Ohio Interfaith Group Comes Together To Build Community and Understanding

By Robyn Lebron

URI North America is thrilled to welcome one of our newest Cooperation Circles. We know that we are stronger together!

SAFE ALLIANCE OF INTERFAITH LEADERS (S.A.I.L.), Columbus, OH

  • Contact Person: Greg Davis, Secretary, sail@uri.org
  • Purpose: The Safe Alliance of Interfaith Leaders is formed solely for charitable, religious, and educational purposes to foster peace, tolerance, and understanding among different faiths through constructive dialog, education, and community activities and service. The Safe Alliance of Interfaith Leaders will fulfill its purpose by creating an interfaith community among faith-based congregations, organizations, and individuals in the Northwest Columbus area who share an interest in working together toward mutual understanding and action for the well-being of all people, and to promote respect, friendship, and trust within our community.
  • Areas of Focus: Community Building, Interfaith and Intercultural UnderstandingandDialogue
  • Website: safeallianceofinterfaithleaders.org

“We value opportunities for people to come together, face-to-face, to get to know people from different faith traditions and backgrounds. We value opportunities to share with the public the fact that people of many different faith traditions and backgrounds can share common goals and be friends.”

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As Barb Anderson, president of Safe Alliance of Interfaith Leaders (S.A.I.L.), spoke about the organization’, she had a sense of pride in her voice.

Continue reading “Ohio Interfaith Group Comes Together To Build Community and Understanding”

Alaska Interfaith Power and Light Builds Coalitions to Save Our Common Home

By Robyn Lebron

URI North America is thrilled to welcome one of our newest Cooperation Circles. We know that we are stronger together!

 

ALASKA INTERFAITH POWER & LIGHT, Juneau, AK

Interfaith Power & Light responds to climate change by promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the wise use of Earth’s resources. We want to educate people about global warming with a goal of helping the city and borough of Juneau adopt a plan to reduce its greenhouse gases by 80%.

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Alaska Interfaith Power and Light [AIPL] shows us that you can still make big things happen, even when you are small. With meager beginnings and the power of a dream, Travis Montgomery along with Uyanga “Angie” Mendbayar and a small group of residents in Juneau, Alaska set out to make a difference.

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My URI Trip to New York City: Visiting the UN, Meeting Fellow Leaders and Understanding the Global Power of Interfaith Work

Anjaana Bhairo traveled to the United Nations as part of a URI North America program to help connect young adult interfaith leaders to the United Nations and each other and to promote World Interfaith Harmony Week, International Day of Peace. Bhairo is a member of the University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel, a Cooperation Circle member of the United Religions Initiative.

By Anjaana Bhairo

It’s amazing to think that it has already been a week since I met some of the most amazing people in New York City! I have so many memories from this trip that it is going to be hard to summarize all the experiences, feelings and lessons I learned during my three days in New York City. However, I hope that this travel journal can at least share a snippet of how impactful, exciting and transformative the trip has been for me.

Thinking back now, I have realized that I have so many memories from this trip that were both amusing and inspiring. My favorite memory was watching Rico, a participant from Las Vegas, eat Indian food for first time. Another favorite of mine was observing Hassan, a participant from Tri-City Interfaith Council in the San Francisco area, experience snow for the first time. Both experiences reminded me of how each of us came from different walks of life, yet we all shared a similar vision and desire to achieve interfaith cooperation and acceptance. While, Rico’s and Hassan’s experience definitely left an imprint on my memory, a moment that I will always remember and cherish was learning about what each participant had accomplished back at home. Continue reading “My URI Trip to New York City: Visiting the UN, Meeting Fellow Leaders and Understanding the Global Power of Interfaith Work”

Kids4Peace Seattle Helps Show Religion As A Force For Good

Kids4peace seattle

This piece was written by URI North America Storytelling Intern Robyn Lebron. You can read more of her work here.

URI North America is thrilled to welcome one of our newest Cooperation Circles. We know that we are stronger together!

 

KIDS4PEACE, Seattle, WA

  • Contact Person: Jordan Goldwarg, Northwest Regional Director, info@k4p.org
  • Mission Statement: Transforming Divided Societies into Communities of Lasting Peace. Kids4Peace is a grassroots interfaith youth movement dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hopein Jerusalem and other divided societies around the world. To achieve this mission, our programs build interfaith communities that embody a culture of peace and empower a movement for change. [For complete Mission Statement visit “Mission” ]
  • Website: www.k4p.org/chapters/seattle/
  • Areas of Focus: Youth, youth leadership development, youth diversity education
  • Program Areas: K4P Seattle runs three programs that focus on four key areas: 1) Interfaith education 2) Dialogue & Leadership skills 3) Social change 4) Community building.

Continue reading “Kids4Peace Seattle Helps Show Religion As A Force For Good”

Youth camp works to end bias, bigotry and racism: “Ten years ago, I had never met a Muslim.”

Camp Anytown

This piece was written by URI North America Storytelling Intern Robyn Lebron. You can read more of her work here

URI North America is thrilled to welcome one of our newest Cooperation Circles. We know that we are stronger together!

