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
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.