On November 2-3, 2016, more than one hundred conflict resolution scholars, practitioners, policymakers, religious leaders, and students from diverse fields of study and professions, and from more than 15 countries gathered in New York City for the 3rd Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, and the Pray for Peace event – a multi-faith, multi-ethnic, and multi-national prayer for global peace. At this conference, experts in the field of conflict analysis and resolution and participants carefully and critically examined the shared values within the Abrahamic faith traditions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The conference served as a proactive platform for a continuous discussion on and dissemination of information about the positive, prosocial roles that these shared values have played in the past and continue to play in strengthening social cohesion, peaceful settlement of disputes, interfaith dialogue & understanding, and the mediation process. At the conference, speakers and panelists highlighted how the shared values in Judaism, Christianity and Islam could be utilized to foster a culture of peace, enhance the mediation and dialogue processes and outcomes, and educate the mediators of religious and ethno-political conflicts as well as policymakers and other state and non-state actors working to reduce violence and resolve conflict. We are honored to share with you the photo album of the 3rd annual international conference. These photos reveal important highlights of the conference and the pray for peace event.
On behalf of the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM), we would like to extend a warm thank you for attending and participating in the 3rd Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. We hope you reached home safely and swiftly. We are so grateful to God for helping us coordinate such a perfect conference / meeting space and to you for your participation. This year’s conference, held on November 2-3, 2016 at The Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115, was a great success for which we owe a great deal of gratitude to the keynote speakers, presenters, moderators, partners, sponsors, pray for peace presenters, organizers, volunteers and all the participants as well as the members of ICERM.
The Interfaith Amigos (R-L): Rabbi Ted Falcon, Ph.D., Pastor Don Mackenzie, Ph.D., and Imam Jamal Rahman presenting their joint keynote address
We are humbled by the opportunity to bring so many amazing people together, with such diversity in training, beliefs and experiences, and to facilitate an inspiring and educational conversation about interfaith dialogue, friendship, forgiveness, diversity, unity, conflict, war and peace. It was not only invigorating on a scholarly level; it was also inspiring on a spiritual level. It is our hope that you found the 2016 Conference to be as beneficial as we did and that you feel invigorated to take what you learned and apply it to your work, community and country to create pathways for peace in our world.
As experts, academics, policymakers, religious leaders, students, and peace practitioners, we share a calling to curve the course of human history towards tolerance, peace, justice and equality. The theme of this year’s conference, “One God in Three Faiths: Exploring the Shared Values in the Abrahamic Religious Traditions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam” and the outcomes of our presentations and discussions, as well as our prayer for peace with which we ended the conference helped us to see our commonalities and shared values and how these shared values could be harnessed to create a peaceful and just world.
Insights from the Experts (L-R): Aisha H.L. al-Adawiya, Founder, Women in Islam, Inc.; Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ph.D., Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Director of the Global network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies at New York University; Thomas Walsh, Ph.D., President of the Universal Peace Federation International and Secretary General of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation; and Matthew Hodes, Director of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
Through the Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, ICERM is committed to building a global culture of peace, and we believe that all of you are already contributing to making this a reality. We therefore need to work together now more than ever to realize our mission and make it sustainable. By becoming a part of our international network of experts – academics and professionals – who represent the broadest possible views and expertise from the field of ethnic and religious conflicts, conflict resolution, peace studies, interfaith and interethnic dialogue and mediation, and the most comprehensive range of expertise across nations, disciplines and sectors, our collaboration and cooperation will continue to grow, and we will work together to build a more peaceful world. We therefore invite you to sign up for the ICERM membership if you are not yet a member. As an ICERM member, you are not only helping in preventing and resolving ethnic and religious conflicts in countries around the world, you are also assisting in creating sustainable peace and saving lives. Your membership in ICERM will bring various benefits to you and your organization.
Pray for Peace Event at the ICERM Conference
In the coming weeks, we will send email to all our conference presenters with an update on the review process of their papers. Presenters who have not yet submitted their full papers should send them to the ICERM office by email, icerm(at)icermediation.org, on or before November 30, 2016. Presenters who wish to modify or update their papers are encouraged to do so and resubmit the final version to the ICERM office following the guidelines for paper submission. Completed/full papers should be sent to the ICERM office by email, icerm(at)icermediation.org, on or before November 30, 2016. Papers not received by this date will not be included in the conference proceedings. As part of the conference outcomes, the conference proceedings will be published to provide resources and support to the work of researchers, policymakers and conflict resolution practitioners. As the keynote speeches, presentations, panels, workshops and pray for peace event highlight, our 2016 conference proceedings will contain a balanced model of conflict resolution – and/or interfaith dialogue- and it will take into consideration the roles of religious leaders and faith based actors, as well as the shared values within the Abrahamic religious traditions in the peaceful resolution of ethno-religious conflicts. Through this publication, mutual understanding between and among people of all faiths will be increased; sensitivity to others will be enhanced; joint activities & collaborations will be fostered; and the healthy, peaceful and harmonious relationships shared by participants and presenters will be transmitted to a wider, international audience.
As you noticed during the conference and the pray for peace event, our media team was busy videotaping the presentations. The link to the digital videos of the conference and the pray for peace presentations will be sent to you immediately after the editing process. In addition to that, we hope to use selected aspects of the conference and pray for peace to produce a documentary film in the future.
Participants at the ICERM Pray for Peace Event
To help you appreciate and retain the memories and highlights of the conference, we are happy to send you the link to the 3rd Annual International Conference Photos. Please remember to send your feedback and questions to the ICERM office at icerm(at)icermediation.org . Your feedback, ideas and suggestions on how to make our conference better will be highly appreciated.
The 4th Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding will be held in November 2017 in New York City. It is our hope that you will join us next year in November 2017 for our 4th Annual International Conference which will focus on the theme: “Living Together in Peace and Harmony”. The 2017 conference synopsis, detailed description, call for papers, and registration information will be published on the ICERM website in December 2016. If you are interested in joining our planning committee for the 4th Annual International Conference, please send email to: icerm(at)icermediation.org.
We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look forward to meeting you again next year.
With peace and blessings,
President and CEO
International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM)