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Action Guidelines for URI Work

Mussie Hailu, URI Regional Coordinator for Africa, adapted these Action Guidelines for URI Work from The Earth Charter. These guidelines provide sound wisdom when considering how you or your Cooperation Circle will take action together. As your group considers a new project or takes time for reflection, these guidelines offer inspiration and practical points to consider and discuss.


Blogging Guidelines

Ever wonder how to write a good blog? What is a blog anyway? Here are some helpful guidelines adapted from a blogging workshop given by Hot Studio, Inc., the company that has been helping URI to redesign its website.


Building Partnerships & Making Connections

Two URI leaders, Africa Regional Coordinator Mussie Hailu, and Global Council Trustee Marites Africa, share the triumphs and challenges of making connections with leaders and building partnerships that have lasting impact in their communities.


CC Management Tips

Each Cooperation Circle (CC) has unique dynamics, but collectively, CCs have much in common. Here is a wealth of practical information about the different styles of CC management and suggestions for activities that can help get your CC running smoothly and effectively.


Circle Guidelines

According to The Millionth Circle, a grass-roots, international volunteer organization, these Circle Guidelines help circles to function more successfully for all participants.


Circle Principles

Circle Principles is a list of simple and widely accepted values for circle cooperation and interaction from The Millionth Circle, a grass-roots, international volunteer organization of women who believe that circles are the means through which world consciousness will change.


Creating Cooperation Circles: A Practical Guide

A short, practical guide on how to form a Cooperation Circle, which also contains suggestions for Appreciative Interviews that new Circles might find helpful.


Creative Beginnings

This 20 page booklet was created by URI's Moral Imagination Program 2006-2008 and provides several useful and inspiring activities easily adaptable for teaching and facilitating in a variety of contexts. Given that teaching and learning the art of the Moral Imagination in building peace is a rich and layered experience that evolves over time, this booklet offers just a peek into this inspiring body of work. Ideas are taken from the extensive experiences of eminent educators in peacebuilding, Dr. John Paul Lederach and Dr. Herm Weaver.


The Dialogue Process

With gratitude to Sarah Talcott who brought this to our attention when she used it in the People for Peace Curriculum at a URI youth event. Developed by Prof. Dr. Freeman Dhority of Harvard University and Steffi Dobkowitz, the Dialogue Process is based on U.S. Scientist David Bohm's "Bohm Dialogue." In the Bohm Dialogue, equality and "free space" form the most important prerequisites for communication and appreciation of differing personal beliefs. The Dialogue Process builds on this idea with simple guidelines that can be helpful in communications training or other work that brings together people from different backgrounds.


A Dialogue Process Idea with a Focus on the Middle East

Executive Director, The Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs, shares his experience facilitating a dialogue on the Middle East for a clergy lunch of the Marin Interfaith Council in Marin City, California, and includes thoughtful dialogue questions and reflection on the topic.


Finding a Place for the Moral Imagination

The Peacemakers' Circle Cooperation Circle in Metro Manila hosted a forum in February 2008 as part of the URI - Moral Imagination Peacebuilding Program. The Forum presentation was inspired by conversations among the URI - Moral Imagination team from the Philippines and Dr. Jo Kashim, a member of significant Islamic leadership groups in the Philippines. Instead of using Dr. Jo's experiences as fuel for more anger and hostility, the team decided to use it to apply knowledge learned through the URI Moral Imagination training program under Dr. John Paul Lederach.


Foundational Thoughts on URI-Moral Imagination Leadership and Experience

Herm Weaver and John Paul Lederach co-led the URI - Moral Imagination Pilot Peacebuilding Program in 2006-2008. The training was very impactful. The infusion of Moral Imagination values with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles of URI has helped us crystallize the unique contribution URI Peacebuilding brings to the world. In this piece Herm Weaver articulates the qualities and values of the leadership that he and Lederach modeled during the training, and the experience of the training workshops themselves.


Frequently Asked Questions

Charles Gibbs, URI Executive Director, and Sally Mahé, URI Director of Organizational Development, answer most frequently asked questions about URI, in a nutshell.


From a Vision to an Initiative, by the Right Reverend William E. Swing

An inspiring account by the Founder and President of URI, The Right Rev. William E. Swing, on how the dream for the United Religions Initiative first began on a cold winter’s night in the early 90s.


Golden Rule Curriculum

This curriculum, published by Scarboro Mission, uses the logic of circles, rules, moral modeling and the Golden Rule to inspire and support young people to become global citizens rooted in the Golden Rule. Titled “A Rule Made of Gold” and geared to an international audience, it's available in Word and pdf format.


