Every Voice – Barbara Hartford

10 December 2018, 1:15 PM
Every Voice – Barbara Hartford

“Whatever is Wanted and Needed”

A quality that makes URI shine is the ability in people to step forward and generously offer their best, especially in changing and uncertain circumstances. It has been said that “URI is like a plane that is being built while flying it.” Therefore, URI relies on people who meet change and uncertainties with competence, selfless leadership, support, love and versatility. Barbara Hartford, URI Global Staff for 15 years, midwifed and embedded this quality in URI. Her often-heard response to any kind of need was, “I’ll do whatever is wanted and needed.” Barbara served as Director of Communications, Peacebuilding and Human Resources, 1997-2012.

Bishop Swing said, “Barb was one of URI’s midwives, parents, nannies, teachers, godparents, sponsors, administrators, peacebuilders, coaches, dietitians, travel agents, sages, event planners, and spiritual sources… that’s what Barb does. She brings together deep human resources and makes them available. Barb sees THE BIG PICTURE. URI could not have had a nobler pioneer.”

Once, Barb described her gifts to URI: “I always try to keep the whole together, having things work for everyone, rather like the sheepdog that brings the flock home. I understand and value what it takes behind the scenes to get something done or have someone empowered. Visual images move me.” 

URI is indebted to Barb for capturing URI’s spirit in thousands of her photos, which were taken with tender loving care.

Barb gave her extraordinary talents and passion to focus on peacebuilding within URI. In 2006, as part of the Moral Imagination Peacebuilding Program, she wrote:

From the waves of detail

Emerge beautiful faces

Love is visible.

To have this work now

Moral Imagination is a spectacular gift.

It demands all have learned

Creating way beyond that

Great work for Grandma

Thank you, Barbara, for the gift of yourself that keeps on giving.


Read more posts in the Every Voice series, which presents thought-provoking quotes showing how people all over the world give voice to URI.