The Dialogue Institute of Kansas City, formerly known as Institute of Interfaith Dialogue, was founded in 2006. The group was organized, primarily, by Turkish-Americans seeking to promote the importance of peace, dialogue, and mutual understanding. The Dialogue Institute of Kansas City functions under the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest. This organization is a 501(c)(3), founded in 2002, which set out to address the question, “How can citizens of the world live in peace and harmony?” Both organizations are part of a larger, global network, known as the “Gulen Movement,” inspired by Turkish Muslim scholar, Fethullah Gulen, a controversial figure in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, blamed by Turkish President Erdoğan for the failed coup in 2016. This movement provides schools, dialogue institutes, and charity organizations all over the world, in 167 countries.[1]

The Dialogue Institute of Kansas City organizes a long list of programs, including the Annual Dialogue and Friendship dinners, Saturday Brunches featuring distinguished speakers, an Interfaith Academy exploring topics from view of major world religions, cooking classes, water marbling classes, Turkish language classes, a book club, Thanksgiving dinners, baklava days at various churches, fast breaking dinners with different faith and community groups, informal tea gatherings at family homes, and a monthly Turkic Food and Art festival. The organization previously offered trips to Turkey, an effort meant to increase understanding of diverse cultures and faiths but was forced to discontinue due to the political unrest in Turkey.[2]


[1] Esen, Eyyup, interview by Geneva Blackmer. 2019. The Dialogue Institute of Kansas City. (January 16).

[2] Ibid.