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February 2022

A monthly electronic Newsletter

News, Web Talks, live events,

upcoming courses

Great Webinars

and Podcasts in February

The talks are live web video programs and are free. Just click to register, or go to our Facebook or YouTube page to watch live. The video will be available later on our YouTube account; the audio will be available as a podcast on our SoundCloud channel.


God Tests the Sincerity of an Emperor: Baha'u'llah's First Tablet to Napoleon III

Shahrokh Monjazeb

Feb. 13, 2022, 2 pm Eastern

Now on YouTube and SoundCloud:

Ideas, Approaches, and Social Change: Emerging Insights from the Baha'i Community's 75-year engagement with the United Nations

Julia Berger

The Public Reading of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha: Perspectives of Some Western Believers

Angelina DiLiberto Allen

The Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha: Perspectives of Six Western Believers

Angelina DiLiberto Allen

'Abdu'l-Baha as Architect of the World Order of Baha'u'llah

John Hatcher

Reimagining the Construction of Blackness: From Anti-Blackness to World Unity

Derik Smith

Student News

African American Experiences Enlighten Believers

Sonja Brook took the course Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and Building a Unified Society last Fall and reported that "Some of the most helpful insights I’ve gained from the course are the glimpses into the current and historical experiences of African American Baha'is."

The Advent of Divine Justice and the Nine Year Plan

Susan Patera, a Baha'i for five decades, asserts that "With the new Plan coming, I think the words of Shoghi Effendi in The Advent of Divine Justice will serve to guide and inspire us in our society-building endeavors going forward."

Learner Writes to Promote Our Twofold Moral Purpose

Fran Otto has written articles encouraging participation in Ruhi Institute studies, because as she says: "our twofold moral purpose is to grow spiritually ourselves and then help to aid in the transformation of our world."


Accelerating the Process of World Peace

Since taking World Peace: The Baha'i Perspective, Basil Shaw says "I now have a better understanding of the role of the Faith in the peace process. I think of the Faith as a catalyst accelerating the process of world peace."


The Majesty and Mystery of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Sheila Idoine, a Canadian pioneer from Hamilton, Ontario, has now taken three Wilmette Institute extension courses. She says "I now feel it is easier to speak about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá when the opportunity arises or when I feel the occasion warrants it. What a blessing..."

Wilmette Institute News

The Institute's Progress, 2021

The Director of the Wilmette Institute summarizes the Institute's expansion last year; its efforts to develop its Anti-Black Racism course, which is now available in Persian as well as in English; progress toward accreditation and the nature of the certificates it proposes to offer; and the increase in the number of accredited courses it is offering through the Graduate Theological Union from one last spring to three this spring, and from one student registration to ten.

Tips for Sustainable Living


Be Inspired by the LSA of Glasgow, UK!

The Baha'is of Glasgow made an Eco-Pledge that can serve “as a tool for individuals and communities to reflect on and enable practical action towards the sustainable use of the world’s material resources.” Check it out!


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Creating Unity with Friendship and Laughter

Feb. 3 - Mar. 23, 2022

You will be empowered through this course to lift your spirits and that of others through friendship, the arts and generous living. Come enjoy and learn how to deepen friendships, generate laughter, have fun together, extend hospitality, share humorous stories, take a lighter approach to challenges, and discover the joy of unity in diversity. Open to individuals, groups, couples, families, and communities. Participants will meet in weekly discussion groups--form your own or meet new people. Please invite your friends!

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Interfaith Dialogue and Collaboration

Feb. 10 - Mar. 30, 2022

At a time when religious fanaticism and fundamentalism are spreading, and an ever-increasing number of people consider themselves “spiritual but not religious,” the need to engage in fruitful interfaith dialogue is pressing. The Baha'i Faith is in a unique position to inspire and support interfaith endeavors because the Faith’s very scriptures contain the imperative to foster interfaith dialogue and names it as one of the prerequisites for world peace. This course draws on Baha'i principles as well as the work of interfaith scholars and organizations, journalists, religious leaders and agencies of various faith traditions, to explore how to successfully initiate and engage in interfaith dialogue with people of all spiritual persuasions. 

