URI Launches Pledge Campaign for Tolerance

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"Intolerance Ends With Me" starts September 1 at http://www.uri.org.

URI (United Religions Initiative), the world’s largest grassroots interfaith organization, launched a global pledge campaign today to end intolerance. Running through the month of September, the “Intolerance Ends With Me” campaign invites people around the world to take one action every day to promote respect for diversity in their communities.

“In a world that can seem so divided along ethnic, racial, religious, class, even gender lines, we wanted people to think about how simple individual actions—meeting a neighbor, learning about a new religion, trying a new kind of food—can make our communities more welcoming places,” said URI Executive Director Charles Gibbs. “As a grassroots organization, we believe that peace is built one person, one community at a time.”

The campaign is timed to coincide with both the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the International Day of Peace, September 21. The pledge site provides a list of suggested actions, such as organizing an interfaith dinner, visiting a place of worship or community center, or writing a letter to the editor promoting tolerance, and pledge takers are invited to share their daily activities on-line.

“Every time an act of discrimination is met with silence, it plants the seed for more injustice,” said Matthew Youde, co-coordinator of URI’s Young Leaders Program. “People, especially young people, want to make their voices heard. This campaign is an opportunity for people to speak out for what they believe in a very concrete way.”

Partners and sponsors for the campaign include the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions, North America Interfaith Network, the Pluralism Project, Interfaith Unity News, 20,000 Dialogues, and My Fellow American.

About URI:
URI is a global network of 500 grassroots organizations, called Cooperation Circles, dedicated to peace and justice through interfaith and cross-cultural cooperation. Its nearly half a million members are overcoming distrust and hostility every day for the good of their communities—mediating religiously motivated conflict; building schools, orphanages and health clinics; campaigning for citizenship rights and more in 78 countries. They touch the lives of an estimated 2.5 million people. The network is led by Executive Director Charles Gibbs, President William E. Swing, and Yoland Trevino, chair of an elected 29-member Global Council of Trustees from 19 countries.

Visit http://www.uri.org for further information on URI’s projects in Africa; Asia; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; Middle East and North Africa; North America; and Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

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Julian Foley
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