Social Transformation: A Path to Universal Peace

Social Transformation:
A Path to Universal Peace

“Let your vision be world embracing.”

We are pleased to invite you to a meeting of all those who want to contribute to the betterment of the world we live in. The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh present a vision of a peaceful global civilization based on the recognition of the oneness of humanity. If this idea touches your heart and you would like to learn more, be sure to come! Similar gatherings will be held around the world and “will give the participants an opportunity to gain greater insight into the nature of the spiritual enterprise in which they are engaged” and will offer an opportunity to appreciate “being part of a community that has set its gaze upon the spiritual and material transformation of society, and … being connected by bonds of love and camaraderie with brothers and sisters in a global effort…”

How can we build vibrant communities?

What is Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of a prosperous society?

What role does education play in transforming society?

Where is society heading?

Saturday, May 7, 2022
9-5 pm

At the Bahá’í Center of Washtenaw County
5550 Morgan Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Click here to RSVP

  • Zoom participation option available during conference sessions (see Zoom info below)
  • Continental breakfast and lunch to be provided free of charge
  • RSVP appreciated by May 3
  • Parallel activities for children and junior youth will be available onsite during the formal sessions. Parental supervision is required for all children.

Program will include: sharing experiences, consultation, exploring means and methods by which individuals, communities and institutions can get involved in the process, the arts and creativity for children and adults.

“With the utmost friendliness and in a spirit of perfect fellowship take ye counsel together, and dedicate the precious days of your lives to the betterment of the world.”
~ Bahá’u’lláh

9:00-10:00: Registration and Continental Breakfast
10:00-10:30: Welcome
10:30-12:00: Session 1
12:00-1:00: Lunch
1:00-2:30: Session 2
2:30-3:00: Break
3:00-4:15: Film: Glimpses of a Hundred Years of Endeavor
4:15-5:00: Closing Remarks

Zoom login info for those unable to attend in person:
To join:
Meeting ID: 976 8591 7196
Passcode: 322683
(Zoom access begins at 10 am and will be inactive during the lunch break from 12 to 1.)

This conference is organized by the Bahá’í communities of Pittsfield and Ypsilanti Townships.

Click to download PDF flyer:

Global conferences: Fostering a culture of peace, contributing to social betterment

The following content is from © 2022 Bahá’í International Community

BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTRE — A rising wave of conferences is sweeping across the globe, bringing together the well-wishers of humanity to consult about how they can channel their energies and desire to promote unity and serve their fellow citizens into addressing the needs of their societies.

Gatherings at the local, national, and international levels are enabling participants to gain insights from experiences in Bahá’í community-building activities, initiatives undertaken for social action, and efforts to contribute to prevalent discourses.

In some places, conferences have an overarching theme, such as the recent gathering in Bangui, Central African Republic, in which some 500 women from the surrounding area gathered to explore the role of women in social progress.

Read More

The Bahá’í Response to Racial Injustice and Pursuit of Racial Unity: Part 2 (1996-2021)

The following excerpted article is from Content ©2022 Bahá’í International Community.
Photo: Panelists of a three-day online symposium held by the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs titled Advancing Together: Forging a Path Toward a Just, Inclusive and Unified Society. Credit:


This is the second of two articles focusing on the American Bahá’í community’s efforts to contribute to racial unity and justice in the United States. Part 2 explores how developments in the Bahá’í world from 1996 to 2021 have helped foster new capacities in the American Bahá’í community to contribute to social change.

* * *

The quarter century between 1996 and 2021 was a period of mounting racial contention in the United States. Marked by increased police killings of unarmed African Americans, race riots, burning of Black churches in the Deep South, the rise and spread of white supremacy movements, and wide-spread racial polarization, it resembled some of the worst racial strife of the 1960s. Not even the historic election of the first Black president, which many hoped would usher in a post-racial society, could turn the tide.1

During that period, the American Bahá’í community’s longstanding dedication to racial harmony and justice continued to be expressed in numerous initiatives undertaken by individuals and organizations. These initiatives unfolded amidst a period of profound advancement across the Bahá’í world. In 1996, the worldwide Bahá’í community entered a new stage in its development, propelled by a series of global Plans that successively guided “individuals, institutions and communities” to build the capacity to “[translate] Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings into action.”2 In turn, this progress made the possibilities for social transformation more and more visible to those laboring in the field of service and had implications for the efforts of Bahá’ís to combat racial prejudice and injustice.

Read More

The Journey West Podcast: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Travels to Europe and North America

Produced by a group of Bahá’ís in 2012 for the centenary commemoration of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s travels westward, The Journey West is a 27-episode podcast that explores ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s journey to Europe and North America in 1911-1913: a mission not only to spread the teachings of His Father, Bahá’u’lláh, but also to exemplify what it means to be a Bahá’í.

Each episode is about half an hour long and is divided into three parts. The first part features a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, often with artfully re-enacted accounts of those who personally met Him as they describe their impressions of their encounters. The stories are brought to life with ambient sound effects of the time: the clopping of a horse’s hooves, train whistles and other sounds that set the various scenes of the early 1900s. The story is then followed by a relevant and reverent recitation of a portion of one of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s many talks given at a variety of venues during His journey. To wrap up the episode, a roundtable discussion of the theme presented by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His talk explores how ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s masterful articulation of His Father’s teachings guides us on a personal level, provides healing to our communities, and unites humankind.

