URI North America Statement

Dear URI Family,

With Sunday’s shooting in Orlando, Florida, our hearts break. We mourn. We grieve. We weep.

Our friends at the National Peace Academy, have so eloquently stated what we are feeling:

“As an organization dedicated to peace, we wish we had the answers – yet we recognize that there isn’t a quick fix to the violence – there just isn’t. We stand here, with you, sharing feelings of grief, frustration and anger. And mostly expressing our love. We hold all in our thoughts and prayers. We pray for those directly affected and offer our loving support.”

Our thoughts are also with those whose spiritual and sexual identities bring this tragedy closer to home. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are targets of increasing prejudice and violence around the world. Muslims are being continually victimized by those who perpetuate Islamophobic actions. Such attacks against members of these communities violate URI’s core commitment to “welcome the gift of diversity and model practices that do not discriminate.”

As a grassroots organization, it is important that our response to this tragedy be one that serves YOU. To that end, we have written a blog post reflecting on the sheer number of interfaith vigils taking place around North America and the world, at this time, reminding us of the power and necessity of mourning in our diverse communities. We have also begun compiling a list of interfaith vigils happening around Canada and the US, and documenting the outpour of support, solidarity and condolences from URI members around the world.

If either of these pieces are useful to you, please feel free to share or re-post them on your websites, blogs or social media channels. If you have written anything that you would like us to share, please send it to us at northamerica@uri.org.

In addition, please know that in these days and weeks, we will be exploring additional ways to support you and the interfaith movement at this time. If there is something in particular that you would like to see from URI North America, please email us at northamerica@uri.org.

May Peace Prevail in Orlando. May Peace Prevail in North America. May Peace Prevail on Earth.

Sari Heidenreich
Regional Coordinator, URI North America