“Models of Unity” is designed to identify and promote local models that are bridging divides and reinforcing wider identities rooted in our common humanity. It seeks to find where diverse groups have come together across divides of race, ethnicity, and religion—and over a sustained period of time—to pursue initiatives that have made a measurable difference in improving the spiritual, social, and/or economic life of their communities.
Perfection is neither likely nor sought. Each initiative will have faced, or is still facing, multiple challenges. Nonetheless, models that are featured here will meet most of the following criteria:
- Is it community-based and/or does it reflect local ownership and participation?
- Does it involve both men and women of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds?
- Has the initiative been sustainable, e.g. in existence for at least several years?
- Has it made a measurable difference in improving/developing the community in some way? In other words, are there clear outcomes?
- Can it offer distinct “lessons learned” about the challenges of overcoming divides in pursuit of common objectives or shared values?
- And, finally, are there “stories of transformation” to share?
If you are aware of a model that meets most of these criteria, we’d like to hear from you! Please go to the contacts page to provide more information, or to arrange a phone interview. Be prepared to discuss challenges that were overcome, difficulties that remain, or “best practices” that have arisen from this work, as well as quotes or comments from diverse participants involved in your process. We are happy to link to reports and studies, but would like the summaries to be based on interviews and stories. And, including photos or multimedia links is always helpful!
Click here to see initial models.