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Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Brandon Johnson, and Dr. Jane Goodall to Address 2023 Parliament Convening

July 18, 2023

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is honored to announce the participation of the former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, the 57th Mayor of the city of Chicago the Honorable Brandon Johnson, and United Nations Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall as featured luminaries of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, gathering in Chicago, USA this August 14-18, 2023.

Addressing this year’s critical theme A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights, Speaker Emerita Pelosi*, Mayor Johnson, and Dr. Goodall* join thousands of faith, spiritual, and civic leaders in addressing the threat of autocracy eroding democratic institutions, freedom, and human rights around the world.

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi served as the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker.  Pelosi made history again in January 2019 when she regained the Speakership – the first person to do so in more than six decades. Speaker Pelosi led House Democrats for 20 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.

Pelosi has represented San Francisco in Congress for more than 36 years.  Currently serving as the Representative for California’s 11th Congressional District, she is fighting For The People to lower costs, grow paychecks and create jobs.  She is the architect of generation-defining legislation, including the Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan, and a defender of democracy at home and abroad.  Married to Paul Pelosi, she is a proud mother of five and grandmother of nine.

Mayor Brandon Johnson

The Honorable Brandon Johnson is the Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, USA. As the son of a pastor and one of ten siblings, Brandon Johnson was raised on a foundation of hard work, faith, and service. Brandon began his career as a public school teacher, first at Jenner Academy in Cabrini-Green and then at Westinghouse College Prep on the West Side, where he experienced firsthand how school closures, unemployment and gun violence impacted his students and their communities. Brandon went on to become an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union, where he led multi-racial coalitions to defend neighborhood schools from privatization, reduce high-stakes standardized testing and expand access to state funding.

In 2018, Brandon was elected commissioner of the 1st District of Cook County, where he led the effort to pass the Just Housing Ordinance, which prohibited housing discrimination against formerly incarcerated people. As commissioner, he also collaborated with colleagues to eliminate the gang database, secure legal representation for immigrants facing deportation and advance recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brandon convened a statewide “Save Our Seniors” response to the crisis in low-income nursing homes. In the wake of civil uprisings in the summer of 2020, he organized the Cook County Board to commit to the “Budget for Black Lives,” bringing new investments in health care, public transportation, internet access, and affordable housing.

In 2023, Brandon was elected as the 57th mayor of the city of Chicago. Brandon and his wife Stacie live in the Austin community, where they are raising their children Owen, Ethan and Braedyn.

Dr. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London England. At the young age of 26, she followed her passion for animals and Africa to Gombe, Tanzania, where she began her landmark study of chimpanzees in the wild­ immersing herself in their habitat as a neighbor rather than a distant observer. Her discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools rocked the scientific world and redefined the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her work around the world and for generations to come. JGI continues the field research at Gombe and builds on Dr. Goodall’s innovative approach to conservation, which recognizes the central role that people play in the well-being of animals and the environment. In 1991, she founded Roots & Shoots, a global program that empowers young people in nearly 60 countries and since its inception in 1991 has greatly impacted youth in over 100 countries to act as the informed conservation leaders that the world so urgently needs.

Today, Dr. Goodall travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, environmental crises, and her reasons for hope. In her books and speeches, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action. Dr. Goodall is a UN Messenger of Peace and Dame Commander of the British Empire.

People of Faith are Committed to Upholding Democracy, Freedom & Human Rights

Featured luminaries are joining thousands of local, national, and international attendees at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago this August in a clear commitment to democracy, freedom, and human rights.

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi*, Mayor Brandon Johnson, and Dr. Jane Goodall* join our historic interfaith gathering in recognition of the critical importance of people of faith in resisting and mitigating the threat of autocracy in our communities and around the world.

Explore ticket options and register today.

*Luminaries addressing the Parliament Convening via video address.