New Voices of PoWR to Join the 2018 Parliament!

May 23, 2018


Voices of the Movement, Voices of PoWR
Announcing the third line-up of luminaries addressing the global interfaith stage at the Parliament in November of this year.
The interfaith movement has has grown through many “ages.” 
125 years ago, in 1893, an age of “firsts:” the birth of formal interreligious dialogue, and an unprecedented encounter of Eastern and Western traditions.  
In 1993, an age of exploration: a era when a true mosaic of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions embraced their interconnectedness. In 25 years since then, there have been growing pains and revolutions as leaders of religions and nations have united across lines of faith and conscience to overturn unjust systems.
While many still believe that divisions between religions are untraversable fault lines, many more recognize that strong relationships between people of faith—and between the faiths of peoples—can, have, and will change the world.
In 2018, the Parliament will assemble luminaries who will honor our history and begin to write our future. It will be a chance for cooperation across spiritual, religious and secular communities to outgrow its novelty. Now, we will institutionalize our religious diversity, our cooperative missions, and our love and respect for one another.
As we salute our third line-up of luminaries, the Parliament asks you to join us in welcoming women who have broken the stained-glass ceiling, youth challenging the status quo and the shadow of perceived authority, and leaders at the forefront of change within the faith and interfaith movements.
Joining us later this year, the interfaith organizer who turned pro, who dared say college campuses can be the incubators of a new interfaith world, and who changed the landscape of higher education. The Rabbi who puts cooperation across faiths—across humanity—first. The Earth Guardian whose hip-hop testifies to the power of young people to redirect our shared journeys on this precious planet. The youngest-ever leader of the Baptist World Alliance who brings new eyes to the roles of global faiths in fostering friendship with our global neighbors. A Grandmother who not only heals the body, but the spirit and the bonds that hold together communities.
In this program, we recognize the promise of inclusion and the power of love more each day.
Join us in telling this new chapter of our movement: Interfaith Has No Age.

Learn More About the Voices of PoWR Speakers at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions


Grandmother Flordemayo
Flordemayo® is a beloved member of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers who returns to the Indigenous Peoples’ Program of the Parliament in 2018. A Curandera Espiritu, she is a healer of divine spirit.  She is a founding member of the Confederation of Indigenous Elders of the America, Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge, Church of the Spiritual Path, and the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Born under the sign of Q’anil (seed), Flordemayo® sees her role as cosmic germinator through teaching, community, manifestation and development.
Read more about Grandmother Flordemayo >


Reverend Dr. Elijah M. Brown
A leader breaking ground in his tradition, Brown comes for his first Parliament keynote address to promote understanding among the world’s spiritual and religions traditions.
Elected in 2017 at the age of 36, Rev. Dr. Brown is the ninth General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the youngest to hold this position.​ Formed in 1905, the BWA represents 47 million Baptists in 124 countries and territories. Originally from Texas, USA, Rev. Dr. Brown completed his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His passion for justice has led him to conduct research among displaced camps in Africa and the Middle East, testify before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress, and speak around the world.​
Read more about Rev. Elijah Brown >

Karma Lekshe Tsomo
A Buddhist nun, scholar, and social activist, Karma Lekshe Tsomo is a leader who helps women lead. She joins the Women’s Assembly in 2018.  Tsomo is a professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of San Diego, where she teaches World Religions, Buddhist Thought and Culture, Religious Identity in the Global Community, and other subjects. She holds a doctorate in Comparative Philosophy from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, specializing in comparative religion, Buddhist feminist philosophy, Buddhism and bioethics, Buddhist social theory, concepts of death and afterlife, and Buddhist transnationalism.
Read more about Karma Lekshe Tsomo >

Dr. Eboo Patel
Eboo Patel is a leading voice in the movement for interfaith cooperation and the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national U.S.-based nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground and Interfaith Leadership. Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. For over fifteen years, he has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help realize a future where religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions is thrilled to share what next-level wisdom Eboo brings to our next international convening. 
Read more about Eboo Patel >

Margaret Lokawua
As a little girl growing up in Karamoja, Uganda where livelihood depends on pastoralism and girls are thought to be only good for bride price, education is the least of priorities for most girl children. Educating a girl is seen as a waste of resources. Education for Margaret, then, becomes more of a tool of inspiration to other girls and women in her community rather than a personal endeavor.
In 2001, Margaret Lokowua decided to create an indigenous women’s organization called the Women Environmental Conservation project which today boast a membership of over 200 rural women. 
Lokawua will come to Canada from Uganda for our global assembly of the Indigenous Peoples Program: The Spiritual Evolution of Humanity and Healing Our Mother Earth. 
Read more about Margaret Lokowua >

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
The Next Gen Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions will unveil a bold call to action through the fierce and fearless Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) Earth Guardians Youth Director, who is a 17-year-old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement.
At the early age of six Xiuhtezcatl began speaking around the world, from the United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks, coal ash contained, and moratoriums on fracking in his state, and is currently a plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations.
Read more about Xiuhtezcatl Martinez >

H.H. Pujya Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji Maharaj
With her simplistic approach to the doctrines of Ahimsa, Love and Compassion, Pujya Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji Maharaj – a dynamic and inspiring leader – appeals to people from every faith and all walks of life. She will be a featured speaker in the Assembly on Countering War, Hate and Violence, where she will showcase the Jain teachings of nonviolence as tools to build a peaceful world.
With an M.Phil in Comparative Religion from the University of London, she is the first Sadhvi in the Jain tradition to have pursued overseas education.
A grand canvas of her work is embodied in Veerayatan Vidyapeeth Kutch, Gujarat (India) – a massive relief and rehabilitation project that she has initiated and nurtured for close to two decades. It stands tall today as a beacon of hope, creating numerous opportunities for the educational and professional development of the rural population.
Read more about H.H. Pujya Sadhvi Shilapiji Maharaj>

Rabbi David Rosen
Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, is the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of AJC and Director of its Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding.​ A spiritual luminary who embodies the vision of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Rabbi Rosen returns to the Parliament to help illuminate our vision of understanding, reconciliation and change.
Rabbi Rosen is Honorary Advisor on Interfaith Relations to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel; serves on its Commission for Interreligious Dialogue, and represents the Chief Rabbinate on the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land. He is an International President of Religions for Peace (WCRP); Honorary President of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ); and serves on the Executive of the World Council of Religious Leaders (WCORL); and is a member of the Elijah Institute‘s World Board of Religious Leaders. He is a founder of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel that embraces some seventy organizations in Israel involved in interfaith relations (ICCI). 
Read More About Rabbi David Rosen >


Land Acknowledgment

The Parliament of the World's Religions acknowledges it is situated on the traditional homelands of the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), and Odawak (Odawa).

PoWR recognizes the region we now call Chicago remains home to a diversity of Indigenous peoples today and this land upon which we walk, live, and play continues to be Indigenous land.

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