We are thrilled to announce our Featured Presenters
Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker, CEO, advocate, and thought leader. After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford's Graduate School of Business, she wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation. As a result of Miss Representation's powerful impact, she launched The Representation Project, a nonprofit organization that uses film and media as a catalyst for cultural transformation. Her second film as a director, The Mask You Live In, had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and explores how America's narrow definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, and society at large. She also executive produced the Emmy Award-Winning and Academy Award-Nominated documentary The Invisible War, and is an executive producer on the Emmy Award winning documentary The Hunting Ground. She is currently in production on her third film, The Great American Lie. She has also served as a Global Advisory Board member of the Dove Self Esteem Project, a co-chair of We Day California, and a commissioner on the Girl Scouts' Healthy Media Commission, and currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Imagine Kids Bus Project as well as the Common Sense Media Gender Initiative. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and their four young children.
"Valarie Kaur is a seasoned civil rights activist, award-winning filmmaker, lawyer, faith leader, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project. She was born and raised in Clovis, California, where her family settled as Sikh farmers in 1913. When a family friend was the first person killed in a hate crime after September 11, 2001, she began to document hate crimes against Sikh and Muslim Americans, which resulted in the award-winning film Divided We Fall. Since then, she has made films and led story-based campaigns on hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, solitary confinement, marriage equality, and Internet freedom. She is the founder of Groundswell Movement, considered “America’s largest multifaith online organizing network,” recognized for “dynamically strengthening faith-based organizing in the 21st century.” She also founded the Yale Visual Law Project, where she trained law students how to make films for social change, and co-founded Faithful Internet to build the movement for net neutrality. Recognized as a leading Sikh American voice, she has been a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary since 2013.
During her work, whether inside supermax prisons, on the military base at Guantanamo, or at sites of mass shootings, she identified a surprising key element for social change: the ethic of love. Today she leads the Revolutionary Love Project to champion love as a public ethic and wellspring for social action.
Valarie earned undergraduate degrees in Religious Studies and International Relations at Stanford University, a master’s in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, where she was a Harvard University Presidential Scholar, and a J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was a Knight Law and Media Scholar. She has worked on complex civil rights cases, clerked on the Senate Judiciary Committee and served as a legal observer at Guantanamo Bay. She was a faculty member of the Stanford Philosophy Institute, teaching high school students religion and philosophy. Valarie was recognized as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. She has an honorary doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a member of the California Bar."
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, Charlie Rose & Bill Maher. Seven of her twelve published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1. The mega best seller A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.
Marianne's other books include The Law of Divine Compensation, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman's Worth, Illuminata, Healing the Soul of America, A Course in Weight Loss, The Gift of Change, Enchanted Love, A Year of Miracles, and her newest book, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.
Marianne is a native of Houston, Texas. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. To date, Project Angel Food has served over 10 million meals. And she serves on the Advisory Board of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world. Marianne also co-founded the Peace Alliance.
Louis Gossett Jr. is one of the most respected and beloved actors on stage, screen and television and is also an accomplished writer, producer and director. Off-screen he is a social activist, educator and author dedicated to enriching the lives of others.
Gossett is currently working on “The Watchmen,” the highly anticipated HBO series based on the DC Comics series. In addition, he is also developing other projects and has several film roles in the works.
Gossett was the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his unforgettable performance as drill Sergeant Emil Foley in “An Officer and a Gentleman.” Among his other awards are an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Fiddler in the groundbreaking ABC series “Roots,” a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for “The Josephine Baker Story” and a Golden Globe for “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
He has been nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, one Academy Award, five Images Awards, two Daytime Emmy Awards and in 1992 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Gossett has also received numerous other honors throughout his illustrious career.
His film debut was in the 1961 classic movie “A Raisin in the Sun” with Sidney Poitier. Other film credits include “The Deep,” “Blue Chips,” “Daddy’s Little Girls,” Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” “Firewalker,” “Jaws-3D,” “Enemy Mine” and “Iron Eagle” 1-4, among many others. Television credits include “Extant,” “Madam Secretary,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Family Guy” and “ER,” among dozens of others.
Gossett is the author of the bestselling autobiography “An Actor and a Gentleman,” in which he chronicles the challenges and triumphs of his 50+ year career.
Gossett is recognized as much for his humanitarian efforts as he is for his accomplishments as an actor. In 2006, Gossett founded The Eracism Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating racism. The foundation provides young adults with tools to live a racially diverse and culturally inclusive life. Programs focus on fostering cultural diversity, historical enrichment, education and anti-violence initiatives.
Gossett was born in Brooklyn and made his stage debut when he was 17 in “Take a Giant Step,” which was selected as one of the 10 best Broadway shows of 1953 by The New York Times. He has two adult sons and currently resides in Malibu, California.
On November 8, 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the mayor of the City of Stockton, California. Upon taking office in January 2017, Michael Tubbs became both Stockton's youngest mayor and the city's first African-American mayor. Michael Tubbs is also the youngest mayor in the history of the country representing a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. Included in Forbes' 2018 list of the "30 Under 30", Tubbs' leadership paired with an ambitious progressive agenda has received national recognition. In his first year, Mayor Michael Tubbs secured $20,000,000 to launch the Stockton Scholars, a place-based scholarship that aims to triple the number of Stockton students entering and graduating from college. Tubbs also brought Advance Peace to Stockton, a data driven program that works to reduce gun violence in communities. With an innovative public-private partnership supported by a $1,000,000 grant, Tubbs launched the nation's first ever municipal level basic income pilot.