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God Summons Europe (Part 1)

Feb. 10 - Apr. 6, 2022

This course will closely examine Baha’u’llh’s proclamatory letters to Emperor Napoleon III (r. 1852-1870) of France, Tsar Alexander II (r. 1855-1881) of Russia, and Empress Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901) of Great Britain. There will be 4 webinars for this Course, the first of which will be a public Webinar..


Cultivating Transformative Leadership

Feb. 10 - Mar. 30, 2022

What does “leadership” mean, once it’s been stripped of the mindset of domination? How do we go about transforming ourselves and the groups, teams, and organizations in which we participate? Since its initial formulation 25 years ago, Transformative Leadership has been applied in education, health, youth programs, community development, and in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations in five continents. The course questions existing mental models of human nature, society, and leadership that impede progress toward a just, united world community, proposing an explicit, principle-based framework that can bolster cooperative action in teams, organizations and communities. The course is open to all and is especially useful to those who are involved in social action or participating in the discourse of society.


The Great Spirit Speaks: Voices of the Wise Ones

Feb. 17 - Apr. 20, 2022

The Great Spirit Speaks: Voices of the Wise Ones introduces several of the founders of Indigenous spiritual traditions of the Americas, such as: (1) Deganawida, the Peacemaker (Haudenosaunee/Iroquois); (2) White Buffalo Calf Woman (Lakota); (3) Sweet Medicine (Cheyenne); (4) Lone Man (Mandan and Hidatsa); (5) Breathmaker (Seminole and Miccosukee); (6) Quetzalcoatl (Toltec); (7) Viracocha (Inca/Quechua); (8) Gluskap (Wabanaki); (9) Talking God (Navajo/Diné); (10) Bunjil (Australian Aboriginal Tradition).

In so doing, some pieces of the puzzle of “Progressive Revelation” are added in order to present a much fuller picture of the panoramic scope of the world’s religious history.

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Foundations for Relationships (Ages 18-25)

Feb. 24 - Apr. 20, 2022

Young adults 18-25 years old are invited to gather in videoconference study groups to explore the Baha'i teachings and their practical application for healthy relationships and marriage! Personal study and group meetings will aid you in learning about your own and a partner’s character, building a friendship, understanding your expectations and what’s important to you in a partner, being a couple, interacting with parents, and forming a healthy marriage.

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Foundations for Relationships (Ages 26-35+)

Feb. 24 - Apr. 20, 2022

Adults ages 26-35+ are invited to gather in videoconference study groups to explore the Baha'i teachings and their practical application for healthy relationships and marriage! Personal study and group meetings will aid you in learning about your own and a partner’s character, building a friendship, understanding your expectations and what’s important to you in a partner, being a couple, interacting with parents, and forming a healthy marriage.

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Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and Building a Unified Society

Mar. 10 - May 11, 2022

This immensely popular course will examine anti-Black racism and racial prejudice in North American society in some of its most serious manifestations, explore the content and significance of relevant Baha'i authoritative texts, and consider how Baha'is can initiate meaningful conversations and public discourse in a variety of contexts. It will begin with an exploration of definitions of race, racism, and prejudice. It will then turn to such subjects as understanding colonialism and slavery; the prison/industrial complex; Black Lives Matter and policing issues; white privilege and bias/stereotyping; housing and education segregation; violence against black women; Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement; and "one human family"—the experience of the Baha'i community.

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Transformative Leadership for Youth: Cultivating Capabilities for Change

Mar. 10 - May 7, 2022

Transformative Leadership is a new conceptual framework based on 6 elements that nurture our understanding and attitudes toward service-oriented leadership and includes 18 capabilities that help us better personal, interpersonal and social relationships. This 8-week seminar brings together our two short core courses for Youth: Cultivating Transformative Leadership for Youth, and Being the Change: Cultivating Capabilities. It is for youth aged 11 to 17 tears old. Parental consent is required on registration.

