Religion News Service Article by David Gibson to advance peace and respect for religious diversity with the El-Hibri Foundation.
EHF brought together top experts in neuroscience and peacebuilding to inspire better connections between the human brain and the how we seek to advance peace and respect for diversity. www.elhibrifoundation.org/live // #neuropeace
“Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story,” a film by grantee Unity Productions Foundation, aired on PBS. The film focuses on a Muslim women’s defiance of the Nazis in WW II Paris.
Religions for Peace USA is a collaborative, non-profit organization seeking to foster interfaith understanding.
The Tannenbaum Center is a non-sectarian organization that promotes mutual respect through practical programs that bridge religious differences and combat prejudice in schools, workplaces, health care settings and areas of armed conflict.
UPF's mission is "working for peace through media." As an independent, non-profit educational media production organization, it seeks to build a better world by increasing understanding of and dialogue about the world's spiritual and cultural traditions.
Established in 2003, the Muslim Community Network (MCN) works to strengthen and unify the diverse New York City Muslim community through education, collaboration and advocacy.
In 2013, with the support of the El-Hibri Foundation, Americans for Informed Democracy (AIDemocracy) expanded its Hope Not Hate Project empowering youth as young global citizens by sparking dialogue around U.S.-Muslim relations, fostering interfaith understanding, and cultivating the skills youth need to envision and demand a more peaceful, healthy, just and sustainable world.
The Foundation provides grants promoting peace and respect for diversity to publicly funded, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organizations based in the US for project support, organizational operating costs and capacity building. The duration of most grants is one year.
All EHF grant giving is managed through an annual, two-stage application process. The first stage includes submission of a short “Letter of Intent” (LOI) by interested grant applicants. After review by the EHF staff and Board, a limited number of applicants will be invited to submit full grant proposals.
In 2015, the Foundation will accept LOI proposals on the selected topics outlined below in the section 2015 Grant Focal Areas. LOI proposals on these topics can be submitted through the online application form between May 1 to June 25. Final applicants receive notification of grant awards in December 2015, with funding beginning in January 2016. The El-Hibri Foundation does not award discretionary (out of cycle) or interim grants.
Click here for a list of previous EHF grants.
The online 2015 LOI application form will be here. Submissions must be received between May 1 and June 25, 2015. For an explanation of how to apply, click here.
In 2015, EHF will only award new grants addressing the following topics. If an organization’s LOI proposal does not address one of the topics outlined below, it will not be considered.
1. Demonstrating the impact of peace education on youth through careful assessment: While peacebuilding practitioners and educators generally make efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of their work, the field continues to struggle to prove definitively its impact and cost-effectiveness, including replicating results in variable contexts. Research about peacebuilding rarely involves control groups or controlled comparison of different types of interventions.
Through grant making, EHF is interested in helping organizations plan and implement rigorous evaluation activities that will help them fine-tune their programs and demonstrate the value of their work. Lessons learned about peacebuilding activities that are not effective may also be just as valuable as findings of effectiveness. Funding will be available for the design and implementation of evaluations focused on peacebuilding activities involving young people in formal school settings or in informal (non-school or community) settings. Grant applications are also welcome for efforts to share information and best practices about lessons learned from rigorous evaluation of peace education programs involving youth. For proposals looking to share the lessons learned from a previous evaluation, the evaluation’s findings should also be included with the LOI proposal.
2. Understanding the relationship between peacebuilding, the social neurosciences and experimental psychology: With recent access to new technologies, leading neuroscientists are putting the most sophisticated tools available to the task of understanding how the brain processes experience in ways that shape tendencies toward cooperation or confrontation. Experimental psychologists are also producing findings about personal cognition, social norms and group dynamics that profoundly affect human behavior. As a result, there is a growing body of research and an emerging understanding of the neurobiological and social underpinnings of key processes and experiences, such as fear, trauma, bias, memory, empathy, exclusion and humiliation, many of which are driven by unconscious cognitive processes. These findings offer a new framework or lens for addressing persistent challenges faced in conflict transformation, reconciliation, and peacebuilding.
EHF is interested in funding projects that advance understanding of and collaboration between or among the cognitive and social neurosciences and experiential psychology to advance peacebuilding practices. Priority consideration will be given to projects involving collaboration between peacebuilding practitioners and scholars and researchers, particularly efforts to more effectively evaluate peacebuilding activities in relation to brain functions and group dynamics. Applications focused on identifying peacebuilding best practices in relation to brain functionality are also welcome.
3. Disseminating information about the shared values of the Abrahamic traditions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam: News media are full of disturbing stories and images about conflict and violence carried out in the name of religion. Yet the “Abrahamic” religions share many values and teachings that promote mutual understanding, respect and cooperation while eschewing intolerance, conflict and violence. Moreover, many Muslims, Jews and Christians work together to advance dialogue and collaborative activities across religious borders, reinforcing their embrace of common values that advance respect for diversity and peacebuilding.
EHF is interested in facilitating inter-religious understanding and cooperation by providing grants for activities that illuminate and underscore shared values among the Abrahamic religions. Priority will be given to applications that focus on disseminating information about positive, prosocial, shared values and activities using diverse communications tools, strategies and platforms. Applications may focus on sharing information about shared values research, dialogue or collaborative joint activities involving Muslims, Christians and/or Jews.
Defining Peace Education
We define peace education broadly. In our view, it encompasses a range of activities undertaken in a variety of settings designed to build peaceful communities:
Defining Respect for Diversity
We define respect for diversity in relation to interreligious understanding and cooperation, starting from the premise that diversity is an asset, not a problem. In our view, promoting respect for diversity encompasses a range of activities undertaken in a variety of settings designed to build understanding and respect among people of diverse religious and non-religious identities.
In both formal and informal settings, interreligious understanding and cooperation is advanced through people creating relationships, identifying and affirming pro-social values and resources, developing and sharing educational resources, engaging in cultural arts and exchanges, fostering positive and credible media images and messages and solving problems together for the common good.
EHF advances widely defined activities addressing multiple faith communities working toward interreligious understanding. It prioritizes funding for activities that facilitate public understanding of American Muslim communities, building interfaith relationships with American Muslim communities and demonstrating how Islam advances peace and respect for diversity.
GUIDELINES AND ELIGIBILITY
Click here to review the 2015 LOI Selected Topics.
All applicants seeking grant funding should keep the following guidelines in mind:
For more about the application process, click here.