AAC Profile: Ahriana Platten
The Ambassador Advisory Council (AAC) is made up of Parliament Ambassadors who dedicate their time, effort, and professional experience to develop and improve the Ambassador program.
Each month Ambassadors will be introduced to a member of the AAC. This month we interviewed Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten
Tell us about your life Ahriana, what do you do in Colorado Springs?
I am the lead minister at Unity Spiritual Center in the Rockies, a multicultural, multigenerational community and am blessed to share my life with my sweet husband, Mark, and four awesome boys. The oldest is 35. The youngest is 14. We have 5 grandchildren, 3 dogs, a cat – and a huge commitment to family!
What interreligious work are you engaged in?
I am the Founder and Coordinator of “In Good Faith: Dialogue at the Crossroads of Religions.” “In Good Faith” is a weekly newspaper column that asks a question of several leaders of different faiths every week. We reach 120,000 readers weekly. In February of 2016, we launched “In Good Faith” weekly radio show. Our panel meets in the studio once a week for an hour of conversation about a certain topic. We model healthy interfaith dialogue on the air. The best thing about this is that the show is available on demand at KCMJ.org, so we have listeners from all over the world!
What do you most enjoy about working with people from faiths outside of your own?
I really enjoy learning more about how other people make life Holy through the rites and rituals of their respective religions. When people talk about these ceremonies, I feel the depth of their hearts shining through.
What is your biggest challenge as a participant in the interfaith movement?
Keeping my commitment to taking the risk of being deeply authentic, especially when I am confronted by someone who holds judgement about my religious beliefs.
You seem to have great respect for diversity and interfaith involvement, tell us how you became involved with the Parliament.
I was heading the steering committee for the Pikes Peak Inter-religious Clergy Alliance when one of our Baha’i members attended the Parliament in Melbourne. When he came home and told me about it, I knew I wanted to be involved.
Why did you choose to become an Ambassador for the Parliament?
Because I want the world to be different – more peaceful and collaborative – and I believe the Parliament is a powerful contributing force toward that outcome.
You are one of the newest members of the AAC, how did that come about?
I approached an AAC member and asked to serve on the AAC because I felt I had something to contribute. I believe the Ambassador program is incredibly important to the Parliament’s success and I feel the potential of the Ambassador program exceeds its current level of function. I would like to help support its evolution.
What is the most important thing you have learned through your involvement with the Parliament?
The Salt Lake Parliament changed my perspective on emerging leaders and made me realize that I would like to do more mentoring. That was really important. Another important learning came from the size of the Salt Lake City gathering. It gave me a visceral understanding of the power of the interfaith movement.
You’ve been deeply involved with the Parliament, what has been the most rewarding experience?
Getting to know the other members of the AAC whom I have come to admire and respect for their consistent integrity and dedication. They are a very special group of people and I feel honored to work with them.
As an Ambassador you have represented the Parliament in a number of events, can you tell us which one has been the most memorable?
I represented the Parliament at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Diversity Forum. It was powerful to see how students and teachers alike are interested in finding ways to collaborate across the lines of diversity in order to create change for all people. It gave me a lot of hope for the future.
*Please note: Interview has been edited for length, brevity or clarity.
Want to hear more from Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten,
listen in to In Good Faith: Dialogue at the Crossroads.