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Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

The Sophia Institute teaching faculty enlists some of the world’s foremost teachers, speakers, and presenters of transformative thought that fosters integration of the sacred feminine and masculine for the transformation of self and society. Learn more about the faculty and their work.

Lorraine Stephens, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Lorraine Stephens

Teaching Faculty

Lorraine Stephens joined The New York Women’s Foundation in October 2016. Ms. Stephens brings over 30 years of leadership experience working for the advancement of women and their families in struggling communities in New York City.

At The Foundation she is responsible for coordinate strategic and operational initiatives for the foundation, including planning,  corporate compliance, and

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Lorraine Stephens, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Lorraine Stephens

Teaching Faculty

Lorraine Stephens joined The New York Women’s Foundation in October 2016. Ms. Stephens brings over 30 years of leadership experience working for the advancement of women and their families in struggling communities in New York City.

At The Foundation she is responsible for coordinate strategic and operational initiatives for the foundation, including planning,  corporate compliance, and cooperation with external stakeholders. Prior to joining to joining the New York Women’s Foundation, Ms. Stephens worked in leadership at the New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) as the First Deputy Commissioner. While at DHS, she led the agency in increasing preventive homeless services and advancing its mission to provide short-term, emergency shelter for individuals and families.

Ms. Stephens also served as the Assistant Executive Director at Catholic Guardian Services overseeing the agency’s Office of Research, Evaluation and Quality Improvement. Before her work at Catholic Guardian Services, she served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Family Permanency Services with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services and oversaw the implementation of several innovative initiatives.  

Ms. Stephens earned a Master’s from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University.  Ms. Stephens also completed an executive leadership course at Harvard University and Hunter College. Ms. Stephens is the recipient NYC City Council Citation for Service Award, Congressional Achievement Award, NYC Commissioner Child Advocacy Award and Congressional Coalition Adoption Institution Award. She has provided testimony to NYC City Council on Homeless and Child Welfare Issues and routinelysought after for her expert guidance on child welfare, homeless and nonprofit leadership.

Melissa Maddox-Evans

Melissa Maddox-Evans, Esq. has over fifteen years of experience in the affordable housing industry and over twenty-eight years in community development initiatives. She received her B.A. from Georgetown University and her law degree from the University of Georgia. She served as both a Director and as General Counsel for The Housing Authority of the

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Melissa Maddox-Evans

Melissa Maddox-Evans, Esq. has over fifteen years of experience in the affordable housing industry and over twenty-eight years in community development initiatives. She received her B.A. from Georgetown University and her law degree from the University of Georgia. She served as both a Director and as General Counsel for The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston and as CEO of the Charleston County Housing & Redevelopment Authority.  She is currently the Executive Director/CEO of The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, MD.  Ms. Maddox-Evans helped form The Charleston Redevelopment Corporation, an affiliate nonprofit which is developing a community land trust for the Charleston region as a method to preserve land for affordable housing and served as the first President & Chair of its Board of Directors. She is a national speaker on affordable housing and fair housing laws, non-profit/corporate governance and is an advocate for domestic violence victims, disability, education and social justice issues and was a featured speaker for TEDxCharleston. She helped form the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative of Charleston which promotes racial equity and social justice policies and programs.

She has received several awards from housing, government industry groups for her leadership and advocacy. Prior to working in the housing industry, she spent several years working in early intervention programs for developmentally delayed children and as a grassroots organizer for non-denominational churches throughout the Southeast. Ms. Maddox-Evans is believes in being an active in her community and has served on several boards and commissions.

Tommy Preston,JR

Tommy Preston, Jr. is the vice president of Ethics at The Boeing Company, where he leads a team of global professionals focused on articulating, amplifying and embedding the company’s values across the enterprise. The Ethics organization also ensures efficient and trusted reporting mechanisms and a strong anti-retaliation policy; works with senior leadership to foster a

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Tommy Preston,JR

Tommy Preston, Jr. is the vice president of Ethics at The Boeing Company, where he leads a team of global professionals focused on articulating, amplifying and embedding the company’s values across the enterprise. The Ethics organization also ensures efficient and trusted reporting mechanisms and a strong anti-retaliation policy; works with senior leadership to foster a speak up culture through messaging and employee engagement; and embeds ethics advisors across Boeing business units and sites to identify risk areas, reinforce expectations of ethical behavior and provide bespoke guidance to employees.

Previously, Preston served as director of national strategy and engagement and government operations, where he was responsible for protecting and advancing Boeing’s interests, competitiveness and reputation, and provided counsel on various regulatory and public policy issues. He also supported myriad business unit programs, including 787, Space Launch System, and Missile and Weapon Systems across multiple sites.

Preston is also co-chair of the company’s Racial Equity Task Force, and collaborates with stakeholders to advance key measures of equity, diversity and inclusion within the company.

Prior to joining Boeing, Preston was in private practice where he represented companies and organizations, including Boeing, on economic development, public policy, compliance and regulatory matters. He also worked with clients to develop and implement programs to help minimize risk and ensure compliance with state and local regulatory and ethics requirements.

Preston graduated with a degree in political science from the University of South Carolina and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law. As an undergraduate student, Preston was a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar and
served as student body president. Preston is the recipient of the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the highest honor awarded to a University of South Carolina student. Preston remains active at his alma mater. He served a two-year term as president of the university’s Alumni Association. He was the youngest and first person of color in the university’s history to serve in this position. He also represented alumni as a voting member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

Preston is an active member of the American Bar Association (ABA) where he served as national chair of the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division, representing more than 200,000 young and early career lawyers from across the United States. Preston is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and on the Board of the American Bar Endowment.

Preston and his wife, Felicia, are the proud parents to their three children: Charlotte, Benjamin and Asa.

Sarah Scott Putnam, Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Scotti Holloway

Teaching Faculty

Scotti Holloway is the founder/owner of SP Divine Explorations in Charleston SC and an International tutor for Accolade Academy, South Wales, UK. She is a spiritual teacher, visionary and intuitive with a worldwide client base. She enjoys guiding and empowering others along their spiritual path by offering private sessions, personal mentoring and workshops. She

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Sarah Scott Putnam, Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Scotti Holloway

Teaching Faculty

Scotti Holloway is the founder/owner of SP Divine Explorations in Charleston SC and an International tutor for Accolade Academy, South Wales, UK. She is a spiritual teacher, visionary and intuitive with a worldwide client base. She enjoys guiding and empowering others along their spiritual path by offering private sessions, personal mentoring and workshops. She is a certified Six Sensory Practitioner and has studied at Arthur Findlay College in Stansted, UK.

Over the years, Scotti has developed a personal intuitive coaching modality and teaching style of her own. She helps her students to recognize the powerful guidance system within through connection to the higher self. This awareness brings clear recognition of our spirituality and link to Divine Spirit. Her intention is to help raise the vibration of the collective whole through guidance, love and joy. Scotti has researched and studied metaphysics and Spirituality for much of her adult life. She enjoys the role that Divine Spirit plays in our everyday life. She has studied with some of the most renowned speakers in the Mind, Body, Spirit World including Sonia Choquette, Dr. Doreen Virtue and medium John Holland.

Amanda Lawrence

Amanda Lawrence is a change agent, known for developing creative strategies, building complex systems and executing large-scale collaborative efforts with integrity and accountability and through authentic engagement. Lawrence has served in the nonprofit sector for twelve years and serves as the Vice President of Community Impact at Trident United Way. There, she oversees an

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Amanda Lawrence

Amanda Lawrence is a change agent, known for developing creative strategies, building complex systems and executing large-scale collaborative efforts with integrity and accountability and through authentic engagement. Lawrence has served in the nonprofit sector for twelve years and serves as the Vice President of Community Impact at Trident United Way. There, she oversees an $8.6 million, Community Investments portfolio and three, collective Impact initiatives in TUW’s impact areas of focus in Education, Financial Stability and Health.

Lawrence’s career began in 1995, after graduating with a BS in Marketing from the University of South Carolina and joining a niche, communications and crisis relations firm owned by a SC State Senator. From there, she moved into branding and promotions, rising to a national branding agency that worked exclusively for the McDonald’s Corporation.

Five years after returning to SC and serving as a Sales Marketing Manager at a CBS television station affiliate, Lawrence made the transition to the Development office of a youth-focused, nonprofit that operated six diverse programs. From that role, she moved to Trident United Way, where she began serving as the Director of Financial Stability and later rose to the Vice President of Community Impact.

In 2011, Lawrence was recognized as one of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s, Forty Under 40, for outstanding leadership in the Charleston business community. She is also a Riley Fellow and alumni of Furman University’s, The Riley Institute, Diversity Leaders Initiative, fall 2015 class. Lawrence holds an MBA from The Citadel, the Military College of SC, and is an adjunct professor in Webster University’s MBA program. Lawrence has three children ages, 28, 26 and 16 and three grandsons, ages 2 and 3.

Robyn Moreno

Robyn Moreno is a curandera, life coach, and Emmy-nominated TV host. Her new book, Get Rooted, will be out April 5 2022 by Hachette Go!

Believing that young women “can’t be what they can’t see,” Robyn has worked tirelessly as a passionate storyteller, mentor, and thought leader to create and elevate empowering stories about

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Robyn Moreno

Robyn Moreno is a curandera, life coach, and Emmy-nominated TV host. Her new book, Get Rooted, will be out April 5 2022 by Hachette Go!

Believing that young women “can’t be what they can’t see,” Robyn has worked tirelessly as a passionate storyteller, mentor, and thought leader to create and elevate empowering stories about Latinxs and women of color via her popular podcast “Get Rooted with Robyn Moreno,” and with her work as a Today Show contributor, and former Co-President of Latina Media Ventures.

The native Texan currently lives in Cold Spring, New York with her family. Visit RobynMoreno.com for free meditations and to sign up for her newsletter.

David Anthony

“David’s keyboard artistry makes for very pleasant listening as well as moving you at the same time…” writes Soul Music HQ of Smooth Jazz/Classic Soul Artist David Anthony, whose musical journey began in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Accomplished early as a trumpeter, David transitioned to keyboards where he honed his current “Kool & Smooth” style.

“His vocal style

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David Anthony

“David’s keyboard artistry makes for very pleasant listening as well as moving you at the same time…” writes Soul Music HQ of Smooth Jazz/Classic Soul Artist David Anthony, whose musical journey began in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Accomplished early as a trumpeter, David transitioned to keyboards where he honed his current “Kool & Smooth” style.

“His vocal style doesn’t remind me of anybody else either plus he’s written all the music, lyrics and arrangements himself – accomplished…” continues Soul Music HQ about David’s vocal and composition prowess, which began with formal musical training at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. It was there that David began performing professionally with “The Montclair's,” a vocal group based out of St. Louis, Missouri. That R&B group enjoyed a string of regional hits with lead singer Phil Perry going on to enjoy a successful solo career.

David is also the musical director for Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, The Impressions, where his arranging and composition skills were showcased when in 2007 The Impressions celebrated 50 years in the entertainment business with a sold-out concert backed by The Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra. David’s arrangements of the Curtis Mayfield songbook reverberated throughout the Tivoli Theatre Performance Hall. David has shared the stage with a number of different artists and continues to perform solo, and with his band, The Gentlemen’s Jazz Quartet. His musical journey continues.

Audrey Lane

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Audrey KS Lane is the founder and CEO of Lane Equity Enterprises, a management consulting firm with expertise in the areas of non-profit leadership, strategy, leadership development, talent pipeline development, and project management with a focus on understanding and implementing solutions that lead with equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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Audrey Lane

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Audrey KS Lane is the founder and CEO of Lane Equity Enterprises, a management consulting firm with expertise in the areas of non-profit leadership, strategy, leadership development, talent pipeline development, and project management with a focus on understanding and implementing solutions that lead with equity, diversity, and inclusion. Most recently, Audrey is influencing the landscape of Charleston, SC’s public education system by co-founding E3 (Educate, Empower, and Elevate), an organization with an intentional focus on creating high quality educational options for Black and Brown students with the desires and needs of parents and families at the center of this work. Prior to launching Lane Equity Enterprises and E3, Audrey was the Chief of Access & Equity for the SC Public Charter School District (SCPCSD), where she co-facilitated the district’s first Access & Equity Audit of its school portfolio. Audrey also served as the Executive Director of the Royal Foundation, the 501(c)3 affiliate of the Royal Missionary Baptist Church of North Charleston.

Before joining the SC Public Charter School District, Audrey was the Deputy for Human Capital Development for the Charleston County School District (CCSD), where she was instrumental in laying the foundation of the district’s diversity, equity and inclusion work.

Prior to relocating to Charleston in 2008, Audrey was a Business Development & Commercial Coordinator within the U.S. Pipelines and Logistics Organization of BP North America, Product Development Leader with International Paper and began her career as a Mechanical Engineer with Xerox in a technical leadership program for women of color.

Audrey is a proud Mechanical Engineering graduate of Florida A&M University, earned a Master of Business Administration degree from DePaul University in Chicago, IL and is a 2010 graduate of the Broad Residency for Urban Education.

Although she is extremely dedicated and focused on the work that she’s been blessed to do-her greatest joy comes from being a wife, partner, and friend to Martin and the mother of Moses and Micah.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Dr. Shefali received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Specializing in the integration of Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, she brings together the best of both worlds for her clients. She is an expert in family dynamics and personal development, teaching courses around the globe. She has written four books, three of

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Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Dr. Shefali received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Specializing in the integration of Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, she brings together the best of both worlds for her clients. She is an expert in family dynamics and personal development, teaching courses around the globe. She has written four books, three of which are New York Times best-sellers, including her two landmark books The Conscious Parent and The Awakened Family.

Paul Stone

Paul Stone is a saxophonist born in 1951 in Chattanooga Tn. Starting out in Junior High Band at East Ridge, he studied with Ed Leamon, Bennie Wallace, and Jack Lindsey. Growing up in a home-loving Jazz and R & B, he was soon hired by local legend Jimmy Tawater and The Marvells. The Marvells performed

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Paul Stone

Paul Stone is a saxophonist born in 1951 in Chattanooga Tn. Starting out in Junior High Band at East Ridge, he studied with Ed Leamon, Bennie Wallace, and Jack Lindsey. Growing up in a home-loving Jazz and R & B, he was soon hired by local legend Jimmy Tawater and The Marvells. The Marvells performed at The Disc Jockeys Lounge and American Legion on Big Nine and performed many times at Peyton Place/The Eldorado Club on the West Side just off Big 9. There they backed up Rufus Thomas for a three-day show and also backed up Jackie Wilson, Major Lance, Eddie Floyd, and many others at different times.

Paul then joined The Inclines performing with Joe Burke, Lamar Trollinger, Lucky Scott, Marvin DeWitt and Tyrone McCollum among others. This band played all over including The Liberty Theater on Big 9. After The Inclines, Paul joined The Viva-Tones performing many times on Big 9 at The Disc Jockeys Lounge and American Legion. Following these bands, Paul joined two different incarnations of Pop Stubbs’ bands including the Sunday Nite band at The Johari and Pop Stubbs and Nightworks at The Stardust on Big 9.

Ralph C. Dawson

Ralph is a native of Charleston, South Carolina, where he grew up as one of 12 children on the eastside. He attended various segregated public schools, graduating from C. A. Brown High School with honors in 1966. At Brown, he and some friends formed a social club called the “Corsairs,” a group of nine

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Ralph C. Dawson

Ralph is a native of Charleston, South Carolina, where he grew up as one of 12 children on the eastside. He attended various segregated public schools, graduating from C. A. Brown High School with honors in 1966. At Brown, he and some friends formed a social club called the “Corsairs,” a group of nine guys mentored by its then 22-year old teacher/advisor, Jim Clyburn; among that nine was the first African-American to graduate from the Citadel, and the first African-Americans from Charleston to Graduate from Harvard and from Yale. In the summer of 1966, Ralph was introduced to a Yale Admissions officer by a then guidance counselor, Lucille Whipper; the Admissions officer invited Ralph, who was about to attend Morehouse College, to participate in a new program at Yale for talented youth from low income backgrounds called the Transitional Year Program (“TYP”). He accepted a position in TYP along with 42 other students and, upon completion of the year, he was one of the four students admitted to Yale College on a full scholarship.

Ralph enjoyed and participated in the stimulating academic environment at Yale, and he also became a campus activist, participating in the establishment of the first African-American Studies Major at a leading American institution. He was also the leader of the Black Student Alliance at Yale (“BSAY”) during the tumultuous period known as “May Day 1970,” when New Haven, Connecticut and Yale were the site of a major murder trial involving the Black Panther Party, and a series of protests against the Vietnam War. The BSAY played a crucial role in keeping the peace on the campus, generating support for the conduct of a fair trial for the Black Panthers, and encouraging Yale to embrace its civic responsibilities to the New Haven Community.

Ralph graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1976, having served as an Editor of its Human Rights Law Review, and studied with many outstanding students, including the woman he would marry, Leslie Demus, and Eric Holder, the first Black Attorney General of the United States. Ralph has practiced law for over 40 years. He is a Retired Partner in the international law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright, formerly Fulbright & Jaworski, and remains Of Counsel to that firm, specializing in Labor and Employment law, and Civil litigation, and has represented clients in courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. Ralph has perennially received the top rating from Martindale Hubbell, the leading rating agency for attorneys, and has been recognized by his peers as a “Super Lawyer” in the New York area. He has also held leadership positions in important committees of the Bar, such as the Disciplinary Committee of the First Judicial Department in New York, and the Merit Selection Panel for Magistrate Judges in the Southern District of New York. He also serves as the court appointed Receiver tasked to recover, preserve and distribute the assets of Ascot Partners, one of the feeder funds which lost over $1 billion in the Madoff Ponzi Scheme. He has recovered and distributed almost $300 million to Ascot investors.

Ralph is politically active. He served as a Senior Advisor to the Howard Dean Campaign for President in the 2004 election cycle, and worked on Dean’s election as Chairman of the Dawson Bio - Personal.docx - 2 - Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) in 2005. He was appointed to the DNC by Dean, his college roommate, and assisted Dean in the implementation of his acclaimed “50 State Strategy” to rebuild the Democratic Party, which helped the party gain control of both Houses of the Congress and the Presidency in the 2008 election. As a member of its Rules and Bylaws Committee, he played a key role in the decision to designate South Carolina as one of the four states to hold early primaries in the Democratic Party’s Presidential election process. He was a “Super Delegate” to the Democratic National Convention from 2008 to 2016 , and appeared as a DNC member on numerous programs such as the Lehrer News Hour, the CBS Evening News, and MSNBC. Ralph played a prominent role in resolving disputes over the effect of primaries held in Florida and Michigan in violation of Democratic Party Rules. He endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President and served as Chair of the African-American Leadership Council of the Democratic National Committee in the 2008 election cycle.

Ralph and his wife have two adult children, and he and his wife live in New Rochelle, New York.

V (Formerly Eve Einsler)

V (Formerly Eve Ensler) is the Tony award winning playwright and author of the Obie award winning, theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues translated into 48 languages, performed in 140 countries along with many other plays. She is the author of a number of books including her latest best sellers, The Apologytranslated into more than 15 languagesand In the Body of the World as well as The

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V (Formerly Eve Einsler)

V (Formerly Eve Ensler) is the Tony award winning playwright and author of the Obie award winning, theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues translated into 48 languages, performed in 140 countries along with many other plays. She is the author of a number of books including her latest best sellers, The Apologytranslated into more than 15 languagesand In the Body of the World as well as The New York Times best seller, I am an Emotional Creature. She starred on Broadway in The Good Body, and most recently Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in the critically acclaimed, In the Body of the World. During the Covid 19 pandemic she helped create That Kindness: Nurses in Their Own Words presented by Brooklyn Academy of Music in accordance with theaters all across the country; a tribute to nurses during the COVID 19 pandemic. She is currently writing the book and co-writing lyrics for a new musical, Wild that will make its world premiere this December, at The American Repertory Theater.  She is founder of V-Day, the 23-year-old global activist movement which has raised over 120 million dollars to end violence against all women all women (cisgender and transgender), those who hold fluid identities, nonbinary people, girls and the planet—and founder of One Billion Rising, the largest global mass action to end gender-based violence in over 200 countries,  as well as a co-founder of City of Joy. She writes regularly for The Guardian.

Zandrina Dunning

ZANDRINA DUNNING is a Charleston-based professional singer/songwriter and event producer originally from Boston Massachusetts. Zandrina performs all genres of music ranging from opera to soul/funk to country. She is a mother to her beautiful 9 year old daughter, London.

Zandrina studied classical music and musical theater at South Carolina State University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts

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Zandrina Dunning

ZANDRINA DUNNING is a Charleston-based professional singer/songwriter and event producer originally from Boston Massachusetts. Zandrina performs all genres of music ranging from opera to soul/funk to country. She is a mother to her beautiful 9 year old daughter, London.

Zandrina studied classical music and musical theater at South Carolina State University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Industry/Vocal Music in 2004.

Zandrina has performed with local and national recording artists to include Multi-Grammy Award winner George Benson, Nashville singer/songwriter Patrick Davis, Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan of Hootie & The Blowfish, American Idol Season 11 finalist, Elise Testone, and more. She has performed around the world, including the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, in Cuba with international jazz percussionist, Gino Castillo and in Liberia with the Save More Kids.

Since 2013, Zandrina has produced shows and events, including tribute shows to Janet Jackson, girl groups from the 1970’s to today, Queen of Soul: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin, and she has most recently taken on the role of Associate Producer at South of Broadway Theatre Company in North Charleston. Zandrina can be seen performing in and around Charleston with local bands and with her own project, The Zandrina Dunning Experience.

Miranda Macpherson

Miranda Macpherson is a contemporary spiritual teacher, counselor, and author of The Way of Grace: The Transforming Power of Ego Relaxation. Miranda, who also authored the spiritual guidebook, Boundless Love, has been teaching internationally since 1995. She is known for her depth of presence, clarity, and refined capacity to guide people into direct experience of the sacred.

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Miranda Macpherson

Miranda Macpherson is a contemporary spiritual teacher, counselor, and author of The Way of Grace: The Transforming Power of Ego Relaxation. Miranda, who also authored the spiritual guidebook, Boundless Love, has been teaching internationally since 1995. She is known for her depth of presence, clarity, and refined capacity to guide people into direct experience of the sacred.

Miranda’s work is a synthesis of self-inquiry, spiritual psychology, devotion, and meditation practice offered with feminine grace that embraces our everyday human experience as a gateway into the depths of our true nature. Through a blend of silent transmission and articulate teaching, she leads ongoing programs oriented to guiding people into direct spiritual experience while providing a practical map for actualizing our realization into daily life.

Drawing from the ancient lineages of Advaita and mystical Christianity, as well as from more recent wisdom teachings such as A Course In Miracles, Miranda leads from the ground of unconditional love and compassion for our humanity, emphasizing receptivity, discrimination, and surrender.

She is founder of One Spirit Interfaith Foundation in London, where she trained and ordained over 600 ministers. Today, Miranda leads the “Living Grace” sangha in northern California and holds retreats in the United States and internationally. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Bob Duchmann, a teacher of the Diamond Approach (A.H. Almaas’ Ridhwan School).

Jaye Goosby Smith

J. Goosby Smith serves as the University’s inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer. Guided by God's call to unite God's people, Smith approaches her specialty areas of human diversity, inclusion, and belonging with intellectual rigor, methodological soundness, patience, a healing spirit, a love for humanity, and a good-natured sense of humor.

Before

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Jaye Goosby Smith

J. Goosby Smith serves as the University’s inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer. Guided by God's call to unite God's people, Smith approaches her specialty areas of human diversity, inclusion, and belonging with intellectual rigor, methodological soundness, patience, a healing spirit, a love for humanity, and a good-natured sense of humor.

Before rejoining Pepperdine, where she had previously served as a faculty member in Seaver College’s Business Administration Division, as a member of the Seaver College Diversity Council, and as inaugural faculty co-chair of the university diversity council with Edna Powel,  and as an adjunct member of the Graziadio faculty, Smith served as a faculty member, assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and director of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. She also taught at California State University, Channel Islands and Butler University.

A nationally sought-after public speaker, educator, and consultant, Smith has worked with a wide range of organizations, such as the Cleveland Clinic, KeyBank, the United States Navy ROTC, and the US Department of Agriculture. She is an active member of Greater St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where she formerly served as a steward, Young People's Division director, and as a virtual education teacher. She is a member of Mensa America, Jack and Jill of America, and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, having previously served as inaugural faculty advisor and later graduate advisor for Pepperdine’s Tau Lambda chapter.

Smith earned a BS in computer science from Spelman College and an MBA and PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University. In spring of 2022, she expects to complete her MDiv from the Interdenominational Theological Center.

Stephen Washington

Performer

Charleston native, Stephen Washington is arguably one of the most skillful piano virtuosos of his time. Born to musical parents, it's no surprise to hear that his first instrument was the drums at age 5. He began to teach himself the piano at the age of 9 and has been playing at his dad's church

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Stephen Washington

Performer

Charleston native, Stephen Washington is arguably one of the most skillful piano virtuosos of his time. Born to musical parents, it's no surprise to hear that his first instrument was the drums at age 5. He began to teach himself the piano at the age of 9 and has been playing at his dad's church since the early age of 11.

Stephen's musical journey continued throughout his teenage and early adult years playing for the College of Charleston's Gospel choir and other local gospel singers and groups. He has been privilaged to play for national recording artists Cee Cee Winans, Gospel mega star Travis Greene, American Rock band Hootie and the Blowfish, and many other notable artists across genres.

Stephen has traveled extensively throughout the world to include countries such as Madrid, Spain and Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia spreading the healing power of music to the masses. His passion for music has always been at the forefront of who he is and outside of his boundless musical capabilities, he's most known for his abilty to be a phemonemal band leader while maintaining a consitant team player attitude.

Today, Stephen can be found as the Musical Director for powerhouse vocalist and fellow hometown celebrity, Quiana Parler (Ranky Tanky) and her legendary band; Quiana Parler & Friends. He is a keyboardist for American Idol Season 11 finalist, Elise Testone, the Black Diamond Band, BlackNoyze band, the Zandrina Dunning Experience, and is a member of Nashville singer/songwriter Patrick Davis' Midnight Choir. Stephen also writes and produces for several other musical projects both locally and nationally.

When asked what he appreciates most about being able to play music he stated that "Music has the ability to make people communicate without speaking." "It's its own language that is understood by everyone."

Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt

Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D. are co-creators of Imago Relationship Therapy and a social movement called Safe Conversations. Internationally-respected as couple's therapists, educators, speakers, activists and New York Times bestselling authors, their 10 books, including the timeless classic, Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, have sold more than 4

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Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt

Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D. are co-creators of Imago Relationship Therapy and a social movement called Safe Conversations. Internationally-respected as couple's therapists, educators, speakers, activists and New York Times bestselling authors, their 10 books, including the timeless classic, Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, have sold more than 4 million copies. Harville appeared on the Oprah Winfrey television program 17 times! Helen was installed in the Women’s Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institute. They have six children and seven grandchildren.

Dwayne Green

Dwayne Green is a trial attorney with over 20 years of experience. In addition to handling cases for various plaintiffs, Dwayne has tried dozens of personal injury cases on behalf of insurers such as Allstate, State Farm and Liberty Mutual. As a result of this experience, Dwayne has a unique perspective on evaluating and settling

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Dwayne Green

Dwayne Green is a trial attorney with over 20 years of experience. In addition to handling cases for various plaintiffs, Dwayne has tried dozens of personal injury cases on behalf of insurers such as Allstate, State Farm and Liberty Mutual. As a result of this experience, Dwayne has a unique perspective on evaluating and settling personal injury cases on behalf of his clients.

He has also received advanced litigation training after law school with the International Association for Defense Counsel and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, which helps him in his negotiations of personal injury claims. Dwayne also has been admitted as a life member to the Million Dollar and Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum, a selective organization recognizing attorneys who have previously obtained individual verdicts or settlements in excess of one million dollars for their clients. In the event that a case must go to trial, this experience also helps him to seek the maximum value on behalf of his clients.

