Skip to main content

URI Convenes Unprecedented Accelerate Peace Int’l Conference June 26 & 27

Media Contacts:

Gaea Denker (415) 561-2300 ext. 2022 / 

David Perry (415) 676-7007 / (onsite at conference)

Erin Saberi (916) 952-5080 / (onsite at conference)

Beyond Partisanship

URI Convenes Unprecedented Accelerate Peace Int’l Conference June 26 & 27

3 June 2019, Stanford, CA, USA – As worshippers in churches, mosques and synagogues are being slaughtered and hate crimes and violence fueled by tensions between people of different beliefs are on the rise, the United Religions Initiative (URI) will gather representatives of the world’s religious, spiritual, and Indigenous traditions on the Stanford University Campus June 26 and 27 for a two-day, international conference. The conference will be open to the public, exploring interfaith strategies for global and local peacebuilding.

Speaking of the work of the United Religions Initiative, His Excellency Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide said,

“The United Nations Office of Genocide Prevention is working closely with United Religions Initiative (URI) as we highly value the work of this organization in promoting enduring interfaith cooperation to end religiously motivated violence and foster a culture of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.’’

URI is the world’s largest grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network, working in 109 countries and headquartered in San Francisco. Accelerate Peace: Interfaith Action in Global Peacebuilding will bring together grassroots interfaith peacebuilders, policy experts, religious leaders, young leaders, and representatives from civil society, the private sector, the United Nations, and international and interfaith organizations. Together, they will address issues of religiously-motivated violence and prejudice-based injustice, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The conference will promote peacebuilding through interfaith cooperation to address key humanitarian issues, including human rights, poverty, women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, and eliminating nuclear weapons.

The gathering will take place at the Hoover Institution on the Stanford University Campus. It is sponsored by former US Secretary of State, George P. Shultz, a fellow at the Hoover Institution and member of URI’s President’s Council. Testifying at a 2015 hearing of the US Senate Arms Services Committee on Global Threats and National Security Strategy, Secretary Shultz spoke about URI, saying,

“Interfaith efforts like the United Religions Initiative are the kind of positive, non-military approach to dealing with the rising violence of religious extremism that we must support.”

Joining Secretary Shultz will be grassroots peacebuilders of all beliefs from around the world, and a broad array of the conferences keynote speakers and panelists including: 

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

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 Right Rev. William E. Swing, Founder and President of URI, former Episcopal Bishop of California

Participants in the conference will develop a deeper understanding of interfaith efforts towards global peacebuilding and consider targeted action steps to be undertaken locally and globally.

For ticket information, sponsorship opportunities, and more details, visit the Accelerating Peace conference webpage:



The United Religions Initiative 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. We implement our mission in 109 countries through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of over 1000 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights. 

URI holds the prestigious distinction of being a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and has long-standing partnerships with several other UN agencies.

Learn more at