Before becoming mayor, Michael Tubbs served as Stockton's District 6 City Councilmember. Elected at age 22 in 2013, he became one of the youngest City Councilmembers in the country. As a councilmember, Tubbs created the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, championed the creation of the City's Office of Violence Prevention and was part of the council that led the city out of bankruptcy as Chair of the Audit and Legislative Committee. Mayor Tubbs graduated in 2012 from Stanford University with a Bachelor's and Master's degree with honors. Mayor Tubbs is focused on poverty reduction, public safety, workforce development, community engagement and organizing, and collective impact strategies. Tubbs has been a college course instructor for Aspire Public Schools and a Fellow at the Stanford Institute of Design and the Emerson Collective.
Joan Blades is a co-founder of LivingRoomconversations.org an open source effort to rebuild respectful civil discourse across ideological, cultural and party lines while embracing our core-shared values. As a cofounder of MoveOn.org in 1998, Joan has seen the dysfunction of partisan behaviors and believes we must and can do better. She has also seen the good will, intelligence and power of citizens. Living Room Conversations are a small structured conversation format designed to empower citizens to rebuild respectful relationships and identify common ground. Adversarial solutions will not provide the solutions to the big challenges we face this century. We must learn to engage in collaborative problem solving - holding the tension of our differences while working together with respect and an open heart. In this way we can use the creative tension to inspire solutions that are better than any group alone could devise. Mother's Day 2006 Joan co-founded MomsRising.org with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner to tap the power of online grassroots organizing for mothers and families in the U.S.A. Joan and Kristin co-wrote The Motherhood Manifesto which won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007. Joan is also a software entrepreneur (a co-founder of Berkeley Systems- best known for the flying toaster and game You Don't Know Jack.), nature lover, former attorney/mediator, artist and true believer in the power of citizens and our need to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values.
Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.
Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities.
His current research culminated in the release of his latest book, State of Resistance: What California's Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America's Future, which looks at the last several decades of economic, social, and environmental transformations in California–and what they can tell us about the road ahead for the U.S.
Zach and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will be bringing programs, partners and leaders together for community based solutions around Redefining Public Safety. This is an amazing opportunity to learn from a true advocate and leader who has been working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic. During the seven years he led the Books Not Bars campaign, he built California’s first statewide network for families of incarcerated youth, led the effort to close five youth prisons in the state, passed legislation to enable families to stay in contact with their loved ones, and defeated Prop 6—a destructive and ineffective criminal justice ballot measure. As Co-Founder of Restore Oakland, a joint initiative between Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, he oversees a community advocacy and training center that empowers Bay Area community members to transform economic and justice systems and make a safe and secure future possible for themselves and for their families.
Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC, which now has more than 30,000 worker members, 500 employer partners, and 23,000 consumer members in a dozen states nationwide. The story of Saru and her co-founder’s work founding ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” section in 2005, named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2008, was 1010 Wins’ “Newsmaker of the Year” and New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City. She was listed in CNN’s “Top10 Visionary Women” and recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014, and a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2015. Saru authored Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, 2013), a national bestseller, and has appeared on CNN with Soledad O’Brien, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Melissa Harris Perry and UP with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the Today Show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. In January 2018, she attended the Golden Globes as the guest of actor Amy Poehler, where she brought widespread attention to the issue of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. Saru was one of eight women activists who attended the Globes as part of the #TimesUp initiative. Her most recent book is Forked: A New Standard for American Dining (Oxford University Press, 2016).
"Rabbi Michael Lerner, Ph.D., is an author, public intellectual, and spiritual leader. He is the Editor of Tikkun Magazine, the world’s most widely read and quoted liberal/progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine which he founded in 1986 as an alternative to the Jewish neo-conservatives. Tikkun Magazine has received numerous awards for its creative synthesis of progressive politics and spiritual wisdom.
Rabbi Lerner is also the Co-founder and Chairperson of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives and the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley and San Francisco.
He is the author of eleven books, among them “Jewish Renewal,” a national best seller published in 1994 and “The Left Hand of God,” a New York Times National Best Seller in 2006. In his book “The Left Hand of God” and through Tikkun Magazine, Rabbi Lerner presents a Global Marshall Plan as a model for America’s leadership to change from an attitude of domination to an attitude of generosity as a way of solving the world’s problems."
Rickie Byars Beckwith is the Music & Arts Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center where for 29 years she has directed the incomparable Agape International Choir. Her transcendent spiritually charged music deeply touches the hearts of all she encounters through her solo concerts, charitable benefit concerts, women’s retreats, workshops, music festivals and speaking appearances. She has produced nine solo albums, has performed in five sessions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at GreenFestivals across North America, and at countless Peace Concerts that promote unity and the eradication of the prison industrial complex and slavery in other parts of the world. In being an example of change and possibility, Rickie supports numerous organizations that work tirelessly to improve the lives of others in underserved communities.
