The Buxton Initiative
The Buxton Initiative began with a conversation between Ambassador J. Douglas Holladay, a Christian, and Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed, a Muslim. When the two met shortly after September 11, each was in search of someone with whom to explore ways to avoid what Samuel Huntington saw as the inevitable “clash of civilizations” between the West and the Muslim World. They decided to meet regularly to better understand each other’s faith. As mutual trust grew, they expanded their conversation to include others, including ambassadors, senators, CEOs, generals and academics. The Buxton Initiative emerged from these gatherings and continues its work in the same spirit.
Our mission is to build bridges among different faith communities by establishing a safe environment in which people from various faiths, cultures and worldviews can learn to live with differences.
Our philosophy is two-fold but simple: First, differences do matter, and second, the strongest bridges among different faith communities emerge through friendship and dialogue. In an environment of friendship and trust, people experience the freedom to acknowledge that differences do exist; moreover, they come to realize that civil approaches to complex and sensitive matters can be explored effectively. Relationships between people of different faiths formed at Buxton events have grown and deepened over time and have led to cooperation on business ventures, human rights issues, youth engagement and service.