The 2018 Parliament Stage Welcomes 8 New World-Changers

“The Biggest Weapon of Mass Destruction is the Hate in Our Souls.” - Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

The penetrating words above arise from the author of I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity and the founder of Daughters for Life. Among the Voices of PoWR featured in this fourth roster of luminaries taking stage at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions, Dr. Abuelaish’s story completely embodies the capacity of love to change the world.

Born and raised in a Gazan refugee camp, Abuelaish became the first Palestinian doctor to work in an Israeli hospital. But the spotlight found him when his on-air reaction to the deaths of his three young daughters and niece went viral - casualties of a ongoing standoff between Israel and Palestine over the future of a region devoid of justice.

After emigrating to Canada, Abuelaish expanded his work as a healer to include not just the body, but the heart. In “I Shall Not Hate” and beyond, he shares lessons in healing and forgiveness to global audiences through his best-selling book, public speaking, and foundation, which equips young women through education to make positive impacts in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East.

We welcome him with open hearts, as an interfaith audience ready to understand, reconcile, and change what we can; within and around us.

As the largest collective NGO in the world, religions and communities of faith & conscience are called to come together to make a change- not only to live our best lives, but to work together to save the lives of others. To make understanding and reconciliation possible.

This extends to all our fellow creatures on Earth. World leaders continue to deny basic cooperation with global agreements on the status of refugees. Terrorists today target vulnerable Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan.

With attention, effort, and collaboration, the world can awaken from these nightmares.

And to get there, the Parliament of the World’s Religions will dream big. 

Want to see these world-changers in person, register for the 2018 Parliament today!

  1. Learn More About the Voices of PoWR Speakers at the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions

Dr. Azza Karam

Azza Karam, Ph.D., is a Senior Advisor on Culture at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She represents UNFPA as Coordinator of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development; she is Lead Facilitator for the United Nations Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, Development, and Humanitarian Issues. She coordinates engagement with UNFP’s Global Interfaith Network of over 500 faith-based NGOs.  She has published on political Islam, religion, and development.

Dr. Karam will unpack the roles of women in the pursuit of human development in the Women’s Assembly.

Read more about Dr. Azza Karam >


Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian-Canadian physician and an internationally recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist devoted to advancing health and education opportunities for women and girls in the Middle East, through both his research and his charitable organization The Daughters for Life Foundation. Dr. Abuelaish has been nominated five times for Nobel Peace Prize, and he is fondly known as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and the “Martin Luther King of the Middle East”, having dedicated his life to using health as a vehicle for peace. 

Dr. Abuelaish will transform acts of hate into global movements of love in the Assembly on Countering War, Hate, and Violence.

Read more about Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish >

Dr. Vandana Shiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva is an esteemed Hindu author and environmental justice activist. Based in Delhi, India, Shiva often lectures on environmental issues such as agricultural and fair trade practices. She has authored 30 books on these topics and is a fierce advocate of eco-feminist philosophies and principles.

Dr. Shiva is a globally-recognized physicist, Hindu author and ecofeminist, will return as a keynote to bring the strength of women to the Climate Assembly stage.

Read more about Dr. Vandana Shiva >

Dr. Weiming Tu

Dr. Weiming Tu is a renowned public intellectual, ethicist and a leader of the international movement of New Confucianism, which reinterprets Confucian values for the contemporary world to achieve harmony and flourishing in society, government and the environment. He is the Founding Director of the Institute of Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University and Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, where he taught from 1971 to 2010.

Dr. Tu will share Confucian thought drawing from a fusion of heart, mind, and soul with the Climate Assembly on the pursuit of Earth and humanitarian ethics in today’s world.

Read more about Dr. Weiming Tu>

Dr. Beverley Jacobs

Beverley lives and practices law at her home community of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Southern Ontario.  She has completed an interdisciplinary PhD at the University of Calgary that included Law (Human Rights and Indigenous Legal Traditions), Indigenous Wholistic Health and Indigenous Research Methodologies. Bev has obtained a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Windsor in 1994 and a Masters of Law Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000.  