""My ministry calling is to preach for CHANGE… change of mind; change of attitude; change of heart; change of direction; change of relationship; change of resources and/or change in action!"
Reverend Dr. Joy Johnson can be called a "public theologian." As President of the Board for Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT), she leads in mobilizing public sentiment around social justice grounded in faith - working alongside clergy/leaders of varied faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds.
She is the founder, president and key driving force of Life Matters, Inc. (LMI), a non-profit, social services organization providing life-transforming service to residents in seven (7) local affordable housing communities.
Dr. Johnson is deeply committed to building bridges of unity among leaders in the Body of Christ. Currently, she is on the regional leadership team of Sacramento City Pastors Fellowship and she facilitates a courageous preacher formation, peer-learning course of study for the Ogilvie Institute of Preaching.
Dr. Johnson is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA and has a doctorate degree from Sacramento Theological Seminary in Sacramento, CA. She was ordained to Gospel Ministry and has served in pastoral leadership at the local church level for two decades. She is currently serves at Agape Alive Church in Roseville.
Andrew Harvey Is Founder Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization that invites concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired and effective agents of change. Sacred activism is a form of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual passion with wise radical action in the world. The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants. Andrew Harvey has taught at Oxford and Cornell University, as well as at various colleges and spiritual centers throughout the world. He has written over 30 books. www.andrewharvey.net
Stephen Dinan is the co-founder and CEO of The Shift Network and a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and Evolutionary Leaders. The Shift Network was founded in 2010 and has served over 700,000 people worldwide, with customers in 150 countries. It delivers virtual summits, courses, and trainings featuring over 50 core faculty and 1,000 thought leaders in domains as diverse as spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, shamanism, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability.
Stephen is a graduate of Stanford University (Human Biology) and the California Institute of Integral Studies (East-West Psychology). He helped create and directed the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory & Research, a think tank for leading scholars, researchers, and teachers to explore human potential frontiers.
As the former director of membership and marketing at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he was the driving force behind the Shift in Action program and the One Minute Shift media series.He has been a featured speaker at the World Cultural Forum in China, the Alliance for a New Humanity in Costa Rica, Renovemos Mexico in Mexico City, and the University of Cuenca in Ecuador, as well as many US conferences, events, radio programs, and online summits. He is also the author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All and Radical Spirit.
Stephen lives in San Rafael, California, with his beloved wife Devaa.
Rinaldo S. Brutoco is a successful entrepreneur, executive, author and futurist, and the Founding President of the World Business Academy. Rinaldo has published numerous cutting-edge articles and books that address the role and responsibility of business in relation to the critical moral, environmental, and social concerns of the day. A regular keynote speaker at conferences and guest lecturer at business schools such as Stanford Business School, the Columbia Graduate School of Business, the Kellogg Graduate Business School at Northwestern University, and the Keenan-Flagler Graduate School of Business at North Carolina University. For over 25 years Rinaldo has been widely recognized as a practical visionary and change agent. Rinaldo serves on the Executive Committee of the board of the Chopra Foundation, and serves on the board of the JUST Capital Foundation on the Executive Committee, Chairman of the Audit Committee and the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Rinaldo has served on the Board of Directors of the $3.5 billion market capitalization men’s clothing company, Tailored Brands, Inc. (formerly Men’s Wearhouse), since its IPO in 1992 and has served on numerous non-profit boards, including the Gorbachev Foundation of North America, the Omega Point Institute, and the National Peace Academy. Mr. Brutoco is an economics and business expert specializing in energy policy, renewable energy, finance, innovation, and the causes for, and adaptation strategies for, climate change. For almost thirty years he has been an international leader in advancing the nature of good corporate governance, corporate accountability, business transparency, and ways that corporations can fulfill their social compact by providing goods and services that the public needs and wants in appropriate, and financially prudent ways.
Sister Jenna is a spiritual leader, author, radio and TV personality, renowned speaker and founder of the Meditation Museum in Silver Spring, Maryland and McLean, Virginia. She serves as one of the Evolutionary Leaders in service to conscious evolution and was selected by Empower a Billion Women 2020 as one of 100 Most Influential Leaders of 2015. Sister Jenna also served as a principal partner with the Oprah Winfrey Network and Values Partnerships on the Belief Team, a community of individuals from diverse spiritual, cultural and faith backgrounds. Sister Jenna’s voice of influence is particularly needed in the wake of tragedy and increasing violence in our world. She has traveled to over 80 countries where she continues to provide practical life tools and solutions that empower people to foster and build stronger relationships. Her wisdom, peace, and compassion for humanity are expressed through the variety of initiatives she spearheads for youth, women, governments, and communities. She has collaborated with Fortune 500 companies on key issues and her syndicated radio show, America Meditating is a popular global online show. Sister Jenna is the recipient of numerous awards and proclamations including, the President’s Lifetime National Community Service Award, Every Day Hero Award by the Foundation for A Better Life and the Friendship Archway Awards, to name a few.
Tim Molina is the Political Director for Courage Campaign. Tim leads Courage's legislative and electoral strategy that aims to elect and hold elected officials accountable to the values and people of California. Before coming Courage Campaign, Tim worked at Brave New Films as their Outreach Director where he directed national campaigns on issues ranging from mass incarceration, workers rights, and immigration, Tim also worked with MoveOn.org as a National Field Organizer and started his organizing career with SEIU Local 1021 in the Bay Area. Tim is based out of Sacramento.
Cat J. Zavis is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, a collaborative divorce attorney, mediator, and Coach for Parents co-parenting their children after divorce. She is also a sought after trainer in empathic communication, having trained hundreds of collaborative attorneys, coaches, financial professionals, therapists, mediators, spiritual practitioners, and parents. In 2009, she was awarded a Peace Builder Award for her business. She also has a MA degree in Women and Gender Studies. Cat has been a long time activist in social change work. She has worked as a volunteer with the American Civil Liberties Union, and with prisoners’ rights organizations, domestic violence victims, the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, and many others. She worked as a public defender and then as a women’s rights lawyer. Cat grounds her life and work in the wisdom and spiritual traditions and brings those values to her work every day.
John Gable is Co-founder and CEO of AllSides, a media technology company with the mission to free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other. He partnered with Joan Blades to have their two organizations, AllSides and Living Room Conversations, jointly launch the non-profit initiative AllSides For Schools. John has over 20 years of technology entrepreneurship, management and executive experience, leading product, marketing and consumer teams and divisions. He was the team PM leader for Netscape Navigator and served on the original teams for Microsoft Office and ZoneAlarm at Check Point Software. He co-founded Kavi Corp (web-based collaboration, sold to Higher Logic) and previously was a professional political campaigner and executive director in the 1980s working for the Republican National Committee as well as for candidates for US President, US Senate, US Congress, Governor and local campaigns. His experience spans consumer technology products, marketing, press, community collaboration and high tech management. His experience demonstrates how technology can be used to shape positive social change.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder and chairman of the Public Banking Institute, a Senior Fellow of the Democracy Collaborative, and the author of 12 books and over 300 articles. In the best-selling "Web of Debt," she showed how a private banking cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. In its 2013 sequel "The Public Bank Solution," she traces the evolution of two banking models that have competed historically, public and private; and explores contemporary public banking systems globally. A 13th book titled "Banking on the People: Democratizing Finance in the Digital Age" is due out this fall. Her other books include "Nature's Pharmacy," co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker, which has sold over 285,000 copies; and "Forbidden Medicine," on the success and tribulations of an alternative cancer healer. She also co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called "It's Our Money with Ellen Brown." She has degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA School of Law. Her blog articles are posted at EllenBrown.com.
Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is the President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Vieten, a licensed clinical psychologist, has been with IONS since 2001, previously serving as its Executive Director of Research.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of California, and several private donors and foundations, her research has focused on spirituality and health; development and pilot testing of mindfulness-based approaches to cultivating emotional balance (primarily in the areas of addiction and pregnancy/postpartum well-being); and factors, experiences, and practices involved in psychospiritual transformation to a more meaningful, compassionate, and service-oriented way of life. Her primary interest lies in how psychology, biology, and spirituality interact to affect experience and behavior.
She completed her pre- and post-doctoral research training at The University of California, San Francisco, working primarily on the biological and psychological underpinnings of addiction and alcoholism.
She received her PhD in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where her clinical training focused on the integration of Eastern philosophy and spirituality into psychotherapy. She has conducted workshops, groups, and individual psychotherapy with victims of trauma, adolescent, adult and pregnant drug addicts, violent offenders, transgendered and HIV+ individuals, and adults seeking personal growth.
She has authored books, chapters, and academic articles, as well as presenting at numerous international scientific conferences, trainings for colleagues and students, and workshops and events for the lay public. She is co-author of Spiritual & Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice Guidelines for Psychotherapists & Mental Health Professionals (New Harbinger Publications 2015), Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2008), and author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child's First Year (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2009).
Ron Beit is the founding partner and CEO of RBH Group, LLC, president of RBH Management, LLC, as well as managing member of RBH-TRB Newark Holdings, LLC. Ron has acquired, developed, rehabilitated, and/or operated over 1 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate in numerous projects throughout the U.S., as well as over 6 million additional square feet in institutional-grade sites throughout downtown Newark, NJ. Ron has been an active participant in helping Newark become New Jersey's business and entertainment capital and a downtown 24 hour, 7-day-a-week attraction. RBH recently completed the groundbreaking Teachers Village project, and is completing the Makers Village Project (home to Aerofarms, the world's largest indoor aeroponic farm) in the Ironbound district of Newark. In addition to developing the Rutgers-Newark Honors Living-Learning Community, RBH is initiating the Four Corners Millennium project in the historic core of the city. RBH is now expanding into a national marketplace, with Teachers Village projects under construction in Hartford, CT and in design in Chicago, as well as in the planning stages in Miami, Kansas City, Atlanta, Boston and other cities across the country.
he Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is the Co-Director of the Kairos Center and the Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She has spent the past two decades organizing amongst the poor in the United States, working with and advising grassroots organizations with significant victories including the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Vermont Workers Center, Domestic Workers United, the United Workers Association, the National Union of the Homeless and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. She has led hundreds of trainings, Bible studies, and leadership development workshops; spoken at dozens of conferences and keynote presentations across the US and globally; and published several articles and book chapters sharing her vision that poverty can be ended and that the poor can be agents of social change. Liz received her BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania; her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004 where she was the first William Sloane Coffin Scholar; and her PhD from Union in New Testament and Christian Origins. She is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017). Liz is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Daniel Sunshine is the CEO of Responsive Intelligence, a consulting firm that combines mindfulness, emotional intelligence and neuroscience to offer programs and trainings to global organizations. Daniel began his career as an innovator for companies including PBS, National Geographic, and AARP. His innovation experience is coupled with decades of mindfulness experience and bringing it to thousands of individuals within national health care organizations, fortune-100 companies, renowned private schools, and public school districts. He has an MBA from George Washington University and leads workshops and lectures on mindfulness and innovation. His work has been featured on news affiliates including NBC, FOX, CBS and NPR. Daniel envisions a future where mindfulness is woven into the fabric of society. www.responsiveintelligence.com
Felecia Lenee, better know as Fe Love to her fans is the host and creator of the Artist Eclectic pLAygROUND, a “pop-up” event space that supports new as well as established artists and innovative entrepreneurs primarily in the Pasadena and Greater Los Angeles area. She is on the Leadership Team for CompassionateCalifornia.org and co- founder of the Compassionate ARTS IN ACTION. She works as the Youth Program Director and Creative Strategist for the national project, Posts for Peace and Justice. Felecia has a B.F.A. from CALARTS where she trained as an actress. Her goals are to support youth, with a focus on health, public safety and social justice. Felecia's recent public appearences highlighting youth include: March for Our Lives, Los Angeles, CA; Youth Action Summit, Memphis, TN, the U.S. Human Rights Network National Conference, Atlanta, GA. and the 26th Anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, at the White House. Felecia Lenee is a healer and a certified massage therapist with a concentration on energy balancing. She has been in 16 films, has over 25 years of performing live on stage as a host and entertainer, and in several podcasts promoting racial, gender equality and justice.
Creative Director, Urban Healers
Karin Tamerius, MD is the Founder and Executive Director of SMART Politics. Dr. Tamerius is the creator of Radical Civility and the Radical Civility Cycle and an expert in the intersection between psychology and politics.
Jared sits on the board of directors for the prestigious Social Venture Network, a premier socially responsible business community, and for the Love Serve Remember (Ram Dass’) Foundation. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Colorado advertising program and is the founder and CEO of WE ARE GURU, a nimble, mindfully different strategic marketing agency focusing on empowering movements and purpose-driven brands. His past is rooted in digital marketing across the music and entertainment industry where he grew and sold his digital publicity agency (working on EMI, Warner, and many major artists) to a major label. He then moved into working with larger conscious food and beverage brands (Jamba Juice, LunaBar, California Pizza Kitchen, etc) with co-owned creative agency, Neighbor Agency, which was sold to a holding company, Zealot Networks in 2014. He has led groundbreaking communications and digital marketing campaigns for a wide array of purpose-driven clients including Obama 08’, 1% For the Planet, Echoing Green, MPAA, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NASA Earth Sciences, US Forest Service and many others. He is recognized as a leader in building movements for the greatest good, based in San Francisco, lives in Marin County with his wife Jyoti, their daughter Jaya Grace and ever-present dog Beans.
Visionary, passionate and fiercely dedicated to the empowerment of every victim of trauma and abuse, Elaine M. Whitefeather has spent her last 38 years in human service work, 36 of those years in the field of domestic violence. Motivated by personal experiences that included childhood abuse, racial violence, sexual assault and cancer, she has turned these obstacles into opportunities of empowerment, healing and wholeness.
Elaine is a recognized authority in the field of domestic and family violence. She has created and resurrected over 40 domestic violence programs both nationally and internationally. In 1974 Elaine graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. She then combined her formal education with her vast training by cultural and spiritual leaders from around the world to build innovative, effective and progressive social programs. These ground-breaking curriculums have been established as models for the Family Support Centers serving military families and civilian communities from the Philippines to Hawaii; Southern California to her current service here in Sacramento County. This span of diversity is reflected in her own diverse ancestral heritage. She is Japanese, African American, Native American and German.
A professional speaker and published author, she has delivered keynotes that challenge, catalyze and inspire audiences from Domestic Violence Coalitions and organizations to businesses, faith based audiences; from the homeless to college students, locally and nationally. She is an ordained Interfaith minister and is part of the Greater Sacramento Interfaith Council and honored to open the California State Legislative and Senate session in prayer. Elaine is currently the Executive Director of A Community For Peace, a trauma informed domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center in Sacramento County and CEO of Foundation For Peaceful Communities, a foundation developing and supporting social renewal projects and enterprises that empower under served and high risk populations.
Dr. Dan Engle is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, with a clinical practice that combines aspects of regenerative medicine, orthomolecular psychiatry, integrative spirituality and peak performance methods.
Currently, he is Medical Consultant to Onnit Labs in Austin, the Revive Treatment Centers of America in Denver, the True Rest Float Centers in Phoenix and several international healing centers using indigenous plant medicines of the Peruvian Amazon River basin.
His programs include Freedom From Meds, a comprehensive and integrative tool kit for successful transition from psychiatric medications, the Concussion Repair Manual, facilitating the return to optimal function after concussion and traumatic brain injury, BOLD – Brain Optimization and Lifestyle Design – program for maximizing brain health and cognitive performance, and Full Spectrum Medicine, a research, education and advocacy platform pioneering the future psychiatric healing centers using consciousness expansion tools for root-cause healing and total life transformation.
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Chief Transformation Officer, hosts Shift Network’s Inspiring Women Summit, facilitates our women’s programs, and designs facilitation and transformation strategies for many of our programs. Devaa’s
background includes roles in the public benefit sector (Director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Exec. Director of Full Circle Fund), as well as the business sector (Boston Consulting Group). Devaa was ordained as an interfaith minister by the Chaplaincy Institute and received a BA and an MA from Stanford University. She was also awarded a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation.
Maura Cunningham is the Founder and Executive Director of Rock The Street, Wall Street, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Maura’s span of 25 years of financial services experience includes her beginnings on Wall Street where she worked at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in Real Estate Syndication, UIT’s and Mortgage Backed Securities. Maura then headed south and developed a successful financial planning practice on the east coast of Florida then later in Nashville, Tennessee. She developed her private financial planning practice and held the role of Estate Tax and Business Succession Specialist with the clients of major Wall Street firms including, UBS and Morgan Stanley where she constructed and implemented tax advantaged succession strategies for privately held/family-owned companies. Maura stays current with the market by trading index options.
Maura founded Rock The Street, Wall Street in 2013 when she saw the majority of women across all socioeconomic strata bewildered by math and repressed throughout their lives by their poor financial choices. She was moved too, by typically being one of very few women in the room at financial industry conferences, where still today, women are vastly underrepresented. Knowing that most of financial math is nothing more than first year algebra, she aims to lift the veil on personal money management and the financial profession for girls so they too, can be lifted out of a headset of scarcity.
"WE FELT LIKE OUTCASTS. Sure, as The Kin, we were signed to Interscope/Universal Records; we toured with Coldplay and Pink and Rod Stewart. We played arenas. We played Conan. And yeah, you could hear our music in major movies. But despite all of this we woke up to the fact that we were allowing someone else to define our value. We were done chasing approval."
The Brothers Koren experienced first hand how restrictive the music industry was to their expression, and after 15 years they knew they wanted to redefine the landscape. They launched the writer/producer team BRÅVES as an experiment in finding value in expression without rules.
Now, through the development of The Songwriter's Journey, they are helping others reclaim the music they abandoned to do the same.
Melanie Porras, is on the Youth Advisory Council for Compassionate California a Youth Leader for High School Student Marches in Santa Monica, California. She is a Youth Town Hall Presenter, at the 2018 United State Of Women, in Los Angeles, representing Pico Youth and Family Center and Compassionate ARTS. Melanie works with Fe Love on projects promoting racial justice and safety in the community and in schools. She is concerned about violence against Trans Girls, and gun violence.
Mizan has worked for over 20 years as a community organizer and youth development professional. Her commitment to social justice has fueled her work as a crisis intervention specialist, health educator, curriculum coach, experiential workshop facilitator, community researcher and School Based Health Center Supervisor. Mizan promotes trauma-informed, healing-centered, strengths-based wellness for educators, parents, and youth as the Co-Founder of Spearitwurx Foundation. Mizan is the creator of Sankofa Sistahs, culturally-based, gender specific Healing Circles for youth and adults and lead organizer for the Black Power Parent and Powerful Parent Conferences. Mizan is a Certified Yoga Teacher of Raja Yoga and incorporates mindful movement into her facilitation. She is a wife, mother of five and artist, and lives in Oakland CA. with here family.
Sizwe is a father, husband and youth organizer that has worked in the Bay Area since 2001. While the foundation of his youth development experience is K-12 academic instruction, Sizwe has worked as Conflict Resolution Coordinator at Skyline High School, a Life Skills Facilitator with youth at Ujamaa Adult and Family Services, (a culturally based mental health agency for people of African descent based in San Jose CA.,) and has been impactful in forwarding the African American Male Achievement Initiative through the Oakland Unified School District as a Manhood Development Program Facilitator and trainer. As the Co-Founder of Spearitwurx Foundation, Sizwe has spearheaded numerous programs, including Bush Camps, Brothers Keeper and Growing Forward- a social emotional wellness class taught through gardening. In collaboration with Mizan, Sizwe is also the lead organizer ans facilitator of the Black Power Parent and Powerful Parent Conferences. Sizwe utilizes his skills as MC and Hip Hop producer to build youth entrepreneurial-ism, critical thinking, and empowerment.
