Celebrating 20 Years of Peacebuilding with URI

30 July 2020, 1:43 PM
Did you miss the live premiere? See URI’s 20th-anniversary broadcast above.

On Jun 25, 2020, URI premiered an international video broadcast celebrating two decades of global, grassroots, interfaith peacebuilding. For URI’s 20th anniversary, the global community of URI members gathered virtually around the Facebook and YouTube broadcasts, sharing heartfelt stories and discussion as the videos premiered. The kick-off broadcast was part of World UNITY Week.

The atmosphere during the premiere was electric, with hundreds of comments in many languages from all over the world showing appreciation for URI’s journey so far and excitement for the years to come.

"Each person who gave their best to URI is sacred"
     - Sally Mahé, URI Senior Consultant
"This is very very beautiful and glorious." 
     - Emmanuel Ivorgba, Regional Coordinator for URI Western Africa
"You are all shining lights!"
     - Deborah Moldow, United Religions Initiative at the United Nations
"Thank you for this beautiful tribute to the vision, purpose and promise of the ideals of peace. It is an honor to recognize so many of these faces, events and locations around the world and seeing so many treasured friends!"
     - Sande Hart, Founder and President of S.A.R.A.H. (Spiritual And Religious Alliance for Hope)

Kicking Off: 2020 and Beyond

The kick-off broadcast on June 25 launches a year of celebration for the worldwide URI community. As we begin our 20th year, URI members and Cooperation Circles (URI member groups) are launching exciting initiatives and essential peacebuilding projects across the planet. Here are a few highlights:

In Delhi, India:

Choti si Khushi has stepped up efforts to tackle urban poverty, allowing children from the slums to attend schools and encounter more opportunities despite cultural biases against them, and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities who are not otherwise given a voice in government decisions. Strengthening these efforts now will have far-reaching consequences over the next year and beyond.

Learn more.

In Nairobi, Kenya:

Founded by university students from different religions and tribes, Youth With A Vision is charging ahead with efforts to help vulnerable populations by providing food and necessary items during the pandemic, by helping children to study at home, by supporting teenage mothers, and by providing important interfaith community events. This work goes a long way to help people during an especially difficult year and for the years ahead.

Learn more.

In Panama, Panama:

Fany González, a member of Mujeres Kunas Artesanas (a URI member group composed mostly of Kuna Indigenous women), produced a photo collage celebrating the inter-religious and intercultural network that has been fostered between URI and the Kuna Indigenous community over the last 20 years.

Learn more.

In the URI Multiregion:

Spiritual Playdate is launching an initiative to help children understand complicated issues around social justice and to facilitate meaningful conversations with the upcoming generation—an effort that will generate positive outcomes for many years to come.

Learn more.

In the URI North India & Afghanistan Region:

The URI North India & Afghanistan Region has come out with a directory of Cooperation Circle stories and anecdotes in commemoration of URI’s 20th anniversary. See photos, read quotes, and experience the incredible stories of these member groups.

Learn more.

Across Europe and Beyond:

The region of URI Europe virtually gathered members from multiple countries and multiple continents for a successful and inspiring videoconference gathering in celebration of URI’s 20th anniversary, under the theme of “A New Phase for a New Decade – Getting Together as a Community.”

Learn more.

Celebrating with the United Nations:

URI's partnership with the United Nations spans the 20 years since the signing of its own Charter. When the United Nations celebrated its own 75th anniversary the same week as URI’s 20th, URI Executive Director The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr. moderated an online panel of experts, included many strong URI voices, discussing "The Role of Faith-based Organizations as Partners with the United Nations."

Learn more.

See more about this year’s ongoing celebration: 20 Years of URI.