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Briefing Paper for URI Spokespeople / Interviewees at Accelerate Peace Conference June 26 & 27

One Page Briefing Paper for URI Spokespeople / Interviewees at 
Accelerate Peace
Conference June 26 & 27

  • URI is the largest grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network in the world. It cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities. 
  • URI was founded 20 years ago by the Right Reverend William Swing, then the Episcopal Bishop of California. The international nonprofit has its headquarters in San Francisco’s Presidio in the Tides Foundation campus.
  • On June 26 & 27 in Stanford, California, URI convenes an unprecedented international gathering of religious leaders from around the world for the Accelerate Peace Conference, exploring interfaith strategies for global and local peacebuilding.
  • URI works closely with different United Nations agencies and other global organizations in promoting enduring interfaith cooperation to end religiously motivated violence and create a culture of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.
  • The URI Accelerate Peace Conference takes place at the Hoover Institution on the Stanford University Campus. It is hosted by former US Secretary of State, George P. Shultz, a fellow at the Hoover Institution and member of URI’s President’s Council. 
  • URI works in 109 countries through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of over 1000 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles. These groups engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights. 
  • URI conferences keynote speakers and panelists include:
    * Kehkashan Basu, Founder/President of Green Hope Foundation
    * H.E. Adama Dieng, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide
    Mohamed Elsanousi, Director of The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers
    Dr. Azza Karam, Senior Advisor on Culture at the United Nations Population Fund
    Audrey Kitagawa, Chair of the Parliament of the World’s Religions
    Valarie Kaur, Human Rights Activist and founder of The Revolutionary Love Project
    The Rev. Victor Kazanjian, Executive Director of URI
    Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, President of the General Theological Union
    * Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance
  • The conference will also feature a special keynote conversation entitled “A Bishop and a General Talk about Peace” between former Secretary of Defense, General James N. Mattis, and The Right Rev. William E. Swing, Founder and President of URI.  
  • Learn more at