|The seed for the URI was planted in 1993 when the United Nations invited William Swing, Episcopal Bishop of
California, to host an interfaith service in San Francisco. That night the Bishop found it hard to sleep...
he told himself, "If the nations of the world are working together for peace through the UN, then where are the
religions of the world?" From this inspiration, a vision took shape to create an organization whereby people of
diverse faiths and from all sectors of society would cooperate for peace and justice for all.
From the first global summit in 1996 to the Charter signing in 2000,
URI engaged thousands of people from diverse religions, spiritual
expressions and indigenous traditions to create the URI Charter.
Five global summits and numerous gatherings and consultations
took place in different regions of the world.
URI used a highly effective
methodology for positive change, Appreciative Inquiry, pioneered
by Dr. David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve University and
the revolutionary insights for organizing offered by Dee Hock,
founder of VISA international.
The results of this process are a URI Charter, interfaith
action projects in over 50 countries, and an
unprecedented network of Cooperation Circles
and supporting members and Affiliates dedicated
to making the Charter a lived reality all over the
world. Today, millions of people are bringing
their unique talents to URI and organizing
profound acts of care, compassion, cooperation,
education and peace building.
The URI Charter was developed through a four year global chartering process by several hundred women, men, and
youth representing a diverse array of religions, spiritual paths and indigenous traditions. It inspires, grounds and
guides all URI activity. Download the full Charter.