Green Rule Handbook • download

Faith & the Common Good, an interfaith organization based out of Canada, derived the Green Rule poster from the classic Golden Rule found in many major faith traditions. Most are familiar with the Christian Golden Rule: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." In Hinduism it is expressed; "Do not do to others what would cause pain to you." In Islam, "Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself," and so it goes in the various faith traditions. Selected from many of the world’s great religious texts and spiritual teachings, the Green Rules were chosen to demonstrate that each religion and spiritual philosophy has a long-standing tradition of ecological stewardship. Each Green Rule was chosen to acknowledge the natural world as an essential phenomenon through which we may better come to know the divine and our oneness with it. Attached is the Green Rule Poster & Handbook developed by Faith & Common Good.


How to Write a Proposal - Equipping Ourselves for URI’s Future

This presentation outlines how to write a proposal to seek funding for URI regional work.


Interfaith Home Gatherings

The URI calls people to use their creativity and resourcefulness to promote interfaith cooperation and respect wherever they are. This guide offers practical information about how to encourage people to join this vision by hosting an interfaith home gathering, but you’ll find these tips are applicable to almost any interfaith encounter.


Interfaith and Peacebuilding Quotations

Compiled by Despina Namwembe, URI Regional Coordinator for the Great Lakes region of Africa, this collection of quotations offers insight and inspiration for the URI community and anyone involved in interfaith work and peacebuilding.


Interfaith Peacebuilding Guide

Interfaith Peacebuilding Guide

The URI Interfaith Peacebuilding Guide is a resource for interfaith groups — those “everyday gandhis” who are making a difference one meeting at a time in their local communities. It is for people of diverse faiths who have been strangers (or worse, enemies) to become friends and allies dedicated to peace, justice, and healing. The guide has been designed for groups that have just begun working together, as well as those that are more established and yet seek to strengthen their planning and sharpen their skills for building interfaith understanding and taking action.


Learning to Live Together

Learning to Live Together is the first outcome of the worldwide ethics education initiative launched by the Arigatou Foundation and its Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), developed in close cooperation with and endorsed by UNESCO and UNICEF. Providing youth leaders and educators worldwide with the tools for an intercultural and interfaith programme, this adaptable resource can be used with children from many different cultural, religious and social contexts to nurture common values and a mutual respect for different backgrounds and traditions. It aims to strengthen children’s commitment to justice, respect for human rights, and to build harmonious relationships between individuals and within societies.


Living Our Values

Living Values Education, an international program implemented by Bond zonder Naam Cooperation Circle in Antwerp, Belguim, is a holistic system looking at education with the goal of providing principles and tools to guide the development of the whole person, recognizing that each individual is comprised of physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Developed in 1997, the aim is to create a culture of positive values in each society throughout the world, believing that education is a purposeful activity designed to help humanity flourish.


The Millenium Development Goal Toolkits and Toolkit Training Guide

Religions for Peace, with the support of the UN Millennium Campaign, developed the MDG toolkits to assist religious communities in raising awareness, advocating, training, and conducting outreach in the fight against poverty and disease.


Model PowerPoint: URI in the Middle East and North Africa

Used by the URI Middle East and North Africa region to showcase the work of Cooperation Circles, this model PowerPoint is a helpful guide for sharing URI with others.


Multiple Cooperation Circles

Provided by Organizational Development Committee of the Global Council 2007, this guide outlines the "Multiple Cooperation Circles" (MCC) Design Concept, Rights and Responsibilities, and FAQs. For an application to become an MCC, click here.


Opening the Dream: Beyond the Limits of Otherness

Opening the Dream: Beyond the Limits of Otherness

Opening the Dream: Beyond the Limits of Otherness (Fetzer Institute: Spring 2005, Essay 7) By Charles Gibbs. This essay is one of a series dedicated to The Fetzer Institute’s Deepening the American Dream, a project to explore the relationship between the inner life of spirit and the outer life of service. In his introductory to the essay, Charles Gibbs’ notes, "In this work, there are no other people. No matter how different we may seem, we share a common humanity that emanates from the Source of goodness and love that is sovereign, creative center of all that is..."


Partners in Leadership

Over the past ten years, the URI community has enjoyed many effective practices, lessons and experiences that have enlivened us as a community. Drawing from the experiences at URI global summits, regional assemblies, CC initiatives, and like-minded groups, this helpful guide is a collection of some of the best practices that exemplify the URI in action.


Permaculture: A Philosophy for Designing Sustainable Life-Giving Systems

Sarah Talcott, Director of the Young Leaders Program for URI, offers fascinating information to assist CCs, groups large and small, and growing networks think about key life-giving strategies as they design and re-design their work. “Permaculture” offers stunning principles that are drawn from nature’s wisdom to guide organizational growth.