Dwayne also handles parole and pardon cases on behalf of clients in need of those services. As a former member and board chair for the South Carolina Board of Probation, Pardon and Parole, Dwayne uses his extensive knowledge of the pardon and parole process to advocate for clients with those applications.

Lastly, Dwayne has received continuing legal training and education for DUI defense. As a former city attorney and a member of the National College for DUI Defense, he uses his training and experience to defend clients who have been charged with DUI and DWI offenses.

Dwayne grew up in the West Ashley area of Charleston and attended school at St. Andrew’s Elementary, Blessed Sacrament, and Porter Gaud. He graduated from Princeton University in 1991 and attended the University of Iowa Law School where he graduated in 1995.

Dwayne is also a guest columnist at the Charleston City Paper – view his articles.

Connect with Dwayne

Connect with Dwayne Green on Linkedin or on Twitter.

Charlton Singleton

Performer

A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University.

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Charlton Singleton

Performer

A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University. Since that time, he has taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as being an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston. In 2008 he co-founded and became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; an 18 piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. Mr. Singleton is also the organist and choir director at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston, SC. In November of 2016 he was named the inaugural Artist in Residence at the recently renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. He remained in this position until July 2019; at that point he was named Artist in Residence Emeritus. In this position he continues to lead the Summer Youth Jazz Orchestra Camp as well as lead the “Jazz Through the Ages” assembly, which attracts a capacity crowd of students at the Gaillard Center.

As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. He is a member of a new ensemble called Ranky Tanky. The group is a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah from the Southeast Coast of the United States. In 2018 Ranky Tanky reached the top of the Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon Contemporary Jazz charts with their self-titled debut recording. In 2019 they accomplished the same feat with the release of their sophomore effort, “Good Time”.

In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, composer, and arranger. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world, including Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Darius Rucker, Fred Wesley, and Cyrus Chestnut to name a few. Outside of music and entertainment, he and his wife, MaryJo, are the proud parents of Shalamar and D’Marcus, as well as their pets...Sassy, Jango, Mojo, Kota Bear, Pumpkin, and Ginger.

Gervais Hagerty

Gervais grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. After reporting and producing the news for both radio and television, she taught communications at The Citadel. When not writing, she works on local environmental and transportation issues. She lives in Charleston with her husband and two daughters. In Polite Company is her first novel.

Pronunciation: “Jhur-vey

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Gervais Hagerty

Gervais grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. After reporting and producing the news for both radio and television, she taught communications at The Citadel. When not writing, she works on local environmental and transportation issues. She lives in Charleston with her husband and two daughters. In Polite Company is her first novel.

Pronunciation: “Jhur-vey Hay-gherty”

Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

Joe Riley is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America.   He served ten terms as Mayor of the City of Charleston from 1975 to 2016.

He graduated from The Citadel in 1964 and the University of South Carolina Law School in 1967, and served in the S.C.

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Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

Joe Riley is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America.   He served ten terms as Mayor of the City of Charleston from 1975 to 2016.

He graduated from The Citadel in 1964 and the University of South Carolina Law School in 1967, and served in the S.C. House of Representatives from 1968 to 1974.

In his time as Mayor, Charleston transformed from a decaying urban center to a top cultural destination.   He is known for his innovative redevelopment projects, carefully crafted to add to the overall quality of life in the city.  He diffused racial tensions by working closely with the African American community.  The crisis leadership that he demonstrated after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 gained national praise for getting the city quickly cleaned up and running.

Today, Riley is professor of American Government and Public Policy at The Citadel and Executive in Residence at the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston.  He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Pew Charitable Trusts, working on smart solutions for flood-prone communities and the national government, and the first Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Urban Land Institute. Riley is also currently working to build the International African-American Museum, a $100 million project scheduled to break ground in 2019.

Under his leadership, Charleston increased its commitment to racial harmony and progress, achieved a substantial decrease in crime, experienced a remarkable revitalization of its historic downtown business district, supported the creation and growth of Spoleto Festival USA, added significantly to the City’s park system including the highly celebrated Waterfront Park, developed nationally acclaimed affordable housing, and experienced unprecedented growth in Charleston’s size and population.

Mayor Riley led a city government with an impressive record of innovation in public safety, housing, arts and culture, children’s issues, and economic revitalization and development. The City of Charleston is recognized as one of the most livable and progressive cities in the United States.

Riley has held numerous national leadership positions and received many awards and distinctions.  President Barack Obama presented him with the 2009 National Medal of the Arts for cultivating Charleston’s historic and cultural resources to enhance public spaces, and for revitalizing urban centers throughout the U.S. as the founder of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. The American Architectural Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2010 created the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Award for Leadership in City Design in his honor.  He received the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2004 Olmsted Medal; Governing Magazine named him their Public Official of the Year in 2003 for “leveraging the power of urban design and civic space.”  The American Architectural Foundation honored him in 2002 with the Keystone Award for exemplary leadership to those who use architecture to transform their communities.  He was named one of the 2004 Giants of Design by House Beautiful Magazine and received the first U.S. Conference of Mayors President’s Award in 2000 for outstanding leadership.

In 2000, he was honored as the first recipient of the Urban Land Institute’s J. C. Nichols Prize for Visionary Urban Development, and also in 2000, was honored with the Arthur J. Clement Award in Race Relations for his battle to remove the confederate flag from the S.C. Statehouse.  Riley received the 1994 Thomas Jefferson Award for “his exceptional leadership and ‘Jeffersonian’ vision in redefining the promise and, ultimate the future, of our nation and its cities.”

Mayor Riley’s current project, the International African American Museum, is the culmination of his lifelong passion to commemorate Charleston’s significant role in the slave trade and the history of this country. It is scheduled to open in fall of 2022.

Carolyn Sawyer

Carolyn Sawyer

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Since 1996, this talented communicator has parlayed her mastery of multi-mass media into creating a company with capital sales having exceeded the multi-million mark. Her cutting-edge business practices have garnered attention from USAToday (March 2004), where she was cited for optimizing Wi-Fi communications access to augment her

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Carolyn Sawyer

Carolyn Sawyer

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Since 1996, this talented communicator has parlayed her mastery of multi-mass media into creating a company with capital sales having exceeded the multi-million mark. Her cutting-edge business practices have garnered attention from USAToday (March 2004), where she was cited for optimizing Wi-Fi communications access to augment her business capabilities years before it became a mainstream operational tool.

Following TSC’s award-winning unveiling of South Carolina's historic African American History Monument on the Statehouse grounds, former US Senator Fritz Hollings nominated Sawyer to serve on national Commission commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, et al. As the Marketing Communications Chairwoman, Sawyer helped shape the Commission's worldwide publicity efforts, highlighting the landmark Supreme Court decision that ended school segregation in America.

Ms. Sawyer was a founding member of the Boston chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and previously served on the Board for the National Association of Blacks in Journalism. Ms. Sawyer is a graduate of Washington State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

A former network correspondent and anchor for ABC News, LIFETIME Television Network, and NBC News, Sawyer has authored an inspirational guidebook for entrepreneurs Forget the Glass Slipper: Build Your Own Castle – 10 Traits of a Million Dollar Business and co-authored ABC’s of Media. She regularly contributes guest columns on topics of communications and business.

Andréa Bendewald

Andréa Bendewald is an actress, mindfulness coach, Council Carrier, and the founder of The Art of Circling: A group mindfulness program that uses ancient ritual in a modern setting to empower individuals, strengthen communities and enhance productivity.   Through sacred sharing of stories, intentional listening and interconnected meditation, The Art of Circling empowers,

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Andréa Bendewald

Andréa Bendewald is an actress, mindfulness coach, Council Carrier, and the founder of The Art of Circling: A group mindfulness program that uses ancient ritual in a modern setting to empower individuals, strengthen communities and enhance productivity.   Through sacred sharing of stories, intentional listening and interconnected meditation, The Art of Circling empowers, heals, and transforms lives.

Andréa Bendewald leads transformational women’s circles all over Los Angeles and virtually with women from around the world. From Private Celebration Circles to Council in Schools, Women’s Circles, Co-ed Full Moon Circles at the Den Meditation, Andrea intuitively guides any group to a deeper experience of community, and connection to their inner, and collective wisdom.

 Visit TheArtofCircling.com to join the Circle Village and receive information on upcoming events.

Andrea lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor/writer/director Mitch Rouse, and their two children, Tennessee, and Strummer.

Mayor Steve Benjamin 

At 29 years old in 1999, Benjamin was appointed to Governor Jim Hodges' cabinet as director of the state's second largest law enforcement agency, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Mayor Benjamin has continued his service to the community in serving on numerous boards for nonprofit organizations such as the Columbia Urban League,

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Mayor Steve Benjamin 

At 29 years old in 1999, Benjamin was appointed to Governor Jim Hodges' cabinet as director of the state's second largest law enforcement agency, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Mayor Benjamin has continued his service to the community in serving on numerous boards for nonprofit organizations such as the Columbia Urban League, Benedict College, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and as a founding board member of the Eau Claire Promise Zone. He also served as a founding member of Choose Children First and chief legal counsel for Midlands Crimestoppers.

In 2009, Benjamin drew national attention by representing prominent radio host Tom Joyner and securing a pardon for Joyner's great uncles wrongfully convicted in the death of a 73-year-old Confederate veteran and executed in 1913. In a landmark decision, the South Carolina Board of Paroles and Pardons voted unanimously to grant the posthumous pardon, the first for South Carolina in a capital case.

