Northwest Ohio: “The Conference for Hope”

The Baha’is of Northwest Ohio (NWOhio) and their partners convened “The Conference for Hope” on Saturday, May 21, 2022. In attendance were 35 people, including representatives of 13 non-governmental organizations. Their aim was to start an on-going grass-roots effort for strengthening local communities by direct involvement of area individuals and organizations.Co-sponsors included: the MultiFaith Council of NWOhio, Toledo Park United Church of Christ, Science Alliance SAVE, and the Baha’is of NWOhio. The conference succeeded in bringing together a diverse set of participants in fellowship, to develop a unified vision, and to explore building task-force networks for the betterment of our local communities.

The NWOhio Conference for Hope was part of the global campaign of local conferences called for by the Universal House of Justice to assist in building strong and resilient communities.

For the past 12 years, the NWOhio Baha’i Community has developed relationships and worked with other local governmental and non-governmental organizations. Four organizations chose to co-sponsor the conference, representing service areas including impact on area culture, environmental/sustainability, faith community outreach, and local social-economic development.

Panel topics discussed included:

  • What success have you encountered that has effected change?
  • What are your organization’s current goals?
  • What resources would you need to achieve your organizational goals, mission, and vision?

Breakout sessions involved the questions:

  • What have you learned during this conference?
  • What do you need to comfortably collaborate with other organizations?
  • What are some specific action steps we can take to begin working together now?

By everyone’s account, the NWOhio Conference for Hope was a huge success. Participants were inspired by the agencies’ good works and benefits to society. Attendees experienced warm fellowship and discovered new possibilities for partnerships. Most importantly, everyone expressed agreement on the need to continue this work in a more formal fashion.