Kira D. Carrillo Corser is a California based artist who is known for her social and environmental justice projects combining photography, painting, video and installations with community and civic partnerships and documented outcomes. Her work is based in promoting hope, while giving communities a visual voice grounded in grass roots reality: fighting poverty, prejudice, gangs, war and injustice. She has a Masters in Fine Art, and Bachelors degree in Journalism. Her work has been on national broadcasts with President Clinton and President Carter, in the Smithsonian, the National Steinbeck Center, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Carter Center. Her work has won many awards, has 3 books, taught at California State University Monterey Bay for 8 years as a Social Justice and Visual Art Consultant, and co-founded 2 collaborative current projects: "The Posts for Peace and Justice" and "Sea Changes ACT."
Stacey Lawson is Executive Vice Chairman of Ygrene, a leading clean energy finance company. She brings 23 years of experience as an entrepreneur and business executive in the areas of finance, clean energy, technology and manufacturing. As Ygrene’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 2012-2016, Stacey spearheaded the design and growth of Ygrene’s innovative PACE model for the residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial sectors, scaling Ygrene to over $600M in financing volume. Prior to joining Ygrene, Stacey was a candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 2nd congressional district where she advocated for property assessed clean energy (PACE) as a leading environmental policy initiative. Stacey is a cofounder of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at the UC Berkeley School of Engineering, and has also held executive positions at Seibel Systems and Parametric Technology, and cofounded InPart Design. Stacey is the author of "Making More in America: How Restoring America’s Manufacturing Strength Can Help Rebuild the Middle Class". She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
J. Manuel Herrera, a Silicon Valley elected official, envisions the transformation of the public square in our communities and an emerging 21st Century politics that is whole, generative, and personally transformative (www.JManuelHerrera.com and www.thepeoplespeak.net).
Manuel is a Trustee for the East Side Union High School District in San Jose, California, first elected in 1990. He has served as Director of Planning for United Way of the Bay Area, Ombudsman for the City of San Jose, and legislative aide on Capitol Hill and in the California State Legislature. He has been a Democratic Party official in Silicon Valley, and has served on the Executive Board of the California State Democratic Party.
Manuel writes and speaks about integrating principles of the spiritual quest with public leadership, politics, and the public process (“The Reconciliation of Love & Power”). Manuel unveils conflict, power, and compromise as alchemical pathways for spiritual evolution and social change. He integrates these political elements into an emerging 21st century consciousness based on a new and higher rationality that expresses as love and power in our personal and public lives.
Dr. Roberto Vargas is a community organizer, organization psychologist, leadership coach, and ceremony leader. A community activist for over 50 years, his professional practice as a planning consultant has involved providing consultations on community problem-solving, multicultural team-building and strategic planning throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Sweden. Founding director of several counseling centers and author of Family Activism: Empowering Your Community, Beginning with Family and Friends (Berrett-Koelher, San Francisco), his theory and tools for people empowerment, leadership development, and cultural activism are used by many.
Ashanti Branch was raised by a single mother on welfare in Oakland and persevered to study Engineering at Cal Poly SLO. Branch changed careers after tutoring struggling students and realizing his passion was teaching.
In 2004, as a first-year teacher Branch started the Ever Forward Club as a support group for African-American and Latino males, who were not achieving to the level of their potential. The Ever Forward Club has a 100% high school graduation rate and a 93% attending college, military or Trade School. Branch just completed a fellowship with the d.school K-12 Lab at Stanford University. This year he is working , for the first time, as the Founding Executive Director for Ever Forward - Siempre Adelante, which will have 10 clubs operating in middle and high schools across the Bay Area.
David Militzer has extensive experience in developing and delivering customized workshops and interactive presentations for educators on 21st century learning, student-centered resources and strategies for promoting engagement, healthy youth development, purpose-driven learning, and career readiness. Most recently, he is working with educators to develop strengths-based, trauma informed approaches to promoting character and transcendent motivation (motivation for the greater good). David's writings on hope, character, education, the great acceleration, and how to counter the forces of neo-liberalism on education have been published in the John Dewey Society's on-line Journal of School and Society.
Chuck Tyler is the Political Director of SMART Politics and the Deputy Political Director of For Wisconsin’s Future. He is a US Army combat veteran with over 15 years of campaign experience in building capacity, growing leaders, and moving targets for candidates and issues.
Daniela Cervantes is a student at the University of California, Berkeley studying the Arts and Humanities. Leaning towards a double major in Ethnic Studies and Theatre/Performance Studies, Daniela currently serves as a photographer for the Daily Californian, the official newspaper of the Berkeley campus and the surrounding community and one of the oldest newspapers on the West Coast. Daniela also serves as President of her Residence Hall Association and as Digital Marketing intern at Silicon Valley Latino where she strategizes ways to increase involvement and success for her organizations. As a high school student from Greenfield, California, Daniela graduated at the top of her class receiving multiple scholarships including Berkeley’s most prestigious merit-based undergraduate Regents and Chancellor’s Scholarship, and the Coca-Cola Scholarship, which awards $20,000 to only 150 high school seniors in America out of 86,000 applicants. Daniela founded an organization that independently planned and funded a trip to France for nine low-income high school students who rigorously studied the French language, co-founded her school’s first ever Gay-Straight Alliance, served as ASB President, directed various French class plays performed in French, and was both an actress and executive officer in her Drama Club. Her flair for the arts, sense of community involvement, and passion for social justice are rooted in her involvement with local art classes she attended as a young child where she learned from artists such as Kira Corser, Ellen Martin, Marcela Diaz, and many other within First Night Monterey and the Arts Council for Monterey County.
