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Uniting Communities Through Multifaith Dialogue (UCTMD)

This project will join Iraqi communities with citizen and professional journalists to promote community development, tolerance and conflict resolution in areas experiencing religious strife.

The program will enhance the ability of Iraqi faith-based and secular civil society organizations to promote dialogue amongst neighbors of conflicting communities. It will use media and communications training, community activism, and the development of a website to increase religious tolerance in Iraq.

UCTMD is funded by the Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) and builds on IREX's ongoing Media and Civil Society for Transparent Governance (MCSTG) program in Iraq.

Goals

• Enhance the conflict mitigation skills and interfaith cooperative efforts of Iraqi civil society organizations; and
• Develop media and community projects that promote interfaith tolerance and cooperation and further the peaceful resolution of conflict.

Background

As Iraq rebuilds, the way neighbors of communities interact will play a decisive role in shaping the country's future. In recent years, conflicts between neighbors have at times turned violent, dividing communities, cities, and regions. The peaceful resolution of such conflicts is essential to the safety and security of Iraqi citizens and their ability to unite in promoting peace, development, and tolerance.

Project Activities

UCTMD will address these issues through the following activities:
• Creation of a coalition of religious and secular civil society organizations dedicated to promoting tolerance and conflict resolution;
• Training on public promotion and media relations for civil society organizations;
• Media production training for civil society organizations and media partners; and
• Development of a website that will serve as an online alert and monitoring system for interfaith cooperation in Iraq.