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Organization: Association for Global New Thought
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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Postal address of organization/institution

220 Santa Anita Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

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PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

New Thought Organizations:

United Centers for Spiritual Living
International Centers for Spiritual Living
Association of Unity Churches International

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.


• Gandhi & King: A Season for Nonviolence
467 U.S. cities and 18 countries, 1998-2009

Working as a co-founder with Arun Gandhi of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, AGNT is the official Convener of the Gandhi & King: A Season for Nonviolence. The 64 day period between January 30, and April 4, 1998 commemorated the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of these legendary peace-makers and continues as an annual program.

• Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence: “S.P.A.N. the Next Decade”

As a result of a decade of sustained strategic action, the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence has helped to launch a new model for omni-local, spiritually-based peace governance, igniting a fusion of new communities and initiatives. “S.P.A.N. the Next Decade” celebrates, four “Seasons” each year; groups may choose to participate in every season, specific seasons, or focus on one season as a theme for their permanent work.

This year, September 11-21st features A Season for Interfaith Celebration (SIC) during 11 Days of Global Unity. SIC is followed by the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence, Season for the Earth, and Season of Humane Service.

Peaceport Offices are meant to take a variety of forms in spiritual centers across the nation; they serve as hubs to coordinate these year-round activities, and to promote and implement AGNT’s Youth Peaceport curriculum.

• Parliament of the World’s Religions: Caretown, South Africa, 1999; Barcelona, Spain, 2004; Melbourne, Australia, 2009

AGNT convened a distinguished panel to represent New Thought at the 1999 & 2004 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Capetown and again in Barcelona. The 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago marked the centennial anniversary of the first Parliament, held during the Colombian Exposition in 1893.

The 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, hosted in Melbourne, Australia, will be an international interreligious gathering spanning seven nights and six days – from December 3rd to 9th - bringing together an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 persons. Over seven days, delegates will choose from over 450 activities, including daily morning observances of many traditions, intrareligious and interreligious programs, models of engagement, symposia, performances, open space dialogue and exhibits. A Parliament is a place to come together to listen and commit. The entire program will evolve through 2008 as a result of interaction with religious and spiritual communities, as well as civic and corporate groups across Melbourne and Australia.

The organizations within New Thought are evolving toward collaborative models that have not been possible in the past. We are also reaching out beyond our own spiritual community to form relationships with other faith communities and to be of practical service to the world at large. Taken together, this trend toward greater internal cooperation and global outreach calls us to develop new strategies for presenting a unified identity on the international stage.

• The Abraham Path in the Middle East and Worldwide “Omni-local” Initiatives
In partnership with Harvard University’s Project on Negotiation

The purpose of the Abraham Path Initiative is to open up A route in the Middle East retracing the footsteps of the prophet Abraham (Avraham / Ibrahim), revered for his faith, patience, selflessness, and commitment in responding to the call of God. The spiritual significance of the common patriarch to Judaism, Christianity and Islam is described in the sacred scriptures of each – the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’an. In an age where faith and action begin to discover convergent paths, Abraham once again holds a key to healing the human heart; by believers in all three religious cultures, Abraham is greatly beloved.

The Abraham Path is a call to our collective moral imagination.  It is also a call to action. Against a backdrop of conflict in the Middle East that has become a global symbol of intractable strife and despair, the path -- with televised images of imams, priests, and rabbis walking together -- will introduce millions around the planet to new possibilities for mutual respect.  

One of the most significant and exciting objectives of The Abraham Walk will be a comprehensive educational and awareness campaign centered on understanding of and respect for the different faiths. ‘Abraham Walks’ are being designed in local communities throughout the world with people walking from churches to mosques to synagogues and other places of worship with “omni-local” grassroots teams from many faiths and cultures taking the lead. AGNT offers free resources for purposes of self-study and community-building, as well as design and logistic support for local Walks.

• Nations of Angels ™
In partnership with Ripples International, Meru, Kenya

The Association for Global New Thought has developed a new program to provide humanitarian services directly to global communities in deep distress. These activities will be conducted in partnership with responsible indigenous leaders with whom AGNT has forged longstanding relationships. The programs that will be addressed in these collaborations might include: Families Impacted by War and Conflict; Human Rights Abuses Facing Women and Children; HIV / AIDS; Disaster Relief. NoA outreach will feature a partnership on every continent within the decade

Ripples International in Meru, Kenya, has been identified as our first partner. A site visit by AGNT leader, Dr. Roger Teel (MileHi Church) yielded substantial funding to purchase a vehicle that will serve as a portable medical clinic for the dissemination of HIV/AIDS medication and skilled care in rural areas. This commitment initiates a variety of opportunities to support the physical, spiritual, and emotional recovery of children, women, and families in communities faced with gradual annihilation from disease and social neglect. Ripples International promotes the unity of families and encourages continued education of the children through provision of school kit, payment of fees for nursery classes, monthly food rations and psychosocial/spiritual support.

• Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama Dharamsala, India, 1999; Trent, Italy, 2001; Castelgandolfo, Rome, Italy, 2004

With His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet acting as guide and moderator, a very special assignment of AGNT is to serve as organizers of the Synthesis Dialogues, an interdisciplinary symposium among a small wisdom group of globally respected religious and secular leaders representing new visions and models for social architecture. Project Director is Dr. Barbara Fields, Executive Director of AGNT; co-director in 1999 and 2001 was the late Bro. Wayne Teasdale, Benedictine and monastic in the Sannyasa tradition, a close personal friend of His Holiness who formulated with the Dalai Lama the Universal Declaration on Nonviolence.

The Synthesis Dialogues were inaugurated in Dharamsala, India, in September 1999, at the Norbulingka Institute. Synthesis II was held June 27-July 2, 2001, at the Mariopolis Retreat Center of the Focolare community near Trent, in northeastern Italy. The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) convened the third Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, at the Focolare International Center at Castelgandolfo, in the Roman Hills, situated in the property which is the Summer Residence of the Pope.

The 2004 meeting included approximately 30 participants. We invited recognized leaders from among each of the world’s religious traditions, and representatives of nations most immanently involved in questions of governance, religious violence, and sustainable human rights.

Facilitation by the convening organization, the Association for Global New Thought, aimed at establishing spiritual ethics and radically evolved personal, national and traditional relationships of faith as the ground of our strategic collaborations in the future. The plan was to meet and work for a couple of days as a group, after which we were joined by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Performance arts and music deepened and enriched the conversation of this gathering. Intentional time and space was afforded for meditation and reflection.

All participants were significant leaders in their own right who sense that important breakthroughs are possible only by encountering the creative imagination of their counterparts in other fields.  And it probably fair to say that everyone shared an interest in the question of consciousness, itself, in the sense that transformation within the individual precedes any hoped-for impact upon the larger community.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

We have over 300 task forces in about 20 countries worldwide. We see an increasing interest and willingness to take leadership in this work.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

Obstacles that we are constantly striving to overcome include:
Documenting the work that is being done by grassroots organizations and individuals
Connecting individuals and organizations locally to make their work more efficient
Making the information and resources available in an easy-to-use format
Collaborating with other organizations to avoid duplicating efforts

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: Association for Global New Thought

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