Ditas Katague is currently the Director of the California Complete Count – Census 2020 for the State of California. She served as the Director of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Census 2010 project. In 2000, as Chief Deputy Campaign Director for the Governor’s Census 2000 California Complete Count campaign, she led a groundbreaking multi-lingual, multi-media outreach effort that resulted in a mail-in return rate that outpaced the entire nation. She is an expert in multi-ethnic outreach and civic engagement. Ditas most recently served as Chief of Staff to the California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval where she improved public participation and access to the energy and telecommunications utility rate and regulation process. Since 1998, she has served on the Advisory Board for the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.
Representing TCE work with Youth Leaders:
Migdalia Sazo is a proud Chapina raised in South Central Los Angeles. She is currently a Sacramento State student studying Social Work and Political Science. During her first year in high school, she became a member of Brown Issues, an organization dedicated to cultivating the Brown Leaders of tomorrow. Brown Issues has produced opportunities to speak out on issues affecting the youth community. Migdalia was recently a featured speaker at March for Our Lives in Los Angeles, bringing attention to all the lives lost in schools due to gun violence, but also bringing focus to all the lives lost on a day to day basis in her community.
“Brown Issues has allowed me to step into a space of leadership to help uplift community. As a family we make sure that our communities are being represented."
Rudy has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Connecticut. He spent nearly 30 years with The Kroger Co. managing distribution centers and food manufacturing plants in Missouri, Georgia and California. His consulting company, Power in Learning, helps organizations achieve excellence.
In 2007, Rudy and his wife, Karyn joined the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead Mountain Sunrise. Rudy was selected and served as District Governor in 2015-16. During that year, Rudy convened the Rotary Presidential Peace Conference, the Rotary World Peace Conference 2016. The conference had nearly 1800 attendees, over 100 breakout sessions and six general sessions and more. He was co-founder of the Rotary E-Club of World Peace, D5330 and is now a member of that club.
He was programs chair for the Pre-Convention Peace Conference at the Atlanta Rotary International Convention. He was advisor to RI President Riseley’s Six Presidential Peace Conferences for the 2017-18 Rotary year.
Rudy is Convener and Chair of the Rotary World Peace Conference 2020, a multi-district peace conference. He also is a trained mediator and a member of Mediators Beyond Borders. Rudy is president of Solutions for Peace Foundation Inc.
Harvard College A.B. 1967
Founder of The Butterfly People
Producer of the Dan Karslake film 'Every three Seconds'
CFO of Dickinson Family Foundation
Founder of The Common Sense Party
Drawing on her love of inspirational stories, her passion to use business as a force for good, and her vast entrepreneurial experience, Trina recently launched Conscious Good, a media studio for the conscious generation. Conscious Good curates, produces and distributes the highest quality conscious media content via innovative platforms: OTT streaming, Film Festivals and its network of yoga & meditation studios. Conscious Good is also home to the Creators’ Network: a community networking platform to encourage conscious creators to collaborate and connect to conscious media lovers. In parallel to her work with Conscious Good, Trina is currently producing feature film, Love & Oatmeal, with Black Label Media, starring Ben Platt and Lola Kirke.
One of Trina’s most notable and rewarding career achievements was launching the Tribeca Film Festival for Robert De Niro and taking the reigns as its first Festival Director. Trina has also held leadership positions with several entertainment companies such as Gaia, (its first Chief Content Office), Prana Studios (oversaw acquisition of Rhythm and Hues), Intrepid Pictures, (COO/CFO), Withoutabox (facilitated sale to Amazon/IMDB) and Film Independent, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to independent film.
Trina received her MBA from NYU and her undergraduate degree from UCLA. An avid yogi for over twenty years, Trina completed her Kundalini yoga teacher training. This past April, Trina was honored to join the Evolutionary Leaders. She lives with her husband, Sasha, and her children, Lola and Trust, in Ojai, California.
Molly Nugent is the Sacramento Ambassador for the United State of Women, a national organization that seeks to connect, convene, and amplify voices in the movement for gender equality. Molly also manages a Department of Justice - Office on Violence Against Women grant that funds a collaboration between WEAVE, Inc. and Society for the Blind. The intent of this grant is to improve access to services for survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence who are blind or low vision. In the past, Molly has served as a sexual assault advocate, long-term counselor, and Speakers Bureau member at Standing Together Against Sexual Assault (formerly the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center). She was also a Public Policy Intern for Girls Inc. in Washington D.C, where she lobbied for federal policies to support women and girls. Molly is passionate about sexual assault advocacy and higher education; in 2015, she served as an advisor for a large STEM department at UC Santa Barbara, where she worked with the Disabled Students Program and served on the university’s Trans Task Force and Eucalyptus LGBTQ Committees. Molly received her bachelor's degree from UC Santa Barbara in the History of Public Policy, with a cognate emphasis in Feminist Studies.
Molly is eager to work with local leaders, organizations, and engaged individuals to improve gender equality in Sacramento.