Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE - founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. World renowned primatologist and conservationist best known for her landmark study on the behavior of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania.
For more information on Dr. Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute please visit www.janegoodall.org.
Photo Credit: Stuart Clarke
Salt Lake 2015: Major Speakers
10,000 People. 80 Nations. 50 Faiths
Meet the amazing lineup of Nobel Peace Laureates, Religious Leaders, Global Thinkers, and interfaith activists who are saying yes to reclaiming the heart of our humanity at the 2015 Parliament!
2015 Parliament Speakers Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity Bring Global Wisdom and Practice to 3 Critical Issues:
- Climate Change & Care for Creation,
- Income Inequity & Wasteful Consumption,
- and War, Violence & Hate Speech.
The 2015 Parliament's world-class speakers comprise:
- Nobel Peace Laureates including Costa Rica's two-time President, the Spiritual Leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and a mother who helped put an end to sectarian violence in a war-torn Northern Ireland;
- A Lakota nation tribal leader who is a global defender of sacred sites;
- The United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom;
- Top religious scholars, writers, speakers and activists achieving compassion, peace, justice and sustainability;
- News media icons pointing global attention to issues like racial and interreligious relations, income equality, immigration, and the human rights and dignity of women, children, and all oppessed peoples.
- Religious and spiritual luminaries strengthening the interfaith movement for our future
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE - founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. World renowned primatologist and conservationist best known for her landmark study on the behavior of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania.
Dr. Karen Armstrong is a British author and commentator, as well as a former Roman Catholic nun. Leaving the convent in 1969, she pursued an understanding of major religions and their common understandings of compassion and the Golden Rule. A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was published in 1993, followed by a series of books exploring major religions, compassion and the history of sectarian violence. In 2008, Armstrong was awarded the Ted Prize to launch the Charter for Compassion, a global campaign to activate compassion at the center of our lives and social institutions through collaborative partnerships worldwide.
Dr. Tariq Ramadan, an advisor to the European Union, is a professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, teaches at the Oxford Faculty of Theology, and is the founder and president of the European Muslim Network. Ramadan earned a doctorate from the University of Geneva in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He established the Mouvement des Musulmans Suisses (Movement of Swiss Muslims) which engages in various interfaith seminars.
Mairead Maguire is a Nobel Peace Laureate distinguished for decades of peace activism beginning in her native Northern Ireland. A witness to ethnic conflict and political turmoil in Northern Ireland during the late 1970s, she has spent her life dedicated to mobilizing peace movements in Northern Ireland and around the globe. She and fellow Nobel laureate Betty Williams co-founded Peace People, an organization devoted to nonviolence, peace and justice.
Jim Wallis is president and founder of Sojourners in Washington, DC. a non-profit faith-based organization, network, and movement whose mission statement calls for “putting faith into action for social justice.” He is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine and web site which has a combined print and electronic media readership of more than a quarter million people with several million unique visitors to the website, sojo.net, each year. Wallis is a bestselling author, public theologian, national preacher, social activist, and international commentator on ethics and public life. Wallis has written ten books, including The (Un)Common Good and the New York Times bestsellers God’s Politics and The Great Awakening. He is a frequent speaker in the United States and abroad, has written for major newspapers, does regular columns for Huffington Post and TIME.com, and appears frequently on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR; on shows from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to the O’Reilly Factor and Sunday shows like This Week and Meet the Press. Wallis also teaches at Georgetown University and has taught at Harvard University. He served on President Obama’s first White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and as the chair of the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Eboo Patel is a Gujurati-American Muslim, and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. While going to school, Patel noticed that conversations around multiculturalism and multiple identities did not involve religious identity. He felt that diversity, service, and faith were important parts of civic life but found no community organization that touched on all three, specifically one that worked with young people. He established interfaith youth projects in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. In 2002, he founded the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago, where he currently serves as Executive Director. Patel is a member of President Barack Obama's Inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships.
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.
Rabbi David Saperstein is the United States Ambassador At-Large for International Religious Freedom and the first non-Christian to hold the post. A Jewish attorney, Saperstein has served as director and chief legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center for more than 30 years.
