World Day News/Media

Executive and Advisory Councils: Inaugural Meeting, July

Collaboration with both secular and faith-based partners is a hallmark of World Day outreach.  That’s why in Spring 2011, the World Day decided to form Executive and Advisory Councils to strategically guide the 2011-2013 campaign.  They convened for the first time and jointly on 7-8 July at the Desmond Tutu Center in New York City.

The 19 participants included council members, presenters and guests meeting with the World Day co-chairs and Secretariat staff. They represented groups such as UNICEF and Save the Children; the Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue and Religions for Peace;  college and university leaders;  denominational leaders and others from the U.S., Geneva and Brazil.

Many guiding thoughts emerged as they deliberated.  Here are scouncil meeting photoome highlights.

  • Develop partnerships. Partnerships among religious leaders and their communities, government and civil society, are key to our success.

  • Raise awareness.  Campaigns can begin to change attitudes and practices over the long run.

  • Reach families.  They are the first line of support, but also where most violence takes place.  How can we better understand what is happening in families that leads to violence? Religious leaders and their communities who speak directly to parents are most effective agents of change…perhaps more effective than legal frameworks, systems and structures.

  • Recruit local leaders. People know their own local reality and are best positioned to develop their own project ideas.

  • Think big and small.  BIG: Spread news about national plans of action on violence, if they exist.  If they don’t, encourage advocacy for their formation.  SMALL: Value events of all sizes.  Not every event needs to be on a grand scale.  Modest and humble observances can also be of great value.