Increase Awareness of IDP in Your Congregation’s Annoucements or Bulletin


This year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is “Education for Peace”.  Why not take the opportunity to share the International Day of Peace with your congregation through an announcement or addition to the bulletin?

Here are a few facts you may want to include and we also encourage you to add inspiring religious or spiritual text as appropriate.


What is the International Day of Peace?

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The United Nations invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

For more information visit

Increase Awareness of IDP through Social Media and Websites


Ideas for Promoting the International Day of Peace Through Social Media


Change your Facebook Profile Picture

Update your Facebook Profile Picture with your favorite Peace Sign photo or the UN IDP Poster

imaginepeace  peace-hands

Peace Quotes

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
Mahatma Gandhi

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Mother Teresa

Other Peace Quotes from Brainy Quotes

Stories for Peace


URI’s Talking Back to Hate Program


Foundation For A Better Life: Peace

Increase Awareness of IDP through Local Radio


Ideas for Song Requests


Peace Train  Cat Stevens

Give Peace a Chance  John Lennon

Peace, Love and Understanding   Elvis Costello

One Love   Bob Marley

Imagine   John Lennon

Modern Peace Songs

My Own Two Hands  Ben Harper

One Tribe  Black Eyed Peas

Hope     Jack Johnson

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/ What a Wonderful World   Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

I Won’t Give Up    Jason Moraz

One Day   Matisyahu

Wikipedia Resources

Anti-War Songs

Peace Songs


The International Day of Peace by Leland Stewart


The International Day of Peace (IDP) is an annual occasion on September 21st, which is the approximate time when the United Nations begins its work for the year.  At this same time, nongovernmental organizations throughout the world have chosen to do special programs either on or near the IDP.

Another major effort that has surrounded the IDP is the Eleven Day of Global Unity, which begins on September 11th, (the time when the bombing of the World Trade Centers and other targets took place in New York City on September 11th, 2001), which continues until September 21st, the International Day of Peace.  Millions of people worldwide participate in one or both of these important events, which culminate in the IDP.

These events, and all of the other related events of this time period, are signaling the beginning of an ongoing effort for the year from September to June.  The events involved need to be seen not as celebrations of a completed year, but rather as events challenging individuals, groups, and networks to continue the work they have started in relation to the IDP.  Increasingly, these groups need to cooperate with each other throughout the year to build a powerful equivalent to the United Nations for nongovernmental organizations.  This effort over time needs to have its own headquarters and regional centers that seek to cooperate in creating a global civilization that serves the well-being of all.

The key to this effort is global cooperation.  As we see the beginning of cooperation between Russia and the United States in helping to resolve the Syrian crisis, nongovernmental organizations need to become a powerful force in supporting efforts toward peace, justice, and environmental sustainability throughout the world, both separately and in cooperation with the United Nations.

May peace prevail on earth!!!

Unity-and-Diversity World Council, Inc.
P. O. Box 661401, Los Angeles CA, USA 90066-9201
Phone: 424-228-2087; FAX: 310-827-9187 (contact UDC first)
Email:; Website:

Calling all URI North America peace lovers! A Message from Deborah Moldow

September is here, and that means it’s time to firm up your plans for the UN International Day of Peace on Saturday, September 21st. This year’s theme is “Education for Peace,” so let’s get all the schools involved in teaching peace and molding a new generation of peacemakers.

To mark the launch of the 100-Day Countdown on June 13th, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a message that states: “Today we begin the 100-day countdown to the observance of the International Day of Peace, when the United Nations calls on all combatants around the world to lay down their arms and to give peace a real chance. […] Over the next 100 days, let us resolve to learn together how to create a universal culture of peace.”

You can help with your actions and your prayers for peace. Does your community need a Peace Pole? Can you gather a group to take the Minute of Silence together at 12 Noon on September 21st, wherever you are? Can you plan a school event during the week before, or a religious service over the weekend, or a concert on Saturday night?  Can you ask your local radio station to play a song for peace at 12 Noon, or better still, play them all day long?

This year, various wonderful peace initiatives have chosen to share the platform of the International Day of Peace, such as the Compassion Games (Sept. 11-21), the 11 Days of Global Unity (Sept. 11-21), Playing for Change Day (Sept. 21), and the Global March for Peace & Unity (Sept. 21). URI members will be taking part in all of these, and much, much more.

