Women’s Task Force


  • Rev. Phyllis Curott
  • Nitin Ajmera
  • Kehkashan Basu
  • Dolly Dastoor
  • Patricia Fero
  • Sande Hart
  • Ann Smith
  • Rev. Phyllis Curott

    Task Force Chair

    Phyllis Curott is one of America’s first public Wiccan Priestesses, an attorney and author whose groundbreaking books, published in fourteen countries, made Wicca accessible to the world and awakened an entire generation to the Goddess. Named one of the Ten Gutsiest Women of the Year by Jane Magazine, she was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Clergy and Scholars. New York Magazine declared Curott’s teaching the culture’s “next big idea” and her Youtube series on Wicca has more than 1,113,000 views. Widely covered in the international media, Time recently published her challenge to the world’s faiths to lead the way in the fight for the human rights and dignity of women as one of “America’s leading voices.” Curott was the Vice Chair of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions and creator of the historic 2015 Inaugural Women’s Assembly. She is founder of the Temple of Ara, the world’s oldest shamanic Wiccan congregation. Curott received her degree in philosophy from Brown University and her Juris Doctor from New York University. She is currently working on her next book, WICCA, Awaken the Divine Magic Within, out November 2018 for Hay House.

  • Nitin Ajmera

    Nitin Ajmera

    Nitin Ajmera is a senior management professional and practitioner of the Digambar Jain tradition. He is Chief Financial Officer at New York Sports Club and its family of brands. He also teaches at Drexel University. He has been associated with the Jain Center of America-New York and Jain Samaj of Long Island in many capacities ranging from a teacher in Jain Sunday School, committee chair, to the President. Nitin is the Chair of the Board of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

  • Kehkashan Basu

    Kehkashan Basu

    Iconic youth leader, global influencer, environmentalist, champion of children’s rights, a Forbes 30 Under 30, TEDx speaker, Climate Reality Mentor, author, musician, peace and sustainability campaigner and a passionate advocate of women’s rights, Kehkashan Basu is a trail blazer who has been challenging the status quo and breaking social strictures and taboos which impede the progress and rights of future generations. 

    Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize for her work on children’s rights and the environment, and the first-ever Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award for her work on nuclear disarmament, Kehkashan is a tireless advocate for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She is a United Nations Human Rights Champion, National Geographic Young Explorer and the youngest ever Global Coordinator for the UN Environment Program’s Major Group for Children & Youth. She was named the youngest recipient of Canada’s Top25 Women of Influence, one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and is the Council Lead of the Toronto-St. Paul’s Constituency Youth Council. 

    Kehkashan is the Founder President of the social innovation enterprise Green Hope Foundation, which provides young people in 16 countries a networking platform to engage in the sustainable development process and take actions to mitigate climate change. Her internationally acclaimed work on sustainability has resulted in her being named one of the Top 100 SDG Leaders in the world and one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. She is the youngest member of Canada’s Women in Renewable Energy forum and the youngest Councillor of World Future Council. 

    Kehkashan is a 2020 L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Honouree, and the recipient of the 2019 Innovator of the Year Award for Sustainability Education, the John Muir Conservation Award for Habitat Restoration, the Energy Globe Award, the Turner Prize for Social Change and the Women Super Achiever Award. A powerful voice for future generations, she has spoken at over 200 United Nations and other global fora across 25 countries.

  • Nitin Ajmera

    Dolly Dastoor

    Dr Dolly Dastoor is the Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of World Religions . She is of the Zoroastrian faith, was the President of the Federation of the Zoroastrian Associations of North America, and Co-Chair of the World Zoroastrian Congress 2000. Currently she is the editor of FEZANA Journal, the quarterly publication of the Federation, she is also a member off ZONTA International , an organization which works for advocacy and empowerment of women. Dolly is a clinical psychologist specializing in the Assessment of Dementia and is Chair of the Education Committee of the McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging.

  • Kehkashan Basu

    Patricia Fero

    Patricia was born for these times. She is a passionate woman who has dedicated her life to igniting the collective feminine in planetary awakening. Her capacity for clearing her own internalized patriarchy and fierce listening are the magic she brings to every setting.

    The author of four books, Patricia has shared her wisdom through writing. Her first, Mining for Diamonds shows how people can use adversity to create resiliency. What happens When Women Wake Up? is a roadmap for clearing internalized patriarchy.

    Her third book, Sacred Marching Orders, describes the new energy of the solar feminine. Marianne Williamson’s endorsement reads: “Women owning our power and using it collaboratively is what our planet desperately needs. Sacred Marching Orders is a call to women to channel our passion into the healing of the world.”

    Patricia has grown an active psychotherapy practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan over the past 30 years.

  • Sande Hart

    Sande Hart

    Sande Hart is an award-winning leader in the fields of women’s empowerment and interfaith community building. She founded the women’s interfaith grassroots international organization S.A.R.A.H. (The Spiritual And Religious Alliance for Hope) the morning of 911, an instinct to gather women of diverse faiths to protect all that they consider sacred, now in its 19th year.

    Sande is actively engaged in leadership in the peace, interfaith, compassion, indigenous peoples, community building and women’s empowerment sectors. She founded and served as director for the international organization Charter For Compassion’s Women and Girls sector, served as Chair for the United Religions Initiative for North America and the Women’s Task Force for The Parliament of World’s Religions. She is also the Founder of Compassionate California, which recently became established into law by the governor’s office as the first Compassionate State in the world.

  • Ann Smith

    Ann Smith is the former Director of Women’s Ministries of the National Episcopal Church and Global Education Associates. She helped design five women’s leaderships programs including Women of Vision and trained hundreds of presenters/facilitators around the world. Co-author Stories From the Circle: Women’s Leadership in Community, co-author WomenPrints: A Detailed Plan of Action for the New Millennium, co-edited Women’s Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed Nurtured Celebrated. She currently is with Millionth Circle Initiative, Gather The Women, Companions of the Holy Cross, co-convener of SARAH4Hope The General Congress of Women, and newly forming Green Tent Circle movement. www.millionthcircle.org


Land Acknowledgment

The Parliament of the World's Religions is headquartered in the City of Chicago, the traditional homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations, and other tribes such as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, and Fox. 

PoWR recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land. We remain committed to the advancement of dignity and justice for Indigenous Peoples’ and their communities in the region and around the world.


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