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Introduction to the Kitab-i-Aqdas

Mar. 17 - May 11, 2022

About the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Shoghi Effendi has written that it “may well be regarded as the brightest emanation of the mind of Baha'u'llah, as the Mother Book of His Dispensation, and the Charter of His New World Order.” We will read the Kitab-i-Aqdas and supplemental texts related to it, while studying several of its main themes: covenant, succession, and manifestation; Baha'i institutions, including the rulers and the learned, the Universal House of Justice, Houses of Worship, Feasts, Holy Days, and the Baha'i calendar; the nature and purpose of Baha'u'llah’s laws; Baha'u'llah’s ordinances; prohibitions and punishments; Baha'u'llah’s proclamations to kings, rulers, places, and groups of people; education and transformation; and teaching the Baha'i Faith.

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How to Collect, Arrange, Maintain, and Promote Baha'i Archives

Mar. 24 - June 15, 2022

Organized by the United States National Baha'i Archives and taught by three Baha'i archivists, How to Collect, Arrange, Maintain and Promote a Baha'i Archives will introduce local and national Baha'i archivists to principles that will help them to organize and maintain their collections. You may also benefit from this course if you are working on your own personal project that would involve archival material. For example working on oral history projects, on personal papers, or locating records relating to your locality or region.

The course will include activities requiring access to archival materials in a Baha'i archives.


Film as a Tool for Public Discourse: Moving Beyond Us and Them

Mar. 24 - May 11, 2022

This second course in the series focuses on moving beyond us and them and highlighting narratives that perpetuate differences that lead to divisive discourse and taking sides, relating to race; culture and ethnicity; gender; religion; politics; economic status; age, ageism, and generational differences; educational level; unhealthy competition; pandemic-related divisions (vaccine/anti-vaxxer, mask/anti-masker), as well as narratives that counter the assumptions behind the divisions of humanity and honor our oneness, true human nature, and inherent nobility. We’ll be looking at the example of ‘Abdu’l-Bah and how He envisioned moving towards greater unity and embracing the Oneness of Humankind.

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The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah

Mar. 31 - May 11, 2022

This course is a study of Shoghi Effendi’s 1934 letter “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah,” focusing on it as a foundational document for fundamental verities of the Baha'i Faith, covering its place in Baha'i literature, and the subtleties of Shoghi Effendi’s clarification of the historical, theological, and doctrinal realities of Baha’u’llah, the Bab, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and the Administrative Order. “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah has been referred to as Shoghi Effendi’s own confession of faith… Without deep study of this basic document, no Baha'i can claim to be truly knowledgeable of his or her Faith” (David Hofman).

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The Wilmette Institute eNewsletter 

The Wilmette Institute eNewsletter is published monthly by the Wilmette Institute, which offers quality online courses on the Baha'i Faith. The Wilmette Institute is committed to engaging a broad and diverse international community of learners in deep study of the Faith and to fostering love for study of the Faith. The Wilmette Institute was established in January 1995 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States.

Information from the eNewsletter may be copied or reproduced, provided that the following credit is given: "Reprinted from the eNewsletter of the Wilmette Institute," followed by the issue's date. Recipients are encouraged to forward the eNewsletter to friends. If you have questions, please email us at [email protected].


Robert H. Stockman


Robert H. Stockman

Niki Daniels

Betty Fisher

Deborah Lilly


Sonja Brook

Sheila Idoine

Christine Muller

Fran Otto

Susan Patera

Basil Shaw

Wilmette Institute, 1233 Central Street, Evanston, IL, 60201 USA

Phone 1.877.WILMETTE (1.877.945.6388)

Email: [email protected]

Web: https://wilmetteinstitute.org

Courses: https://wilmetteinstitute.org/community-learning-courses/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/WilmetteInstitute

© 2022 National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the U.S.