Read More

A Year of Remembering ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The following article is from Image: Graphic rendering of the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

Ridvan 178-179 BE (April 20, 2021 to 2022) is the Centenary year of remembering ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a year described by the Universal House of Justice as one of “profound reflection on the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the strength of the Covenant of which He was the Centre, as the community prepares to commemorate the centenary of His Ascension”.

Read More

An Introduction to The Promulgation of Universal Peace

The following article, authored by Matthew Brand, is from Baha’i Blog. Photo: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressing a large gathering at the Plymouth Congregational Church, Chicago, Illinois, 5 May 1912 © Bahá’í International Community

On April 11, 1912 in New York City, Abdu’l-Baha commenced 239 unforgettable days traversing the North American continent with this warm greeting: “How are you? Welcome! Welcome!” How typical it was of His generosity of spirit that He should be welcoming His devotees as His own guests!

After arriving today, although weary with travel, I had the utmost longing and yearning to see you and could not resist this meeting. Now that I have met you, all my weariness has vanished, for your meeting is the cause of spiritual happiness.1

This long voyage will prove how great is my love for you. There were many troubles and vicissitudes, but, in the thought of meeting you, all these things vanished and were forgotten.2

Abdu’l-Baha’s loving words of encouragement and guidance continue to ring out more than a century later, inviting readers today to follow in His footsteps through the pages of The Promulgation of Universal Peace, the indispensable collection of talks and discourses He gave during His North American sojourn.

Read More

The Significance of the Declaration of the Báb within the Context of Progressive Revelation

The following is a partial transcript from an 11-part lecture series given by Professor Nader Saiedi called “Text and Context in the Baha’i Heroic Age”. From Talk 1, it begins at 3:31. See bottom of post for audio of the full lecture series.

Now, the Bahá’í Faith begins with a particular event, as you all know, that was May 23, 1844. A young scholar of the Shaykhí school called Mullá Husayn… meets the Báb in Shiraz and he’s invited to the house of the Báb, and they have conversation and interactions. And through this interaction, of course, the first major work of the Báb after the Declaration is beginning to be revealed, and that’s the Commentary on the Súrih of Joseph, which I’m sure I’ll talk about in one of these sessions.

But I want you to pay attention to this historic event. This is the moment of the inception of the Bahá’í Faith. But something is happening here which is very, very important – and very crucial – and that is the fact that the beginning of the Bahá’í Faith, which according to the Báb, that night was the beginning of the Day of Resurrection, the Day of Judgement. It’s a historic night. That day, which becomes the beginning of the … Bábi/Bahá’í calendar, is not the day in which a new relation emerges between the Báb and God … It has nothing to do with the relation of the Báb and God. What defines that particular night, is that that night defines a particular relation between God – through the Báb – and a particular human being. Namely Mullá Husayn.

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Historical Consciousness and the Divine Plan: A Series of 8 Talks by Mr. Douglas Martin

The following content is from Baha’i Blog.

IN THIS SERIES OF EIGHT TALKS, historian Douglas Martin discusses the evolution of religion in the context of our capacity to respond to the requirements of the Divine Plan.

Douglas Martin was born in 1927 in Ontario, Canada. He held a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s degree in history from the University of Waterloo, Ontario.

He was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada from 1960-85, serving as its general secretary from 1965-85. From 1985-93 he was director-general of the Baha’i International Community’s Office of Public Information at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa.

Mr. Douglas Martin was also a former member of the Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the Baha’i International Community (for more information, please visit:

Mr. Martin passed away on 28 September 2020 in Toronto, Canada. You can read a tribute to him by the Universal House of Justice on the Baha’i World News Service:

Read More

The Bahá’í Response to Racial Injustice and Pursuit of Racial Unity: Part 1 (1912-1996)

The following excerpted article is from Content ©2021 Bahá’í International Community.
Photo: The second Bahá’í race amity convention in America, held in the auditorium of Central High School, Springfield, Massachusetts, 5-6 December 1921


This is the first of two articles focusing on the American Bahá’í community’s efforts to bring about racial unity. This first article is a historical survey of nine decades of earnest striving and struggle in the cause of justice. A second article, to be published in the future, will focus on the profound developments in the Bahá’í world over the past twenty-five years, beginning with 1996, and explore their implications for addressing racial injustice today and in the years to come.

* * *

Once again, as the United States finds itself embroiled in racial conflicts and decades-old struggles for racial justice and racial unity, the Bahá’í community of the United States stands ready to contribute its share to the healing of the nation’s racial wounds. Neither the current racial crisis nor the current awakening is unique. Sadly, the United States has been here before.1 The American people have learned many lessons but have also forgotten other lessons about how best to solve the underlying problems facing their racially polarized society. For decades the country has seen countless efforts by brave and courageous individuals and dedicated organizations and institutions to hold back the relentless tide of racism. Many of these efforts have achieved great outcomes, but the tide has repeatedly rushed back in to test the resolve of every generation after the fall of Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, and the historic election of the first African American president.2

During some of America’s worst racial crises, the Bahá’í community has joined the gallant struggle not only to hold back the tide of racism but also to build a multiracial community based on the recognition of the organic unity of the human race. Inspired by this spiritual and moral principle, the Bahá’í community, though relatively small in number and resources, has, for well over a century, sought ways to contribute to the nation’s efforts to achieve racial justice and racial unity. This has been a work in progress, humbly shared with others. It is an ongoing endeavor, one the Bahá’í community recognizes as “a long and thorny path beset with pitfalls.”3

Read More