Michael Bernard Beckwith is a New Thought minister and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a transdenominational community dedicated to living out values of service and outreach with marginalized populations. Beckwith's work through the Agape community reaches millions in promotion of interfaith harmony, environmental activism and spiritual-centeredness. Meditation and affirmative prayer are at the heart of Beckwith's brand of seminars, writings and media.
Chief Arvol Lookinghorse is the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, widely recognized as a chief and spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe. Chief Arvol Lookinghorse has dedicated himself to advocating for preservation and revival of Lakota traditions, beliefs and practices. Chief Looking Horse's prayers have opened numerous sessions of the United Nations and his many awards include the Juliet Hollister Award from the Temple of Understanding, a Non-Governmental Organization with Consultation Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He lives on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. He continues to lecture on protecting religious practices and beliefs globally.
Valarie Kaur is a Sikh activist, award-winning filmmaker, civil rights advocate, and founder of two faith-based social justice organizations, Groundswell Movement and Faithful Internet. Kaur utilizes storytelling to shed light on topics including hate crimes against Muslim and Sikhs, racial profiling, immigration detention and more. She has contributed to several media outlets including National Public Radio, MSNBC, PBS, The Washington Post and the New York Times and others.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Marianne has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. Six of her eleven published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1 New York Times Best Sellers. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Today, Project Angel Food serves over 1,000 people daily. Marianne also co-founded the Peace Alliance. And she serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2001. He has served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since 2008 and has supervisory responsibility for the Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South Areas. He assists Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in supervising the Africa Southeast and Africa West Areas. He also serves as a member of the Public Affairs Committee.Elder Clayton was a business litigation attorney with Call, Clayton & Jensen in Newport Beach, California, from 1981-2001. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Utah and a law degree at the University of the Pacific.
Allan Boesak is a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric and politician and anti-apartheid activist. Along with Beyers Naude and Winnie Mandela, Boesak won the 1985 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award given annually by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights to an individual or group whose courageous activism is at the heart of the human rights movement.
Brian D. McLaren, is an author, speaker, activist, and networker among innovative Christian leaders. His dozen-plus books include A New Kind of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy, Naked Spirituality, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?, and We Make the Road by Walking. He is a senior fellow with Auburn Seminary, and a board member and leader in Convergence Network and Center for Progressive Renewal. He and his wife, Grace, live in Florida and have four adult children and four grandchildren.
The Venerable Dharma Master Hsin Tao is a Buddhist monk who has combined his religious practices with political and social activism. In addition to his daily monastic practices, Hsin Tao has focused on three issues: the promotion of peace; the encouragement of interfaith dialogue; and the preservation of the environment. Hsin Tao was born in Myanmar, Burma in 1948 to ethnic Chinese. At the age of four, he was left orphaned after his parents were killed by the Chinese Nationalist Army. At the age of nine, Hsin Tao was forced to become a child soldier in the Burmese guerilla movement. Six years later, he fled to Taiwan to escape the invading Chinese. Exposed to the destruction of war and seeking spiritual guidance, Hsin Tao turned to Buddhism for answers. At the age of twenty-five, Hsin Tao became a monk spending the next two years fasting and meditating in a cave high atop Ling Jiou Mountain in northern Taiwan. Upon his emergence from the cave, Hsin Tao established the Wu Sheng Buddhist Monastery at the site of his meditation. In subsequent years, he has formed other organizations to promote a number of projects as well as to perform charitable services.
Dr. Vishwanath Karad is the Founding President and Director General of the World Peace Center of MAEER's MIT and is the UNESCO Chair Holder for Human Rights, Democracy and Peace. The activities of the World Peace Center include environmental and educational projects, peace studies, human rights, and the promotion of human values.
John L. Esposito is a University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, and he is Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Esposito has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of State and other agencies, European and Asian governments and corporations, universities, and the media worldwide. A former President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, Vice Chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders, he is currently Vice President (2011) and President Elect (2012) of the American Academy of Religion and a member of the E. C. European Network of Experts on De-Radicalisation and the board of C-1 World Dialogue and an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Esposito is recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion and of Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies and the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Award for Outstanding Teaching.
K.R. Ravindran is the 2015-2016 President Elect of Rotary International. A Rotarian since 1974, Ravindran has served RI as treasurer; director; Foundation trustee; committee member, vice chair, and chair; task force member; RI training leader; and district governor. As his country's national PolioPlus chair, Ravindran headed a task force consisting of the government, UNICEF, and Rotary and worked closely with UNICEF to successfully negotiate a ceasefire with the northern militants during National Immunization Days. He also chaired the Schools Reawakening project, sponsored by Rotary clubs and districts in Sri Lanka, to rebuild 25 tsunami-devastated schools to benefit 15,000 children.
Terry Tempest Williams is an author, conservationist and activist. Much of her writing is influenced by her native Utah and Mormon culture, braching into issues of ecology and wilderness preservation, women's health, as well as the human relationship to culture and nature. She has authored several books, including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, An Unspoken Hunger, Stories from the Field, and more. Williams is the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah, a columnist for The Progressive, and an instructor at Dartmouth College.
Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Arikirangi Rose Pere is a Tohuna and a teacher of the Kura Huna, the traditional mystery school of the Maori. She is the elder of several major tribes and a Guardian of Earth Mother. Internationally sought after as a speaker and spiritual authority, Rose has spent her life as an educator of immense stature working in the world of Maori and non-Maori. She was the Young Maori Woman of the Year in 1972, awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration medal. C.M. and became a Commander of the British Empire receiving her C.B.E. in 1996.
Swami Suhitananda is the General Secretary of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission who acts as the chief executive. The organizations were brought into existence by Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), the great 19th century saint from Bengal who is regarded as the Prophet of the Modern Age, and Sri Ramakrishna's chief disciple, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), one of the foremost thinkers and religious leaders of the present age, who is regarded as 'one of the main moulders of the modern world', in the words of an eminent Western scholar A.L. Basham. Although Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are legally and financially separate, they are closely inter-related in several ways and are regarded as twin organizations. These twin organizations have set in motion a non-sectarian, universal spiritual movement which has been silently working for more than a hundred years to catalyze the spiritual regeneration of humanity.
Robert A. Pape is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs. His publications include Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It(Chicago 2010) (with James Feldman); Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House 2005); Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War (Cornell 1996), "Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work,"International Security (1997), "The Determinants of International Moral Action," International Organization (1999); "The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism," American Political Science Review (2003); and "Soft Balancing against the United States," International Security (2005). His commentary on international security policy has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, andBulletin of Atomic Scientists, as well as on Nightline, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and National Public Radio. Before coming to Chicago in 1999, he taught international relations at Dartmouth College for five years and air power strategy for the USAF's School of Advanced Airpower Studies for three years. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1988 and graduated summa cum.
H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Pujya Swamiji) is President of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, one of India’s largest and most renowned interfaith spiritual institutions. He is also co-founder/co-chairman of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, an alliance of interfaith leaders for water, sanitation and hygiene. Pujya Swamiji also founded Ganga Action Parivar, leading the massive Clean Ganges Movement, Divine Shakti Foundation, dedicated to upliftment of women and children, and India Heritage Research Foundation, which compiled and published the historic 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism. He is a regular speaker at the United Nations, the World Bank, World Economic Forum and many other prestigious forums.
Andrea is a Nexus Global Youth Summit Outreach Ambassador, writer, and social impact investor who believes each of us should harness our gifts to find our best ways to give. A native of South Carolina, her parents modeled the importance of community involvement in both the Jewish and secular communities. She is also devoted to creating a safer and cleaner environment through reducing dependence on oil and serves on the board of SAFE, Securing America’s Future Energy. She is pursuing an M.F.A. at American University.
Arnold W. Thomas is a member of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Nations of the Great Basin region in the western United States. Mr. Thomas has received National certification as the first ever Chaplin from the American Indian Tribal Faith traditions. In 2011 he was ordained as a "Holy One." From 2004 to 2014 he conducted traditional ceremonies for the Salk Lake City Veterans Medical Hospital. Arnold obtained a Master's in Social Work in 1999 and is the owner of a successful motivational consulting speaking firm, White Buffalo Knife Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah.
Audrey E. Kitagawa, JD, is the President of the Light of Awareness International Spiritual Family, an ecunemical, nondenominational spiritual community. She is also the President/Founder of the International Academy for Transcultural Cooperation, the former Adviser to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations, the former Vice President/Trustee of Council For A Parliament of The World’s Religions, and a Founding Trustee of the New York City Peace Museum.