Practical Tips for Teaching and Living the Golden Rule

Mussie Hailu, URI Africa Regional Coordinator, provides practical tips for teaching and living the Golden Rule.


The Public Peace Process

Dr. Harold Saunders, former Assistant Secretary of State in collaboration with former Russian diplomat Gennady Chufrin, delineated these interconnected Five Stages of a Dialogue Process leading to reconciliation and collaboration. The illustrations have been translated from English into Hebrew and Arabic.


Principles of Dialogue

Kay Lindahl, founder of The Listening Center and former Global Council Trustee of the URI, is recognized as an inspiring teacher and spiritual guide to people of all religious backgrounds. Her work explores a spiritual approach to the art of listening. In this valuable guide, Lindahl describes the principles of dialogue and illustrates how to use them to create a safe space for learning and listening.


Restoring Dignity: A Toolkit for Religious Communities to End Violence Against Women

This toolkit from Religions for Peace was designed in collaboration with religious leaders from countries around the world for women and men of fiath working at the community, national, or international level.


The Rights & Responsibilities of Members CCs

The Rights & Responsibilities of member CCs come from URI’s Bylaws and URI’s commitment to grassroots, “bottom up” governance. Donald Frew, former Global Council Trustee, looks at these sources in detail, offering general guidance.


Sound of the Soul

House Party Guide
A guide, developed by the Global Spirit series on Link TV, for how to share movies they produce, such as Sound of the Soul, with others and use them to spark interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural exchange. A great way to integrate music and the arts into interfaith gatherings!

150 Minutes (CEM Productions). Directed by Peter Scarlet. From CEM Productions: Sound of the Soul is a compelling portrait of an Arab country where Muslims, Christians, and Jews have lived together in relative peace for centuries. Beautifully photographed during the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, the film presents unforgettable performances from groups from Morocco, Ireland, Russia, Afghanistan, Mauritania, the USA, Portugal and France, which carry viewers into what the film’s Moroccan sufi guide calls ‘the hearing of the heart’ - the essential Oneness at the core of all religions and faiths.


Suggestions for Greening URI Offices, Events and Retreat Sites

A collection of practical suggestions for conserving resources in offices, when traveling, or when setting up off-site events or retreats.


Ten Tips for Working with Faith Communities

Kiran Bali, URI Young Leaders Program Steering Committee member and Global Council Trustee, wrote these practical tips for effective work with faith communities, based on her years of experience in interfaith community organizing in northern England, through the Faith 2 Faith UK Cooperation Circle. She presented this during a workshop in the Young Leaders Program interfaith youth leadership retreat in San Francisco, June 2009.


Tips for a Good CC Visit

Sally Mahé, URI Director of Organizational Development, provides practical suggestions on meeting logistics, as well as important tips on making visits with Cooperation Circles meaningful and rewarding.


URI Europe Film Brochure

Films can be used for URI CCs as effective tools for peacemaking and for building interfaith relations. URI Europe published this booklet to support Cooperation Circles by giving them a collection of DVDs recommended for use during interfaith gatherings to inspire discussions with people interested in different religions and cultures.


URI Introduction for College Students

An introduction to URI geared towards college students and other young leaders.


URI Organizational Design

This series of questions and answers about URI’s Organizational Design delves deep into the truths grounded in the Charter, and also addresses the theory of chaordic design and how it applies to the URI. A exciting piece for all those interested in how URI’s design structure reflects what is at the heart of the organization.


Value Based Education Exposition

This insightful overview on values-based education, written by world-renowned educator Dr. C.M. Yogi from Nepal, shares an introduction to value based bducation, the history of value-based education in Nepal, international practices in values based education, and an extensive list of books and resources on value based education.


Video Guide

This 4-part video guide was put together for URI Youth Ambassadors by URI Young Leaders Program Steering Committee member, Matthew Youde, from Wales, UK, who is also a filmmaker. He advises on how to produce a number of different videos, from video-diaries to news clips to interviews; how to plan and film different kinds of videos; and special tips for filming interviews.


We Unite Video Viewers' Guide and Dialogue Conversations

This helpful guide provides an introduction to the the URI We Unite video, with follow-up questions and conversation starters.


Working with the Media: Overview Information for URI CCs

Provided by URI's Public Relations Consultant, Wendy Norris, this guide offers tips and suggestions for working with the media, touching on topics such as fielding press calls, speaking with the press, how to manage difficult situations with the press, putting out press releases, and much more.


Young Leaders Program Overview 2009

This colorful presentation shares the mission and methodology of URI's Young Leaders Program as well as photos of highlight projects and accomplishments from 2008-2009. A great way to familiarize yourself with the youth of URI!

"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi


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