Interfaith Prayer Service on Ending AIDS, 6/7/16

World_Aids_Day_RibbonAll are welcome to unite in prayer on the eve of
the United Nations High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS for

an Interfaith Prayer Service on ending AIDS

Tuesday, June 7 at the United Nations Church Center, 5:30pm
777 United Nations Plaza, New York City

We’ll pray together for a strong Political Declaration on AIDS and to strengthen the engagement of faith communities in the comprehensive response to HIV.

After the service, please join us for the book launch of Behold I Make All Things New, published by Church of Sweden. A reception will be held at 8:30pm to celebrate iftar, the daily breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan, with our Muslim colleagues.

Mothers Promoting Values for Sustainable Development @ UN CSW

UN Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Implementation of the Global Goals: Contributions from the Mothers of Values to Create Awareness for the Economic, Social and Environmental Dimensions in the Gender Perspective and Women and Girls Empowerment



March 23, 2016 @ 8:30am
SA Auditorium, 221 East 52nd Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenue, New York, USA


  • Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, Community Mayor of Harlem, Ambassador of Goodwill to Africa


  • Mr. Peter Smith, Chief Administrative Officer to the United Nations for Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

Mother of the Day and Key Speaker:

  • Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, Hon. Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development


  • Grove Harris, Acting Executive Director, Temple of Understanding


  • Justina Okogun, Executive Director, OO Safewomb International Foundation (OOSAIF)
    • “All Nations Unite to Advance Women and Girls: SDGs a Panacea”
  • Claudine Mukamabano, Executive Director, Why Do I Exist
    • “The Power of Social Media and its Benefit to Women and Girls”
  • Grove Harris, Acting Executive Director, Temple of Understanding
    • “Women, Water and Development for Justice”

PDF flyer >>

Food Sovereignty, Women & Sustainability, 3/18/16 at UN CSW

Food Sovereignty, Women & Sustainability:
The Roots of System Change

2016 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Friday, March 18, 2016
Salvation Army (SA), 221 E. 52nd St., New York
8:30 AM in the auditorium

Chantal Line Carpentier, Nina Simons, Jen Kopec, Grove Harris

Chantal Line Carpentier, Nina Simons, Jen Kopec, Grove Harris


This panel explored access to healthy food as a lens toward understanding the interconnections of all our equity and sustainability issues. Ensuring sustainable food for all is clearly both a practical and a moral effort; faith communities have long been committed to this. Access to decent food can be seen as a crosscutting issue through all the Sustainable Development Goals; it touches on justice, sovereignty, health, climate change, water, economy, faith and world peace, and women’s leadership in all these arenas. The nourishment, health, economics, sustainability and peace of families, communities and nation states improve as the leadership and literacy of women increase.

Panelists reflected from their diverse perspectives on specific strategies towards food sovereignty for all, as well as what sustains them in their work, both in literal food and in spirit. Meeting this most basic human need can illuminate a path towards a healthier and more just future.


Chantal Line Carpentier, chief, New York UNCTAD Office
Nina Simons, co-founder of Bioneers
Jen Kopec, intuitive healer, consciousness in food and body


Grove Harris, Representative to the United Nations, Temple of Understanding


Temple of Understanding
Parliament of World’s Religions
Mining Working Group
Feminist Task Force

Click for a printable flyer >>

Women, Water, and Wellbeing, 3/22/16

March 22, 2016 from 10:00-11:15am
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 11
RSVP by March 17

This interactive dialogue will address the intersection of the human right to water and sanitation and water justice for women. The speakers will address the multifaceted nature of this vital resource and common good, essential for life. In addition to perspectives from government, research, ethics, and practical humanitarian responses, the experiences and wisdom of women will be presented.

The TOU is part of the Mining Working Group, which is co-sponsoring this event.



Interfaith Service at UN CSW, 3/18/16

CSW Interfaith Service 2016

Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Gratitude

2016 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Friday, March 18, 2016, 6:00pm
Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations
New York, New York

The Temple of Understanding is a co-sponsor and organizing partner of the “Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Gratitude” which was held Friday, March 18th in the Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations as part of the 2016 Commission on the Status of Women.