Oren R. Lyons, Jr. is a Native American Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Lyons has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Syracuse University. He has been the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the National Audubon Society's Audubon Medal, the Earth Day International Award of the United Nations, and the Elder and Wiser Award of the Rosa Parks Institute for Human Rights. Lyons serves on the board of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and is board chairman of Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations. He is the publisher of Daybreak Magazine and has authored numerous books. He has also illustrated children's books in collaboration with Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve (Brulé Lakota).
Professor St. Clair is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at St. Cloud State University and Director of their Multicultural Resource Center. St. Clair, an enrolled member of the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Morton, Minnesota, has taught courses in Dakota Culture and History in addition to serving as a program associate for the Dakota Language at the University of Minnesota.
Faatimah Knight is pursuing an MA in Religious Studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary and holds a BA in Islamic Law and Theology from Zaytuna College in Berkeley, CA. She spearheaded the project "Respond With Love: Rebuild Black Churches, Support Victims of Arson Across the South," leading a team raising $100,000 for black churches victimized by arson following the murders at the AME Church in Charleston, SC. A member of the Lamppost Education Initiative's Board of Directors, Faatimah also serves as Religion section editor for the African-American Islamic online resource Sapelo Square.
Grandmother Flordemayo - Curandera Espiritu of the Maya People. Flordemayo was born and grew up in the highlands of Central America in a family of healer Mayan healers and raised by her mother a midwife. She travels the globe to share her healings and to foster a more spiritual understanding among humanity. She has been a founding member of the Church of the Spiritual Path, the Confederation of Indigenous Elders of the America, Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge, International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, and The Path.
Grandmother Mary Lyons is an Ojibwe Elder, Niizh-Nibi-Ikwe “Second Water Woman”, Elder of Mitigwakk-Daywaygus-Giwstashskad “Water Drum Circle”, Sr. Member of the “Top Hat Medicine Dress/Long Skirt Society”, Spiritual Advisor, Storyteller and Wisdom Teacher. Grandmother Mary carries an intense professional portfolio, her contribution to the wellness of women and families stands at the forefront of her commitments in the areas of “talking circles, ceremonies, vision interpretations, one-on-one Spiritual Guidance.
Born in the U.A.E. to Palestinian parents, Heba moved to the U.S. with her family in 1999. Heba earned a BA in Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in youth education. Heba studied in Israel where she became more interested in people-to-people peacebuilding between Palestinians and Israelis. As a Fulbright English teaching fellow in Morocco, she taught at Mohammad V University. Last year Heba joined Peace-Players-Middle East as one of the International Fellows, where she helps manage PeacePlayers communities in Northern Israel.
Honey and the Sting was formed at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University in 2012 for Sam Long’s Senior Music Recital. The group’s intention is to create art that activates its audiences and connects them to their environment. Honey and the Sting will perform a selection of songs from their first LP From Source to Sea: a 10 song cycle that honored the Connecticut River through songs about the interactions between the river and the people and animals that have inhabited its banks. Featuring Melanie Hsu, Howe Pearson, Gemma Smith, Jessica Best, and Sam Long.
Inija Trinkuniene is the Krive (highest priestess) of the indigenous Baltic religion community of Romuva in Lithuania, and is a founding member of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions. As a young woman, in defiance of the Soviet authorities, she learned the pre-Christian traditions of her ancestors from the farmers and villagers who still preserved them. This led to the formation of Romuva, the community that has revitalized the Baltic indigenous religion in Lithuania. For many years, Inija Trinkuniene has played a central role in leading Romuva, and last November she became the first woman in the history of her country to be elected Krive. Inija Trinkuniene received an MA in Psychology from Vilnius National University, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya University in Haridwar, India. She has published dozens of articles on ethnocultural studies, and has been a speaker at conferences in Europe, Asia and North America.
Isobel Arthen is an environmental activist, organizer and trainer. She grew up in a community with an understanding of the Earth as sacred. That spiritual perspective has driven her to make change in the world, particularly around issues of climate justice. A recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Isobel was a youth presenter and performer at the 2009 Parliament and has been attending as a member of the EarthSpirit Community since 1993. This year, Isobel returns to the Parliament as a representative of the PeaceJam Foundation and member of the Emerging Leaders Task Force.
