Video: Connecting the Grassroots and Global Through a Visit to the United Nations

9 March 2020

During a recent trip to the United Nations sponsored by URI North America, Richa Sharma from Think Round Inc., deepened her understanding of the connection between the grassroots and the global. 

Click play on the video above to watch and learn about Richa's trip to the United Nations! The following is a transcript of the video.


The United Nations is our recent collaboration with the United Religions Initiative North America (URI-NA) where URI gave me the opportunity to have UN visit with them. I am Richa Sharma, representative of Think Round Inc.

It was a two-day meeting where we met different officials at managerial level who talked about their work. We learned about the SDGs in UN 2030 Agenda, learned about their process of work and most importantly signature solutions to them. 

Think Round aligns with three of the UN’s global engagements: protection of human rights (of women and children), delivery of humanitarian aid (in homes, communities, cities, nations where toxic stress is pervasive), and promotion of sustainable development (through healthy air, water and soil that will mean healthy plants, animals and people).

This trip provided a close-up view of how TRI can fit-in to serve the several common goals of the UN, URI and TRI.

We understood the global reach of the UN—particularly as their reach relates to promoting world peace through the arts, the environment, and healing intractable, longstanding conflicts within individuals, faiths, nations, and cultures.

We also understood the objectives of other Cooperation Circle (CC) members and their ways of addressing issues of interest or concern to them and how all CC members can support each other in our respective processes. This has broadened our ability to collaborate, evaluate and assimilate our shared interests in “accelerating peace” and manifesting the Golden Rule.

As part of my UN Visit, I was interviewed by Martha Gallahue, an alternate ECOSOC representative at the UN and co-coordinator of URI-UN circle. Since my return from the UN, I have interviewed Monica Willard, the main URI representative to the UN and Alice Swett, Director of Global Programs for URI.

The vastness of the UN as an entity – the number of countries which are involved in day-to-day betterment of the world – is truly inspirational and how precisely every department is working towards achieving the SDGs at the larger level is motivational. Through the UN we now understand how organizations like us, at the grassroot level, relate to the UN, which works at global level.

We believe we have benefitted from this trip by discovering how URI and the UN collaborate with art and science-based CCs so that we can move more directly into carrying out TRI’s primary teachings: the power of creativity (art) and stewardship of the planet (environmental science) -- including happy, healthy family homes.

This trip helped broaden our perspective and will eventually help to birth new ideas to serve one another and our code of ethics: Earth is home. Humans are family.

So, from my visit I can say that we are but a small drop in a vast sea of loving communion in our shared beliefs that Earth is home and humans are family. We are happy to be able to row our boat in the wide wake of URI and the UN.

We would like to give many thanks to URI for letting us be a part of this wonderful trip, which got us a lot closer with URI and other CC members, and we would love to continue this relationship.

Click here to read reflections from other trip participants.