Interfaith Award to be presented to Shri Mumtaz Ali

Dr. Karan Singh (Temple of understanding Invitation card)

Interfaith Harmony: Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

Interfaith Harmony Event 2016

Faith at the United Nations: Peace, Sustainable Development Goals, and Interfaith Understanding

sdg postcard_Page_1

sdg postcard_Page_2


Click for PDF >>

TOU Events at the Parliament of the World’s Religions Conference

Faith at the United Nations: Sustainable Development Goals, Peace and Interfaith Understanding

October 19th, 2015, 8:30-10:00am Ballroom A

The Panelists:

Grove Harris is an environmental activist at the United Nations, representing the Temple of Understanding. She works with the Mining Working Group towards SDGs based on human rights, rather than exploitation. Previously, she was the Program Director for the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, and she consults, speaks, and writes about religious diversity in
America and the interfaith movement. She works on an organic farm, and paints spiritually with recycled materials.

Azza Karam is an Egyptian, and serves as a senior advisor on culture at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) where she also coordinates a UN Inter-agency Task Force on Engaging with Faith-Based Organizations. She has previously managed international programmes and written extensively on democratization, conflict and gender related issues.

Denise Scotto is an attorney at law, policy advisor and international speaker. She also represents the International Federation of Women in Legal Careers and other NGOs at the UN. Denise’s background includes working in the United
Nations Department for Economic & Social Affairs (DESA), serving on the executive board of the UN Staff Recreation Council Enlightenment Society and the Values Caucus at the UN. She is an interfaith minister.

Monica Willard represents the United Religions Initiative at the United Nations. She is co-chair of the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the UN and works with the UN Department of Public Information to organize the annual Student Observance of the International Day of Peace (Sept 21). As president of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN from 2011-13, she was instrumental in establishing World Interfaith Harmony Week events at the UN, including two in the
General Assembly sponsored by the President of the General Assembly. Monica was a founding member of the Tripartite Forum for Interfaith Cooperation for Peace and Development that included United Nations Member States, Agencies and Religious NGOs.

Peter Adriance is the representative for Sustainable Development, U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs, 13201 19th St. NW, Suite 701, Washington, DC 20036, 202-833-8990,,
Mr. Adriance has represented the Baha’is of the U.S. nationally and internationally on issues of sustainable development for more than two decades. He helped to found and administer several civil society networks in preparation for UN conferences and related events. He works to build understanding and appreciation for the ethical and spiritual dimensions of sustainability. He serves on the governing board of the International Environment Forum – a Baha’i-inspired organization addressing the
environment and sustainable development.


Community Resilience: Peace, Justice, Food and Water

Friday October 16th, 12:15-1:45pm, Exhibit Hall 3


Grove Harris, Vandana Shiva, Laxmi Shah, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati


The Panelists:


Dr. Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmentalist and activist. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Dr.Shiva’s work spans teaching at universities worldwide, to working with peasants in rural India, to serving on expert environmental groups for governments around the world. For the last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers, conserving more than 3000 rice varieties from across India, and establishing 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country.

Starhawk is the author of many works celebrating the Goddess movement and Earth-based, feminist spirituality. She’s a peace, environmental, and global justice activist and trainer, a permaculture designer and teacher, a Pagan and Witch. In her twelfth book, The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, Starhawk draws on four decades of experience in circles and collectives to show us how to foster connection, clear communication, and positive power in ourselves and our groups.

Grove Harris, Moderator, Main Representative to the United Nations, Temple of Understanding

Power, Health, Sustainability: Women Challenging Extractive Industries

 Power, Health, Sustainability:
Women Challenging Oil, Gas and Other Extractive Industries

This is a Temple of Understanding side event for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Date:  March 12, 2015
Time: 2:30 pm
Venue: Armenian Convention Center, New York CIty
Room Assignment: Ballroom 1


Riki Ott: Author, Activist, Public Speaker — ” We have the power to stop the oil industry and the federal government from doing more harm. It is time to exercise our power in our communities.”

Nina Simons: President and Co-Founder of Bioneers, Founder of Everywoman’s Leadership and Co-Founder- Cultivating Women’s Leadership, programs of Bioneers- Nina Simons is an award-winning social entrepreneur and visionary thinker.