Reelected by a 30 percent margin in November 2013, Mayor Benjamin's administration has been characterized by his firm belief in Columbia's potential and intense focus on job creation. In his first term alone, his leadership helped cut unemployment in the metro by roughly half and secured billions of dollars in new regional capital investment in the midst of a national recession.

Combined with the rebirth of Main Street, these accomplishments have drawn national attention and accolades including his being awarded an Aspen Rodel Fellowship and receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Francis Marion University. He has twice been named to The Washington Post's "The Root 100 List” (2011 and 2013) as well as the 2014 GRIO 100 and was honored to receive a 2014 Triumph Award from the National Action Network as their 2014 Public Servant of the Year.

As part of his commitment to fostering a world class police department in the City, Mayor Benjamin introduced the “Justice for All” initiative in 2014, which implemented new training, competitive pay, diverse representation and community engagement to strengthen the foundation of trust and accountability that exists between our communities and law enforcement agencies.

President Obama’s administration has also commended Mayor Benjamin on his work on behalf of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK). The city’s MBK efforts, in addition to Mayor Benjamin’s leadership, have led to Columbia being seen as a nationwide leader in implementing and upholding the missions of the program.

Mayor Benjamin was asked to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where he talked about the importance of instilling in his daughters that they can do anything they set their minds to, even becoming President of the United States.

In December 2017, Mayor Benjamin initiated city ordinance 2017-109, which banned the attachment of bump stocks and trigger cranks in the City of Columbia, making Columbia the first city in the nation to do so. He is a firm believer in common sense bipartisan leadership and endeavors to implement policies and programming that provide the best course of action for city residents.

In addition to serving as Mayor of Columbia, Mayor Benjamin also served as the 2018-2019 President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and as Chairman for Municipal Bonds for America. He formerly taught a class at the University of South Carolina Honors College and Columbia College titled “Columbia, South Carolina: Building a Great City” and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.

Mayor Benjamin is married to the Honorable DeAndrea Gist Benjamin. The two are the proud parents of daughters Bethany and Jordan Grace.

Marie Pawlak

Marie Genevieve Pawlak is an executive coach and producer at Coach People Inc www.coachpeople.com, a global executive coaching company, celebrating 25 consecutive years of success! Coach People's talented coaches work with: individuals, teams, and enterprises across industries and levels from start-ups, non for profits to trillion-dollar global companies to enable them to flourish towards

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Marie Pawlak

Marie Genevieve Pawlak is an executive coach and producer at Coach People Inc www.coachpeople.com, a global executive coaching company, celebrating 25 consecutive years of success! Coach People's talented coaches work with: individuals, teams, and enterprises across industries and levels from start-ups, non for profits to trillion-dollar global companies to enable them to flourish towards their maximum growth capability. Coach People's values are Character, Collaboration, Excellence, and Results.

Marie believes that: A sense of Value creates engagement: If people first find value within themselves first then they can inspire others at home and at work (directs, peers, teams, clients and vendor-partners) to find purpose and organically drive commitment and positive results against goals.   Marie has 20 years of experience in Higher Education and Manufacturing. As a speaker, she uses her personal experiences to inspire others to be the catalysts for creating happier workplaces through understanding resilience and seeing the world and people as intrinsically good.  She holds a Bachelors of Science and a Masters in Organizational Dev’t Leadership. She speaks three language and has completed her ICF Coaching Certification at Lewis University. In addition to being a producer, affiliate executive coach, facilitator, and consultant for Coach People Inc., Marie is also the founder of her own Organizational Health firm. She can be reached at: info@coachpeople.com.

Jennifer Pastiloff

Jen Pastiloff is an author, public speaker, coach and creator of the Shame Loss movement and course. She is the best-selling author of On Being Human. Before the global pandemic, she traveled the world with her workshop of the same name: a unique hybrid of yoga related movement, writing, sharing out loud, letting the snot fly, and the

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Jennifer Pastiloff

Jen Pastiloff is an author, public speaker, coach and creator of the Shame Loss movement and course. She is the best-selling author of On Being Human. Before the global pandemic, she traveled the world with her workshop of the same name: a unique hybrid of yoga related movement, writing, sharing out loud, letting the snot fly, and the occasional dance party.  Jen now also runs her On Being Human retreats virtually, as well as in person.

Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, calls Pastiloff a conduit of awakenings and Kiese Laymon calls her a heart magician.

She was on the cover of YOGA JOURNAL magazine with Elizabeth Gilbert for their Creativity Issue and has been featured on Good Morning America as well as in People Magazine, Shape Magazine, New York Magazine, Health Magazine, and more for her distinct style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshop all over the world.

Jen is the founder of the literary website The Manifest-Station (with editor Angela Giles.)

You can find her online yoga classes at Yogagirl.com and her weekly live chats on MINE’D as well as her podcast with Alicia Easter called “What Are You Bringing?”

She’s deaf without her hearing aids and reads lips. For more, find her at jenniferpastiloff.com.

She lives with her husband and son in Los Angeles.  She’s working on her second book. You can book her for speaking through Lyceum Agency and private coaching or retreats through her website.

PJ Browning

Pamela (P.J.) Browning became Senior Vice President with Evening Post Industries and President of Evening Post Industries Newspaper Division in July of 2013. She is also President and Publisher of The Post and Courier in Charleston.

Prior to Charleston she was President and Publisher of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, and President and

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PJ Browning

Pamela (P.J.) Browning became Senior Vice President with Evening Post Industries and President of Evening Post Industries Newspaper Division in July of 2013. She is also President and Publisher of The Post and Courier in Charleston.

Prior to Charleston she was President and Publisher of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, and President and Publisher at The Telegraph in Macon, GA, both owned by The McClatchy Company. During her time with The Sun News, Browning guided the newspaper in a highly competitive market in which tourism plays a pivotal role. She also did extensive work bringing the newspaper into the digital era. Under her leadership, Macon became one of the top newspapers in terms of re-engineering operations and innovative use of the internet. Before arriving in Macon, P.J. served as President and Publisher of the Centre Daily Times in State College, PA, a Knight-Ridder owned newspaper. Her first role as Publisher was at the Sentinel in Carlisle, PA.

While attending college, P.J. began her career at the News-Leader in Springfield, MO in 1984. Journalism bound with sites on attending law school, ink soon got in her blood and plans changed. P.J. worked in advertising at the News-Leader through graduation and was later promoted to a variety of positions through her 12 years at the paper before being promoted to the Advertising Director in Fort Collins, CO. Her newspaper advertising career later took her to Grand Rapids, MI and Asheville, N.C.

She is a graduate of Missouri State University with a bachelor of science in marketing.

P.J. is married to Kerry Browning and they have three grown children, Casey, Kylie and Cody. They are also proud grandparents of four. P.J. is a resident of Mt. Pleasant.

Browning was named Editor and Publisher’s 2019 Publisher of the Year. She currently serves on the News Media Alliance Board; Local Media Association Board; SNPA Board of Trustees; and Trident Technical College Board of Trustees. Browning also served as President of Southern Newspaper Publishers Association; and Vice President of S.C. Press Association.

Rachel Pastiloff

Rachel Pastiloff is a certified coach living in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Rachel creates content on multiple platforms that reflect the work and ideas that she is most passionate about in society. Rachel has two sons, and her oldest has a rare genetic disorder, Prader Willi Syndrome, and a dual diagnosis of autism. Rachel

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Rachel Pastiloff

Rachel Pastiloff is a certified coach living in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Rachel creates content on multiple platforms that reflect the work and ideas that she is most passionate about in society. Rachel has two sons, and her oldest has a rare genetic disorder, Prader Willi Syndrome, and a dual diagnosis of autism. Rachel advocates for her son as well as many others through her work online. Rachel works with men and women who are struggling with toxic relationships and addictions. Rachel has a background in social work, is passionate about writing, photography; and is working on a new website to share her work with the public. For coaching inquiries email rachyrachp@gmail.com and find her on instagram at @rachelpastiloff.

Angeles Arrien, Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Angeles Arrien (1940-2014)

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Angeles Arrien is an anthropologist, educator, award-winning author, and corporate consultant. She lectures worldwide, conducting workshops that bridge cultural anthropology, psychology, and mediation skills. Her work with multi-cultural issues, mediation, and conflict resolution has been used with the International Rights Commission, the World Indigenous Council, and featured on the Cable News Network (CNN). She is

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Angeles Arrien, Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Angeles Arrien (1940-2014)

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Angeles Arrien is an anthropologist, educator, award-winning author, and corporate consultant. She lectures worldwide, conducting workshops that bridge cultural anthropology, psychology, and mediation skills. Her work with multi-cultural issues, mediation, and conflict resolution has been used with the International Rights Commission, the World Indigenous Council, and featured on the Cable News Network (CNN). She is currently on the faculty of the End of Life Program at the Alaya Institute and a Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

She is the founder and president of the Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research. Dr. Arrien's research and teaching have focused on values and beliefs shared by humanity cross-culturally, and on the integration and application of multi-cultural wisdoms in contemporary settings. She teaches universal components of leadership skills, communication, health care, and education; and has received three honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of her work. She is the author of The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary, published by HarperCollins, San Francisco; Signs of Life, winner of the 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award published by Tarcher/Putnam; and Working Together: Diversity As Opportunity published by Berrett-Koehler, currently in its second printing.

Mirabai Starr

Mirabai Starr is an award-winning author of creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss.