Please make sure that your Cooperation Circle’s activities for the International Day of Peace are logged onto the URI website. And be sure to check out all the information at and, as well as the Peace Day Global Broadcast on September 21st at!

But, most of all, we call on you for your prayers. Together, let us circle the globe with the prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” at 12 Noon on September, 21st. Together, we can change the course of history.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

Deborah Moldow
Representative to the United Nations, The World Peace Prayer Society and United Religions Initiative
Co-Chair, International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the UN
Facilitator, United Religions Initiative at the United Nations
Member, Unity Made Visible Cooperation Circle, New York


Peace Forum 2013: Paths to Peace Report

The 4th Annual Paths To Peace Forum, held in dedication to the UN International Day of Peace at the Berkeley campus of the Pacific School of Religion on Sept. 8th, was a mind-expanding and moving program that revolved around two essential elements of peace building: compassion and transformation.  The ambitious inquisitive, workable approach intended by the original circle of sponsors quickly drew the attention and support of more than 40 other Bay Area peace and interfaith organizations.

A fine blend of explanations and constructive ideas were put forward in the excellent presentations by the two distinguished speakers — Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian, founder and Spiritual Director of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment in San Jose, and Prof. McGaffey, Professor of International Relations, Emeritus, President of InterConsultUSA, and Director of the Global Stewards Institute — as well as six prominent panelists from various fields of expertise, from the social to the academic to the interreligious.

The interactive workshop sessions led by these panelists allowed time for a thought-provoking and highly appreciated dialogue about broad themes such as values and practices to change organizational and national behaviors, a psychological and spiritual approach to peace, global values shift, mobilization of youth, and the unique functions and important capabilities of the United Nations in addressing many aspects of conflict, in particular, the Syrian crisis.

At the concluding plenary session guided by Rev. Paul Chaffee, Editor of the e-journal The Interfaith Observer — based on a proposal emanating from a lively breakout discussion that Dr. Rita Maran, a UNA-USA Board Member, facilitated about the UN Hopes and Realities to Achieve Peace — Forum participants unanimously endorsed the UNA-USA statement and called to send it to our members of Congress, the President, and others in the executive branch of government.

Participants left with a strengthened awareness on the necessity for interconnectedness between the individual and the collective pathways to achieve a synchronous, transformative action for lasting peace.

Talking Back to Hate calls on all supporters and partners to take action on IDP

Talking Back To Hate is URI’s global campaign that promotes education, advocacy, and positive action to counter hate speech, bullying and discrimination. URI North America and 24 other partner organizations have joined as partners in this effort. As we know, hate speech is on the rise, and bullying is epidemic. With this year’s focus for the UN International Day of Peace being education for peace, we are calling all of our campaign supporters and partners to take action on this day. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon writes, “Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies.”

Here are just a few ideas of what Talking Back to Hate supporters and partners are planning:

  • More than 250 young leaders in URI Africa have signed the global pledge and are committed to taking action in their schools and communities!
  • The Christian-Muslim Forum is organizing #Flights4Peace, peace talks between youth and community members on cable car rides across the River Thames in the UK;
  • The World Sikh Organization – Canada is organizing a weekend cultural event and solidarity actions with First Nations people and Truth and Reconciliation efforts in Canada;
  • The Interfaith Center at the Presidio, San Francisco, USA is organizing an interfaith peace concert The Sounds of Peace featuring music from different religious traditions;
  • Interact – UK is planning a day of community service with URI Youth Ambassadors that will take place in a part of London that was the site of recent extremist violence.

More information can be found at You can also join the conversation on twitter at #talkingbacktohate.

North America Regional Leadership Team Attends NAIN Connect 2013 by Sande Hart

In August, the North America Regional Leadership Team attended the 25th Annual North American Interfaith Network’s Connect in Toronto Canada.

It was my 5th Connect since joining NAIN as a member in 2002 with my organization S.A.R.A.H. This year hosted by the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto. Connects are the annual conference convening individuals, young adults and organizations working in interfaith and hosted by member organizations around North America.

