THE STORY BEHIND VOICES
Voices was founded in 2008 by eight individuals long active for disarmament: Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, Former Secretary of State George Shultz, Bishop Bill Swing, Monica Willard, Jonathan Granoff, Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr, Sidney Drell, and Ambassador James Goodby. They met once a month for years to discuss this issue from their individual perspectives. Every meeting began with a prayer called the Nuclear Prayer; and later they decided to share this prayer with the world by making a video of it.
At the Parliament of the World Religions Conference in 2018, Bishop Swing shared the Nuclear Prayer in a session on nuclear disarmament and invited anyone interested in joining Voices to meet in a small meeting room right after the session. To his surprise 80 people showed up. It was at this point that Voices became a larger community and has continued to grow.
In 2020, in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings, four interfaith/intercultural organizations – Voices, the Parliament of the World Religions, Religions for Peace, United Religions Initiative and Charter for Compassion -- came together to issue a joint statement; The Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord. This group also sponsored and produced a powerful film; The Bomb: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow which features former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, and former US Secretary of State George Shultz sharing their personal statements and reflections on the historic Summit Meeting at Reykjavik, Iceland. The film also includes numerous world figures who have played a major part over many decades in the cause of nuclear disarmament.
As an intergenerational community, young members of Voices are full participants and leaders in our initiative. They are working to build relationships with other youth groups working in nuclear disarmament, climate change, and peace building. This group promotes and hosts Facebook live/Zoom events, most of which are moderated by Kehkashan Basu, our Young Voices Team Lead, the winner of the Voices Youth Award (2020), and President-Founder of Green Hope Foundation. Young Voices Member Haneen Khalid hosted a Fireside Chat series which can be found on our YouTube Channel HERE.
Voices Members have:
the Voices Education Team helped to develop nuclear disarmament curriculum geared for several age groups from children of all ages to adults.
spoken about nuclear abolition at the United Nations;
written a widely read and compelling Op Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal;
met with Pope Francis;
made presentations around the world;
organized gatherings of Evangelical leaders and American Roman Catholic bishops;
taught on college campuses; and
co-produced The Bomb: Past, Present and Future a moving and historic film to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. You can view the full-length film HERE.
OVER 150,000 READERS
One of our members, The Honorable William J. Perry, wrote an online nuclear abolition curriculum that’s reached over 150,000 people. Click HERE to learn about this and more on his website.
GROWING IN NUMBERS
We have grown in numbers, with active members now in Slovakia, India, Africa, Japan, Pakistan and in many states of the United States. View our Members.
13 YEARS STRONG
We have met faithfully once a month for 13 years, by phone and by Zoom. Each month, we open our meeting with
“A Nuclear Prayer.” This prayer is now circulating around the world.
Our YouTube Channel features original content such as our "Nuclear Prayer" and "The Child's Nuclear Prayer" videos which have circulated around the world!
Our Fireside Chat Series is also shared across a variety of platforms, hosted on IGTV. Click HERE to learn more and HERE to check out our Instagram.
A CALL TO CONSCIENCE
We have spelled out our central declaration in a “A Call to Conscience.” Click HERE to read this on our partner's website (URI.org).
THE HIROSHIMA/NAGASAKI ACCORD
We, the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Charter for Compassion, Religions for Peace and the United Religions Initiative came together for the 1st time to issue The Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord which was officially announced on August 6, 2020. Learn more HERE.