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Mirabai Starr

Mirabai Starr is an award-winning author of creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. Her latest book, WILD MERCY: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, was named one of the “Best Books of 2019” by Spirituality & Practice. Mirabai is on the 2020 Watkins List of the “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People of the World.” She lives with her extended family in the mountains of northern New Mexico.

Daughter of the counter-culture, Mirabai was born in New York in 1961 to secular Jewish parents who rejected the patriarchy of institutionalized religion. Intellectual artists and advocates of social justice and environmental responsibility, Mirabai’s family was active in the anti-war protest movement of the Vietnam era.

In 1972, Mirabai’s mother, father, and her younger brother and sister uprooted from their suburban life and embarked on an extended road trip that led them through the jungles of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where they lived for many months on an isolated Caribbean beach, and ended in the mountains of Taos, New Mexico.  There, the family embraced an alternative, “back-to-the-land” lifestyle, in a communal effort to live simply and sustainably, values that remain important to Mirabai to this day.

As a teenager, Mirabai lived at the Lama Foundation, an intentional spiritual community that has honored all the world’s faith traditions since its inception in 1967.  This ecumenical experience became formative in the universal quality that has infused Mirabai’s work ever since. Mirabai was an adjunct professor of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years.  Her emphasis has always been on making connections between the perennial teachings found at the heart of all the world’s spiritual paths, in an effort to promote peace and justice.

Mirabai speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on the teachings of the mystics and contemplative practice, and the transformational power of grief and loss. She is available for interviews, speaking engagements, workshops and contemplative retreats. She lives in the mountains of Northern New Mexico with her husband, Jeff Little (Ganga Das). Between them, Mirabai and Jeff have four grown daughters and six grandchildren. Mirabai’s youngest daughter, Jenny, was killed in a car accident in 2001 at the age of fourteen. On that same day, Mirabai’s first book, a translation of Dark Night of the Soul, was released. She considers this experience, and the connection between profound loss and longing for God, the ground of her own spiritual life.

C. Edward Rawl , Jr.

C. Edward Rawl, Jr. is a Senior Counsel at The Boeing Company in its Labor, Employment & Benefits Law Group.  He works on a wide range of labor and employment matters related to strategy, counseling and advice, union avoidance, and litigation across the Boeing enterprise with a geographic focus in Alabama, Arizona, Florida,

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C. Edward Rawl , Jr.

C. Edward Rawl, Jr. is a Senior Counsel at The Boeing Company in its Labor, Employment & Benefits Law Group.  He works on a wide range of labor and employment matters related to strategy, counseling and advice, union avoidance, and litigation across the Boeing enterprise with a geographic focus in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and West Virginia, supporting Boeing Commercial, Defense, and Services businesses. Prior to joining Boeing in 2016, Edward was a partner at Fisher Phillips LLP in Columbia, South Carolina.

Edward is a member of Boeing’s 20-member Racial Equity Task Force advising the Company’s CEO and Executive Counsel on matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, driving systemic improvements across the enterprise.

Edward received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  He is "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell, received the Compleat Lawyer Award from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been regularly selected for inclusion in South Carolina Super Lawyers – Rising Stars.

Edward is a past member of the ABA Board of Governors (2018 - 2021). Edward previously served as the ABA YLD Membership Director, Vice Director of Membership, Member Service Project Coordinator, District Representative for SC and the USVI, and liaison to the Standing Committee on Membership.  Edward previously chaired the Employment and Labor Law Section of the South Carolina Bar.

Sara Beak, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Sera Beak

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Sera Beak is a Harvard-trained scholar of mysticism and comparative religion and an intrepid spiritual cowgirl who’s spent the last dozen years traveling the world exploring spirituality. She’s the author of The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark. Check out: http://www.serabeak.com. Sera was featured on the cover of

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Sara Beak, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Sera Beak

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Sera Beak is a Harvard-trained scholar of mysticism and comparative religion and an intrepid spiritual cowgirl who’s spent the last dozen years traveling the world exploring spirituality. She’s the author of The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark. Check out: http://www.serabeak.com. Sera was featured on the cover of The New York Times Sunday Style Section in the article “Seeing Yourself in Their Light” as one of the new “Carrie Bradshaws of self-help spirituality”. Her work has been published in magazines ranging from People Magazine to Skirt! to Washington Woman. She has been interviewed in Publishers Weekly and on numerous radio shows ranging from the Dr. Oz show on Oprah and Friends, Martha Stewart’s “Living A Charmed Life,” NPR’s New Dimensions with Justine Toms, Father Paul Keenan’s Catholic radio show, “As You Think,” Kristin and David Morelli’s show, “Everything is Energy”, and Stuart Davis’s HBO T.V. show: Sex, God, Rock and Roll. She has facilitated Red workshops and presented Red talks at retreat centers such as Omega Center, Kripalu, The Open Center, Mount Madonna, and The Sophia Institute, as well as bookstores, yoga studios, churches, and universities. She’s also a member of the blog posse on Crazy Sexy Life and a proud board member of REVEAL Conference: Young Women Defining the Divine

Jean Shinoda Bolen

Jean Shinoda Bolen

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D. is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of the Institute for Health and Healing’s "Pioneers in Art, Science, and the Soul of Healing Award". She is a former board member

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Jean Shinoda Bolen
Jean Shinoda Bolen

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D. is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of the Institute for Health and Healing’s "Pioneers in Art, Science, and the Soul of Healing Award". She is a former board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the author of The Tao of Psychology, Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman, Ring of Power, Crossing to Avalon, Close to the Bone, The Millionth Circle, Goddesses in Older Women, Crones Don't Whine, and Urgent Message From Mother. Visit jeanshinodabolen.com.

The Sophia Center has drawn a line-up of notable authors and workshop leaders second to none to speak about the sacred feminine. Names that draw large audiences to Omega and Esalen come to Charleston to give size-limited workshops that stimulate thought and can touch heart and soul."
- Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. Jungian analyst and author.

Joan Borysenko

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. is known for her gracious presence, world-class sense of humor and brilliance as a speaker and workshop facilitator. Trained as both a cell biologist and clinical psychologist, Joan is a pioneer in psychoneuroimmunology, stress management, and women’s health. She is the author of 15 books, including the New York Times bestseller Minding

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Joan Borysenko

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. is known for her gracious presence, world-class sense of humor and brilliance as a speaker and workshop facilitator. Trained as both a cell biologist and clinical psychologist, Joan is a pioneer in psychoneuroimmunology, stress management, and women’s health. She is the author of 15 books, including the New York Times bestseller Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and her most recent book Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive. A radio and television personality, wife, mother, and grandmother, Joan lives in the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. You can find out more about her at www.joanborysenko.com.

Ellen Burstyn

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Ellen Burstyn’s illustrious acting career encompasses film, stage and television. She became a “triple crown winner” when she won an Emmy for her guest appearance in “Law & Order: SVU” (2009) to add to her Oscar win for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974) and her Tony Award for “Same Time, Next Year” (1974)

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Ellen Burstyn

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Ellen Burstyn’s illustrious acting career encompasses film, stage and television. She became a “triple crown winner” when she won an Emmy for her guest appearance in “Law & Order: SVU” (2009) to add to her Oscar win for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974) and her Tony Award for “Same Time, Next Year” (1974) on Broadway. Ellen has been nominated for an Academy Award five other times for “The Last Picture Show” (1972), “The Exorcist” (1973), “Same Time, Next Year,” (1979), “Resurrection” (1981), and “Requiem for a Dream” (2000).

Her many theater credits include the Broadway production of “84 Charing Cross Road” (1982), the acclaimed one-woman play “Shirley Valentine” (1989) and “Sacrilege” (1995). She received glowing reviews in Stephen Adley Guirgis’ play “The Little Flower of East Orange” (2008), directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman at The Public Theater in New York. Earlier this year, Ellen appeared in London’s West End in Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour” to rave reviews. She
just finished shooting a TV miniseries, “Coma,” and is teaching a Master Class in acting in Australia.

Ellen was the first woman elected president of Actors Equity Association (1982-85), and served as the Artistic Director of the famed Actors Studio where she studied with the late Lee Strasberg. She continues to be active there as co-president with Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel.

Academically, Ellen holds four honorary doctorates, one in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College, a doctorate from the New School for Social Research, and a doctorate from Pace University where she teaches in The Actors Studio M.F.A. program. Ellen lectures throughout the country on a wide range of topics, and became a national best-selling author with the publication in 2006 of her memoir, Lessons in Becoming Myself, published by Riverhead Press.

In addition to a continuing and thriving acting career, Ellen is writing a screenplay, as well as planning a book of her photography accompanied by her favorite poetry.

Lama Palden Drolma, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Lama Palden Drolma

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Lama Palden has been a student and practitioner of Buddhism for over 35 years, and of Comparative Mysticism for over 40 years. She is the founding teacher of Sukhasiddhi Foundation www.sukhasiddhi.org in Marin County, California, a Tibetan Buddhist center in the Shangpa Kagyu lineage and co-founder of Zen Heart Vajra Heart, a

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Lama Palden Drolma, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Lama Palden Drolma

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Lama Palden has been a student and practitioner of Buddhism for over 35 years, and of Comparative Mysticism for over 40 years. She is the founding teacher of Sukhasiddhi Foundation www.sukhasiddhi.org in Marin County, California, a Tibetan Buddhist center in the Shangpa Kagyu lineage and co-founder of Zen Heart Vajra Heart, a Zen teacher and personal disciple of Suzuki Roshi’s. She also co-founded the Feminine Wisdom School, dedicated to helping actualize the deep feminine wisdom for individuals and for humanity as a whole. The school just completed a year-long pilot program entitled “Unfolding the Sacred Feminine.” Also a licensed therapist, Lama Palden is engaged in facilitating psycho-spiritual integration and development.

