to do with real social change?” I say look at the
nonviolent social change marches in our history, the Selma Bridge
Crossing, Montgomery Boycott, the Salt Marches led by Gandhi, the
women’s suffrage movement,the nonviolent marches against apartheid in
South Africa, the Long Walks Across America by Native Americans, the
Million Man march…
We have a tradition and a history of using walking
and marching to gather the masses to affect nonviolent social change.
So walking for change in our cities to bring about a shift in systemic
racism is a powerful tool for social change. There have been times when
walkers/marchers have been met with a violent response from law
enforcement. It has been those moments when the humanity of those who
stood strong, out weighed the inhumanity of those who met nonviolence
I once asked Amelia Boynton Robinson, my mentor and dear elder at 104
years wise, and one of the organizers and marchers on Bloody Sunday in
Selma, Alabama, how she and all the marchers on the bridge that day who
were injured, some severely, tended their wounds and kept coming back?
She said, We marched for the change we new was already here. We didn’t
walk for change. She reminded me of the discipline and vision they held.
When I asked what we need to do today, she thought for a moment and then
said, You know I don’t want any of you standing on my shoulders. I want
you to get out there and be a voice for change for our young people. We
have to help our children and love is the only thing that is going to
turn this around!! “Continue to treasure the fact that our children are
100% our future and must be treated accordingly. Good education and
quality examples set by adults will undoubtedly serve as their best
guides to survival and success.”
And so we, the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walkers and the 13 Moon Walk
4 Peace walk for nonviolent social change. We walk for freedom for all
human beings…black, red, yellow and white; gay and straight; women and
men; Christians, Buddhist, Muslims, Indigenous, Hindu …; those with
disabilities and elders soon forgotten by society; for those who are
criminalized for being poor and homeless; for those who are hungry; and
we walk for the children now and for generations to come.
We walk to remind everyone that love has the power to change. When we love, really
love, we are infused with vision and the means to realize a world that
works for all!
May Peace Prevail,
Audri Scott Williams
United Religions Initiative, URI Global Trustee (Multiregion)
Global Peace Advocate & Walker, Motivational Speaker, Author
Hello URI Family,
I wanted to share these two wonderful videos from URI African Continental Coordinator Mussie Hailu, where he speaks on the topic of peace (as well as URI’s initiatives) for Peace One Day. Very inspirational!
(From our Friends in the Africa region and from fellow Multiregion leader Mussie Hailu)
Greetings of peace and blessing from URI-Africa. I am happy to share with you the following good news
URI-Africa Signs Memorandum of Understanding with IGAD
On July 26, 2015 United Religions Initiative (URI) – Africa has signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD).
The agreement was signed by Ambassador Eng. Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD and Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Regional Director of United Religions Initiative for Africa and Representative of URI to African Union, Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations Office in Africa and UNEP.
Under this Mou, the two organizations identified areas of Cooperation to work together in partnership some of which are:-
- To collaborate and maintain close and continuing working partnership to enhance the effort of promoting peaceful co-existence among followers of different religions and cultures in the IGAD region
- To establish an Interfaith Forum in IGAD Region to harness peaceful co-existence among different religions and to work together to resist religiously motivated violence and radicalization
- To facilitate people to people relationship in the IGAD region and promote a culture of peace, inter-religious, inter-religion, and intercultural dialogue, harmony and cooperation in the region
- To counter violent extremism, radicalizations and terrorism in the region and to combat hatred, prejudice, intolerance and stereotyping on the basis of religion and culture
- To promote trust, understanding, respect and harmony among followers of different religions, culture and ethnicities group in the IGAD region through the teaching of the Golden Rule which says “Treat others the way you want to be treated”.
- promote peace education in the region
- To work together in addressing the issue of environmental protection and climate change
- To jointly organize workshops, meetings, seminars, and develop and implement projects in the region on the issue of interfaith, intercultural, empowerment of youth, environmental protection and a culture of peace
It is to be recall that URI Africa presented its Peace Award of the Year to IGAD in 2014 in recognition of IGAD outstanding contribution in promoting peace, security and reconciliation in the region.
IGAD is an eight-country intergovernmental organization. It`s member states are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The mission of IGAD is to assist and complement the efforts of the Member States to achieve, through increased cooperation: Food Security and environmental protection, Promotion and maintenance of peace and security and humanitarian affairs, and Economic cooperation and integration in the IGAD region.
URI is a global interfaith organization with Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and it is working to promote enduring daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, healing and justice for the Earth and all living beings. Through its over 700 member organizations in over 89 countries URI is cultivating peaceful co-existence among different religions and cultures by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. In Africa URI have 164 member organizations in 28 African Countries. URI Africa signed MoU with African Union Commission.
The vision of URI-Africa is to see united, prosperous, and peaceful Africa where there is no religious strife and where followers of different religions live together in harmony and respect with each other based on the teaching of the Golden Rule which says ”Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
May Peace Prevail on Earth
We Need Your Videos!
Great opportunity! Your interfaith activities could be featured on a high-profile broadcast TV station in the United States.
United Religions Initiative has been invited to share our work with a very large audience and we would love to include video clips from you! Do you have footage that shows your group in action? It doesn’t have to be edited or professional quality (cellphone footage is fine) as long as it gives a sense of what URI activities are like. We are especially in need of videos that go beyond people talking to the camera, and show activities — such as feeding or housing those in need, working with kids, sharing meals, planting trees, joining in prayer, or whatever else you do.
The deadline for this project is September 30, but the sooner the better! Send videos or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.