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Analyzing the Intangible

Analyzing the Intangible

by Gaea Denker

Every nonprofit wants to think it’s helping the world. But in a field as intangible as peacebuilding, where small interactions slowly build trust over generations, how can peace proponents know their efforts are really working?

A Bold, Flagship Experiment in Living Well Together...and a query

A Bold, Flagship Experiment in Living Well Together...and a query

by Bud Heckman

Numerous efforts have been made over time to bring people of different walks of faith together and think creatively about the meaning of community and accountability. Yet few visions are as refreshingly bold as what has been happening in Omaha, Nebraska.

Joy at the Grassroots

The faces … it is the faces of people from communities around the world that I remember most from this past year, visiting global grassroots interfaith groups. A year ago, I began my work as executive director of United Religions Initiative (URI), a rare opportunity to contribute to an extraordinary movement dedicated to building peace among the peoples of the planet. [Photo: URI]

Returning Home: A Transformation in Self and Worldview

As goes the South, so goes the nation.” – W.E.B. Du Bois

My story begins on the back roads of Bainbridge, Georgia in the summer of 1950. On a hot summer afternoon, my 19-year-old grandmother carried two suitcases along a familiar red dirt path past her grandmother’s house and the small one-room church her family worshipped in every Sunday. As she walked amid the skinny pines, I imagine she wondered when she would return.

Funding Grassroots Interfaith in San Francisco

Making it Work at the Local Level

Grassroots Activists with a Global Outreach

From Danville to the Amazon

Environmental Activism in Your Own Backyard

Grassroots Religion Going Green

Religion’s New Face in the World

All of Heckman’s categories deserves attention and will find their way into The Interfaith Observer. Before concluding this overview, though, consider one other category – “Social issue(s) and action groups.” Dozens of social justice causes – immigration rights, the death penalty, economic reform, environmental responsibility, peace in the Middle East, and many more – organize as interfaith nonprofits.

Global Interfaith Grassroots Organizing: The Record So Far

Since its Charter was signed in 2000, United Religions Initiative (URI) has grown to include more than 530 grassroots groups and organizations in 78 countries. Each Cooperation Circle has its own name, size, governance and mission, but they all share in their commitment to and practice of diversity, and to advancing the central purpose and principles of URI. As URI’s director of Organizational Development for over 15 years, I’ve had a good seat from which observe and participate in developing an institution that believes in the power of people to self-organize in order to fulfill their aspirations for peace, justice and healing.

Three tips for Grassroots Interfaith Organizers

A few days before the Kansas City “Gifts of Pluralism” interfaith conference opened 10 years ago, as one of the planners, I said I thought the effort would be a success if 50 people showed up. Some 250 folks participated and, at the end, applauded.