Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership

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Lisa Anderson is the director of Women’s Multifaith Education at Auburn Theological Seminary. She holds masters of divinity and masters of philosophy degrees from Union Theological Seminary. Currently she is a Union doctoral candidate in systematic theology. She has taught Black, Feminist, and LGBT theologies, Christian ethics and liturgy, and she has designed and led seminars on the connection between faith and social justice. She is a regular contributor at Feminist.com.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, and internationally known author who draws from spiritual, feminist, Jungian, medical, and personal wellsprings of experience. She is the author of Goddesses in Everywoman, Crossing to Avalon, The Millionth Circle, Goddesses in Older Women, Crones Don’t Whine, Urgent Message from Mother, and Like a Tree. She is a major advocate of a United Nations Fifth World Conference on Women, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.

Karen R. Boyett, MA, is the executive director of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada. She teaches religious studies at Regis University as well as anthropology and sociology at the College of Southern Nevada. She also serves on the board of directors for the North American Interfaith Network and on the editorial board for the Interfaith Observer.

Fredelle Brief, who works in public consultation and conflict management, has been a social worker, an environmental planner, and a television executive at Vision TV, the first multifaith television network in Canada.Her passion for peace-building and interfaith dialogue has animated her work. In 1998, Brief was awarded the Canada Peace Medallion from the YMCA. She has contributed to Stories in My Neighbour’s Faith: Narratives from World Religions in Canada, and Faith in My Neighbour.

Joan Chittister, OSB, is a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, is a bestselling author and well-known international lecturer on topics of justice, peace, human rights, women’s issues, and contemporary spirituality in the church and in society. She is cochair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the United Nations, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, especially in the Middle East. She is founder and executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality.

Phyllis W. Curott, JD and HPs, is an attorney, author, Wiccan priestess, and pioneering spiritual teacher of the Euro-indigenous revivals. Described by New York Magazine as one of the culture’s most intellectually cutting-edge thinkers, Curott is founder of the Temple of Ara, president emerita of the Covenant of the Goddess, and a trustee of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. She is the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman’s Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and The Magic of the Goddess.

Dr. Barbara E.Fields is the executive director of the Association for Global New Thought and cofounder of the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence. She was program director for the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions centennial celebration in Chicago and cofounder and director of The Synthesis Dialogues I, II & III with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Fields is a contributing author to The Community of Religions and Two Hundred Visionaries.

Carol Lee Flinders is coauthor of the Laurel’s Kitchen cookbooks, and she wrote a syndicated newspaper column on natural foods for twelve years. She is the author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics and writes regularly on the places where feminism, spirituality, and evolutionary science intersect. She has taught at the University of California–Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Flinders currently teaches at the Sophia Center at Holy Names University in Oakland.

China Galland, an award-winning author, speaker, university lecturer, and former wilderness guide, is the author of Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna, The Bond Between Women: A Journey of Fierce Compassion, and Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves. Recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey in Sherborn,Massachusetts, she is also professor in residence at the Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education (CARE) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She is a member of the national Alliance for Truth and Racial Reconciliation.

The Right Reverend Mary Douglas Glasspool was elected eighth bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in 2009, the second woman to be elected bishop in diocesan history. Her areas of specialization include ecumenical and interreligious ministries, diocesan schools, LGBT ministries (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), and overseeing one-third of the congregations in the diocese. Before her election, she served nine years as canon to the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

Shareda Hosein is a graduate of Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, with a master’s degree in Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations and a certificate in Islamic chaplaincy (equivalent to a master’s in divinity). She is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and serves as a cultural adviser for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Musimbi Kanyoro, PhD, is the president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, an international grantmaking foundation that supports women-led groups working to advance the human rights of women and girls throughout the world. Formerly she served as the director of the Population and Reproductive Health Program of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and as general secretary of the World YWCA. She is the author of In Search of a Round Table: Gender, Theology, and Church Leadership and Introduction to Feminist Hermeneutics: An African Perspective.

Dawn T. Maracle, MEd, EdD (ABD), is a Mohawk from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Southern Ontario, Canada. She is currently an artist,muse, writer, educator, trainer, editor, consultant, and doctoral student writing about Haudenosaunee relationships with tobacco. She was formerly the national director of professional development for the National Centre for First Nations Governance and the National cochair of the Post-Secondary Education Working Group for the Assembly of First Nations and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Valarie Kaur is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, advocate, and public speaker. Her critically acclaimed documentary film Divided We Fall (2008) on the rise of hate crimes after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, has inspired national grassroots dialogue. She has clerked on the Senate Judiciary Committee and traveled to Guantanamo to report on the military commissions. She teaches visual advocacy as founding director of the Yale Visual Law Project. She is also director of Groundswell, a broad-based initiative to spark and empower the multi-faith movement for justice at Auburn Theological Seminary.

Courtney E. Martin—author, blogger, speaker, and “freelance mystic”—is author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists and the awardwinning Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection Is Harming Young Women. A recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics, she is coeditor of the anthology CLICK: Moments When We Became Feminist, editor emeritus at Feministing.com, and formerly a senior correspondent for The American Prospect. She was a resident with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre and has also been a TED speaker.

