Join UN policy experts, religious leaders, and grassroots interfaith peacebuilders for a two-day exploration of how interfaith strategies can be used for global peacebuilding.
When: Wednesday, June 26, 2019 to Thursday, June 27, 2019
Where: The Hoover Institution on the Stanford University campus
URI is hosting a two-day international conference on interfaith strategies for global peacebuilding. Grassroots interfaith peacebuilders, policy experts, religious leaders, and representatives from the United Nations and international and interfaith organizations will be speaking.
URI is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. URI is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Learn more.
Featured Conference Speakers
H.E. Adama Dieng
H.E. Adama Dieng is Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide. Mr. Adama Dieng was instrumental in establishing the African Court on Human and People’s Rights in 1993. In 2001, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed him Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
His office (UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect) recently developed and launched a Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence which Could Lead to Atrocity Crimes.
Valarie Kaur is a seasoned civil rights activist, award-winning filmmaker, lawyer, faith leader, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project, to champion love as a public ethic and wellspring for social action. Valarie earned undergraduate degrees in Religious Studies and International Relations at Stanford University, a master’s in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, where she was a Harvard University Presidential Scholar, and a J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was a Knight Law and Media Scholar.
Since then, Valarie has made films and led story-based campaigns on hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, solitary confinement, marriage equality, and Internet freedom. She is the founder of Groundswell Movement, considered “America’s largest multifaith online organizing network,” recognized for “dynamically strengthening faith-based organizing in the 21st century.” She also founded the Yale Visual Law Project, where she trained law students how to make films for social change, and co-founded Faithful Internet to build the movement for net neutrality. Recognized as a leading Sikh American voice, she has been a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary since 2013.
General James N. Mattis
General James N. Mattis, US Marine Corps (retired) returns as the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution as of May 2019, after having served as the United States’ 26th Secretary of Defense.
URI is honored to feature “one of America’s great soldier-scholars” in a keynote conversation with former Episcopal Bishop of California, the Right Rev. William E. Swing (“A General and a Bishop talk about Peace” on Wednesday, June 26 at 4:45 pm).
General Mattis has commanded at multiple levels through his 44-year career as an infantry Marine. As a general, he served concurrently as the Commander of US Joint Forces Command and as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation. Before retiring in 2013, he was Commander of US Central Command, directing military operations of over 200,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, Coast Guardsmen and women, Marines and allied forces across the Middle East.
He is co-editor of the book Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military (2016).
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, PhD is a renowned female spiritual leader in India. She is Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, launched by UNICEF, the world’s first alliance of religious leaders for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
She is President of the Divine Shakti Foundation, a charitable organization bringing education and empowerment to women and children. She is also Director of the world-famous International Yoga Festival, serves as Vice-Chair of the United Nations’ Advisory Council on Religion and on the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development. Sadhviji has received numerous awards and recognition for her leadership in India, including from the Cabinet Minister of Water Resources, as well as from the Ambassador of the United States to India.
Originally from Los Angeles and a graduate of Stanford University, Sadhviji has lived at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh for 23 years, where she gives spiritual discourses, satsang, and leads myriad humanitarian programs.
Kehkashan Basu is the founder of the Green Hope Foundation, which is focused on giving a voice to children and youth in a discussion that arguably impacts them the most – the future. She is passionate about sustainability, inter and intragenerational equality, girls and women’s rights, and climate justice. She has received international recognition including for 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, the 2017 Turner Prize for Social Change and the 2017 National Energy Globe Award, and was elected Global Coordination for the United Nations Environment Programme – achieving all of this before she’s even reached the age of 18.
Kekhashan has spoken at several global conferences, such as COP23, the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the World Bank Youth Forum, the European Parliament’s session on gender equality, HLPF sessions at UN New York, the 2018 Globe Forum in Vancouver and most recently at the 2018 St. Louis Climate Summit.
Azza M. Karam
Dr. Azza M. Karam is Senior Adviser to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Dr. Karam coordinates UNFPA’s Global Interfaith Network for Population and Development and chairs the UN Inter-Agency Task Force for Engaging Faith-Based Organizations to meet Millennium Development Goals. As Special Adviser in Arab and Islamic Affairs and Director of Women's Programs at the World Conference of Religions for Peace, she initiated the first ever Global Women of Faith Network.
See the conference schedule here.
Circles of Light: An Annual Benefit Gala
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at the Hoover Institution on the Stanford University campus.
Celebrating the launching of URI's 20th year, the Circles of Light Gala will be held as a separately-ticketed event, but conference attendees are invited to register for this dinner.