CAMP ANYTOWN  – Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Contact Person: Rico Ocampo, Program Director,  campanytownlv@hotmail.com
  • Mission Statement: Our mission statement is “To create communities based on inclusivity, respect, and understanding through youth leadership and empowerment.”
  • Areas of Focus: Youth, youth leadership development, youth diversity education
  • Website: www.anytownlv.org

“We value youth because Anytown works from the premise that we live in a multicultural society and that young people are the nation’s future. Therefore, youth need to be sensitized to the experiences of diverse groups if- as decision makers- they are expected to make fair judgments in improving the quality of life for the entire nation regardless of ability, ethnicity, faith/religion, and gender.”

When Rico Ocampo, Camp Anytown’s Program Director, first heard about URI, it was at a conference in San Diego.

“I didn’t have a full grasp of what URI was … it kinda blew my mind!” Ocampo went onto to add that, because of that experience, he now knows he can reach out to others and learn from their programs.

Continue reading “Youth camp works to end bias, bigotry and racism: “Ten years ago, I had never met a Muslim.””

Martin Luther King Celebrations Bring Together People from All Walks of Life

By Robyn Lebron

As we ponder all the different messages that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left as his legacy, there is so much to learn from: his call for freedom and justice for all people, his comments about peaceful protests for a righteous cause, and his profound quote about unity. “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

There were countless celebrations and activities honoring the different facets of Dr. King’s legacy on Martin Luther King Day this year, but we will focus on two events that focused on his call for unity.

The Interfaith Roundtable of Kaua’i (IROK), a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, commemorated with a celebration of cultural diversity with the theme One Garden, Many Flowers. Al Albergate, co-chair of IROK, shared that the planning team chose this theme because of a desire to focus on unity.

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Podcast features interview on the Golden Rule: “See the other as a gift.”

This month, the URI North America Affiliate Scarboro Mission officially closed its doors. But that does not mean that their work has stopped!

Scarboro Mission’s r incredible resource libraries on the Golden Rule and Interfaith Dialogue are still accessible via their website.

In addition, the former director of the Scarboro Mission, Paul McKenna, was recently interviewed on the Legacy Cafe Podcast where he shares about the iterations of the Golden Rule in different religious traditions, the spread of the Golden Rule poster around the world and the power of this ethical cornerstone to improve our world.

Click the play button below to listen to this fabulous interview!

Continue reading “Podcast features interview on the Golden Rule: “See the other as a gift.””

Honoring the Female Principle in the (Male-Female) Dance of Life

Every year, Unity and Diversity World Council, a URI Cooperation Circle based in Los Angeles, CA, holds an Interfaith Celebration of light.  This year, the theme for 2017 was “Honoring the Female Principle in the (Male-Female) Dance of Life.” The event was a full-fledged celebration with food, music, and speakers.  We were honored to send in the following reflection, written by URI North America Leadership Council members Adeola Fearon and Valeria Vergani, to be read that evening. To see more photos from the event, click here

The purpose of URI is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing  among all life in our Earth community. One of URIʼs principles states, “We practice equitable participation of women and men in all aspects of URI.” Why is this equitable participation of women and men fundamental to achieving URIʼs mission? There is a Divine balance given to humanity in both the male and the female. It is the glue for lifeʼs concert for the enrichment, empowerment and healing of community. Continue reading “Honoring the Female Principle in the (Male-Female) Dance of Life”

United Religions Initiative North America Seeks Spring Intern

We are seeking a Social Media intern to join our team for the Spring 2018 semester.  This intern provides vital support to our communications work and, specifically to the #TangibleHope campaign. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with a priority deadline of January 4, 2018.

What do previous interns say?

“An internship with URI was an incredible opportunity to further advance my career.  Talking with folks from all backgrounds and beliefs was an extremely humbling and educational experience.” – Ryan Polsky, Spring 2017 Storytelling Intern

“I interned with URI North America the summer after I graduated from college. Very aimless, trying to figure out my future, writing regularly as a storyteller grounded me and showed me that journalism was a field I really did want to pursue. Writing long form prepared me for the local reporting position I hold now. Learning about people from different religious backgrounds working towards a common good was a bonus and is an interest I will continue to pursue for the rest of my life.” – Grace King, Summer 2017 Storytelling Intern

Keep reading for position descriptions!

Continue reading “United Religions Initiative North America Seeks Spring Intern”

Rothko Chapel hosts conversation on “Concept of the Divine: A Navajo Perspective on Reverence for Life”

Suzanne Benally, the first Indigenous Executive Director of Cultural Survival. Photo Credit: Runaway Productions

In a recent event at the Rothko Chapel, a Cooperation Circle member of the United Religions Initiative, hosted Suzanne Benally, the first Indigenous Executive Director of Cultural Survival to share her personal spiritual journey as a Navajo and Santa Clara from New Mexico and how this shapes her understanding of the concept of the divine. Benally explored the meaning of the Navajo concept “Hozho,” which is centered on living responsibly in a web of relationships emphasizing reciprocity with and reverence for all beings.

Suzanne Benally is the first Indigenous Executive Director of Cultural Survival, an organization that advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience since 1972. She is Navajo and Santa Clara Tewa from New Mexico.

Continue reading “Rothko Chapel hosts conversation on “Concept of the Divine: A Navajo Perspective on Reverence for Life””