Jonathan Granoff is an American lawyer, screenwriter and lecturer, widely known as President of the Global Security Institute. Granoff is a Senior Advisor of the American Bar Association's Committee on Arms Control and National Security and has served as Vice President of the NGO Committee on Disarmament at the United Nations. He serves on numerous governing and advisory boards including the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Lawyers Alliance for World Security.
Katharine Anne Scott Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University, where she is director of the Climate Science Center. She has worked at Texas Tech since 2005. She has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, and wrote the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions together with her husband, Andrew Farley. Time magazine listed her among the 100 most influential people in 2014.
Katie Jo Welch was born and raised in Utah, is a mother of four, and is known nationally as Katie Jo Drum Circle Goddess. Using soundwave healing drum circles, she works with College Suicide loss support groups, New York Best Selling Author Writers Retreats, Drug Rehabilitation Centers and Women's Gathering Groups as well as serving on the board of Empowered; a speaking circuit for writers and world changers.
Through the experience of drum circle and sacred reverence for all cultures and beliefs, honoring the heritage of us all, Katie Jo creates a space of service, unity, and unconditional love. Almost every race and culture history has DRUMMING, so it belongs to us all - These drum circle experiences end with joy, laughter and music. Her message is simple: In the beginning, we were One Circle, One Tribe. We gather again to remember we are still One Circle, One Tribe.
Medea Benjamin is an American political activist, best known for co-founding Code Pink and the fair trade advocacy group Global Exchange. Benjamin was also the Green Party candidate in California in 2000 for the United States Senate. She currently contributes to OpEdNews and The Huffington Post. The Los Angeles Times has described her as "one of the high-profile leaders" of the peace movement and in 1999, San Francisco Magazine included her on its "power list" of the "60 Players Who Rule the Bay Area."
Marc Ian Barasch is a non-fiction author, film and television writer-producer, magazine editor, and environmental activist. Major books written by Barasch are The Healing Path, Remarkable Recovery, Healing Dreams and Field Notes on the Compassionate Life. He has been an editor-in-chief of New Age Journal (which won a National Magazine Award under his tenure); and an editor at Psychology Today; and Natural Health. He is Founder and Executive Director of the Green World Campaign.
Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she teaches in a joint master’s degree program between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. She directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim. Her special area of study is Asian religions. She has lived in Japan for several years and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Japanese Confucianism.
Mohamed Jawad Khaki is Co-Founder and CEO of Uhuru Software, Inc. Previously with Microsoft Corp. for 20 years where he served as Corporate Vice-President. A native of Tanzania, Jawad has been an active since the age of 13 with various non-profit organizations in Tanzania, Pakistan, England and now in the Greater Seattle. He helped establish the Ithna‐asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest (IMAN).
Pardeep Singh Kaleka: Pardeep is the eldest son of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin who was gunned down during the attacks of August 5th, 2012. Pardeep grew up in Milwaukee and graduated from Marquette University. Being a former Milwaukee Police Officer and a current teacher in the inner city, Pardeep is no stranger to the never ending battle against racism, bigotry, and ignorance. He firmly believes that the lamp of knowledge and truth will outshine all the darkness in the world, and does his best to profess this through his work with Serve 2 Unite.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the author of From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace (Orbis, 2014). She is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. After many years of work in pastoral care and hospice, she now serves as a spiritual director and dialogue activist, and teaches at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Anse Tamara Gray is the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through individual empowerment, spiritual upbringing of women by women, and the revival of the female voice in scholarship. Anse Tamara is a doctoral student in the Leadership, Policy and Administration program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction and works in the field of education focusing on instruction, curriculum design and implementation, administration and teacher training. Her publications range from several culturally appropriate English language curriculum programs to translations of sacred texts. Her most recent publication is an interactive journal called Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy Heart, which takes the reader through 52 weeks of growth, discovery and joyful outreach.
Steven Newcomb’s book "Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery” was published by Fulcrum in 2008. Newcomb’s scholarship challenges the Vatican pattern of domination and dehumanization found in papal documents from the fifteenth century that deeply influenced U.S. federal Indian law and policy. Filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild (Dakota) and Mr. Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape) have completed a compelling documentary entitled “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code,” based on Newcomb’s research and scholarship.
Suzanne is a resident in Family Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to residency, Suzanne worked at a makeshift polyclinic serving 20,000 refugees along the Turkey-Syria border. She also conducted research on gestational diabetes and postpartum mental health outcomes in low-income Latina women, and translated an online mood screener into Arabic, the results of which contributed to a first-of-its-kind mental health assessment of Arabic-speaking communities worldwide. She is passionate about women’s health, mental health, global health, and social justice. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Suzanne earned her BS and MD at UNC Chapel Hill.
Ta'Kaiya Blaney, 13, is from the Tla’Amin First Nation and grew up along the shores of the Salish Sea in British Columbia. She is a singer-songwriter, actress, and environmental rights activist and has been speaking publically since the age of nine.
She advocates for providing better qualities of living in Indigenous First Nations territories, and ending the oppression, racism, and corruption they face from government and within the community. She has spoken in a UN meeting across the globe, including The TUNZA UN children and youth conference on the environment in Bandung Indonesia, and the Rio+20 UN conference on the environment in Rio de Janeiro.
Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, shaman, healer, storyteller and carrier of the Qilaut (winddrum) is a Kalallit Elder whose family belongs to the traditional healers of the far North from Kalallit Nunaat, Greenland. Angaangaq is an internationally respected Elder for the native communities of the Circumpolar Arctic, North and South America and Europe. Angaangaq bridges the boundaries of cultures and faiths in people young and old. His work has taken him to five continents and over 50 countries around the world. “Only by melting the ice in the heart of Man, does Man have a chance to change and begin using his knowledge wisely.”
Wándé Abímbólá is President and Founder of Ifa Heritage Institute. Deeply rooted in Yoruba oral tradition or Ifa, he received his Ph.D. in Yoruba Literature in 1970 from the University of Lagos. From 2003-2005 he was Special Adviser on Cultural Affairs and Traditional Matters to the President of Nigeria. He was installed as Spokesperson of Ifa in the Whole World in 1981 by the Ooni (King) of Ife on the recommendation of a conclave of West African Babalawos (high priests). The author of many books, he has taught at a number of leading universities in Nigeria and the USA.
A well-known philosopher, educator, and spiritual leader who comes from the Navajo tribe, he is a self-identified Navajo man. He was born and raised in Tohanali, New Mexico and raised by his grandparents who passed down information about creation and sacred peyote ceremonial way of life, which began his journey to teach of the Navajo and Paoli ways of life within the Native American Church of North America. He incorporates modern and traditional ways of teaching and is well-known amongst the scholar community and Native American communities. He became a prestigious advocate and teacher for then NACNA an ABNDN.
Born and raised in Israel to Jewish-Australian parents, Yonatan became interested in youth empowerment and co-existence from an early age. He served as a motivational speaker for the Israeli army. Yonatan participates in a mixed Palestinian-Israeli Australian Football (AFL) team “Peace Team,” which he manages in Jerusalem, concurrently studying Business and Middle East-Islam at the Hebrew University. As a counselor and program coordinator at Seeds of Peace, Yonatan uses AFL as a tool to build bridges between youth in regions of conflict. He has been described as passionate, resourceful and engaging. This is Yonatan’s second appearance at the Parliament.
Zach Hunter is an American author, social entrepreneur, and anti-slavery activist. When he was 12 years old, he launched Loose Change to Loosen Chains, a student-led effort to raise awareness and funds to end slavery. Since, Zach has spoken around the world helping instill a passion to change the world into the hearts of millennials and elders. He has authored four books, Be the Change, Generation Change, Lose Your Cool, and Chivalry: The Quest for a Personal Code of Honor in an Unjust World. He has been named a modern-day hero by CNN and twice spoken on a White House roundtable.
Mother Maya Tiwari serves humanity by awakening the spirit of ahimsa, or harmony, in every person whose life she touches. She is an Ayurveda pioneer working in the field for more than 30 years. She established the first Ayurvedic school in North America in 1981, the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda. Tiwari is also founder of the the Mother Om Mission and the Living Ahimsa Foundation. Through her global work at Living Ahimsa, participants are taught to spread practices that promote peace and create inner harmony. Tiwari is also the recipient of AAPNA’s Rishi Award for her outstanding work in Ayurvedic medicine.
