Activities to get you geared up for the 2015 Parliament
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The 2015 Parliament is going to be real rich with 600 programs, an inaugural session and a closing session - along with 6 plenaries! This newsletter announces the line-up of one plenary. Each week we will issue details of other plenaries.
Keynote speakers at the Plenary: Sat., Oct. 17, 2015, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Allan Boesak

Allan Aubrey Boesak is a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric and politician and anti-apartheid activist. Along with Beyers Naude and Winnie Mandela, Boesak won the 1985 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award given annually by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights to an individual or group whose courageous activism is at the heart of the human rights movement and in the spirit of Robert F. Kennedy's vision and legacy.

Madea Benjamin

Medea Benjamin is an American political activist, best known for co-founding Code Pink and the fair trade advocacy group Global Exchange. Benjamin was also the Green Party candidate in California in 2000 for the United States Senate. She currently contributes to OpEdNews and The Huffington Post. The Los Angeles Times has described her as "one of the high-profile leaders" of the peace movement and in 1999, San Francisco Magazine included her on its "power list" of the "60 Players Who Rule the Bay Area."

John Esposito

John L. Esposito is a Professor of Religion and International Affairs as well as Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is the Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Esposito has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of State and other agencies, European and Asian governments and corporations, universities, and the media worldwide. Esposito is recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.

Tariq Ramadan

Dr. Tariq Ramadan, an advisor to the European Union, is a professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, teaches at the Oxford Faculty of Theology, and is the founder and president of the European Muslim Network. Ramadan earned a doctorate from the University of Geneva in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He established the Mouvement des Musulmans Suisses (Movement of Swiss Muslims) which engages in various interfaith seminars.

Karen Armstrong

Dr. Karen Armstrong is a British author and commentator, as well as a former Roman Catholic nun. Leaving the convent in 1969, she pursued an understanding of major religions and their common understandings of compassion and the Golden Rule. A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was published in 1993, followed by a series of books exploring major religions, compassion, and the history of sectarian violence. In 2008, Armstrong was awarded the Ted Prize to launch the Charter for Compassion, a global campaign to activate compassion at the center of our lives and social institutions through collaborative partnerships worldwide.

Vishwanath Karad

Vishwanath D. Karad, is an educationist, thinker a devoted teacher and a dedicated social worker. He is a founder and director of Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune, India. He is also the Founding President & Director General of World Peace Center of Maeer's MIT, Pune, India. Moreover, he serves as a UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Democracy and Peace.

Mairead Maguire

Mairead Maguire is a Nobel Peace Laureate distinguished for decades of peace activism beginning in her native Northern Ireland. A witness to ethnic conflict and political turmoil in Northern Ireland during the late 1970s, she has spent her life dedicated to mobilizing peace movements in Northern Ireland and around the globe. She and fellow Nobel laureate Betty Williams co-founded Peace People, an organization devoted to nonviolence, peace and justice.

Robert Pape

Robert A. Pape is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs. His publications include Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It(Chicago 2010) (with James Feldman); Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House 2005); Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War (Cornell 1996), "Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work,"International Security (1997), and more. His commentary on international security policy has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. World renowned primatologist and conservationist best known for her landmark study on the behavior of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania. For more information on Dr. Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute please visit
Register Now for the 2015 Parliament
The Parliament is thankful to all those who applied for grants. It was yet another indicator about the vibrancy of the interfaith movement. We learned a great deal. Some organizations which applied actually had larger budgets than the Parliament itself. After reading and evaluating all the applications we settled on 5 organizations which have good plans to grow, were of smaller budget but active. We decided to award them each with the following:
  • A technical consulting grant to train their leadership and volunteers in enhancing their social media outreach.
  • Partial salary for an intern or staff to enhance their social media.
All of them will be receiving their individualized information next week. While the interfaith movement is growing, the Parliament hopes that we will grow our resources to the level that we can help more grassroots organizations enhance their capacity to relate to guiding institutions. We have already spoken to some funding organizations to come forward offering grants to the interfaith movement. We hope other larger interfaith organizations also spare some funding for the grassroots of the interfaith movement.

Sign up to the Declaration Against War, Violence, & Hate Speech

We invite all of you to sign up all six declarations and share with your friends and loved ones through tweets, Facebook postings or through good old emailing. Here is an excerpt from our Declaration Against War, Violence, and Hate Speech.

We call on participants in this 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions to recognize and act upon the promise and power of the interfaith, inter-religious, and inter-cultural movements of our own era, especially when these movements address, engage, and activate the guiding institutions of societies and nations to be partners in ending hate and violence, terrorism and war, and when they advance reconciliation and peace. By active involvement in these movements, we give witness to the local and global reality of a new kind of human solidarity and provide a vitally needed agency, both locally and globally, for reclaiming the life-giving heart of our shared humanity. Read and Sign up here>


Please Read and Sign on Today the Following 2015 Parliament Declarations

Download the official app of the 2015 Parliament including a full schedule and description of all the programs, presenters, major speakers, special features, and more! The app is your key for navigating the 2015 Parliament. Learn how to download the app here >
There are many ways you can make the most of the 2015 Parliament you'll be attending this year. We'll be sharing tips over the next several weeks for you. 

Attend More Workshops Than Lectures

Workshops are better because:
  • they have a smaller audience so,
  • you have more access to the speaker
  • and they are practical. That means you can pick up a skill you can use.
Another advantage of workshops is that they are often specialized to a given field or topic. So if you are a social worker, you can meet with others in your field which you could not do in a general session with a large audience and broad subject matter.
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InterfaithNow is a newsletter of the Parliament of the World's Religions
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The views expressed in InterfaithNow may not necessarily reflect the official position of the Parliament, its Officers, or Board of Trustees.
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