The Temple of Understanding

In honor of its 50th Anniversary
the Temple of Understanding hosted an historic
Interfaith Visionary Call To Action Conference
on Sustainable Development
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 • The Pierre Hotel • NYC

The leaders of international interfaith organizations, along
with other eminent interfaith visionaries, convened for the first time in 50 years to explore the role of the interfaith movement in addressing climate change and promoting sustainable development.

The statement from the conference was delivered by Van Jones to Robert Orr, the Under Secretary General of the UN on October 19, 2010 at the 50th Anniversary Gala.

Statement from the Call to Action Conference of Interfaith Visionaries, organized by the Temple of Understanding:

On October 19, 2010, 120 interfaith visionaries, environmental experts, civic and business leaders met in New York City to engage in a creative conversation to explore how they are uniquely positioned and poised to help shape the transformational potential of this intersection of ecology and religion.

This conversation helped define the potential role that the broader interfaith community can play in the effective work of the Interfaith Consortium for an Ecological Civilization (ICEC). We affirm that environmental concerns are moral and spiritual concerns, not just political concerns, and that action must begin locally.Johnny-2

The Interfaith Visionaries who Attended included:

Mr. Macky Alston, Trustee, Hartley Film Foundation

Mr. Jay Banerjei, Co-Founder, One People

Mrs. Molly Banerjei, Co-Founder, One People

H.H. Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, Founder and Spiritual Director, Kashi Ashram (represented by Swami Anjani)

The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, Founder and President, Interfaith Power and Light

Dr. Josef Boehle, Coordinator, UNESCO Chair in Interfaith Studies University of Birmingham, UK

Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke, President, World Congress of Faiths

Dr. Patrice Brodeur, Canada Research Chair on Islam,
Pluralism, and Globalization, University of Montreal

Dr. Suheil Bushrui, Baha’i Chair for World Peace,
University of Maryland

Ms. Majora Carter, Founder, Sustainable South Bronx

Rev. Paul Chaffee, Executive Director, Interfaith Center
at the Presidio

Mr. Simon Cohen, Founder and Managing Director,
Global Tolerance

Rev. Dirk Ficca, Executive Director, Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions

Rev. James Forbes, Founder and President, Healing of the Nations Foundation

Ms. Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Founder and President, American Indian Law Alliance

Dr. Carolyne Fuqua, Founder and President, Circles of Light

Mr. Homi Gandhi, President, Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York

The Rev. Cannon Charles P. Gibbs, Executive Director, United Religions Initiative

Dr. Daniel Gomez-Ibanez, Founder, The International
Committee for the Peace Council

Ms. Bettina Gray, Chairperson, North American Interfaith

Mr. Herman F. Greene, President, Center for Ecozoic

Mr. Alex Grey, Co-Founder, CoSM, Chapel of Sacred MirrorsJohnny-1

Mrs. Allyson Grey, Co-Founder, CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors

Dr. John Allen Grim, Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar,
Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University

Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith

Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, President, Auburn
Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President, Union Theologcial Seminary

Van Jones, Professor, Department of African American Studies, Princeton University

Fr. Robert Kennedy Roshi, Zen teacher, Morning Star Zendo

Ms. Daisy Khan, Executive Director, American Society for Muslim Advancement

Rev. Dr. Paul Knitter, Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World, and Culture, Union Theological Seminary

Imam Khalid Latif, Director and Chaplain, Islamic Center, New York University

Ven. Dr. Chung-Ok Lee, Executive Director, United Nations Affairs
and Inter-religious Work, Won Buddhism International

Rev. William Lesher, Chair Emeritus, Council for a
Parliament of the World’s Religions

Ms. Kay Lindahl, Founder, The Listening Center

Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey, National Geographic Fellow,
National Geographic

Professor T.T. Liu, Executive Director, Foundation for World Freedom and Democracy

Mr. Clark Lobenstine, Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of the Metropolitan Washington

Professor Johnny Lu, Founder, Jewelry Institute of America

Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondago Nation

Dr. Daniel Martin, Founder, International Center for Religion and the Earth

Dr. Thomas Mathew, President, International Association for Religious Freedom

Fr. Paul Mayer, Co-Founder, Climate Crisis Coalition

Ms. Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, Global Peace Initiative of Women

Rev. Yoshinobu Miyake, Superior General of the Konko Church of Izuo, United Religions International

Dame Dr. Prof. Meher Master Moos, President, Zoroastrian College

Very Rev. James Parks Morton, President, Interfatih
Center of New York

Shri Vivek Muniji Disciple of His Holiness Acharya Sushil Kumarji Maharaj ( represented by Gautam Oswal, Secretary-General , International Mahavir Jain MIssion, India )

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chairman, The Cordoba Initiative

Dr. Steven C. Rockefeller, Co-Chair, The Earth Charter International Council

Mr. Marc Scheuer, Director, Alliance of Civilizations

Bhai Sahib Dr. Mohinder Singh, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha

Ms. Rajinderjit K. Singh, President, East and West Association of Sikh Women for World Peace

Rev. Helen Summers, Founder and Director, The Interfaith Center of Melbourne

Mr. Jake Swamp, President, Tree of Peace Society

The Rt. Rev. William Swin, Founder and President, United Religions Initiative

Dharma Master Hsin Tao, Founder, Museum of World Religions represented by Dr. Maria Reis Habito

Dr. Robert Thurman, Co-Founder, Tibet House

Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Director, Fellowship Program, GreenFaith

Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Senior Lecturer and Senior Scholar, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University

Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

The Reverend Dr. Franklin Vilas, Trustee, International Communities for the Renewal of the Earth

Mr. Stein Villumstad, Deputy Secretary General, World Council of Religions for Peace

Mr. Steven Waldman, Co-Founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief,

Honorable Yao Eng-Chi, President, World League for Freedom and Democracy

Master Cheng Yen, Founder, Tzu Chi Foundation (represented by Mr. George Chang)

Environmental Advisers who attended included:

Dr. Robert Bell, Chairman of the Economics Department, Brooklyn College

Mrs. Juanita Castaño, Director, New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme

Father John Chryssavgis, Founder, St. Andrew’s Theological College

Rev. Dr. Kurt Johnson, Co-Founder, International Contemplative Alliance

Mr. Dan Miner, Chair, Sierra Club, New York City Group

Mr. Brian Rosborough, Founding Chairman, Earthwatch Institute

Ms. Cynthia Sampson, Freelance editor and writer on environmental peacemaking, religion, and ecology

Mr. James Sniffen, Program Officer, United Nation Environment Programme, NYC

Mr. Tim Toben, Chair, NC Energy Policy Council

Honored Interfaith Visionary — Professor Johnny Lu is the founder of the Jewelry Institute of America and has made great contributions to charity, world peace and environmental protection over the past 50 years. He has met regularly with global religious leaders and was granted a Jubilee 2000 license by Pope John Paul II. He has been awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, recognizing outstanding American immigrants. An active philanthropist, he pioneered the use of jewelry, like the Wish Pearl, to raise interfaith understanding.