The title for this website was inspired by a research effort in 1992. At that time, the Human Relations Foundation of Chicago partnered with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States to find examples of efforts that brought divergent groups of people together in the greater Chicago area, with an analysis of what made these efforts successful. The resulting report, based on some 60 interviews with community leaders, was called “Models of Unity™.” (Although this site is multi-faith by design, a word of thanks goes to the Bahá’í institutions for both their support and legal permissions for use of the “Models of Unity™” title.)
The term “unity” may be viewed skeptically by some. It can be associated with, among others, conventionality, compliance, or an unreachable ideal. “Unity” is used in the context of this Website, however, to mean diverse components forming a more integrated whole, which is reflected in the logo. Its watchword is “unity in diversity” vs. “unity in conformity.” The aim is to discover where bringing diverse ethnicities, races, and religions together have been tapped as a source of strength for communities, rather than a source of division.