Religions for Peace USA has three areas of focus for programming:
1) Building Community
Religions for Peace USA brings together religious communities and their official representatives for the purposes of building relationships, ultimately creating space for effective interreligious participation in human progress.
*IRC (Interreligious Council) Building – Project was funded through the Rockefeller Foundation. Its focus is the stimulation of local and regional interreligious dialogue and cooperation across the US, particularly by assisting in the development of local, broadly based and representative interreligious agencies, as well as developing a guidebook, training process, and start up at least three IRCs in the U.S. in places of need. Exemplary local IRCs such as the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia and the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council benefitted from the resourcing of this initiative in their birthing.
*The Interfaith Academies for Religious Leaders – Working in consortium with seminaries and institutions of higher education for religious vocations to enable a concentrated series of workshops on several major faith traditions and interreligious principles and activity, so as to prepare religious leaders for a pluralistic world.
*Interfaith Dialogue Guide (“InterActive Faith: The Essential Community Building Handbook”. 2008 Skylight Press) – Creating a basic overview guide on interfaith dialogue for persons of all faiths. It serves as a resource guide for sharing resources, approaches, and best practices for interfaith dialogue work. It was written collaboratively in consultation with our member traditions and contains a number of helpful links.
*National Gathering of Religious Leaders – Conducted on an occasional basis, Religions for Peace USA sponsors a collaboration retreat for the leadership of U.S. religious and interfaith organizations to foster coordination.
*Joint Religious Leadership Council on the G8 and G20 Meeting 2012 – As part of an historic string of such summits around the G8 and G20 Summits, the Joint Religious Leadership Coordination for the G8 Summit (JRLCS) gathered representative organizations and delegations from G8 and G20 member communities for a meeting to articulate shared moral concerns and articulate policy recommendations.
2) Addressing Diversity
Religions for Peace USA builds community which addresses the increasing religious, cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity in our nation.
*Return to the Earth – Returning to the Earth the remains of over 100,000 culturally unidentifiable Native Americans in cooperation with a consortium of agencies, both religious and secular, Native and non-Native. Our principal task is to galvanize support, but we are also working on the distribution of a study guide, development of a video, and interpretation of the project and reconciliation processes.
*PSAs – Public Service Announcements – Development of light-hearted, humorous, upbeat PSAs on religiously diverse America in collaboration with Odyssey Networks.
* The 9/11 Unity Walk - Striving to involve members of mutual religious communities in the building up of understanding and cooperation between religious traditions and faiths.
* Our Muslim Neighbor – Fostering a public education and engagement program on views of Muslims and Islam in collaboration with the Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Auburn Seminary, and other project partners.
3) Examining the Role of the US in the World
Religions for Peace USA advocates for responsibility of the U.S. as a citizen of the global community with particular regard to peace, human rights, and development.
*The People Speak – Organized a nationwide series of dialogues to engage local citizens to discuss the hard questions about America’s role in the world. The project was sponsored by the United Nations Foundation and cooperating organizations. Topics of discussion focused on several topics under the general theme – Working Together with the World: What’s in it for the U.S.?: Peace, Security, and Human Rights; Energy and the Global Economy; and The Millennium Development Goals.
*Hope for Children Project – Offering an interreligious model/approach to recovery camps for children and to trauma/resilience training for adults/youth leaders in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The project was done in cooperation with the STAR program of Eastern Mennonite University, Louisiana Interreligious Disaster Response Network, and Camp Noah of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota.