The Muslim-Jewish American “Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom” is one of the ten organizations awarded this year with the Intercultural Innovation Award, given by the BMW Group and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The award focuses on selecting highly innovative grassroots projects that promote dialogue and intercultural understanding while making vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies. The organization went through a highly competitive selection process with over 1200 applications from 128 countries.
The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom is a Muslim-Jewish grassroots organization focused on inter-faith engagement geared towards building the respect, trust, and relationships necessary to prevent and combat hate, negative stereotyping, and prejudice. As a movement of thousands of women and girls, the organization is changing the way the two faith groups view one another to celebrate their commonalities and respect their differences.
During the course of the year, the selected projects, including the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, will have the opportunity to utilize expertise and resources from the BMW Group and the UNAOC. In addition to the monetary prize, the finalists will have training activities, workshops, and will become members of the “Intercultural Leaders” network where they will receive customized project support.
The BMW Group has been working for many years now to promote intercultural understanding and dialogue. Beginning in 1997, the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Learning was presented to 40 innovative projects aimed at fostering a sustainable and open relationship between different communities. In 2010, the BMW Group began to award individual consultancy from company associates in addition to the prize money. In 2011, BMW started a partnership with the UNAOC where they established the Intercultural Innovation Award. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates a deeper impact while utilizing each partner’s expertise to grow and sustain each individual project.