China Galland, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

China Galland

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

China Galland, M.A., is the author of The Bond Between Women, A Journey to Fierce Compassion, one of five national finalists for the annual “Best Spiritual Book” award, as well as the critically acclaimed non-fiction, Longing for Darkness, Tara and the Black Madonna, a pilgrim’s tale of travel and transformation. She is also the author

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China Galland, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
China Galland

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

China Galland, M.A., is the author of The Bond Between Women, A Journey to Fierce Compassion, one of five national finalists for the annual “Best Spiritual Book” award, as well as the critically acclaimed non-fiction, Longing for Darkness, Tara and the Black Madonna, a pilgrim’s tale of travel and transformation. She is also the author of Women in the Wilderness, A Woman Like You. and Family Secrets. Her newest non-fiction work is The Keepers of Love brings us into the heart of America’s most searing dilemma: how to choose love when there’s reason to hate, forgiveness, reconciliation and race, the story of Love Cemetery in East Texas.

She is featured in a documentary on the Black Madonna by BBC/Opus Arte in the DVD, Stabat Mater, in an hour-long PBS documentary with Gloria Steinem, Jane Goodall, Alanis Morisette and others in the 2003 special, “Women of Wisdom and Power” and in the prize-winning documentary, On the Road Home, A Spiritual Journey Guided by Remarkable Women by Christina Lundberg.

Founder and Director of the non-profit, Images of Divinity (IOD), Galland is also a Professor in Residence at the Center for Arts, Religion and Education (CARE) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley where she teaches periodically. She has lectured at universities all over the country from Harvard, Columbia, and Cornell, to Prescott College in Arizona, as well as local colleges and universities in the Bay Area, and taught at Chartres Cathedral outside of Paris for Lauren Artress’s World-Wide Labyrinth Project.

"Carolyn Rivers has her hand on the pulse of the emerging sacred feminine. Rightly she sees this emergence not as an end in itself, but one that brings the gifts of the feminine into an eternal movement that includes both male and female. With the Sophia Institute, Carolyn has created a unique and intimate container for creativity, beauty, and intelligence, warmed by southern hospitality, to foster the dance of being fully human. The arts, music, our relationship with a divine center, our natural inclination towards inclusivity, diversity, and social justice, all find a place in Carolyn Rivers' garden. Let yourself blossom in this exquisite container called the Sophia Institute. I loved teaching there."
- China Galland

Please visit www.imagesofdivinity.org

The Sophia Institute

Andrew Harvey

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Andrew Harvey is an internationally renowned religious scholar, writer, and teacher, and the author of over 30 books, including the critically acclaimed Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, as well as Journey to Ladakh, The Return of the Mother, Son of Man, and The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the

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The Sophia Institute
Andrew Harvey

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Andrew Harvey is an internationally renowned religious scholar, writer, and teacher, and the author of over 30 books, including the critically acclaimed Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, as well as Journey to Ladakh, The Return of the Mother, Son of Man, and The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the World’s Mystical Traditions. He is also coauthor of the best-selling The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. His work has been honored with the Benjamin Franklin Award and the Mind Body Spirit Award (both for Mary’s Vineyard: Daily Readings, Meditations, and Revelations, with photographs by Eryk Hanut), and the Christmas Humphries Award for A Journey in Ladakh. Born in south India in 1952, Harvey studied at Oxford University and became a Fellow of All Soul’s College in 1973. He is Founding Director of the Institute for Sacred Activism. His work can be seen at www.andrewharvey.net

Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Barbara Marx Hubbard is a visionary, social innovator, author, educator, and leader in the new worldview of conscious evolution which she describes as the awakening of the spiritual, social, and scientific potential of humanity, in harmony with nature, for the highest good of all life. She has worked closely with some of the great innovators

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Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Barbara Marx Hubbard

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Barbara Marx Hubbard is a visionary, social innovator, author, educator, and leader in the new worldview of conscious evolution which she describes as the awakening of the spiritual, social, and scientific potential of humanity, in harmony with nature, for the highest good of all life. She has worked closely with some of the great innovators of our time such as Dr. Jonas Salk, Abraham Maslow, and the great Buckminster Fuller who said of Barbara, “she is the best-informed human now alive regarding futurism and the foresights it has produced.” She is the producer and narrator of the award-winning documentary series entitled Humanity Ascending: A New Way through Together. She has been instrumental in founding many future-oriented and progressive organizations, including the World Future Society, New Dimensions Radio, Global Family, Women of Vision In Action, The Foundation for the Future, and the Association for Global New Thought. Barbara’s books include: The Hunger of Eve: One Woman’s Odyssey toward the Future; The Evolutionary Journey: Your Guide to a Positive Future; Revelation: Our Crisis is a Birth – An Evolutionary Interpretation of the New Testament; Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of our Social Potential and Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence.

Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Jean Houston

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Prof Dr. Jean Houston (PhD) is an innovative scholar, futurist, and researcher in human capacities, social change, and systemic transformation. She is one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement and one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time. She has been a key player in the empowerment of

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Jean Houston, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Jean Houston

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Prof Dr. Jean Houston (PhD) is an innovative scholar, futurist, and researcher in human capacities, social change, and systemic transformation. She is one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement and one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time. She has been a key player in the empowerment of women around the world. A powerful and dynamic speaker, and renowned for her gifts as a mythic storyteller, she holds conferences, seminars, and mentoring programs with leaders and change agents worldwide. She has worked intensively in over 40 cultures, lectured in over 100 countries, and worked with major organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, and NASA, as well as helping global state leaders, leading educational institutions, business organizations, and millions of people to enhance and deepen their own uniqueness. She has authored nearly 34 published books and a great many unpublished books and manuscripts. Dr. Houston is Chancellor of Meridian University and has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Hunter College, Marymount College, The New School for Social Research, and the University of California. Dr. Houston was also President of the American Association of Humanistic Psychology, and is presently the Chair of the United Palace of Spiritual Arts in New York City.

Helen LaKelly Hunt

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Helen LaKelly Hunt is one of a small army of women who helped to seed the women’s funding movement. She co-founded the Texas Women’s Foundation, The New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Helen was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001. Helen is the author of Faith and Feminism:

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Helen LaKelly Hunt

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Helen LaKelly Hunt is one of a small army of women who helped to seed the women’s funding movement. She co-founded the Texas Women’s Foundation, The New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Helen was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001. Helen is the author of Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance. Her latest book, And the Spirit Moved Them, The Lost Radical History of America’s First Feminists, shares the inspiring story of the abolitionist feminists. In addition, in past decades, she has co-authored several books with her partner, Harville Hendrix, on Imago Therapy, which helps transform relationships. Helen and Harville have helped to co-found Safe Conversations, LLC, a training institute that teaches Safe Conversations. Safe Conversations summarizes the new science of relationships that can help anyone shift from conflict to connection. Their work echoes the vision of Dr. Carol Gilligan and other feminist psychologists who have asserted for decades the importance of a relational culture. Helen believes that the Safe Conversations process can contribute to what the global feminist community has longed for, a more relational world.

Lee Irwin, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Dr. Lee Irwin

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Dr. Lee Irwin is a scholar of world religions with an emphasis on Native American traditions, Western Esotericism, contemporary spirituality, and transpersonal religious experience — particularly as connected to dreams and visions. He is a Guiding Voice for The Seven Pillars House of Wisdom (Sufi International Order) and the Vice President of the

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Lee Irwin, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Dr. Lee Irwin

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Dr. Lee Irwin is a scholar of world religions with an emphasis on Native American traditions, Western Esotericism, contemporary spirituality, and transpersonal religious experience — particularly as connected to dreams and visions. He is a Guiding Voice for The Seven Pillars House of Wisdom (Sufi International Order) and the Vice President of the Association for the Study of Esotericism. He has been a workshop leader and group facilitator for over twenty years, particularly in the areas of visionary cosmology and the development of the sacred human.
 His books include: The Dream Seekers; Visionary Worlds; Awakening to Spirit; The Alchemy of Soul; and Coming Down From Above: Prophecy, Resistance, and Renewal in Native American Religions.

Gloria Karpinski, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Gloria Karpinski

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Gloria D. Karpinski is a holistic counselor, spiritual director, teacher and author. For twenty-plus years, Gloria has taught all over the world for such diverse groups as psychotherapists, actors, and doctors, in venues ranging from large conferences to colleges, churches, and hospitals. Gloria is the author of Where Two Worlds Touch: Spiritual Rites of Passage

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Gloria Karpinski, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Gloria Karpinski

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Gloria D. Karpinski is a holistic counselor, spiritual director, teacher and author. For twenty-plus years, Gloria has taught all over the world for such diverse groups as psychotherapists, actors, and doctors, in venues ranging from large conferences to colleges, churches, and hospitals. Gloria is the author of Where Two Worlds Touch: Spiritual Rites of Passage (1991) and Barefoot on Holy Ground: Twelve Lessons in Spiritual Craftsmanship (2001). In 1989, Gloria received a grant from the Laurence D. Rockefeller Fund for the Advancement of the Human Spirit.

Pat Mitchell, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Pat Mitchell

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and activist. Her career has focused on using media as a force for social change, with a special emphasis on the representation of women’s voices and stories.

The first woman President and CEO of PBS, she most recently served as president

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Pat Mitchell, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Pat Mitchell

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and activist. Her career has focused on using media as a force for social change, with a special emphasis on the representation of women’s voices and stories.