Ruth W. Messinger is president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the world’s leading Jewish organization working to end poverty and realize human rights in the developing world. She came to AJWS in 1998, after a 20-year career in public service in New York City. As an activist for human rights around the globe, Ruth currently sits on the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and co-chairs the Sub-Working Group on Social Justice.
Ilyasah Shabazz, the esteemed daughter of Malcom X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, is an author, producer, and motivational speaker. Her coming-of-age Random House publication, Growing Up X, won critical acclaim, including an NAACP Image Award nomination, BET best book list, and United Press International book of the week. Ilyasah served as a member of the U.S. delegation that accompanied President Bill Clinton to South Africa to commemorate election of President Nelson Mandela. She retraced her father’s footsteps to the Holy City of Mecca and is included in the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World. She has participated in interfaith dialogue study programs and served as a member of the American Interfaith Leadership delegation that participated with the Malaria No More Foundation to provide 2 million bed nets. She also received NAACP Image Award 2014 for her book, MALCOLM LITTLE the Boy who would grow up to become MALCOLM X (Simon and Schuster). Currently, her novel "X,a Novel" (released 2015) (Candlewick Press) was on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, internationally known author of thirteen influential books in eighty-five foreign translations; a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and retired clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. She is in the Academy-Award winning anti-nuclear proliferation film Women—For America, For the World, the Canadian Film Board's Goddess Remembered and Femme: Women Healing the World. The Millionth Circle Initiative was inspired by her book and led to her going to the UN and becoming an advocate for a UN 5th World Conference on Women.
Ms Lokawua Margaret is a Karamojong indigenous woman from Uganda trained in the field of human rights specializing in conflict resolution. Ms. Lokawua a coordinator or an indigenous women's organization the Northeastern part of Uganda and a former member of The UN Permanent forum on indigenous issues. She is also the Chairperson for Civil Society for Indigenous Organizations in Karamonja, as well as the Director of the Indigenous Women Environmental Conservation Project.
Phyllis Curott is an attorney, author and Wiccan priestess. An interfaith activist and advocate of religious liberties for minority faiths in the courts and media, Jane Magazine honored her as one of the Ten Gutsiest Women of the Year, New York Magazine described her as one of the "culture's most intellectually cutting-edge thinkers," and Beliefnet has featured her in their video series Preachers and Teachers. Curott is founder and president of the international Temple of Ara and president emerita of the Covenant of the Goddess.
Diana Butler Bass is the author of nine books on American religion, including Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution (October 2015) and Christianity After Religion (2012). She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Duke University, has taught at the college and graduate level, and is currently an independent scholar. She was a columnist for the New York Times Syndicate, and blogs for the Huffington Post and the Washington Post on issues of religion, spirituality, and culture. Bass is a popular speaker at conferences, colleges and universities, and churches across North America. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. Her most recent book, Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy, was published in April 2015.
Mallika is the founder of Intent.com, a website and app focused on personal, social and global wellness. Her intent is to harness the power of social media to connect people from around the world to improve their own lives, their communities and the planet.
The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 179-year-old interdenominational seminary, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy and has formed Union’s Institute for Women, Religion and Globalization as well as the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice. Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, she will be the president of the American Academy of Religion. She holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Yale Divinity School and Yale University. Jones is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. The author of several books including Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety and Trauma and Grace, Jones is a leading theologian who regularly contributes to scholarly and public discussions on matters of faith, social justice, and public life.
Mara Lynn Keller, PhD (Philosophy, Yale University) is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Women's Spirituality, and past Director of the Women's Spirituality MA and PhD program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she teaches courses on the Eleusinian Mysteries in which the rites are re-enacted; and on the Goddess and God Civilization of Ancient Crete.She is a philosopher and thealogian, who has written articles about the Goddesses of Greece and Crete; including "Sacred Arts and Ritual in Crete of the Mother Goddess" and "The Eleusinian Mysteries' Ritual Path of Initiation." She is interested in promoting dialogue between Goddess people and God people. She is a co-founder of the OCHRE Journal of Women's Spirituality. And she has promoted many special events at CIIS celebrating women's sacred arts and scholarship, most recently Ïneffable/Woman: a Bi-coastal Conversation" with CERES Gallery in New York.
Charlene Spretnak is one of the founding mothers of the Women's Spirituality movement in the US, which her anthology The Politics of Women's Spirituality (1982) helped to frame.She is also the author of several books on religion and spirituality, eco-social issues, and cultural history, including States of Grace: The Recovery of Meaning in the Postmodern Age; The Spiritual Dimension of Green Politics; The Resurgence of the Real; Lost Goddesses of Early Greece; Missing Mary; Relational Reality; and most recently The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art. She was a speaker at the Parliament in Chicago in 1993. She is a professor emerita and lives in Ojai, California.
Kiran Bali, MBE, JP is the Global Chair of United Religions Initiative. She is a practicing Hindu and has led at the global interfaith level for many years. An environmental activist, Kiran has been involved with grassroots projects to tackling climate action. She gave the Hindu opening words for the One Earth, OneFamily multi-faith climate march calling for all religions to join hands to create a more sustainable future. Kiran was honored by Queen Elizabeth II and has received a number of international awards. She is a regular keynote speaker at international events and has also addressed the UN General Assembly.
Lynn Gottlieb is a pioneer feminist rabbi, storyteller, percussionist, peace educator, writer, ceremonialist, community activist and clown. She is deeply committed to a life grounded in the creativity, joy and wisdom of the Torah (teachings) of Nonviolence. Her journey includes life long activism with The Fellowship of Reconciliation and ongoing pursuit of Israeli Palestinian conflict transformation based on principles of active nonviolence.
Shabda Kahn is a direct disciple of Murshid Samuel Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti) and worked closely with the great American Mystic Joe Miller. Shabda is currently the Pir (Spiritual Director) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International and the Director of the Chisti Sabri School of Music. He is also a disciple of the illustrious Tibetan Buddhist Master, the 12the Tai Situpa Rinpoche.He spent 24 years (since 1972) developing as a vocalist under the living guidance of the late Pandit Pran Nath, the Master North Indian Classical Vocalist, who planted the 800 year old oral transmission of Chisti Sufi Vocal Music in the Western world.Shabda has appeared in concerts ranging from Visions for a Perfect World at New York's St John the Divine Cathedral, for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, New Music America in Chicago, at Delhi University Music School and Shivaratri Festival in New Delhi. He is one of a handful of Americans who have dedicated themselves to carrying on the legacy of the treasure of North Indian Classical Vocal Music.Shabda travels throughout the world spreading the Sufi Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty. Shabda brings warmth, humor and clarity in his efforts to help seekers on their Path to Awakening.
Chloe is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of New York. Since 9/11, Rev. Breyer has traveled to Afghanistan six times, and for over a decade been a board member for Afghans4Tomorrow, an Afghan-based NGO dedicated to rebuilding Afghanistan in the areas of education, health and agriculture. A4T supports 222 1st through 8th grade girls in home schools in Wardak Province, an area of the country where girl’s education continues to be threatened. In addition A4T founded the Farda-e-Afghanan school in Kabul and currently supports scholarships for 66 poor girls taking part in a “catch-up” program for girls.Breyer is the author of The Close: A Young Woman’s First Year at Seminary (Basic Books 2000) and has chapter contributions to What Can One Person Do? Faith to Heal a Broken World (Church Publishing 2005), Challenging the Christian Right From the Heart of the Gospel (Beacon Press 2006) and The Gender Imperative: Human Security vs. State Security (Routledge 2010).
Rami Nashashibi has served as the Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN, a non-profit community organization that fights for social justice, delivers a range of direct services, and cultivates the arts in urban communities) since its incorporation as a nonprofit in January 1997. He has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago and has been an adjunct professor at various colleges and universities across the Chicagoland area, where he has taught a range of Sociology, Anthropology, and other Social Science courses.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 Marabel and Saskia Sassen. Rami has lectured across the United States, Europe and Middle East on a range of topics related to American Muslim identity, community activism and social justice issues and is a recipient of several prestigious community service and organizing awards. Rami and his work with IMAN have been featured in many national and international media outlets including the BBC, PBS, New York Times and Al Jazeera. In 2007 Islamica Magazine named Rami among the “10 Young Muslim Visionaries Shaping Islam in America” and in 2010 Chicago Public Radio in 2010 selected him as one of the city’s Top Ten Chicago Global Visionaries. Rami was also named one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in concert with Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
Please stay connected to the Parliament for upcoming news on speakers, program presenters and opportunities to attend the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions!
Remember to register here.