The Parliament of the World’s Religions is honored to welcome Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Bani Dugal, and Dr. Rami Nashashibi as featured luminaries of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, gathering to Chicago, USA from August 14-18, 2023.
The featured luminaries at the 2023 Parliament Convening are a diverse cohort of faith, spiritual, civic, and governmental leaders answering the call to conscience to defend freedom and human rights. This cohort of luminaries provides a representative snapshot of the diversity of avenues by which individuals, communities, and religious institutions can make a difference at the local, national, and international levels.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival; Bishop with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary; Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and the author of four books: We Are Called To Be A Movement; Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing; The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and The Rise of a New Justice Movement; and Forward Together: A Moral Message For The Nation.
Rev. Dr. Barber is also the architect of the Moral Movement, which began with weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 and recently relaunched again online in August 2020 under the banner of the Poor People’s Campaign. In 2018, Rev. Dr. Barber helped relaunch the Poor People’s Campaign—which was begun by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968—starting with a historic wave of protests in state capitals and in Washington, D.C., calling for a moral agenda and a moral budget to address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, the war economy and militarism, ecological devastation and denial of healthcare, and the false moral narrative of Christian nationalism. There are currently 45 state coordinating committees across the country, mobilizing around the Poor People’s Jubilee Platform and We Must Do M.O.R.E. (mobilize, organize, register, and educate people for a movement that votes).
Bani Dugal is the Principal Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the UN. As part of the community of international NGOs at the UN since 1994, she is currently serving on the Steering Committee of the NGO Working Group on the Security Council. She has served as President of the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, as co-facilitator of the NGO Working Group on UN Access, co-facilitator of the GEAR campaign (Gender Equality Architecture Reform), Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, and Chair of the Global Forum of the NGO Committee on UNICEF and member of the Steering Committee of the NGO Committee on UNICEF’s Working Group on Girls, Convenor of the NGO Committee on UNIFEM and Convenor of the Advocates for African Food Security.
Ms. Dugal holds a Masters degree (LL.M) in Environmental Law from Pace University School of Law, New York and a law degree (LL.B) from the University of Delhi, India. She has authored published articles, statements, and papers. Prior to relocating to the U.S. in 1988, she practiced law before the Supreme Court of India.
Among the many high-level events in which she was speaker or participated in another capacity, are: World Bank Faith Initiative (2015), UN Women Intergenerational Dialogue Day at the 59th CSW/Beijing+20 (2015), the World Economic Forum (2015, 2005), Ministerial Level panel on The Civil Society and the Education on Human Rights as a tool for promoting religious tolerance (2012), the International Inter-religious Conference on Faith in Human Rights in The Hague (2008), and the Conference commemorating the UN Declaration on Religious Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (2006), the Conference on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace – hosted by the Tripartite Forum comprised of 17 Member States, the World Bank, UNESCO, the UN DESA and the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations (2005).
Dr. Rami Nashashibi is a MacArthur Fellow, a Doctor of Sociology from the University of Chicago, and the founder and Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a non-profit organization incorporated in 1997 that fosters health, wellness and healing on Chicago’s South Side & Atlanta’s west end by organizing for social change, cultivating the arts and operating a holistic health center.
As a community leader building bridges across racial, religious, and socioeconomic divides to confront the challenges of poverty and disinvestment in urban communities, Rami has successfully unified a diverse set of constituencies around a shared focus of social justice. He serves on the board of directors of the Margaret Casey Foundation and in 2020, Rami made his debut as musician, song-writer and executive producer of “THIS LOVE THING”, a soul-stirring LP. The album’s first single “Mama Please” was dedicated to raising the profile of and advocating for Cariol’s Law, legislation which passed in late 2020 to help transform police accountability in Buffalo, New York. He has worked with several leading scholars in the area of globalization, African American studies and urban sociology and has contributed chapters to edited volumes by Manning Marable and Saskia Sassen.
Rami has lectured around the world on a range of topics related to American Muslim identity, community organizing and social justice issues and has received many prestigious community service and organizing honors. He has been featured in several prominent media publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, and multiple stories on PBS, CBS, and National Public Radio. Rami has also taught at the Chicago Theological Seminary, where he was a visiting professor of the Sociology of Religion and Muslim Studies.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Bani Dugal, and Dr. Rami Nashashibi are joining thousands of people of faith committed to answering our call to conscience and taking a stand for freedom, democracy, and human rights. Together we can show the world the critical work people of faith, spirituality, and goodwill are carrying out locally, nationally, and globally.
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