United Religions Initiative

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United Religions Initiative
HeadquartersThe Presidio in San Francisco, California, United States
Membership+1 million people
• Global Council Chair
Kiran Bali
• President
William E. Swing
• Executive Director
Victor H. Kazanjian Jr.
• United Religions Initiative Charter
26 June 2000

The United Religions Initiative (URI) is a global grassroots interfaith network.

It has local and global initiatives through more than 800 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles,[1] to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women's and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights.[2]

The organization was founded by William E. Swing, along with David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney.[3] The URI Charter was signed by more than two-hundred people present, and hundreds more joining over the Internet, at a ceremony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on June 26, 2000.[4]

URI also holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).[5]


Before the formal charter signing in 2000, URI supporters around the world participated together in a project called "72 Hours for Peace", in which more than 250 local organizations united in projects promoting peace and justice during the turn of the millennium.[6]

Examples of global and member initiatives documented in the public record:

  • The Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative has played a key role in promoting peace in war-torn northern Uganda.[7] The Ugandan groups are also participants in the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund supported by the World Bank.[8]


  1. ^ Cooperation Circles, United Religions Initiative
  2. ^ "United Religions Initiative Charter".
  3. ^ Cooperrider, David L. and Diana Kaplin Whitney, Appreciative inquiry: a positive revolution in change, page 31, Berret-Koehler Publishers Inc., 2005
  4. ^ Dyer, Ervin (June 28, 2000). "Charter Signed for Religious Coalitions". Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
  5. ^ "URI and the UN | URI". www.uri.org. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  6. ^ Talcott, Sarah, Building the Interfaith Youth Movement: Beyond Dialogue to Action, p78, ed. by Eboo Patel and Patrice Brodeur, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006
  7. ^ Religion News Service, January 8, 2008, Jason Kane, Ugandan Religious Leaders Set Aside Rivalries in Pursuit of Peace "Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life". Archived from the original on 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
  8. ^ Marshall, Katherine and Lucy Keough, Mind, Heart, and Soul in the Fight Against Poverty, The World Bank, 2004 pp232-233

External links[edit]