The Story Behind the URI Star

15 February 2023

Building our interfaith image together

It all started in 1996, with 100 people, a young boy, and origami pieces.

At the very first planning session in 1996, when about 100 people from different backgrounds gathered to explore what a new interfaith organization might be like, one person in attendance, due to unexpected babysitter problems, had brought her 10-year-old son, Walter Grey.  

At one point, while he was playing with colorful origami papers and listening to conversations around him, he raised his hand and asked if he could tell us something.

He held up an origami piece made with brightly colored papers. He said, “Once the religions of the world were far apart.”

Then, he slowly moved the colored pieces together to create a new form and said, “Then they started really speaking to each other.” 

He held up high his final creation, and said, “Then, there was something that was never there before a star!” 

A Catholic nun in the group exclaimed, “that will be URI’s logo!” ...and the rest is history!

Today, the URI star reminds us of our daily commitment to promoting enduring daily interfaith cooperation, create cultures of peace, justice, and healing, and end religiously motivated violence together.