Come join us for this excellent opportunity to meet, learn about and network with leaders and organizations active in interreligious dialogue (IRD) and peacebuilding initiatives at the grassroots and global level. Meet the global network of Berrie Alumni religious and lay leaders leading interfaith initiatives in their communities.

The John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue, a partnership between The Russell Berrie Foundation and the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), builds bridges between Christian, Jewish and other religious traditions by providing the next generation of religious leaders with a comprehensive understanding of and dedication to interfaith issues and action. The Center, located at the Angelicum in Rome, Italy, sponsors unique programs and initiatives to achieve this goal, including: fellowships for students to pursue interreligious studies and public lectures and conferences on Interreligious Understanding. Alumni grant projects will be featured at the John Paul II Center table – for information about these projects, please see the Alumni grant project booklet

The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas - popularly known as the "Angelicum” in honor of its patron, the “Angelic Doctor”, is a Pontifical university in Rome, founded in 1577. Today, with an enrollment of over 1,000, the university welcomes lay students alongside clergy, seminarians, and religious who have been its core student body for centuries. The Angelicum counts dozens of bishops and other religious leaders among its alumni, including Pope St. John Paul II, who was a champion of interreligious dialogue. The Angelicum is particularly well known for its Thomistic Institute and its Ecumenical section in the Faculty of Theology, both of which are unique among Pontifical institutions in the world. It is within the auspices of the Ecumenical Section that the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue was founded in 2008.

Alliance for Middle East Peace envisions a Middle East in which Israelis and Palestinians have built the trust necessary to live in peace and security, prospering in societies that protect their human and civil rights. To achieve this goal, it secures and scales up funding to expand trust-building interactions between Palestinians and Israelis. They provide capacity-building support and visibility to amplify the voices and impact of their member organizations in the region and connect individuals and groups to create a critical mass that live and act in support of peace.

 

The international Charter for Compassion engages communities and individuals in compassionate action worldwide. Their work is grounded in reinvigorating the Golden Rule: “Treat others and the planet as you wish to be treated.” Our world is deeply troubled and polarized, so they work to establish and sustain cultures of compassion locally and globally through a network of 430 Compassionate Cities and the Charter for Compassion Education Institute. 

Coexister is a non-denominational organization and an interfaith youth-led movement. It gathers 3000 active young leaders in 45 European cities. Their main mission is to offer them to experience interfaith diversity in a positive way through a one-year program. They developed an active pedagogy, so all their beneficiaries can contribute to peace building locally by organizing 1200 dialogue activities, solidarity work and school sessions to tackle stereotypes on diversity. They reached more than 120 000 students in schools in 10 years. Through daily work at the local level, the 45 local Coexister groups in France see the diversity of religious, spiritual and philosophical beliefs of their members not as an obstacle, but rather as a driving force used to create a better future for all through joint actions.

Coexister founded an international branch, Interfaith tour. The objective of the program is to identify interfaith initiatives that contribute to peace, to promote them, connect them to one another and make them truly inspiring. Every two years, four young people of different faiths prepare and are trained for 18 months to complete an eight-month study trip to 25 countries to carry out this mission. The first 3 InterFaith Tour teams have studied 80 countries and identified more than 1,200 interfaith initiatives. These meetings led to the production of 140 videos and the conduct of nearly 900 interviews with citizens, social entrepreneurs, community activists, political and religious leaders, and engaged students.

Connecting Actions is an international initiative to convene citizen, intercultural, interfaith and intercommunal dialogue organisations and experts to share best practices and reinforce this essential field for a better coexistence. The initiative received its name based on a global network that its initiator, the Muslim Jewish Conference, created in response to the refugee crisis in 2015. Connecting Actions, now an independent non-profit organisation registered in France, addresses pressing questions around the concept of active coexistence, methods and objectives of dialogue, combating radicalism, and improving the quality of public discourses online and offline around heated topics. Connecting Actions founded and is now leading the European Institute For Dialogue, a Coalition of 12 European NGOs.

Focolare Movement is a movement of spiritual and social renewal, founded in Trent, Italy, in 1943, during the Second World War. The Focolare Movement, officially known as the Work of Mary, was approved by the Catholic Church in 1962. It is now present in 182 nations and more than 2 million people share closely in its life and work. It aims to promote brotherhood and to achieve a more united world in which people respect and value diversity. To achieve this goal, people of the Movement engage in various forms of dialogue and are committed to building bridges of fraternal relationships among individuals, between cultural groups and in every area of society.

KAICIID Dialogue Center is an intergovernmental organization whose mandate is to promote the use of dialogue globally to prevent and resolve conflict to enhance understanding and cooperation. Over a seven-year-long negotiation and development process, KAICIID’s mandate and structure were designed to foster dialogue among people of different faiths and cultures that bridges animosities, reduces fear and instills mutual respect. KAICIID is the only intergovernmental organization with a Board of Directors made up of representatives from major world religions. The Founding States of the Centre (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Austria and Kingdom of Spain) constitute the “Council of Parties” responsible for overseeing the work of the Centre; the Holy See is admitted as a Founding Observer to the Centre.

Libertas Center for Interconfessional and Interreligious Dialogue is a non-profit organization which aims at promoting interconfessional and interreligious dialogue and understanding in Ukraine and abroad. By applying scholarly research and innovative thinking to interfaith issues, the Center aims at the objective of protecting the right to and the exercise of religious freedom, establishing connections among confessions and religions in the area of academic learning, respect, and cooperation in social projects.