She is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor.  Beverly is also a consultant/researcher/writer/public speaker and she is a former President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (elected 2004 to 2009).  Bev's passion is about peacefulness and safety of Indigenous peoples. For the past 25 or so years, much of her work has focussed on anti-violence work, restoring Indigenous traditions, values, beliefs and laws and decolonizing Eurocentric law.  She continues to advocate for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and to educate the public about the history and impacts of colonization, which has resulted in the historic traumas that are occurring to Indigenous peoples, specifically Indigenous women and girls today.  Most recently, on December 1, 2016, Beverly received a Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law from the Governments of France and Germany for her human rights fight for the issues relating to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Dr. Jacobs will share how the painstaking journey of making justice and reconciliation is possible in the shadow of atrocity In the Indigenous Peoples Program.

Read more about Dr. Beverley Jacobs >

Dr. Miguel De La Torre

Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre’s academic pursuit is social ethics within contemporary U.S. thought, specifically how religion affects race, class, and gender oppression. Since obtaining his doctoral in 1999, he has authored over a hundred articles and published thirty-three books (five of which won national awards).

He presently serves as Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. A Fulbright scholar, he has taught in Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, and Germany. Within his guild he served as the 2012 President of the Society of Christian Ethics. Within the academy, he is a past-director to the American Academy of Religion; served as the past chair of the Committee for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession, past chair of the Ethics Program Section; authored the “AAR Career Guide;” served on the Program Committee, and presently serves on the editorial board of JAAR. Additionally, he is the co-founder and present executive director of the Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion and the founding editor of the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion. A scholar-activist, Dr. De La Torre has written numerous articles in popular media and has served on several civic organizations. Recently, he wrote the screenplay to a documentary on immigration, Trails of Hope and Terror the Movie, which has screened in over eighteen film festivals, winning over seven film awards.

Dr. De La Torre will zoom in on the injustices common to the Latinx experience and confront the ways that religions interact with these problems on the Justice stage.

Read more about Dr. Miguel De La Torre>

Jessica Bolduc

Jessica is Anishinaabe-French from the Batchewana First Nation, and has lived in Northern Ontario her whole life. She is the Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement, an Indigenous led, and settler supported collaborative seeking to change the country now known as Canada by changing relationships between young Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. As a volunteer, she is a Board member of Turtle Island Institute, Thinking Rock Community Arts, and a member of the Core Team for the Youth Social Infrastructure Collaborative (YSI). Jessica has a BA in Economics from Carleton University. She has travelled across Turtle Island and internationally, in order to learn about the conditions that might be necessary for communities to shift and transform complex systems through dialogue and strategic action.

Jessica Bolduc will prove that supporting today’s Indigenous youth through relationships across faiths, cultures, and ethnicities will ensure that these atrocities never happen again.

Read more about Jessica Bolduc >

Frank Fredericks

Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith, a global movement to end religious violence, and Mean Communications, a digital agency for social good.  After graduating from NYU, Frank worked in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga. In 2008, he founded World Faith, which has expanded to 10 countries and mobilized 5,000 volunteers in over 300,000 hours of service.  As an active writer, Frank has contributed to the Huffington Post, Washington Post, and Sojourners. Frank has been interviewed on Good Morning America, NPR, and New York Magazine. He is a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, and is an alumnus of the Leading for Impact Fellowship at Oxford’s Skoll Centre, AMENDS at Stanford, IFYC Germanacos Fellowship, Soliya Fellowship, Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship, NXT-GEN Fellowship at the How Institute, and YouthActionNet Fellowship.  Frank was one of two Global Shaper Scholars at Oxford Said Business School for an MBA focused on Social Entrepreneurship. Frank resides in Astoria, Queens, in New York City with his wife and son, fervently reading, cooking, and playing guitar. 

Mr. Fredericks will explain how we can end religious violence in a generation on the Next Gen stage.

Read more about Frank Fredericks>



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The Parliament of the World's Religions, in collaboration with Spiritual Playdate , is hosting the inaugural Interfaith Family Festival at the 2018 Parliament in Toronto from November 2 to November 6 at the Metro...
The 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions welcomes 17 new luminaries as Voices of PoWR, bringing wisdom, advocacy, and progressive change to the world and to the 7th Parliament this November 1 - 7 in Toronto, Canada...


The Parliament of the World's Religions, in collaboration with Spiritual Playdate , is hosting the inaugural Interfaith Family Festival at the 2018 Parliament in Toronto from November 2 to November 6 at the Metro...
The 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions welcomes 17 new luminaries as Voices of PoWR, bringing wisdom, advocacy, and progressive change to the world and to the 7th Parliament this November 1 - 7 in Toronto, Canada...