Orlando Baha'i Conference Focuses on Service

January 30, 2006

Source: Baha'i World News Service


On January 30, 2006 the Baha'i World News Service reported, "William Davis [delivered the keynote speech] at the annual Baha'i Conference on Social and Economic Development for the Americas held 15-18 December 2005. The address by Mr. Davis exemplified the theme for the conference, which this year was 'Make a Beginning: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Service'... 'Baha'is responded quickly and efficiently to Hurricane Katrina because of the decentralized structure of Baha'i communities, and the Faith's emphasis on individual initiative,' [Davis said]... Other speakers similarly emphasized the possibilities for individual and collective action in the service of humankind. Dorothy W. Nelson, a judge with the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, said she used the principles of Baha'i consultation in her work as a law school dean and later in the founding of the Western Justice Center Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes the peaceful resolution of conflict among young people in schools and in the courts. Eloy Anello, president of Nur University in Bolivia... related how a group of indigenous Baha'is in the Bolivian village of Puka Puka had, through principle-driven individual action, gradually established a primary school, and then a high school, for their children. Other speakers provided case studies for successful development projects and also led discussions of development theory aimed at helping Baha'is and Baha'i institutions launch new projects... More than 700 people from some 25 countries registered for the conference, said Doug Paik, program director and a trustee of the Orlando-based Rabbani Trust, which has organized the event for the last 13 years."