A Brief History of Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons CC (Cooperation Circle) of URI


Organizing Statement, March 23, 2010:    

“If you live in a city, which is a nuclear target.  If you live in a country, which aims nuclear weapons at other countries. If you live in a world, which would be devastated by a nuclear attack, you probably don’t have the opportunity to vote on the use of nuclear weapons.  Until now!  Now, a voice vote by grassroots people is being called, and your voice will be counted.  A global network is being established by a bridge-building organization that will encourage your voice to be heard, and added to a multitude of other voices, until a worldwide chorus is born.  Thereby giving grassroots people of the world a vote for the elimination of all nuclear weapons!"

Announcement of the creation of “Voices,” July 30, 2010:

"... [A] global interfaith group of diplomats, scientists, scholars, clergy, lawyers and grassroots activists have self-organized into a Cooperation Circle of URI, with the intent of reaching people throughout the world who want their voices heard on these matters, and who want to be part of a global movement to eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all.”

After nine years of operations, Voices can point to the following accomplishments:

  1. -  We have met faithfully once a month for nine years, by phone and, later, by Zoom.

  2. -  We spelled out our central declaration in a document called “A Call to Conscience.”

  3. -   One of our members, The Honorable William J. Perry, wrote an online nuclear abolition curriculum that has reached over 150,000 people.

  4. -  Some Voices members have spoken about nuclear abolition at the United Nations, written a famous Op Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, written books, given lectures, met with Pope Francis) made presentations around the world, organized gatherings of Evangelical leaders and American Roman Catholic bishops, and taught on college campuses. 

  5. – Each month, we open our meeting with “A Nuclear Prayer.”  This prayer has circulated around the world.  

  6. -  We made a YouTube video of eight of us giving a personal testimony about our involvement and saying the Nuclear Prayer.  (https://uri.org/prayer) This has circulated around the world.

  7. -  We made a YouTube video of “A Child’s Nuclear Prayer,” and it too has circulated around the world.  (https://youtu.be/StbI9IEbnJs)

  8. -  We have grown in numbers from 20 to 150 people involved, with active members in Slovakia, India, Africa, Japan, and in many states of the United States.

  9. -  We now have a Facebook page, and we have this website.

In summary, we have staying power, we have had some success and we are unwavering in the pursuit of our original intention. To take a giant step forward, we will need to capture public attention, take advantage of social media and technology and link ourselves with an ever-expanding number of collaborators.