The first woman President and CEO of PBS, she most recently served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media; she is now a Senior Advisor to the organization. Mitchell is also the former President of CNN Productions, where she executive produced hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, which received 35 Emmy Awards and 5 Peabody Awards.

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2009, named one of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood by Hollywood Reporter and featured in Fast Company’s special report, The League of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing the World.

Mitchell currently advises foundations and corporations on issues of women’s empowerment and leadership development as well as media and governance. She is the Chair of the Women’s Media Center and Sundance Institute boards, a founding board member of V-Day, a member of the board of the Acumen Fund, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mitchell partners with the TED organization to co-curate and host a global TEDWomen conference.

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia, with a master's degree in English literature, Mitchell has taught at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Mitchell and her husband, Scott Seydel, have six children and twelve grandchildren and reside in New York City and Atlanta, Georgia.

Mark Nepo, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Mark Nepo

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Recent work includes: Reduced to Joy (2013), Seven Thousand Ways to Listen which won

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Mark Nepo, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Mark Nepo

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Recent work includes: Reduced to Joy (2013), Seven Thousand Ways to Listen which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award, Staying Awake (2012), Holding Nothing Back (2012), As Far As the Heart Can See (2011), Finding Inner Courage (2011),and Surviving Has Made Me Crazy (2007), as well as audio books of The Book of Awakening, Finding Inner Courage, and As Far As the Heart Can See (2011). As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship.

Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and has been interviewed twice by Oprah as part of her SIRIUS XM Radio show, Soul Series. He has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America about his New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. As well, The Exquisite Risk (Harmony Books) was cited by Spirituality & Health Magazine as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2005, calling it “one of the best books we’ve ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life.” Mark’s collected essays appear in Unlearning Back to God: Essays on Inwardness (Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publications, 2006). He is also the editor of Deepening the American Dream: Reflections on the Inner Life and Spirit of Democracy (Jossey-Bass, 2005). Other books of poetry include Suite for the Living (2004), Inhabiting Wonder (2004), Acre of Light (1994, also available as an audiotape from Parabola under the title Inside the Miracle, 1996), Fire Without Witness (1988), and God, the Maker of the Bed, and the Painter (1988).

Mark Nepo's work has been translated into twenty languages including French, Portuguese, Japanese, and Danish. In leading spiritual retreats, in working with healing and medical communities, and in his teaching as a poet, Mark Nepo’s work is widely accessible and used by many. He continues to offer readings, lectures, and retreats.

For a complete listing of our teaching faculty, click here.

Connie Numbers, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Connie Numbers

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Connie Numbers, PsyD, is an author, inspirational speaker, spiritual teacher and a psychotherapist who believes that the inner journey is by far, the most exciting and rewarding quest we can take in our lives. It is an adventure like no other, filled with mystery, intrigue, and suspense, along with a myriad of opportunities to discover

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Connie Numbers, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Connie Numbers

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Connie Numbers, PsyD, is an author, inspirational speaker, spiritual teacher and a psychotherapist who believes that the inner journey is by far, the most exciting and rewarding quest we can take in our lives. It is an adventure like no other, filled with mystery, intrigue, and suspense, along with a myriad of opportunities to discover love, happiness, and the richness of life. Dr. Numbers has devoted her life to this ‘diving to the depths’ adventure and believes that anyone can grow as a human and evolve as a soul through the practice of Self Love. Believing in one’s self-worth is the first step to accepting our Divine magnificence as a soul who is here to learn, grow, and become the next outstanding version of ourselves.

Dr. Numbers has a passion for helping others remember this version of who they are by discovering that they can lead a deeply fulfilling spiritual life while still experiencing and loving themselves as an imperfect human being. She brings a wealth of wisdom, experience, and humor into her retreats and workshop settings, illustrating the concept that inner work does not have to be a burden. Instead, it is a joy and a privilege that brings healing, love, and light to the adventure of being human and divine at the same time.

Connie has a Bachelor and Masters in Music, as well as a Masters in Social Work and a Doctoral degree in Psychology. She has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for 30 years helping others to find their way and lead a more fulfilling life. She is the author of The Dear One Letters: A Path to Growing as a Human and Evolving as a Soul, and is currently working on Volume II of the same title. She continues to offer workshops, retreats, spiritual guidance and psychotherapy and more information is available on her website: www.connienumbers.com.

Paula Reeves, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Paula Reeves

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Dr. Paula Reeves is a well-known workshop leader in the fields of psychology and women's spirituality. A therapist in private practice in Atlanta, GA, she has led retreats in Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, England, Canada and the US. She has taught at the CG Jung Institute in Zurich. A colleague of Marion Woodman’s for over fifteen

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Paula Reeves, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Paula Reeves

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Dr. Paula Reeves is a well-known workshop leader in the fields of psychology and women's spirituality. A therapist in private practice in Atlanta, GA, she has led retreats in Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, England, Canada and the US. She has taught at the CG Jung Institute in Zurich. A colleague of Marion Woodman’s for over fifteen years, she leads women’s retreats with her as a member of the BodySoul Rhythms team. Author of two books, Women's Intuition: Unlocking the Wisdom of the Body and Heart Sense: Unlocking Your Highest Purpose and Deepest Desires, she has a deep interest in the relationship between spirit and matter, leading her to work with the metaphors of both the body and the psyche. The founder of Spontaneous Contemplative Movement, she teaches participants in her retreats how to listen to the wisdom of the body and follow the directions of the embodied feminine.

Peggy Rubin, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Peggy Rubin

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Peggy Rubin is Founding Director of the Center for Sacred Theatre in Ashland, Oregon. She is also the principal teaching associate of Jean Houston, Ph.D., in Dr. Houston’s worldwide multicultural transformational work and in her schools of spiritual studies, as well as a member of the core faculty of the School for Social Artistry, an

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Peggy Rubin, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Peggy Rubin

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Peggy Rubin is Founding Director of the Center for Sacred Theatre in Ashland, Oregon. She is also the principal teaching associate of Jean Houston, Ph.D., in Dr. Houston’s worldwide multicultural transformational work and in her schools of spiritual studies, as well as a member of the core faculty of the School for Social Artistry, an intensive leadership, training program. Working with Jean Houston, Peggy Rubin has presented classes, workshops and trainings throughout the United States, and in Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Sweden, Greece, Egypt, The Netherlands, India, West Africa, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Jamaica, and on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, in Albania, St. Lucia, Barbados and Kenya.

Before joining Dr. Houston’s staff in 1987, Peggy was for 14 years the Public Information and Education Director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the largest classical repertory companies in the United States. She has also been a teacher of English, a freelance writer and editor, and an actor. She has studied extensively with Elaine De Beauport, Ph.D., founder of the Mead Institute, leading teacher of humanistic and behavioral applications of current brain/mind research; and with William Emerson, Ph.D., pioneer in the field of pre and peri-natal psychology, and its importance in understanding human development.

"Carolyn Rivers has created a dream world in The Sophia Institute, a world of wisdom, goodness, beauty, clarity, intentions, intuition, and power. The work presented here inspires the mind and touches the heart."
- Peggy Rubin

Gail Straub, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Gail Straub

Teaching Faculty

A pioneer in the field of empowerment, Gail Straub co-directs the Empowerment Institute, a school for transformative social change where her primary focus is women’s empowerment. For the last three decades she has offered her work to tens of thousands of people worldwide. She co-founded IMAGINE: A Global Initiative for the Empowerment of Women to

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Gail Straub, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Gail Straub

Teaching Faculty

A pioneer in the field of empowerment, Gail Straub co-directs the Empowerment Institute, a school for transformative social change where her primary focus is women’s empowerment. For the last three decades she has offered her work to tens of thousands of people worldwide. She co-founded IMAGINE: A Global Initiative for the Empowerment of Women to help women heal from violence, build strong lives, and contribute to their community. This initiative applies the Institute’s empowerment methodology to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal “to promote gender equality and empower women.” IMAGINE initiatives are under way in Afghanistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa, India, Brazil and Jordan. Gail has consulted to many organizations furthering women’s empowerment including the Chinese Women’s Federation, Women for Women International, the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, and World Pulse.

Gail is the author of four books including, with her husband David Gershon, the best selling Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life As You Want It, the critically acclaimed, The Rhythm of Compassion: Caring for Self, Connecting with Society, and the awarding-winning feminist memoir Returning to My Mother’s House: Taking Back the Wisdom of the Feminine. She is also a contributor to the anthology Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership.

Lynne Twist, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty

Lynne Twist

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Lynne Twist, global activist, fundraiser, speaker, consultant and author, has devoted her life to eradicating hunger and poverty, and supporting global sustainability and security, human rights, economic integrity and spiritual authenticity. She has raised hundreds of millions of dollars and trained thousands of fundraisers to be more effective in their work for organizations that serve

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Lynne Twist, The Sophia Institute Teaching Faculty
Lynne Twist

Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board

Lynne Twist, global activist, fundraiser, speaker, consultant and author, has devoted her life to eradicating hunger and poverty, and supporting global sustainability and security, human rights, economic integrity and spiritual authenticity. She has raised hundreds of millions of dollars and trained thousands of fundraisers to be more effective in their work for organizations that serve the best instincts of all of us - ending hunger, empowering women, nurturing children and youth and contributing to the creation of a world view of equity and sustainability for all life.

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The most meaningful gift we can give our children, loved ones, friends and neighbors is the commitment to work together to help build a better world.

– Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation