Rev. Stephen Avino serves as the Executive Director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the world’s premier interfaith convening non-profit organization. Rev. Avino became a member of the Staff at the Parliament in 2012 and has remained deeply committed to the success of the global interfaith movement, serving as a key organizer for the 2015 Parliament Convening in Salt Lake City, the 2018 Parliament Convening in Toronto, and the 2021 Virtual Parliament Convening.
An avid seeker of knowledge and a dedicated person of faith, Rev. Avino earned a Master of Arts in Religious Studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary in 2015 and became ordained through the Independent Catholic Movement in 2019. He lives in Chicago, USA where he remains deeply committed to advocating for the legacy of the Parliament and a more inclusive interreligious movement.
Emma received her Bachelor’s in Religious Studies, with a concentration in Non-Profit Leadership, from Michigan State University. She is currently earning her Master’s in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley State University. Emma started her career interning with a Chicago refugee resettlement agency and cultural association then in 2018 joined the team for the Toronto Parliament. Prior to returning to the Parliament as Developent Associate in 2020, Emma worked to support Interfaith Youth Core and coordinated the planning of an interfaith sustainability conference for the Michigan branch of Interfaith Power and Light. Emma works to promote a culture of understanding and collaboration, harnessing the power of diversity for greater impact toward the common good. By drawing from a variety of interdisciplinary, philosophical, and theological perspectives, Emma desires to uncover interfaith intersections that might lead to a more sustainable and peaceful world.
Emily Echevarria is a Florida native and an alumna of the University of North Florida. She is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Environmental Diplomacy at DePaul University. With a passion for conservation, Emily is dedicated to helping the planet recover from the effects of pollution and global warming. She joined the Parliament as Director of Climate Action in July 2022.
Miriam V. Quezada Mendez is a graduate of Illinois College where she pursued a double major in Communication & Rhetorical Studies and International Studies with a focus on gender and human rights. She began her professional career at the Parliament of the World’s Religions serving as a program assistant for the Inaugural Women’s Assembly at the 2015 Salt Lake City Parliament Convening.
In her tenure at the Parliament, Miriam has worked closely in the engagement of the organization’s critical constituencies and remains a passionate advocate of immigrant rights, women’s rights, and youth involvement. She has served as a senior staff member of the Parliament since 2019 and currently serves as the Director of Communications.
Flynn Rush is a strong, new leader who is building on the proud legacy of pioneers in our community. Flynn is an Associate Pastor at the Beloved Community Church of God in Christ. He serves alongside his father who is the Pastor. Flynn ministers to the sick and infirmed and uplifts his community through strong Christian values.
Flynn comes from a socially-conscious family and has been active for political pioneers such as Harold Washington and Bill Clinton. He has helped to empower local voters to cast an informed vote that benefits their own families and communities. Flynn has answered the call to run for public office and came in second in a crowded seven-person race for State Representative in the 25th District in 2018.
Jesse Smith has been the Staff Accountant with the Parliament since 2017.
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