Workshops range from A Journey to the Tent of Abraham, Models for Engagement in Post-secondary Education, Querying Religion: Interfaith Program Experience on Gender Identities and Sexuality,  to the workshop I co-facilitated with Rebecca Tobias called Compassionate Community Building.

While the messages and speeches of “why” we need to continue our interfaith work were palpable and is often a bit over conveyed in any interfaith conference, this year I noticed two very clear memes emerge.

The first; a realization and appreciation that interpersonal relationships are essential in our work. We attend to hear about trends, share best practices, pick each other’s brains for solutions, and see dear friends we only see at NAIN Connects.

But it’s the hallways, mealtime, bus ride conversations where the real juice is. It’s where we dream and scheme and co-creates and come up with fancy-filled, very pragmatic and often serious projects, initiatives and even movements. It’s in the knowing one another personally that we can trust one another, and when we trust one another we can work more deeply together. When we work more deeply together, we can accomplish our collective goals more swiftly and most importantly; with lasting and enduring solutions.

At the 2009 San Francisco Connect while on a bus ride to Muir Woods, our host’s excursion trip, I sat next to Betsy Wiggins, a dear friend, who, along with our own Vice Chair of North America Danya Wellmon is co-founder of Women Transcending Boundaries (WTB) in Syracuse, NY. I was telling Betsy all about SARAH’s upcoming 1st annual interfaith weekend of community service. She took home my enthusiasm and started Acts Of Kindness weekend. SARAH learned from AOK Weekend and in an effort to support WTB without adding another weekend of service, we added a weekend of compassion in Southern California, and called it “AOK Weekend West.”  The Compassion initiative led us to the Compassion Action Network and we are now creating Cities of Compassion throughout California. In our 5th Annual, we changed the name of our weekend to “Weekend of Compassion” and are now playing in the “Compassion Games, Survival of the Kindest.” Now Women Transcending Boundaries are playing in the 2013 Compassion Games too. We laugh that we are constantly slinging each other forward, a vision I am sure we can all appreciate.

Through personal relationships and supporting one another, we strengthen and deepen our own goals and visions, expanding our opportunities and development. Not only does this exemplifies the value of nurturing our personal relationships, but illustrates the second theme that was very evident at NAIN Toronto.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review sites Collective Impact is a dynamic whose time has come, necessary for advancement and improvement of all sectors of society. The problems and challenges of our world today are too big for any one approach. When diverse organizations can come together to bring their unique approaches to impact change, we all reach our goals more swiftly and more deeply.

Mutually Reinforcing Activities lead to collective impact initiatives which depend on a diverse group of stakeholders working together, not by requiring that all participants do the same thing, but by encouraging each participant to undertake the specific set of activities at which it excels in a way that supports and is coordinated with the actions of others.”

Interfaith relations requires the very same qualities to exist in order to survive; to come to find the personal connection by focusing on common values, see the other as not separate from ourselves, and then honoring the collective power we have when we work together and/or to understand one another. More than qualities of our work, research and some personal experience have proven that personal relationships and working in a collective impact model are essential to the work we all have ahead of us.

I join the entire Leadership Council of the North American URI Region in congratulating NAIN on their 25th Anniversary and another stellar Connect. I encourage all of our Cooperation Circles and Affiliates to be sure to be at next year’s Connect in Michigan.

Tending Human Garden

Ideas That Nourish and Help Us Thrive Together

The Leadership Council of URI in North America has adopted “Tending the Human Garden” as our ongoing theme.  Now, most healthy gardens need:

•    Water
•    Clean air
•    Sunshine
•    Nutrient-rich soil
•    Tending
•    Harvesting
•    Diversity

How might that theme be interpreted in the work of your local community or Cooperation Circle? For some it might mean nourishing the growth of our children with an understanding of and respect for people of different faiths and cultures. For others it might be cultivating a climate of fair and just treatment for immigrant workers. Still others might see a need for opening up the windows of dialogue in their community to encourage exchanges about the potential for interfaith collaboration on feeding the homeless or protecting the environment.

We’d like to hear how this theme might be interpreted in your local community and how it might inspire local action.   As Margaret Mead encouraged us all, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Please send your comments, dreams and plans to the regional coordinator.