Susan Quinn, born and raised in the Jewish faith, has also practiced Buddhism since the early 1990s. She leads a meditation group in Poinciana, Florida, and teaches several types of meditation. The author of The Deepest Spiritual Life: The Art of Combining Personal Practice with Religious CommunityQuinn also publishes a monthly newsletter. She has owned and operated training and consulting businesses since the 1980s. Her specialties are managing conflict, helping organizations and individuals deal with change, and facilitating team building and problem-solving workshops.

Jan Booman Saeed is the director of spiritual life at Westminster College. She served as chair of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and was a founding member of the Utah State Martin Luther King Human Rights Commission. She was instrumental in the publication of and additions to the Olympic version of World of Faith by Peggy Fletcher Stack and Kathleen Peterson and edited the section on the Baha’i faith.

Adelia Sandoval is cultural director for the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians/ Acjachemen Nation, the indigenous people of Orange County, California. She is also an ordained minister of Lifesblessings Ministries in Descanso, California. Her ministry is called Song of the Earth, a Native American Healing service in an outdoor sanctuary. Sandoval is a Trustee for the United Religions Initiative, a global interfaith organization and an adviser to SARAH (the Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope) and to Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment.

The Reverend Lorenza Andrade Smith is with the Ministry for the Poor and Marginalized in the Rio Grand Conference of the United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas. She describes herself as “a fivefoot Hispanic/Latina born in the U.S./Mexico border town of Brownsville, Texas.” She has been described by others as an ultra-radical, feisty,muckraking rabble-rouser, prone to calling injustice for what it is, and generally creating chaos and mayhem in the most peaceful way.

Alisa Starkweather is founder of many bold and unique initiatives to support women’s healthy leadership, including the Red Tent Temple Movement, an international grassroots initiative honoring our womanhood journeys, Daughters of the Earth Gatherings; the Women’s Belly and Womb conferences; Priestess Path; She Loves Life, an Internet TV show; and cofounder of Women in Power. A keynote speaker, writer, coach, as well as a certified facilitator of ShadowWork, Starkweather is featured in the documentary Things We Don’t Talk About: Healing Narratives from the Red Tent.

Lynda Terry is a writer, meditation teacher, and founder of Vessels of Peace, the international spiritual network for women that, from 2002 to 2010, nurtured and supported women subtle activists in service to humanity and the earth. Subtle activism is the use of spiritual or consciousness-based practices for collective benefit, such as certain forms of meditation, prayer, arts and media, healing practices, or ritual. She also has served as a communications consultant for humanitarian organizations, including the PRASAD Project and Children’s Hunger Relief Fund. Terry has offered service to a number of women’s spiritual organizations. Her areas of professional interest include nurturing the feminine spirit in women and girls, the evolution of women’s spiritual leadership, interspiritual practices and initiatives, peace-making, and subtle activism. She is author of The 11 Intentions: Invoking the Sacred Feminine as a Pathway to Inner Peace.

Diane Tillman is a licensed educational psychologist and the primary author of the Living Values Education (LVE) book series. Currently a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Association of Living Values Education International, she has coordinated content for this global educational endeavor since 1997. She has written nine educational resource books for educators of young people at risk. Tillman teaches meditation and has been involved with several international initiatives and global conferences over the past thirty years as part of her involvement with the Brahma Kumaris.

Yoland Trevino is principal of Transformative Collaborations International and the former executive director of the Vaughn Family Center, which became a “living lab” for testing out innovations based on spiritual and ancestral values. Involved with international interfaith and intercultural efforts for the past thirty years, she is co-creator, coordinator, and a faculty member of the international program Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics, based in India. Trevino is also founder of the Indigenous Global Initiative and the Women’s Global Initiative within the United Religions Initiative.

Karma Lekshe Tsomo is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, where she teaches Buddhism, world religions, and comparative religious ethics. She is a past president of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and the director of Jamyang Foundation, an innovative education project for women in developing countries. Active in interreligious dialogue, she is the author of Buddhist Women and Social Justice: Ideals, Challenges, and Achievements and Into the Jaws of Yama, Lord of Death: Buddhism, Bioethics, and Death, among other publications.

Nontombi Naomi Tutu is founder and proprietor of Nozizwe Consulting (Nozizwe means Mother of Many Lands and describes the philosophy of the organization, which is to bring together the people of many lands). She has served as a coordinator for programs on race and gender and gender-based violence at the African Gender Institute in Cape Town. Formerly the associate director of the Office of International Relations and Programs at Tennessee State University, she is coauthoring a book on race and racism with Rose Bator, titled I Don’t Think of You as Black.

Jamia Wilson—feminist activist, organizer, expat-brat, networker, truth seeker, cartwheeler, and storyteller—is currently vice president of programs at the Women’s Media Center in New York, where she trains women and girls so they are media-ready and media-savvy, exposes sexism in the media, and directs the WMC’s social media strategy. Formerly Wilson served in several roles related to youth leadership development, grassroots organizing, and communications at Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and New York University.