In January 2019, seven young leaders from across the United States participated in a two-day visit to the United Nations where they attended a symposium co-sponsored by URI and met with officials from the Office of Genocide Prevention, the government of the Philippines, experts on nuclear issues (Jonathan Granoff, John Burroughs and Christian Ciobanu), and Indigenous Elder Phil Lane, Jr.
Participants from across the US and Canada applied to participate in the trip, which is offered annually around the time of World Interfaith Harmony Week and is open to young leaders from Cooperation Circles who celebrated International Day of Peace the year before.
All 7 participants take to Facebook Live to share their reflections on the trip. Click the play button below to watch!
Follow the links below to read reflections from each participant and keep scrolling to see a slideshow from the trip.
- Caitlin Ferrell, Rothko Chapel: "I feel a renewed sense of confidence and validation in the work that we do at the Chapel. Looking forward to all of the amazing programs and opportunities we have planned, I know in my heart that we provide a unique and truly significant space and create lasting impact on those who experience it."
- Emerald Stanton, Camp Anytown: "Yes, the United Nations reaches the world and helps with global conflict, but would conflict be around if we were able to reach communities on individual levels to spread compassion and understanding?"
- Gabrielle Henry, University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel: "If I could emphasize one point from my UN experience, it would be that opportunities such as this are vital in including a more diverse range of people in the interfaith movement. Without financial barriers being lowered, I would never have discovered my true passion for interfaith work, and its potential as a future career path."
- Maliha Sheikh, Interfaith Cafe: "Hope without reality is mere illusion, but reality without any hope is a dark place. Being at the United Nations, I felt like it was the place between reality and hope."
- Laila Galarsa, Camp Anytown: "I came to the United Nations in New York in the search of how to teach advocacy. I have become so vocal in defense of others that I lost sense of how I was granted such courage and how to pass down the strength of words."
- Patrick Horn, Unity-and-Diversity World Council: "Now in 2019, a time of trials and many troubles, I am thankful for the strategic vision, long patience, and perseverance of supportive allies. This is a most unique moment in human history, and the group of URI youth representatives that I joined at the UN give tangible hope for a just, peaceful, and sustainable world."