Louis Gossett Jr. is an actor best known for his Academy Award-winning performance in An Officer and a Gentleman.
Though headed for a basketball career with the New York Knicks in the late '50s, Lou decided instead to pursue an acting career, making a huge early splash on Broadway in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sunin 1959. In 1983, he won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in An Officer and a Gentleman. Lou has also had great success on television, earning Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
He founded the Eracism Foundation to address the bigger picture by establishing Shamba Centers. “Shamba” is the Swahili word for “farm.” These centers, located throughout the United States, will be offering instruction in cultural diversity, historical enrichment and anti-violence initiatives for young adults, teens and pre-teens.
The Eracism Foundation wants every person of African descent—as well as other ethnicities—to be exposed to this powerful, holistic wisdom and to use it peacefully in support of humanity everywhere in the world. Visit www.eracismfoundation.org.
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.
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.
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
Political Director, Courage Campaign
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.
President & CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
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.
Rickie Byars Beckwith
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.
A writer, producer, and entrepreneur, Anasa Troutman has dedicated her work to the importance of culture and the power of love. As founder and CEO of Eloveate, Anasa works to build and execute strategies for artists and organizations that are aligned with her vision of a loving world and her belief in creativity as a pathway to personal, community and global transformation. Best know for her work as the long time friend, thought partner and executive producer for India.Arie, Anasa has worked with many artists and organizations to intensify the strategic impact of creative practice on social and political realities. Through this work she has only deepened her belief in the power of transformative artists and cultural organizers. Working locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, Anasa is sought after for her innovative thinking on the transformative role of art, culture and creativity, and infusing Love as a fundamental core value of any transformative work and every interaction. Anasa splits her professional time now between her production company, Eloveate and her new venture, CultureShift Creative, which is home to all projects including SheStories, a storytelling platform for women and Shelectricity, a project to support girls growing into innovative entrepreneurs through technology and then arts.