This endeavor grew out of our executive director's rare experience earning a graduate degree in history from the University of Isfahan in Iran. In 2006, he gathered an international team to start Pathways with the encouragement of his Muslim neighbors. Most of that work was done on a volunteer basis and was spurred by a shared ambition to leverage unique experience and expertise to make a lasting difference. Since then, Pathways has worked with leaders and organizations across the world, from Nigeria to Malaysia, New Haven to Lahore, catalyzing positive change in relations between Muslims, Christians and others in their communities. Pathways has collaborated with premier academic institutions, government agencies, regionally-grounded Islamic research centers, transnational religious networks, national religious organizations and local religious communities to train leaders from more than 30 countries. We put this experience to work empowering leadership for the common good that recognizes, honors, and crosses cultural and religious divides.
Religious conviction is often considered a source of conflict and an influence to be minimized in intercultural relations. However, we believe that engaging spiritual and philosophical issues and identities is central to the practice of mutual respect. We encourage people of various religious traditions, including those with exclusive truth claims, to bring to the table all of who they are, prepared to "talk openly" and to "listen from the inside."** There is no need to check one's faith - or lack thereof - at the door. We believe that people of faith can provide positive building blocks to intercultural reconciliation and that recognizing the role of religious people around the world is critical to understanding other societies. With this in mind, we work closely with individuals and communities from religious and non-religious backgrounds to accomplish our vision.
* See Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language.
** See Adam Kahane's Solving Tough Problems.