MasterPeace is an award-winning global grassroots non-profit and non-governmental peace movement, currently existing in more than 40 countries globally. It was launched in 2011, with the aim to mobilize people around the world to use their talent and energy for peace building. They organize global and local events, innovative campaigns, leadership trainings & capacity building events, to encourage the active involvement of youth in topics of social change, peacebuilding and community cohesion, aligning up efforts to help contribute to the world’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Muslim Jewish Conference (MJC) is a dialogue and leadership organisation for students and young professionals, bringing together important representatives and young leadership from Muslim and Jewish communities and beyond. The MJC is an innovative and progressive educational non-profit organisation based in Austria. It wants to deepen interest in, and evoke curiosity for, intercultural communication and interfaith issues, in particular Muslim-Jewish relations. The MJC seeks to expand its visibility and extend its vibrant network of dialogue and intercultural communication in order to move closer to its goal of becoming a global think tank for Muslim-Jewish interests.

 

North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) affirms humanity’s diverse and historic spiritual resources and encourages the growth, interaction and mutual strengthening of interfaith community in North America. NAIN supports communication among religious groups and interfaith organizations by serving the needs and promoting the aspirations of all member groups. NAIN’s emphasis is on learning from one another, finding inspiration and insight, and serving together to meet the changes and challenges of our time.

Sant'Egidio is a Christian community born in 1968, right after the second Vatican Council. An initiative of Andrea Riccardi, it was born in a secondary school in the centre of Rome. With the years, it has become a network of communities in more than 70 countries of the world. The Community pays attention to the periphery and peripheral people, gathering men and women of all ages and conditions, united by a fraternal tie through the listening of the Gospel and the voluntary and free commitment for the poor and peace. The awareness and understanding that war is the mother of all poverties has driven the Community to work for peace: to protect it wherever it is threatened and to help re-build it wherever needed, aiding dialogue between parties when it has been lost. The work to foster peace is lived as a Christian responsibility, part of a bigger service of reconciliation. It is also part of the fraternity lived through ecumenical commitment and interreligious dialogue, in the “Spirit of Assisi”.

Tanenbaum is a secular, non-sectarian nonprofit that promotes mutual respect with practical programs that bridge religious difference and combat prejudice in schools, workplaces, health care settings and areas of armed conflict. In education, workplace, and healthcare, Tanenbaum designs trainings and educational resources to change the way people treat one another and to celebrate the richness of our country’s diversity. In conflict resolution and peacebuilding, Tanenbaum facilitates the Peacemaker in Action Network, comprised of 39 living religious actors positively impacting their respective communities in armed conflicts zones. In all their work, Tanenbaum is inspired not only by The Golden Rule – to treat others as you would like to be treated – but also by the Platinum Rule – to treat others as they want to be treated.

Tavolo Interreligioso di Roma was constituted in 1998 with the mission of promoting educational projects in an intercultural dimension and sustaining the recognition of the role of religions in building an inclusive and peaceful society through constructive dialogue, mutual knowledge and fruitful cooperation. During the time it has expanded its activities in support of social inclusion, education, arts and health managed in an intercultural and interreligious dimension. It participates in some projects with Italian Superior Institute of Health for Gender medicine, local Sanitary Unity for the creation of Room of silence in the hospitals and it has promoted the Interreligious Manifesto of Rights in end-of-life paths.

The African Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL) empowers and connects young civil society activists from the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region with one another and with audiences, peers and policymakers in the U.S. and beyond in order to advance the values of human rights and pluralism. Through online training, speaking engagements, fellowships, and advocacy, bold and creative grassroots activists – both those based in the MEA region and in the diaspora – are spreading inspiration, engagement and authentic voices, while at the same time building the skills, networks and experience to be able to ascend to leadership positions.

The International Federation for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue is a composite part of the University of Wales Trinity St David, the oldest university in Wales, and is located in Lampeter, Wales. The Federation supports the University's commitment to high-quality research and teaching in the field of Interfaith Studies, at all levels from undergraduate to doctoral level study, and seeks to develop connections between religious communities across the globe. By supporting scholarship across the academic fields of religious studies, theology, scriptural exegesis, sociology, and anthropology, the Federation works to create a community of activists that are able to respond effectively to the ever-pressing challenges of the contemporary world.

The Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the Ukrainian Catholic University was established in 2004 as an autonomous institution within the Ukrainian Catholic University. Its mission is to develop a Master’s degree program in Ecumenical Studies in Ukraine and abroad and facilitate ecumenical dialogue between churches, civil society and policy makers. The IES, in partnership with Ukrainian State Universities, teaches faith, culture, and Christian ethics in a way that respect the diversity of faith traditions and the religious freedom of individual conscience, while meeting the students desires for spiritual knowledge. The IES initiates research programs on the reconciliation of historical memories and peace reconstruction in areas devastated by violence; on innovative textbooks in Christian ethics; on ways of communicating information bearing a solution of hope; and on personal service and accompaniment of people with special needs.

United Religions Initiative (URI) is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. They implement their mission through grassroots groups, called Cooperation Circles, which bring diverse people together to jointly engage in community actions such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights.