Sue Monk Kidd is a writer, novelist and memoirist. She was born in Albany, Georgia and raised in the tiny town of Sylvester, Georgia, a place that deeply influenced the writing of her first novel The Secret Life of Bees. The Secret Life of Bees has sold more than 6 million copies, spent over 2 ½ years on the New York Times bestseller list and been published in 35 countries. It was awarded the 2004 Book Sense Paperback book of the Year, nominated for the Orange Prize in England, and chosen as Good Morning America's Read This! Book Club pick. It was produced on stage in New York by The American Place Theater and adapted into a movie by Fox Searchlight in 2008, which won the People’s Choice and the NAACP Image awards for Best Picture. Sue's second novel, The Mermaid Chair, reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list and remained on the hardcover and paperback lists for nine months. Winner of the 2005 Quill Award for General Fiction, the novel has been translated into 24 languages and was produced as a television movie by Lifetime. Sue's newest book, Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story, co-authored with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor debuted in 2009, appearing on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times Bestseller List. It will be out in paperback in September.
Sally Kempton is a widely respected teacher of meditation and spiritual wisdom, known for her capacity to kindle meditative states in others, and to help students work with meditative experience as a framework for practical life-change. A former journalist who wrote for Esquire, New York, and the Village Voice, she has spent over four decades practicing, teaching, and writing on meditation and spiritual philosophy. Sally spent 20 years as a swami in a traditional Vedic order of monks. She was deeply trained in the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism and Vedanta under the guidance of her enlightened teacher, Swami Muktananda.
Sally is the author of the best-selling book, Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga, and of Meditation for the Love of It,” which Spirituality and Health magazine called “the meditation book your heart wants you to read”. Her audio program, Doorways to the Infinite: The Art and Practice of Tantric Meditation, was released by Sounds True in 2014. She is on the faculty at Esalen and Kripalu, teaches meditation on the websites Glo.com, Gaia.com, and Yogajournal.com, and is a contributing editor at Yoga Journal. Sally teaches online courses and seminars on meditation and spiritual philosophy, and leads retreats and workshops in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Her website is www.sallykempton.com.
Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board
Jean Houston, Ph.D.,is a world renowned scholar, futurist, and researcher in human capacities, social change, and systemic transformation, and is one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement. She is also a founder of the field of Social Artistry, “Human development in the light of social change,” and 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 capacities. She is the co-author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller “The Quest of Rose,” the first book of the “Future Humans Trilogy” with Dr. Anneloes Smitsman, and has authored over 35 published books and a great many unpublished books, plays, and manuscripts. She is presently Chancellor of Meridian University and Chair of the United Palace of Spiritual Arts in New York City.
Caroline Myss is a five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and the science of medical intuition. Caroline established her own educational institute in 2003, CMED (Caroline Myss Education), which offers a diverse array of programs devoted to personal development and draws students from all over the world. In addition to hosting a weekly radio show on the Hay House network, Caroline maintains a rigorous international workshop and lecture schedule.
After completing her Master’s degree, Caroline co-founded Stillpoint Publishing and headed the editorial department, producing an average of ten books a year in the field of human consciousness and holistic health. Simultaneously Caroline refined her skills as a medical intuitive, with the assistance of C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., a Harvard-trained neurosurgeon.
Caroline developed the field of Energy Anatomy, a science that correlates specific emotional/psychological/physical/spiritual stress patterns with diseases. Her research proved so accurate that it became the subject matter of a book co-written by Caroline and Norm: THE CREATION OF HEALTH.
In 1996, Caroline released ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT, a New York Times bestseller that has been published in 28 languages and has sold over 1.5 million copies. Through the investigation of the underlying reasons why people sabotage their healing processes, Caroline identified a syndrome she calls “woundology,” characterized by a person’s reliance on the power of illness for manipulation of his or her world, as opposed to attaining an independent, empowered state of health. As with her other seminal research, this syndrome is now a recognized psychological condition. Her third book, WHY PEOPLE DON’T HEAL AND HOW THEY CAN, became another New York Times bestseller.
Caroline then pursued her interest in the language of symbols, myths, and archetypes, conducting research that enabled her to profile an individual’s “Sacred Contract,” a complex of 12 archetypal patterns that reflect in mythic language the agreements the soul made prior to birth. Based on this work, Caroline released SACRED CONTRACTS, which became her third New York Times bestseller. It is published in 18 languages and posts sales of well over 1.6 million copies. In 2003, Oprah Winfrey gave Caroline her own television program with the OXYGEN network in New York City, which ran successfully for one year.
Caroline followed with two more New York Times bestsellers, INVISIBLE ACTS OF POWER in 2004 and ENTERING THE CASTLE in 2007. Caroline’s latest book, DEFY GRAVITY, was released in October 2009, a book exploring the mystical phenomenon of healing that transcends reason.
In addition to her written work, Caroline has produced more than eighty audio/visual products on subjects that include healing, spirituality, personal development, and the study of archetypes.
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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.
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.
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Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board
Poet David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home, with his family, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The author of eight books of poetry and four books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes the Amazon and the Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.
His life as a poet has created a readership and listenership in three normally mutually exclusive areas: the literate world of readings that most poets inhabit, the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical inquiry and the world of vocation, work and organizational leadership.
An Associate Fellow at Templeton College and Said Business School at the University of Oxford, he is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many European, American and international companies. In spring of 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Neumann College, Pennsylvania.
In organizational settings, using poetry and thoughtful commentary, he illustrates how we can foster qualities of courage and engagement; qualities needed if we are to respond to today’s call for increased creativity and adaptability in the workplace. He brings a unique and important contribution to our understanding of the nature of individual and organizational change particularly through his unique perspectives on Conversational Leadership.
Teaching Faculty / National Advisory Board
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Marianne has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose & Bill Maher. Seven of her twelve published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1. The mega best seller A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.
Marianne’s other books include The Law of Divine Compensation, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, Illuminata, Enchanted Love, Healing the Soul of America, A Course in Weight Loss, The Gift of Change, A Year of Miracles, and her newest book, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment, available now.
Marianne is a native of Houston, Texas. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. To date, Project Angel Food has served over 10 million meals. Marianne also co-founded the Peace Alliance. And she serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world.
According to Time magazine, “Yoga, the Cabala and Marianne Williamson have been taken up by those seeking a relationship with God that is not strictly tethered to Christianity.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Carol Anderson toured a variety of shows nationally including “A Feather on the Breath of God: The Remarkable Life of 12th Century Mystic Hildegarde of Bingen.” which she presents here for us. Her one woman show on eating disorders, “A Size 7 Forever” was aired on PBS in 1991. After performances of the show at Harvard, Ohio Wesleyan and conferences across the country, she and husband Jim Shores formed a company called Acts of Renewal. Carol has a MFA in Acting from UNC Chapel Hill where she also worked in PlayMakers Repertory Co. Both as a solo performer and with her husband Jim, she has written and performed extensively a variety of shows for performances at colleges, universities, conference and arena events addressing issues of recovery, relationships, marriage and personal growth. Carol continues to tour nationally while living in Black Mountain, NC.
Carol offers an extraordinary performance of the life and wisdom of Hildegarde of Bingen, “A Feather on the Breath of God” during the Mosaics of Mary: Sophia’s Mysteries retreat.
Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. is the author of Love In The Age Of Ecological Apocalypse: The Relationships We Need To Thrive (2015) as well as Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times (2013). Her previous books are and Navigating The Coming Chaos: A Handbook For Inner Transition (2011). With Guy McPherson, Carolyn co-authored and published Dark Gold: The Human Shadow And The Global Crisis (2016). She lives and writes in Boulder, Colorado and manages Carolyn Baker Educational Services, LLC at www.carolynbaker.net. A former psychotherapist and professor of psychology and history, Carolyn is a life coach and spiritual consultant for people who want to live more resiliently in the present as they prepare for the future. Her podcast, the New Lifeboat Hour airs weekly online. Carolyn and Andrew Harvey released their collaborative book, Return To Joy in November, 2016.
For more than 20 years, Nella Barkley has been helping people find their own personal career and life paths. Through strategic planning principles and her own innate drive to enable others, Nella has become a sought-after mentor, public speaker and coach. Her counsel is sought by Fortune 500 corporations, career changers, international media and others.
In her life and practice, Nella has learned an essential truth: “Life goals are complex constructs. They don't arrive full blown but, with coaching, they do arrive and - when they do - they illuminate every step you take in life."
As editor-in-chief of Steiner Books, Christopher Bamford has introduced, edited, and translated many volumes of Rudolf Steiner. He is also a recognized authority on Western esotericism, the author of two books, and a lecturer. Two of his essays have been recognized in Best Spiritual Writing (2000 and 2005).
Tater Beak moved to Charleston with her husband Bill in 2006 from the Chicago area. Prior to the move, Tater was a docent for twenty-three years at The Art Institute of Chicago. She was also a docent at the Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago and at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta Georgia. In addition to a love of art, Tater enjoys Yoga, Nia, Pilates, and reading. While living in Chicago she belonged to a book discussion group that met weekly. In Charleston Tater volunteers at the Halsey Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sophia Institute; she is a member of Grace Episcopal's Journey Group, a monthly book group and a group of women that explores new and interesting events, places and ideas in the Charleston area.
A self-described Mad Woman version of Mad Men, Charlotte Beers is the woman who broke the glass ceiling in advertising when she was named Chairman and CEO of Oglivy advertising and later chairman of J Walter Thompson, both multinational, worldwide advertising agencies. After failing at retirement yet again, Charlotte served as the Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy for the U.S. State Department under Colin Powell, Secretary of State, from 2001 to 2004. Since then, she has been deeply involved in conducting these seminars in New York and throughout Europe for women in every kind of enterprise. This is the first one here in Charleston.
Linda Bender¹s love of the natural world began in her childhood back yard. From orphaned deer to blue jays prematurely bumped from their nests, animals in distress somehow found their way to her. Her rapport with animals inspired her to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine.
During the fourteen years she spent living in England, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Linda'[s veterinary work included the rescue, rehabilitation, and protection of wildlife, often in remote areas. Working with zoos in Southeast Asia, she treated animals rescued from the wildlife trafficking trade and helped reintroduce them back into their natural habitats. Among those given a second chance at life were clouded leopards, tigers, orangutans, and numerous species of rare psittacine and passerine birds.
Working in the field with rarely encountered wildlife, she helped to develop treatment protocols.
In both Asia and Africa she worked with local communities promoting anti-poaching initiatives and education programs. Sharing stories of her deep connection to animals helped school children understand, respect and protect both wildlife and domestic animals.
Linda¹s other enduring interest is spirituality. For over twenty five years, she has practiced meditation and studied many of the world¹s wisdom traditions, including shamanism. Learning the traditions and ancient wisdom of indigenous people enriched her understanding of the sacred connection between humans, animals, and nature. These experiences helped shape her environmental consciousness and deepened her commitment to conservation.
Linda is a certified instructor with The Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California and has lectured on animals and healing at The Chopra Center. In England, she studied energy medicine and is a certified practitioner of "Energy For Life". Her interest in the spiritual aspects of human healing led her to found the Mind the Gap Wellness Center in Cincinnati and a pet therapy program through the Ohio Mental Health Association. She is co-founder of the nonprofit organization, From The Heart. Linda has also produced a meditation CD entitled "Awakening the Heart."
Board of Directors / Teaching Faculty
Henk Brandt is the author of Sleeping with Sophia, a collection of poems, and The Heart of a Pilgrim, a spiritual memoir. Henk is part of a new breed of speakers and consultants who are working to bring soul into the workplace and heart into the way we conduct ourselves in the world. Henk’s innovative fusion of Western empiricism and Eastern wisdom offers a new vision for embodying dynamic growth at every level. As a mindfulness-based counselor, Henk has developed a non-pathological system that empowers practitioners to transmute painful experiences into expressions of natural growth. According to Henk, mindfulness provides a proven process for overcoming adversity by moving beyond the victim-perpetrator dyad. In this way, permanent solutions are achieved, instead of temporary ones. He emphasizes that the obstacle is the path: “People need to learn how to minister to themselves by changing how they use their minds so that over time they actually rewire the way their brains function. Mindfulness-Based Counseling enables people to find the light inside the dark, to dwell on the frontier of unknowing and to engage in mature intimate relationships that are consciously committed to mutual growth.”
A Time for Awakening: Mindfulness Training and Heart Callings
Rick Brown is Executive Director of the Institute for Relationship Therapy. He offers national and international workshops and seminars for couples, as well as training for qualified therapists in the theory and practice of relationship therapy. Rick has trained hundreds of psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists and other mental health professionals. Rick is a graduate of Florida State University, Princeton and Union Theological Seminary. He is a pastoral psychotherapist and licensed mental health counselor with over twenty-eight years of clinical experience working with individuals, couples, and families. His appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show for his expertise in creating intimacy in even the most difficult relationships, was named by Oprah as one of her Top 20 episodes.
Mirabai Bush is a Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Under her direction, The Center introduced contemplative practices into the fields of higher education, law, business, journalism, social justice activism, and the military. A key contributor to Google’s Search Inside Yourself curriculum, she has taught mindfulness in organizations including AMEX, Hearst Publications, Mind and Life Institute, and Fetzer Institute.
She is the co-author of Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning and author of Working with Mindfulness CD. She is co-author with Ram Dass of Compassion in Action. In 2015, her chapter, “Awakening at Work: Introducing Mindfulness into Organizations” will be published in Mindfulness in Organizations by Cambridge University Press.
Mirabai’s contemplative teachers include Neemkaroli Baba, S. N.Goenka, Kalu Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Kanai Sensei, and others. Mirabai Bush is the mother of digital artist Owen Bush and grandmother of the divine 5-year-old Dahlia. She lives in western Massachusetts.
For a complete listing of our teaching faculty, click here.
Nicole Campbell boasts a fiercely flourishing career as an entrepreneur, educator, and professional speaker. To this list she has now added ‘author’. Driven by a passion for empowerment, she represented Jamaica at MIT’s Junior Summit and was selected to address then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at just 13 years old. She was subsequently featured in local and international media, including CNN and Nickelodeon and was chosen as one of “20 Teens Who Will Change the World” by Teen People Magazine.
She is a graduate of the St. Andrew High School for Girls, and completed her high school studies at Phillips Academy ‘Andover’ in Massachusetts, before going on to earn an undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University in 2006. Nicole also studied at Stanford University’s Summer Institute and the University of London, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Globalization and Development.
Nicole returned to Jamaica immediately to join the Ministry of Education where she served as Senior Policy Analyst to the then Minister of Education, now Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness. At 25, Nicole resigned from the Ministry to start AIM Educational Services – with just two students. Nicole sites her decision to tap into her passion for human development in education as one of the best she’s made. Today, AIM sees hundreds of students and delivers an average return of over 5000% to parents – results Nicole attributes to a strong, motivated team whose focus remains on possibilities, not problems.
How Do You Streamline Your Goals?
Pursuing too many goals at once will lead to diminishing returns ... so the great ones say! Nicole breaks it down.
Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB has been one of America's key visionary spiritual voices for more than 30 years. Sister Joan manifests herself in many forms: social psychologist, communications theorist, best-selling author, columnist, Benedictine nun, but the voice is a constant. It is always clear, true, fierce and loving. Leadership, she believes, is not force but the ability to see the vision beyond the reality and make a road where no road has been. Honorary degrees, awards and countless organizations have recognized her work for justice, peace and equality, especially for women. She is the author of over 50 books – thirteen of which have won Catholic Press Association Awards – the latest: The Way of the Cross (Orbis) in 2014. She is a regular web columnist for the National Catholic Reporter (ncronline.org) and Huffington Post (Huffingtonpost.com). Her PhD is from Penn State University in Speech-Communication Theory, her masters from the University of Notre Dame. She founded and directs Benetvision (joanchittister.org) , a center for contemporary spirituality in Erie, Pennsylvania, was president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and was prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for 12 years. Sister Joan Chittister is Co-Chair of The Global Peace Initiative of Women (www.GPIW.org).
Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most original and perceptive black voices today—“the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (New York Observer). Coates is the author, most recently, of Between the World and Me, the #1 New York Times bestseller that “will be hailed as a classic of our time” (Publishers Weekly) and which Toni Morrison calls “required reading.” Between the World and Me is written by Ta-Nehisi Coates in the form of a letter to his teenage son, Samori. In 160 pages, it moves from Baltimore to Howard University to New York City to Paris, France, addressing what it means to be black in America. Slate calls it, “a book destined to remain on store shelves, bedside tables, and high school and college syllabi long after its author or any of us have left this Earth.” An Atlantic National Correspondent, Coates has written many influential articles, including “The Case for Reparations,” which reignited the long-dormant conversation of how to repay African-Americans for a system of institutional racism that’s robbed them of wealth and success for generations. New York called the George Polk Award-winning cover story “probably the most discussed magazine piece of the Obama era.” More recently, The Atlantic cover story “My President was Black,” Ta-Nehisi’s reflection of President Obama’s time in office, has generated wide acclaim. Coates’s debut book, The Beautiful Struggle, is a tough and touching memoir of growing up in Baltimore during the age of crack. In 2012, Coates was awarded the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. Judge Hendrik Hertzberg, of The New Yorker, wrote, “Coates is one of the most elegant and sharp observers of race in America. He is an upholder of universal values, a brave and compassionate writer who challenges his readers to transcend narrow self-definitions and focus on shared humanity.” A former Village Voice writer, Coates has previously served as the Journalist in Residence at the School of Journalism at CUNY and the Martin Luther King Visiting Associate Professor at MIT. He has been awarded the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. He is the winner of a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship, and was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Stephen Cope is the Founding Director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living--America's largest yoga research institute. For many years, he has been Senior Scholar in Residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health--where he writes and teaches about the relationship between Western psychological thinking and the Eastern contemplative traditions. His most recent book is The Great Work of Your Life (Bantam, 2012.)
Tradd Cotter founded an 8-acre research farm and tissue culture laboratory near Clemson, SC creating spawn and kits for growers, teachers, and researchers. They maintain over 50 species of edible and medicinal mushrooms and are isolating new strains. Tradd helped guide Mepkin Abbey into a new mushroom farming enterprise serving as their lifelong consultant and fungal spiritual advisor.
Judy Cornwell was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but now, with her husband, the novelist Bernard Cornwell, divides her time between Cape Cod and Charleston. On Cape Cod Judy was a founding board member of WeCan, an organization which helps and mentors women in crisis. She has worked with the suicide prevention charity, The Samaritans, and has been a volunteer with Hospice of Cape Cod for over fifteen years. She has a passion for the theater and was President of the Friends of Monomoy Theatre which offers drama students a chance to perform summer stock on Cape Cod. Judy is a yoga teacher, deeply involved in the search for spirituality, and is mother to three children and grandmother to another three.
Beki Crowell has lived in the US, Canada and the Bahamas and since 1986 has made her home Charleston, SC where she owns and showcases her artwork in Utopia, Boutique and Gallery in the historic downtown district. She has exhibited her artwork internationally and has loved collaborating with other artists to create multi-sensory shows. Her bold, colorful paintings are a reflection of her own spiritual journey as well as the organic connection between nature and the nature of humanity as sensual beings embodying the Divine. She has been divinely guided to paint/channel 'Soul Portraits' along with other forms of Energy Healing, as a way to support others in their own journeys of spiritual expansion and Awakening to their True Divine Self. Her latest masterpiece she has yet to publish but looks forward to sharing her book, a spiritual memoir about her personal journey of Awakening.
Joanna Crowell is the founder of Ascension Theatre and the Women Writing from Experience workshop series, where she facilitated creative writing workshops for women and teens and created a platform for them to perform/share their stories. She was a professional actress for over 20 years, having been the member of numerous theatre companies, including Living the Dream Theatre in Columbus, Ohio, The African American Performance Troupe, The New American Stage Company, and The Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina. She has performed her own poetry across Canada and the US. At age 34, with a 9-month old baby at home, she returned to University and to her native country, Canada, in quest of incorporating more effectively women’s issues and social justice and peace issues into her performance art. She earned a BA in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, as well as Social Justice and Peace Studies from the University of Western Ontario. She is the author of a book of poems called I Ate a Rainbow for Breakfast and the play AWOL: A Soldier’s Journey produced by PURE Theatre in 2011. Currently, Joanna is a hardcore-single-tennis-mom, and manager of wonderful internal medicine & wellness center in Charleston, called Remedy. Joanna's remedy is the law of attraction and deep connections through art. She is all about affirming well-being in herself and in others. She does this through her art, her food consultations, her poetry, her photography and her performances.
Meghan Don is an initiate of the Sophian Lineage, and Founder and Leading Guide of The Gnostic Grace Circle. An award-winning author, spiritual mentor, and retreat presenter, Meghan’s work helps to raise the feminine consciousness and confidence in our world. She has worked extensively with the Christian mystics, Gnostic and Kabbalistic teachings, and Jungian psychology, and is renowned for her keen insight into the human soul. Coming from Celtic heritage and raised in New Zealand, Meghan’s work is informed by deep connection with the natural world. Her work incorporates mystical prayer and meditation, and sacred dance and chant, bringing ancient wisdom into a contemporary and accessible form.
Meghan has taught at Omega Institute, Esalen Institute, Unity and New Thought Churches, and Episcopal and Methodist Churches. She has led many sacred pilgrimages to Europe, and is the author of Meditations with Teresa of Avila: A Journey into the Sacred, which won the Ashton Wylie/New Zealand Book Council Award for Best Book and Author in 2006. She has also authored Sacred Companions Sacred Community: Reflections with Clare of Assisi. Her upcoming book, The New Divine Feminine: Spiritual Evolution for a Woman’s Soul is to be released in August 2016.
Meghan divides her time between the Carolinas in the United States and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Carolyn Evans, MSW, has worked as a therapist and used to perform regularly as a singer/songwriter with her band. She continues to write songs, but instead of late nights singing in bars, she spends her days meeting with Beaders—online and in person as she supports the growing Forty Beads nation.
Carol Lee Flinders is a national speaker, retreat leader, and author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics, Rebalancing the World, and one of our favorites, At the Root of This Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst. Dr. Flinders has taught courses in mystical literature at UC Berkeley, and at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She is currently a Fellow of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University. In May 2006, Penguin/Putnam will publish her latest book, Enduring Lives: Living Portraits of Women and Faith in Action, which profiles contemporary women she believes live and work in the "spiritual mother-line" of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Catherine of Genoa. She has written about natural foods, co-authoring the popular Laurel's Kitchen cookbooks. Carol lives in Northern California at the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation with her husband Tim. Visit www.tworock.org.
Erica Ariel Fox, J.D., is a Lecturer at Harvard Law School and the Founder of the Global Negotiation Insight Institute. She is internationally known as a pioneer in the integration of wisdom traditions and spiritual practice into the negotiation and conflict resolution field. She is passionate about the connection between personal mastery and high performance. As a partner of Mobius Executive Leadership, Ms. Fox works with Fortune 500 companies as well as public sector leaders to build consensus, facilitate change, and transform crises into opportunities for growth. She is currently completing her first book, Beyond Yes, based on a dozen years of teaching negotiation at Harvard Law School and over a decade of training professionals around the world, including in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, throughout Europe and across the United States.
Rev. Matthew Fox, PhD, author, theologian, and activist priest, has been calling people of spirit and conscience into the Creation Spirituality lineage for over 50 years. His 38 books, lectures, retreats, and innovative education models have ignited an international movement to awaken people to be mystics and prophets, contemplative activists, who honor and defend the earth and work for justice. Seeking to establish a new pedagogy for learning spirituality that was grounded in an effort to reawaken the West to its own mystical traditions in such figures as Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and the mysticism of Thomas Aquinas, as well as interacting with contemporary scientists who are also mystics, Fox founded the University of Creation Spirituality. His recent projects include Order of the Sacred Earth and Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox as well as The Cosmic Mass. His most recent books are: Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in at Time of Pandemic—and Beyond; and The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times. Other books include Original Blessing; The Coming of the Cosmic Christ; A Spirituality Named Compassion; The Reinvention of Work; and Christian Mystics. www.matthewfox.org. www.dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org
Nancy Swift Furlotti, Ph. D. is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA. She is past president of the Philemon Foundation and the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, where she trained. She has numerous publications and lectures internationally on Jungian topics, mythology, and the environment. Dr. Swift Furlotti established the Carl Jung Professorial Endowment in Analytical Psychology at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. She is also on the board of the Foundation for Anthropological Research & Environmental Studies (FARES) and is delighted to have recently joined the Pacifica Graduate Institute Board of Trustees in 2014.
Richard Garcia is the author of Rancho Notorious and The Persistence of Objects, both from BOA Editions. A chapbook of prose poems, Chickenhead, came out from FootHills Publishing in 2009. His poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, Crazyhorse, Ploughshares, Pushcart Prize XXI and Best American Poetry. He teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program of Antioch University Los Angeles, the College of Charleston, and privately. He lives on James Island, SC, with his wife, poet Katherine Williams, and their dog Louie. www.richardgarcia.info.
Natalie Goldberg is an author, poet, teacher, and painter. She has written 11 books including the classic Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, which has been translated into 14 languages. Her most recent book, highly acclaimed, is Old Friend from Faraway. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops and retreats, and she has the reputation of being a great teacher. With filmmaker Mary Feidt, she completed the documentary Tangled Up in Bob, about Bob Dylan’s childhood on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota. Her lively paintings can be viewed at the Ernesto Mayans Gallery in Santa Fe.
I have enjoyed a multifaceted career that includes professional work as a psychotherapist, chef/entrepreneur, author, poet and meditation teacher. I am married and have two grown children. I also enjoy a variety of leisure activities that include photography, kayaking, gardening, cooking and theater. Star Child, published in 2012 is my second book and first fiction story.
A full biography of Kay is available here.
Carol Graf was born in 1946, surrounded by the great plains of Oklahoma. Her father was an Army Air Corps instructor pilot based in Tulsa and her mother was a homemaker to Carol and her two brothers. Her childhood was idyllic and full of creative play.
Her parent’s decision to return “home” to South Carolina when Carol was five, changed her life irrevocably. For the next ten years, her family was caught in the emotional turbulence and dysfunction of her mother’s extended family. Excelling in academics and athletics provided much needed balance and buffers to her family turmoil. She was valedictorian of her senior class.
She graduated from the University of South Carolina with degrees in biology and chemistry (pre-med curriculum) and was listed in Who’s Who and Top Ten Outstanding Seniors. Her work on the school newspaper, the Gamecock, culminated in editorship her senior year and honed her parallel interest in writing.
She was one of only three women in her graduating class at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she completed her residency in psychiatry in 1976. It was during her medical training that her intense experiences with patients became the first stories that ultimately led to the writing of The Hours Between Us.
Entering the private practice of psychiatry in Charleston, South Carolina, she spent over thirty years working with children, adolescents, adults, and couples. She created a group practice with an innovative model of interrelatedness between psychiatrists, psychologists, and masters level therapists in their medical and therapeutic work together.
She married her current husband, Alex Beard, in 1991, combining their two sets of children into a blended family. Alex and Carol live on deep water on a salt marsh in Charleston.
Carol’s son, Christian, is an emergency medicine doctor, married with three sons and living nearby in Charleston. Her daughter, Erin, a photographer and artist, lives in Atlanta with her son and daughter. Alex’s daughter, Abby, is married with two sons and a daughter and also lives in Atlanta. His son, Thomas, lives in New York and is the at-large film curator for the Lincoln Center as well as co-founder of a non-profit film organization, Light Industry.
Carol and Alex’s eight grandchildren are a great joy to their Poppi and Gammi.
Barbara G.S. Hagerty is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. Her essays, columns, and poems have appeared in a wide variety of national and regional periodicals. She has written two books, plus a collection of poetry, The Guest House (Finishing Line Press, 2009). She currently holds the Fellowship in Poetry from the South Carolina Arts Commission. She has also worked as a photographer, curator, and teacher of poetry and creative nonfiction.
Joan Halifax is an American Zen Buddhist Roshi, anthropologist, ecologist, civil rights activist, hospice caregiver, and the author of several books on Buddhism, and spirituality. She currently serves as Abbot and guiding teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which she founded in 1990. Roshi Joan, as she is called, has received Dharma transmission from both Bernard Glassman and Thich Nhat Hanh, and previously studied under the Korean master Seung Sahn. She has collaborated with Joeseph Campbell and Alan Lomax. She is founder of the Ojai Foundation in California, which she led from 1979 to 1989. As a socially engaged Buddhist, Halifax has done extensive work with the dying through her Project on Being with Dying, which she founded. She is on the board of directors of the Mind and Life Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated in exploring the relationship of science and Buddhism.
Fr. Guerric has been a monk at Mepkin Abbey for the past 21 years where he has served as infirmarian caring for the sick and elderly monks, director of the gardens, store manager and currently serves as the Monastic Guest Director, Director of the Annual Mepkin Abbey Creche Festival and The St. Francis Retreat Center. He served as a hospital chaplain for 11 years and had been a parish priest for 28 years in Richmond, VA before coming to Mepkin Abbey.
Terry Helwig began life in 1949 on a farm near Glenwood, Iowa. Her mother, only fifteen at the time, struggled with the rigors of motherhood, farm life, and marriage. Terry’s mother divorced when Terry was two and moved Terry and her younger sister to Colorado. Despite half a dozen daughters and almost as many marriages, Terry’s troubled mother never found contentment.
Terry’s stepfather, a loving and hard-working wildcatter, moved Terry and her sisters to numerous oil towns across the Southwest. By age eleven, Terry had moved ten times and penciled a fifteen-page novel The Lost City of Enchantment, igniting her life-long desire to become a writer.
In her twenties, Terry married her husband Jim of 42 years, lost her mother, and pursued writing as an assistant editor at a public radio and television station in New York State’s Capital Region. She later graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis University in Denver, Colorado with a B.A. in Communications.
Ever the student, and compelled by her family dynamics to explore the realm of human motivation and consciousness, Terry studied transpersonal psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and later graduated with an MA in Counseling from the College of New Jersey.
While being room mom, team mom and sewing costumes for numerous recitals and plays for her daughter Mandy, Terry wrote, lectured and led workshops for women on personal growth and development. Terry’s writing has appeared in Spirituality and Health, Daily Guideposts and other publications.
Responding to 9/11, Terry created The Thread Project: One World, One Cloth, a textile exhibition encouraging tolerance and compassionate community. As a result of moving so often in childhood, Terry believed people were really more alike than different. To foster community, she invited people worldwide, via the web, to send her a single thread, representing hope—however slim their thread of hope might be. She coined a motto of sorts: Some people say our world is hanging by a thread. I say—a thread is all we need.
Over the next five years, more than forty weavers, in fourteen countries, set up looms in their respective communities to weave tens of thousands of collected threads into tapestries that hung in the United Nations and St. Paul’s Chapel. Now, ten years later, Terry hopes to gift this fabric of humanity to an organization promoting peace. Terry also co-wrote a play about the project called The Thread Narratives, which debuted in Charleston, South Carolina.
Terry now devotes herself fulltime to writing. Her coming-of-age memoir Moonlight on Linoleum is a luminous story about a first-born daughter taking her younger sisters under-wing and forging a lasting bond of sisterhood. The memoir portrays a turbulent family clinging to the thinnest threads of fortitude and determination, revealing not only the depths to which we can fall but also the heights to which we can rise.
Currently, Terry and her husband Jim divide their time between the coasts of Florida and South Carolina. Their daughter Mandy is an attorney in Washington, DC.
Bell Hooks is a social activist, feminist, author, professor, and Buddhist scholar. Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Kentucky on September 25, 1952, bell hooks explores gender, race, and class. She also writes on the topics of mass media, art, and history. She is a prolific writer, writing both for mainstream and academia. Her best known work focuses on perceptions of black women in the United States.
At Yale University, bell hooks was a Professor of African and African-American Studies and English. At Oberlin College, she was an Associate Professor of Women‚’s Studies and American Literature. At the City College of New York, bell hooks also held the position of Distinguished Lecturer of English Literature. bell hooks has been awarded The American Book Awards/Before Columbus Foundation Award, The Writer’s Award from Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, and The Bank Street College Children’s Book of the Year. She has also been ranked as one of the most influential American thinkers by Publisher’s Weekly and The Atlantic monthly.
The works of bell hooks were influenced by the writings of the American abolitionist Sojourner Truth, the Brazilian teacher Paulo Freire, the Peruvian theologian Gustavo Guitierrez, the German-American psychologist Erich Fromm, the American playwright Lorraine Hansberry, the Vietnamese monk Thicht Nhat Hanh, the American writer James Baldwin, the American civil rights radical Malcolm X and the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. She draws from this multitude of inspiration to create her unique brand of work that blends emancipatory politics with post modern theory and cultural inspirations as well.
Carly Elizabeth Howard is a registered yoga instructor and former yoga studio owner. Carly discovered yoga while practicing law in Miami, Florida. Yoga helped Carly balance her busy work life with her personal goals, both physical and mental. Carly is RYT 200 certified with Charlotte Yoga's 200 hour Power Alignment teacher training program. By teaching proper alignment, Carly strives to increase her yoga students' strength and flexibility, improve joint motion and durability, and promote athletic sustainability. Carly's yoga classes help to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm and well-being.
As an estate planning and probate attorney, Carly has helped hundreds of clients with complex estate and tax issues. As former owner and director of Studio Kauai Yoga, Carly coordinated a busy schedule of over 30 classes per week and ten teachers, a retail boutique, and special events and workshops. Carly draws from her wide range of experience to create balanced yet exciting, relaxing yet invigorating yoga classes.
Josephine Humphreys is the Charleston-born author of four novels: Dreams of Sleep, winner of the Pen/Hemingway award for best first novel of 1984; Rich in Love, a The new York Times Notable Book of the Year, with a movie version starring Albert Finney and Jill Clayburgh; The Fireman’s Fair, also a The New York Times Notable Book, and Nowhere Else on Earth, winner of the Southern Book award. A graduate of Duke University, Jo studied fiction-writing with Reynolds Price and William Blackburn, and has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lyndhurst Prize, and a Literature award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She worked closely with Ruthie Bolton, author of “GAL, a True Life,” and wrote the introduction of that best-selling memoir. She is a member of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. she and her husband, Tom Hutcheson, live on Sullivan’s Island and Johns Island; they have two sons and four grandchildren.
Stephanie Hunt is Charleston-based writer and editor. A contributing editor for Charleston Magazine and a regular contributor to Skirt! Magazine, her work runs the gamut from personal essays to features, profiles and travel writing, to spinning copy for corporate and nonprofit clients. She is a Senior Editor for the award-winning online journal Literary Mama, and a blogger at CharlestonGrit.com and LiteraryCharleston.wordpress.com, as well as ALifeStill.com. A graduate of Duke University and Vanderbilt Divinity School and former development associate at Harvard Divinity School, she brings a curiosity and passion about the life of the spirit to her writing. Stephanie lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband and three daughters
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Apology, translated into more than 15 languages, and 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.
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.
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."
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com and find her on instagram at @rachelpastiloff.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Jacqueline Kabat has studied, written and performed with Second City’s Ann Bowen and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. She performs with New York-based troupe, Rash Behavior, whose sketches are featured in film festivals and television. Jacqueline also is also a writer for Time Out New York and is featured in Body and Soul magazine’s October 2007 issue. She has taught throughout the country at Fortune 500 companies and at distinguished health spas such as The Deepak Chopra Center, Red Mountain, Sagrada Wellness, Cal-a-Vie, and Lake Austin.
Daryn Kagan is the creator and host of DarynKagan.com, an inspirational online community that features a daily Web cast of stories that “Show the World What is Possible.” DarynKagan.com has become a daily destination for thousands of Internet users who seek news stories that inspire. Launched in November 2006, the Atlanta Journal Constitution described DarynKagan.com as “a lively gathering spot,” while the Boston Globe noted DarynKagan.com is “bucking the media tide,” with its “emphasis on stories that illustrate the triumph of the human spirit. Daryn’s first book, What’s Possible! 50 Real People Who Dared to Dream They Could Make a Difference, was published by Meredith Books in April 2008. Her second documentary, Solartown USA, will air on PBS in Winter 2009. Her first PBS news documentary, Breaking The Curse, debuted in June 2007. Before heading into cyberspace, Daryn anchored both news and sports for CNN.
Paula Todd King is a local writer currently working on both fiction and memoir. For years she longed to write but never developed an ongoing practice until she attended Natalie Goldberg’s retreat at The Sophia Institute. Since then she has avidly studied Natalie’s teachings through her retreats in Charleston and Taos. Paula’s goal for an ongoing Writing Practice Group is to share what she has learned to build a supportive and motivating writing community as a part of the Sophia experience.
Kurt Lamkin, poducer of Living Proof: Contemporary Black Literature, a series of radio programs featuring poets and fiction writers, is a writer-in-residence at the New School for Social Research. Recently, he hosted a reading series called The MultiKultiMove, which involved writers from all over the world. He also produced an animated poem for PBS called "The Fox's Manifesto." Lamkin is currently performing around the country, playing the Kora, a twenty-string African harp. His published writings include: King of the Real World (Meta Press, 1985) with poems in Nethula Journal of Contemporary Literature, The Painted Bride Quarterly, Black American Literature Forum, Transfer and other magazines, and in NEWCITY VOICES: An Anthology of Black Literature.
Bokara Legendre is a performer, writer and artist. Her long-time interest in shamanism, native traditions and Eastern spiritual disciplines has led her to investigate the wisdom of many cultures and inspired her long-running series “Lunch with Bokara”- interviews with spiritual masters , scientists and philosophers which can be seen on Link TV, and Manhattan Cable. Subsequently she was filmed for Link TV interviewing guests for “Conversations on Consciousness” at the Rubin Museum in New York. Bokara produced "Nine In the Morning," a daily hour-long talk show on the CBS station in Washington D.C. and has hosted her own television shows in Palm Beach, Florida and San Francisco. She has worked as a reporter The New York Times, the North American Newspaper Alliance, and the Charleston News and Courier.
She has written and performed four monologues at theaters in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Martha’s Vineyard. An artist as well, Bokara has exhibited her paintings in New York and San Francisco. She is presently writing a humorous memoir about her spiritual search.
A former actor, print journalist, and radio broadcaster, Anne LeClaire is a memoirist and the critically acclaimed, best-selling author of eight novels published in twenty-four countries. She leads popular seminars and workshops exploring silence, creativity and deep listening, including, most recently, at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA, Emerson Hospital, Concord, MA, The Chicago Botanic Gardens, Chicago, IL, The Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL, St Marks Cathedral, Seattle WA, and for the Ashland Institute in Portland, OR. Anne has also been a featured speaker at the Lincoln Center in New York City. In 1992, Anne began a formal practice of silence, meaning that for the past eighteen years she has not spoken on the first and third Mondays of every month. Our of this practice came her memoir, Listening Below the Noise: The Transformative Power of Silence (HarperCollins, 2009) which was named one of the 50 best spiritual books of that year. She leads silent retreats on Cape Cod.
Heather Lyn Mann is a writer, Mindfulness teacher, and environmental advocate. She founded and directed the Center for Resilient Cities--a Wisconsin-based not-for-profit dedicated to supporting healthy, resilient people in healthy, resilient places. Battle-weary in 2007, Heather took a six-year time-out to sail a small sloop with her husband and cat upon the Atlantic. She traveled with one question: how am I to live in a suffering world? This fall, Parallax Press will publish the memoir of her physical and spiritual journey--Ocean of Insight: A Sailor's Voyage from Despair to Hope. Heather is a practicing Buddhist in the Plum Village Tradition and in 2006, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh ordained Heather into the Order of Interbeing. Today, she serves as the Facilitator of the North American Plum Village Earth Holder Sangha -- a group continuing Nhat Hanh's teaching of our great togetherness to bring transformation and healing to Earth. A recent transplant to our area, she also founded and leads weekly gatherings in Summerville of the Charleston Community of Mindful Living.
Sharon Martin was born and grew up in the Deep South, where she developed an acute interest and sensitivity to the relationship between culture and gender. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree at Emory University in the Psychosocial Nurse Practitioner program, obtaining advanced certification as Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist. She is a 2005 graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute Zurich. She has a private practice as a Jungian analyst in Charleston where she lives happily with her inner partner, two amazing sons and their valiant golden retriever.
Rory McEntee, author, philosopher-theologian, educator, and contemplative activist, works at an intersection of spirituality, education, social justice and culture. He has been a leader in the new monastic movement, and serves as Executive Director of the Foundation for New Monasticism.
As a close friend and mentee of the late Brother Wayne Teasdale, Rory helped to found the Interspiritual Movement, traveling and participating in dialogues with world spiritual leaders, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He currently serves as the administrator for the Snowmass InterSpiritual Dialogues—an ongoing 30-year project convened by Father Thomas Keating which engages contemplative leaders from multiple faiths in intimate “dialogical dialogue,” where they meet as human beings in search of the ultimate rather than representatives of their religious traditions. Rory counts the late Brother Wayne Teasdale, Father Thomas Keating, Advaitin Joshi Baba and His Holiness the Dalai Lama among his mentors.
Rory co-wrote the “New Monastic Manifesto” with Adam Bucko and is co-author of The New Monasticism: An Interspiritual Manifesto for Contemplative Living (Orbis Books, 2015), which presents a philosophical, theological, and poetic vision for new monastic life, as well as methodologies for its praxis. He is also the author of numerous articles on new monasticism and interspiritual theology, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theological and Philosophical Studies at Drew University. Previously, Rory did doctoral work in mathematics at the University of Southern California and served as a high school vice principal, math and physics teacher while bringing meditation practices into secondary education. Rory is also working to develop deep formation processes for young people in contemplative life and prophetic spirituality which emerge out of collaborative and intergenerational friendships with some of the world’s leading contemplatives and activists as part of the Foundation for New Monasticism.
Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time Magazine called him 'the planet's best green journalist' and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was 'probably the country's most important environmentalist.' Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, he holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges, including the Universities of Massachusetts and Maine, the State University of New York, and Whittier and Colgate Colleges. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Lynne McTaggart is of the preeminent spokespersons on consciousness, the new physics and the science of spirituality. She is an award-winning journalist and author of five books, including the worldwide bestsellers The Field and The Intention Experiment. As editorial director of What Doctors Don’t Tell You (www.wddty.com), she also publishes one of the world’s most highly praised health newsletters and runs highly popular health and spirituality teleconferences and workshops. Lynne is the architect of the intention experiments, a web-based ‘global laboratory’ involving an international consortium of prestigious scientists and people around the world testing the power of intention to heal the world. Her book The Intention Experiment and its website were prominently featured in Dan Brown’s latest blockbuster, The Lost Symbol.
Ms. Merriam began working in the inter-faith movement in the late 1990s when she served as Vice Chair of the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders held at the United Nation in New York in the year 2000. In the process of organizing that Summit she realized that there were few women in leadership position within the religious institutions, and so she decided to seek out those women religious figures who could play a more prominent role in peacebuilding. With the blessings of the UN Secretary General, she convened a meeting of women religious and spiritual leaders at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and from that gathering founded the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) in 2002, an organization chaired by a multi-faith group of women spiritual leaders. Under the leadership of women, the mission of this organization is to bring spiritual resources to help address critical global problems and to create greater East-West and gender balance in the inter-faith world. Merriam has actively led GPIW in bringing this message to seminal global platforms, such as the G20 Summits in France (2011) and South Korea (2010); the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Denmark, 2009 (COP 15), Mexico, 2010 (COP 16); and the Rio +20 in Brazil, 2012.
Over the years GPIW has organized many peace dialogues in areas of conflict including Israel & Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and Afghanistan. Some of these dialogues were among women from various constituencies, but as a growing number of male religious leaders expressed interest, GPIW began to seek gender balance and include an equal number of women and men in its programs. GPIW has worked in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, the US Institute of Peace and the US State Department.
Over the years she has served on the boards of the Harvard University Center for World Religions, The Interfaith Center of New York, the Manitou Foundation, The All India Movement (AIM) for Seva, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, Seven Pillars, and the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan. In 2014 she received the Niwano Peace Prize for her interfaith peace efforts.
Devaa Haley Mitchell is a spiritual guide, public speaker, and musician, offering Soulful Women programs and devotional music to support the feminine awakening of our planet. She Founded and co-hosts the Inspiring Women Summit, a virtual gathering of more than 53,000 participants from 160 countries. www.inspiringwomenwithsoul.com. She also serves as the Chief Transformation Officer at the Shift Network, Inc., which she co-Founded with her husband, Stephen Dinan. Through its transformational classes, virtual summits, live events, social network, books and Ipad application, Shift Network aims to empower a global movement of people who are creating an evolutionary shift of consciousness that in turn leads to a more enlightened society.
For the past 19 years Devaa has studied and experienced many systems of personal growth and spiritual development and was ordained an interfaith minister by the Chaplaincy Institute in 2005. A core part of Devaa's path includes sacred music. She recently launched her first CD, Sacred Alchemy, an album with a transformational purpose- to reawaken and liberate the many dimensions of the sacred feminine. Each song has a specific feel or texture to it evoking the archetypal energies of different Goddesses from the world's spiritual traditions. For example the song "Tara" explores the softer yin aspects of compassion, "Saraswati" reveals the playful and creative energies of the muse, "Shekinah" offers the wisdom of the Crone, and "Aphrodite" expresses the sensual pleasures of life.
Devaa has served as the Director of Member Engagement at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. She was also Founder and Executive Director of the Full Circle Fund, dedicated to building a new generation of civic leaders. Full Circle uses the "venture philanthropy model,"- identifying great nonprofit organizations and serving them with financial grants as well as hands-on help in key areas and access to to networks that can accelerate organizations to the next level. In addition, Devaa worked as an Associate Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where she offered management advice to Fortune 500 Companies.
Devaa received a BA in Anthropology with Honors and an MA in International Development from Stanford University. She was awarded a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation, which she used to conduct research in the Brazilian Amazon on sustainable economic development for local indigenous groups using culturally and ecologically appropriate strategies. Devaa was also one of 26 contributors to a book called Radical Spirit, which focuses on Gen-X spiritual perspectives.
Please visit www.devaa.com for additional information about speaking engagements, music, women’s programs and consulting services.
Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life which won the Independent Book Publishers Gold Medal Award and Foreword's Bronze Medal. Her second book, Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery (Llewellyn Worldwide) was published in February 2013. Debra has written blogs for Intent.com and Beliefnet.com and her writing is published in consumer and luxury magazines worldwide. She’s on the faculty at Esalen Institute and the Sophia Institute and presents workshops worldwide. Her Swiss Alps and French Alps writing retreats have been voted, “The 25 Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend” in 2015 and 2016. Her workshops use spiritual practices like to inspire creativity. Visit her online at http://www.debramoffitt.com and listen to her “Divinely Inspired Living” radio show and podcast on iTunes.com.
Terry Monell received her BFA in Art Education from The School of Fine Arts at Boston University, she continued post graduate studies in Art History at Rice University in Houston.Last year she completed a Creative Solutions Certification with Art Therapist Dr. Laura Dessauer in Fl. After a varied career in the art world as gallerist, art advisor and artist, she is currently working with the visual arts for purposes of connecting with the self, increasing intuition and moving into a deeper creative understanding that impacts all aspects of life.
Mary Alice Monroe is an award winning, New York Times bestselling author of 16 novels, including The Butterfly’s Daughter, Beach House Memories, The Beach House and others. She has won the S.C. Center for the Book Award for Writing, International Award for Green Fiction, RT Bookclub Magazine Lifetime Achievement. Mary Alice Monroe is an active conservationist and serves on the boards of the S.C. Aquarium, the International Leatherback Trust, and the Charleston Volunteers for Literacy.She is known for richly textured books that explore the compelling parallels between nature and human nature.
Pam Noble is a retired psychotherapist who creates healing experiences in the natural world. She guides earth-based workshops and vision quests. In 2005 she founded WomanQuest (www.womanquest.net) with Ann Linnea of PeerSpirit, and she has led Spirit Quests with Marcy Walsh in a retreat setting. She is also a founder of the nonprofit Numina, a creative mentoring program for women.
Kathleen Norris is the award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington. Exploring the spiritual life, her work is at once intimate and historical, rich in poetry and meditations, brimming with exasperation and reverence, deeply grounded in both nature and spirit, sometimes funny, often provocative, and always important. The San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle wrote about Norris, “One of the most eloquent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time.”
As President of the Women’s College Coalition, Michele brings a field-tested, global perspective to public policy analysis and thought leadership shaped by a distinguished career in nonprofit and academic leadership, strategic initiatives, and women-led philanthropy. Her previous experience includes serving President and CEO of Women’s Funding Network, and a decade as CEO of Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential (GCAPP), one of the largest statewide nonprofits in the country working to improve adolescent reproductive health.
Earlier in her career, Michele was a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Nigeria. Michele also served as co-investigator in the first national study on child abuse in Nigeria, which led to the creation of regional reporting centers funded by the Ford Foundation. She currently is a member of the board of directors of the Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Foundation, The Conversation US, a global online publication for academic researcher, and a member of the International Women’s Forum. Previous board service includes Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Healthy Teen Network, and the National Advisory Council on Sexual Health, chaired by Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General.
Named to Fasts Company’s League of Extraordinary Women, Michele has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, NPR, and USA Today.
Michele graduated from Douglass College with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Douglass College, and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.
Andrea Olsen is author of Body and Earth, An Experiential Guide, and Bodystories, A Guide to Experiential Anatomy with Caryn McHose. She is the John C. Elder Professor of environmental studies and Professor of Dance at Middlebury College in Vermont. Andrea performs and teaches internationally, including annual Body and earth training programs in Europe.
Nancy Qualls-Corbett is a practicing Jungian analyst from Birmingham, Alabama. She is a diplomat of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and the author of The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspects of the Feminine and Awakening Woman: Dreams and Individuation. She is a contributing author to the recent book The Secrets of Mary Magdalene. She lectures frequently in the United States and Europe. Nancy combines her love of mythology and travels by co-leading seminar groups in Greece, Egypt, Italy, and France.
Emotional Age and Communication Expert
From life as a homeless teen to coaching A-List celebrities, from having abs of steel and the Miss Galaxy to weighing over 200 pounds after having babies, Emotional Age and Communication Expert, Crystal Andrus Morissette is a worldwide leader in the field of self-discovery and personal transformation. A six-time international best-selling author, she's a media darling -- featured numerous times on Oprah.com (take her Emotional Age Quiz right now on Oprah.com ), the New York Post, Fox TV, the Daily Mail, CBS Radio, CBC Radio, CTV, CityTV, CanadaAM, Breakfast TV, Global TV, Slice TV, the Globe and Mail, Woman's World, Sirrus Satellite, Hay House Radio, the Toronto Star, and many more; her episodes on the international hit TV show "X-Weighted" won three Geminis. Crystal is the founder of the S.W.A.T. Institute (Simply Woman Accredited Trainer) -- an empowerment coach certification exclusively for women that she created with fellow female visionaries Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Dr Christiane Northrup, Colette Baron-Reid, and Sandra Anne Taylor among others. She is also certified in nutrition and sports medicine.
Known as a mystical physician, Dr. Christine Page was immersed in spiritual mysteries from an early age. In the search for true healing, she has over 30 years of experience in the caring professions as doctor and homeopath receiving her degree from the Royal Free Medical School, London.
Now, focusing on education, she is a gifted intuitive, mystic and alchemist, sharing her insights and knowledge through teaching, soul readings and writing. As an international, inspirational speaker, she sees herself as a messenger and bridge builder between different worlds whether this includes modalities of health care or levels of consciousness. Author of 7 books, her best known is Frontiers of Health and her latest, is the Healing Power of Sacred Woman released in January 2013.
Diana Whitney is a global social entrepreneur. She is founder and President Emeritus of Corporation for Positive Change, a global consulting cooperative; a founder of the Taos Institute, an international think tank dedicated to relational processes in business, education, families and communities; and a founding advisor to the United Religions Initiative, a global network of 530 interfaith cooperation circles working for peace and social justice. Dr. Whitney is a positively powerful keynote speaker, whose messages of hope, positive change, and the call for appreciative leadership offer practical guidance for new ways of working, living and being. Diana is a prolific, provocative and practical author. Her award winning books on Appreciative Leadership and Appreciative Inquiry, the revolutionary process she helped to develop, have been translated into over a dozen languages and are used as text books in business schools, universities and corporate learning centers around the world. As a master consultant, Dr. Whitney’s work spans the globe. Diana consults with executives and their teams in support of strategic planning and organization development, organization culture creation and transformation, and leadership capacity building. Diana serves as Distinguished Consulting Faculty with Saybrook University, and a Ph.D. advisor with the Taos Institute. She is Expert Faculty for the NCR Picker Patient Centered Care Institute and a Fellow of the World Business Academy. Dr. Whitney received her Ph.D. from Temple University in Organizational Communication. Her research on the dissemination of educational innovations was funded by the National Institute of Education and used to create an agenda for the development of educational R&D laboratories in the United States.
Ana L. Oliveira became the President & CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation in 2006. Under her leadership, The Foundation has grown in several dimensions, establishing a new strategic plan, sponsoring landmark research reports, increasing visibility and public awareness of The Foundation’s presence in NYC; and dramatically increasing the impact of The Foundation, with the distribution of a record $5 million in grants in its 25th year, in 2012.
Ana has worked in the health and human services field for over 22 years, developing programs for vulnerable populations throughout NYC. She served as the Executive Director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis for over seven years, overseeing a complete turn-around of the agency. Before working at GMHC, Ana directed innovative community-based programs at Samaritan Village, the Osborne Association, Kings County and Lincoln Hospitals. Ana has served as a member of the New York City HIV Planning Council, in the New York City Commission on AIDS, chaired the NYC Commission for LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth, and, most recently, Co-Chaired Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative.
Ana currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Board of the Women’s Funding Network.
In 2005, Ana was profiled in Newsweek as “America’s Best,” a series highlighting ordinary individuals using their extraordinary vision on behalf of others.
Her awards feature: Mutual Welfare League Certificate, (Osborne Association); Liberty Award, (Lambda Legal & Education Defense Fund); Community Service Award (Empire State Pride Agenda); the Rosie Perez Fuerza Award, (Latino Commission on AIDS), and the New York City Civil Liberties Union Liberty Award, among others.
Ana was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and resides in Manhattan. She has an M.A. in Medical Anthropology from the New School for Social Research. She has just been awarded an Honorary Doctor Degree by her alma matter.
Robert Powell, PhD is an internationally known lecturer, author, eurythmist and movement therapist. He is founder of the Choreocosmos School of Cosmic and Sacred Dance, and cofounder of the Sophia Foundation of North America. His published works include: The Sophia Teachings, a six-tape series (Sounds True Recordings) Divine Sophia-Holy Wisdom, The Most Holy Trinosophia and the New Revelation of the Divine Feminine, and The Mystery, Biography, and Destiny of Mary Magdalene.
Dr. Christopher Pramuk is the author of Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line (2013), a sustained meditation on race relations in society and church, and two award-winning studies of Thomas Merton: At Play in Creation: Merton’s Awakening to the Feminine Divine (2015), and Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton (2009), recipient of the International Thomas Merton Society’s “Thomas Merton Award,” a.k.a., “The Louie,” its highest honor. Chris’s numerous essays and pastoral writings have appeared in America magazine, Theological Studies, Cross Currents, and the prayer journal Give Us This Day. With expertise ranging from Ignatian spirituality and African American history and spirituality to the life and writings of Thomas Merton, he has spoken widely and led retreats on all of these topics. A lifelong musician, Chris is presently working on a new textbook based on an undergraduate course he teaches in “Music, Art and Theology.” Chris blogs regularly and posts resources on race, faith, and culture at HopeSingsSoBeautiful.org. In August 2017, Chris begins his new position as Chair of Ignatian Thought at Regis University in Denver, CO.
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.
Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of six novels: three historical tales, Voodoo Dreams, Magic City, Douglass’ Women, and the mystery trilogy, Season, Moon and Hurricane. Her first children’s novel, Ninth Ward, was selected as one of the “Best Books of 2010” by School Library Journal. Rhodes has published a memoir, Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness, and two creative writing texts: Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction. Her honors include: the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the Pen Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, and two Arizona Book Awards. Rhodes is the Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at Arizona State University.
Stephaney Robinson-Abilon is dedicated to bringing the sacred to life through movement and dance. Utilizing a body-centered approach, she guides others to self-discovery and healing through classes, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings. As a member of the Nia Training Faculty since 2003, she is one of only a handful of Teacher-Trainers offering certification at both the White Belt and Green Belt levels. Her teachings have been presented internationally in Trinidad and Australia, as well in her hometown of Charleston at the Sophia Institute and at the Open Center in New York City. Bringing nearly 30 years of experience to the movement, fitness and dance fields her dedication has enabled her to work with dancers, theatre companies and musicians. Her classes and trainings are designed to connect and expand the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms; weaving nature, music, meditation and play into her craft. Her work is filled with insight, warmth, and humor.
Melanie Smith is one of the most sought-after Energy Medicine practitioners and teachers in the country, highly respected for both her sessions with patients and her powerful workshops. She is dedicated to helping people restore and optimize their health through her one-on-one work with patients and her Energy Medicine for Health Living™ workshops.
Melanie is trained in multiple healing modalities. She is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an Acupuncture Physician, a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Advanced Practitioner, an Authorized Energy Medicine for Women Class Instructor, a Licensed Massage Therapist, and a Senior Faculty Member for the Eden Energy Medicine Certification Program. She teaches throughout the country as well as internationally, instructing thousands of people in Energy Medicine’s valuable and effective techniques.
Melanie’s patients and students range from individuals looking to heal themselves to advanced practitioners. Her path to Energy Medicine occurred more than two decades ago when she sustained a serious injury. When western medicine could not improve her condition, she turned to alternative medicine and fully recovered. As a result, she changed careers and has since dedicated her life to empowering people to transform their lives through the power of Energy Medicine. She is known for her ability to help people heal complex health issues with her Energy Medicine for Health Living™ approach, a unique fusion of Energy Medicine, sound healing, acupuncture, Oriental medicine, nutrition, energy psychology, therapeutic massage and bodywork.
Melanie’s practice, Well Within Natural Medicine, is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she works with patients in person and via Skype. She has provided Energy Consultations via Skype to patients in over 40 different countries. She has co-authored the publication Energy Medicine: Your Personal Health and Wellness System for Today and created a comprehensive series of instructional online videos as well as charts, all available through her website, www.wellwithin.net.
Anne Rivers Siddons’ writing on Southern culture and places is shaped by her observations of human nature and human yearnings. “All my books are about women taking journeys they might not want to take,” she told interviewer Bonnie Mason in 2008. “It’s about finding wholeness. I know so few whole families anymore, and how can we have whole families if we don’t have whole women?”
Rita Littles Scott was born in High Point, North Carolina. Her career in the broadcasting field began in sales with WGHP Television, Greensboro/High Point, North Carolina. Rita has held numerous positions in television sales including positions with WJW in Cleveland, Ohio and Cap Cities/ABC National Sales in Chicago, Illinois before eventually moving back to the Carolinas as Local & National Sales Manager at WBTV in Charlotte. Rita relocated to Charleston to become National Sales Manager at WCSC-TV, was promoted to General Sales Manager and in 1999 was appointed Vice President and General Manager.
Live 5 WCSC is Charleston’s CBS affiliate and the number one station in ratings and revenue and has a robust digital platform to include web and mobile. In 2010, the station launched a second digital channel “Live 5 Plus” on 5.2 and September 2011 “Bounce Charleston” the first over the air network targeting the African American community on 5.3.
Rita is active in the community; serving on numerous Boards to include Southeastern Virtual Institute for Health Equity and Wellness, Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Charleston Police Fund, Debi’s Kids, International African American Museum, The Sophia Institute and is also a member of the Nielsen Alliance. In 1999, Mayor Riley and the City of Charleston honored her as the first African American woman to become General Manager of an affiliate television station, naming October 21 in her honor.
Elayna Shakur has been an artist all her life - it’s a way of life. Her choice to become an art teacher is her way of sharing the joy and wonder of the art spirit she loves so much. From painting workshops in her home, to pastel portrait drawings done in public venues, to private portrait sessions in her studio, Elayna sees you and your inner being and is able to capture it on paper or canvas. She created her own process she calls Portrait Therapy, which offers the client a powerful experience of connecting to and healing the layered aspects of the self as they are revealed on the canvas.
Most recently she developed a body of work that are portraits of the 12 apostles from the bible, using models who were mostly homeless. They are showcased in the sanctuary of St. Johns Chapel in the heart of the downtown Charleston's inner city, the East side. Her current passion is painting “Outer Space” and weaving it into portrait art. As a portrait artist, her work is seen mostly in the homes and felt in the hearts of people all over the country and beyond. Originally from Columbus, Ohio she has lived many places including Canada and the Bahamas making Charleston, SC her home since 1990.
The Connection Show - Conversations in Race
Elayna Shakur, Henry Darby, and Armand Derner tell their stories of race relations and veteran civil rights laywers talk about dealing with racial turmoil. (Part 2)
Simran Singh, #1 rated, syndicated host of Voice America’s 11:11 Talk Radio and publisher of award-winning 11:11 Magazine is The New Thought Channel Host of 11:11 InnerViews TV. SIMRAN is also the author of IPPY Gold Award winning Conversations With The Universe, Your Journey to Enlightenment and Your Journey to Love.
Speaking nationally and internationally, she is a recognized speaker and catalyst for love, compassion, and humanity, Simran is an ‘Example’ for a New World Experience of Aliveness that integrates the Visionary and Mystic embodied within each person on the planet.
Conversations with the Universe: Simran Singh at TEDxCharleston
“If anyone can find the silver lining in a mushroom cloud, it’s this astounding thoughtful filmmaker.”— The National Post.
Acclaimed filmmaker Velcrow Ripper creates powerful, cinematic documentaries that deal with the central issues of our times. His more than thirty films include the multi-award winning feature documentary, Scared Sacred, about the search for hope in the ground zero’s of the world. (Special Jury Prize, Toronto International Film Festival) and the newly released Fierce Light.
Carlos César Rodríguez is a musician of brilliance and versatility recognized as a virtuoso pianist who not only generates excitement in the Hispanic and Spanish repertoire, but also displays an extraordinary flair for Mozart, the romantics, and the avant-garde scores. He has recorded for Omicron and Brioso labels and has won the highest critical acclaims for his CD of Spanish music, España en el Corazón, distributed by Brioso Recordings. He is an expert on early instruments and is privileged to have access to the Smithsonian Institution’s rare collection. Mr. Rodríguez was chosen by the Smithsonian to perform during its 300th-year celebration of the piano. He was also invited to participate in the 150th-anniversary celebration of the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Rodríguez has won acclaim as music director of Mozart operas and Zarzuelas (Spanish operas), and as a composer, arranger, and improviser of ballets, Spanish dance scores, and Latin-Jazz/Pop compositions. Currently, Mr. Rodríguez is a member of the piano faculty at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC, and guest artist and coach for the Domingo/Cafritz Young Artist Program with the Washington National Opera.
Katherine Woodward Thomas Thomas is the national bestselling author of Calling in “The One”, a licensed psychotherapist, and the co-creator and co-leader of the Feminine Power transformative courses for women, and the co-founder and co-leader of the Feminine Power Global Community, a thriving community of thousands of women throughout the world. Katherine is a creative and inspired transformative educator with nearly 20 years experience designing and facilitating leading edge seminars that support the emergence of life-altering shifts in consciousness in both individuals and in groups. She is the co-creator and co-host of the highly acclaimed Women on the Edge of Evolution teleseries, which gathers thousands of women weekly to engage the world’s most preeminent female luminaries, thinkers, scientists, artists and agents of change. Katherine is an honored member of the Evolutionary Leaders Group, which both supports and promotes a call to conscious evolution, and she is currently is co-authoring the forthcoming book, Feminine Power: Awakening to the Creative Force of Life.
A world-renowned authority on the inner science of Buddhism, Robert A. F. Thurman, Ph.D., is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. He co-founded and is the president of Tibet House New York, a non-profit dedicated to preserving and promoting Tibetan culture, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times recently hailed him as "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism." He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well, Inner Revolution, The Jewel Tree of Tibet and, most recently, Why the Dalai Lama Matters.
The first Western Tibetan monk, he shares a thirty-five year friendship with the Dalai Lama. He is the father of five children, including actress Uma Thurman.
A highly regarded healer, teacher, and artist, Anna Schalk is a former teacher at the acclaimed Barbara Brennan School of Healing. She has a private practice in energy healing for 22 years in NY and SC. Prior to that, she had a Pediatric Occupational Therapy practice in NYC. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the Medical University of SC in Occupational Therapy.
Barbara Brennan, a former NASA astrophysicist, identified the energy systems both within and surrounding all living matter as interactive fields. She founded a four-year school to train the students in techniques for healing self and others. The two schools are located in Miami, FL and Bad Ischel, Austria.
McLean Sheperd is an artist and physician living and working in Charleston, SC. She was born in 1969. She is self-taught as an artist and began painting at the same time she began her studies in medicine and dermatology in 1997. The intersection of art and medicine is a major theme of her art and she believes that in her role as artist, she assumes a mission to heal that is complementary to the work she performs as physician. Her work can be found in a myriad of private art collections throughout the United States, and has been seen in numerous exhibitions throughout the Charleston community and beyond. The current body of work represents a seven-year cycle of dreams and introspection on wholeness and balance titled “The Mystical Marriage.
Jane Sloane is Vice President of Programs with the Global Fund for Women. The Global Fund advances the human rights of women and girls worldwide through an international network of women-led organizations. It supports and funds trailblazing and high impact women’s rights organizations and women leaders who are developing and scaling programs to transform the lives of women and girls, their families and communities.
Jane was previously Vice President of Development with Women’s World Banking in New York and prior to this was Executive Director of International Women’s Development Agency, supporting women’s rights organizations across Asia and the Pacific. In this role she led a Breakthrough women, faith and development initiative that generated $1.2 billion in new funds for women and girls in Asia and the Pacific.
Jane has held executive positions with social sector organizations including World Vision, Marie Stopes International, Austrade and the Social Entrepreneurs Network where she was the founding CEO. Jane holds a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney and a BA (Hons History) from the University of Adelaide. She is a recipient of a Global Ambassadors Award from the Advance Foundation, of which the Prime Minister of Australia is Patron. She was awarded a Woman of Distinction Award from the Asia Pacific Women’s Business Council, a Churchill Fellowship, an Australian Government Endeavour Fellowship, a Human Rights Medal from the Vietnam Women’s Union, a Future Summit scholarship from the Australian Davos Connection and a Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Fellowship.
Jane serves on the Board of the International Women’s Funding Network and is a Patron of Marie Stopes International. Jane was inspired by the advice given to her by Nelson Mandela who told her that, if she really wanted to make a positive difference in the world then she should focus on conflict resolution and citizen led change. Her blog is janeintheworld.com
If the name Monique Spence sounds familiar…it should, she’s done a little bit of everything, from making Thanksgiving Dinner on the Steve Harvey Show, and hosting a show on the oldest black talk radio station in the country, to speaking and motivating the masses daily as a Life Coach.
Monique was a music business executive before she was 20 years old with a Regional Management position with Sony Music. Finding her love for the small business, she evolved into an entrepreneur with multiple successful national brands including Brand You; a Marketing Company dedicated to building grass roots buzz, and Redefine The Tee; a line of tee shirts including the international success of the sequin glove Michael Jackson Tribute Tee. However, as much as Monique is known for her love of building business, she is equally as well known for her passion for talking! Thus, it was no surprise to her friends when time and her experience in the entertainment industry morphed her into a Media Personality.
Known to many as “Sunshine”, Monique combined her media voice and the message in her heart and has transformed into a Life Coach. “I never thought my passion and purpose would line up and it be work, but I feel so grateful to have figured out what I am supposed to do with my life. What have my experiences been for if not to teach the lessons to other people? Happiness is a choice and I love showing people how to choose it!”
Monique believes, if she could successfully reinvent herself 5 times before age 35 then she can show you how to do it once; no matter how old you are, no matter what you do for a living, no matter your sexual preference, and no matter what your nationality or marital status is!
Monique continues to create new ways to develop the community around her. She says, “This isn’t work to me. This is my life! My life was created to help other people have a better quality of life for themselves."
James Gustave Speth currently serves as dean and professor in the practice of environmental policy and sustainable development at Yale University's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He is a visionary leader and scholar, with an extensive understanding of the interrelationship between environmental, economic and developmental concerns. His publications include two books, Red Sky at Morning and Worlds Apart, as well as over 100 journal articles. Speth's critically acclaimed Red Sky at Morning has enlivened the international environmental community, providing an in depth, insightful analysis of the status the Earth's ecological systems and ways that major issues can be addressed on all levels - international, national, local, and individual.
Prior to his position at Yale, Speth served as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of President Carter's Council on Environmental Quality; and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council.
Among Mr. Speth's many awards are the National Wildlife Federation's Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America's Barbara Swain Award of Honor, the Keystone Center's National Leadership Award, and most recently, the Blue Planet Prize.
Margaret Starbird holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Maryland and did further graduate study at the Christian Albrechts Universität in Kiel, Germany and at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN. A "cradle" Roman Catholic, she taught religious education and Scripture classes for many years. Starbird lectures and leads retreats worldwide. She is the author of several widely acclaimed books centered on the Sacred Feminine in the Christian tradition: The Woman with the Alabaster Jar and The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine and her latest book, Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile, published in 2005. Starbird has two further titles: The Feminine Face of Christianity and Magdalene's Lost Legacy, both published in 2003.
Susan Finch Stevens’ chapbook Lettered Bones was chosen by Kwame Dawes as a winner in the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Chapbook competition. Her poems have appeared in various publications and in handmade books exhibited in nationally juried and invitational book arts exhibitions. She has a B.A. in journalism, an M.Ed. in counseling, and is certified in dream work. She lives on the Isle of Palms near Charleston, SC.
John Tarrant, Roshi, is Director and Senior Faculty for Pacific Zen Institute and Senior Teacher for Desert Lotus Zen Sangha in Phoenix, AZ. He has a PhD in psychology and is the author of Bring Me The Rhinoceros & Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life, and The Light Inside the Dark: Zen, Soul & the Spiritual Life. John’s life work is centered on the transformation of consciousness and he is one of the foremost koan teachers in the United States.
Ann Kidd Taylor is the coauthor of Traveling with Pomegranates, a memoir written with her mother, Sue Monk Kidd. Published by Viking in 2009, it appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times, and has been published in several languages.
The Shark Club is Ann’s first novel. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Roslyn Dawson Thompson is the President and CEO of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and Vice Chair of the board of the Women's Funding Network, the organization representing the 165 women’s funds worldwide. Dallas Women’s Foundation is a trusted leader in advancing social and economic change for women and girls through research, advocacy, grant making and empowering women’s philanthropy. The Foundation unlocks resources to improve women’s economic security, education and quality of life, to give voice to issues affecting women and girls, and to cultivate women leaders for the future.
Kelly Tomblin has worked for more than twenty-five years in the energy industry in various leadership roles throughout the United States, the U.K., Latin America and the Caribbean. Throughout that time, Kelly has studied leadership and power and its impact on people, economic equality, and social consciousness.
She was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Intren in 2017 after serving as President & Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) since 2012 as an employee of Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese Trading Company. Prior to JPS, she served as Vice President for GDF SUEZ and International Power (now Engie), two of the world’s largest global energy companies and President of Pennsylvania Electric Company, a part of FirstEnergy, one of the largest utilities in the US.
In December 2016 Kelly was awarded the Platts Global 2016 CEO of the Year and she was selected twice among “The Top 10 most powerful women in Jamaica.” Under her leadership, JPS received numerous awards and accolades, both locally and globally. Kelly is known for her ability to transform companies while “Doing Power Differently” and she is a frequent speaker on gender issues in the work place and the potential of corporations to serve as a catalyst and leader of social change.
"How do I personally do power differently?" - Kelly Tomblin
Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she teaches in a joint master’s degree program between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. She directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim.
Her special area of study is Asian religions. She has lived in Japan for several years and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Japanese Confucianism. Since 1997 she has been a Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. Her Confucian publications include: Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). She edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2003, 2004) with the renowned Confucian scholar, Tu Weiming.
Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998). Together they are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. In this series she co-edited Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000). Tucker also wrote: Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003).
After the conference series she and Grim founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology at a culminating conference at the United Nations in 1998. The Forum is now based at Yale. To help shape this new interdisciplinary field they edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994) and a Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). Together they were contributing Editors for the Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd edition) and organized 12 articles on religion and ecology. They have published a new book, Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) that they will use in online classes from Yale on this topic.
Tucker and Grim studied world religions with the historian of religions, Thomas Berry, and worked closely with him for 35 years. They are the managing trustees of the Thomas Berry Foundation. Tucker edited several of Berry's books: The Great Work (Random House, 1999), Evening Thoughts (Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006), The Sacred Universe (Columbia University Press, 2009), and with Grim, The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth (Orbis, 2009). They have edited and introduced a selection of his writings to be published in the Modern Spiritual Masters Series from Orbis in 2104.
To bring Berry's work forward Tucker has worked with evolutionary philosopher, Brian Swimme, for some 25 years. In 2011 they released a multi-media project called Journey of the Universe - a book from Yale University press, an Emmy award winning film shown on PBS and available on Netflix, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists, historians, and environmentalists. The website for this project is www.journeyoftheuniverse.org.
Tucker has been involved with the Earth Charter since its inception. She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and was a member of the Earth Charter International Council for ten years.
Prior to founding Hermitage Heart, Bonnie Myotai Treace, Sensei served for many years as Vice-Abbess of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY and in recent years as Abbess of Fire Lotus Temple in Brooklyn, NY. She received Dharma Transmission in 1996, becoming the first successor of John Daido Loori, Roshi, of the Mountains and Rivers Order. Her training has included twenty years of koan study, as well as investigation into the subtle teachings of Zen Master Dogen. Sensei has degrees in literature, and has worked as a teacher, in publishing, and held leadership positions in various women’s rights and social justice organizations.
Daphne Tse is a multifaceted artist (musician, painter, photographer, and poet) with her first love being singing. Originally from Texas, she started singing at a young age and explored different genres of music through her college years. After graduation from college, she relocated to Los Angeles and was inspired after listening to Shawn Colvin's "Live '88" album to pick up the guitar and start writing songs.
Since her initial yoga class almost 15 years ago, she has merged her spiritual practice with her contemporary folk singer/songwriter style. She studied music at The University of Texas at Austin, The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and kirtan music with Jai Uttal and Daniel Paul in Guatemala. She has traveled extensively sharing her music in Europe, North America, Central America, Asia and beyond.
Daphne is inspired by her yoga practice, her travels and the diverse, compassionate human beings she meets worldwide to continue creating and sharing her soulful blend of folk/pop/spiritual/jazz music. She is committed to expanding consciousness on the planet through global community events focusing on music, yoga, dance and all forms of art that inspire peace in action.
She has released music on Shiva Rea's yoga music compilations, Jala and Nataraja. Her recent solo EP, Mata, was released in 2008. She is currently traveling and being inspired to write songs for her new album coming in 2011.
Actress Lindsay Wagner is also an advocate, mother, humanitarian and author. Her workshops and retreats focus on creating a shift in perspective and the powerful effect that can have on one's life. The programs are experience-oriented and include activities that address and nurture body, mind and spirit.
“The Sophia Institute is a kind of loom upon which a whole community can weave together its colorful diversity into an organic, riotous cloth of beauty. Out of the creative tension here, much art emerges. Songs to the earth, poetry that reforms us, visual and tactile grace that leads us back to the soul, and, at the same time, flings us out into a fierce engagement with the world. That is why I am honored to be Artist in Residence here, because I want to be a part of something that matters deeply, and all that matters most is woven here by many, and takes its impulse from love.”
- Susan Hull Walker, Woman of the cloth, weaver of story, textile artist and writer
Ellen Watson is celebrating her 26th year on staff at Esalen Institute, where she studies, practices, and teaches various modalities of moving meditation practice. A veteran teacher of Esalen(r) Massage & Essential Touch, Gabrielle Roth's 5 Rhythms(tm) and Spirit Dance, Ellen believes that the core of all healing begins in the realm of the heart and the Spirit. Among her great pleasures are opening the door for people to dance, to sing and play and pray, to touch and be touched. She is passionate about spreading the good news about how waking up can heal and transform the mind, body and soul. She is the founder of Moving Ventures School, a 501c3, whose mission is education in the somatic arts, focusing on women and men in developing countries.
John Welwood, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, teacher, and author. He trained in existential psychology and worked closely with Eugene Gendlin at the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology. He has also been a practicing student of Buddhism and Eastern contemplative psychologies for forty years. In the 1980s he emerged as a major contributor to the leading-edge fields of transpersonal psychology and East/West psychology. He is the former Director of the East/West psychology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. John’s current teaching is largely focused on embodied psycho-spiritual work. He also trains health professionals in “psychological work in a spiritual context.”
I have always wanted to be out in the world and curious about its workings. I eagerly studied in many different disciplines, including science, history, literature, systems thinking, organizational behavior, social policy, cosmology, archeology, geology and theology. I value what I’ve learned from each of these different fields because no one discipline, institution, or specialization can answer the questions that now confront us. We all must draw from many different perspectives to both understand and reweave the world.
I had an excellent liberal arts education at the University of Rochester and University College London. In the mid-sixties, I spent two years in the Peace Corps in Korea, learning to thrive in a culture totally foreign to me, teaching junior and senior high school English. On returning to the U.S., I taught high school, then became an educational administrator of programs for children and adults who were economically poor and denied traditional educational opportunities. I received a Master of Arts degree from New York University in Media Ecology and systems thinking. My doctorate is from Harvard’s program in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, with a focus on organizational behavior and change.
I have been a consultant and speaker since 1973, and have worked, I believe, with almost all types of organizations and people. They range from the head of the U.S. Army to twelve year old Girl Scouts, from CEOs to small town ministers. This diversity includes Fortune 100 corporations, government agencies, healthcare institutions, foundations, public schools, colleges, major church denominations, professional associations, and monasteries. I have also been privileged to work on all continents (except Antarctica). These organizations and people are wrestling with a similar dilemma—how to maintain direction, integrity, motivation, and effectiveness as we cope with relentless turbulence and unending change in this very troubled world.
I have served as full-time graduate management faculty at two institutions, Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and The Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.I've been a formal advisor for leadership programs in England, Croatia, Denmark, Australia and the United States and, through my work in Berkana, with leadership initiatives in India, Senegal, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Europe.
I am co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute, a global non-profit founded in 1991. Berkana has worked in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment. Berkana has discovered that the world is blessed with tens of thousands of courageous leaders. Berkana's most recent work is "Gathering Friends"--supporting the creation of friendship groups so that we can sustain ourselves as warriors for the human spirit. www.berkana.org
Since 1992, I have published eight books, each of them an invitation to explore world views and new ways of being based on different insights and perspectives. These invitations began with Leadership and the New Science (1992, 1999, 2006 in 18 languages), a voyage of discovery into an orderly universe where relationships are the basis of everything, a world that organizes itself according to unchanging laws that modern humans hope to ignore. A Simpler Way (1996) continued that journey, asking how could we organize following life's example so that our lives and work would be less difficult, more delightful.
With Turning to One Another (2002, 2009), I invited readers to explore the power of conversations to create strong relationships and meaningful change. Finding Our Way (2005) offered a variety of new roadmaps for how to navigate the different aspects of our lives, from nations to organizations to family, as the world grows more uncertain. When I observed how difficult it was becoming for good leaders to not lose their way, I wrote Perseverance (2010) as a daily guide for maintaining our commitment, presence and energy no matter how hard the work is. Walk Out Walk On (2011), co-authored with Deborah Frieze, described the work of communities daring to live the future now, in conditions much harsher than ours, bright beacons illuminating what's possible when we humans commit to working together. In 2012, I offered So Far From Home where I detailed the dynamics of global society that have emerged to create a world far distant from the one we were working so hard to create. I strongly encourage us to notice what's going on, and to counter this downward spiral by standing up as Warriors for the Human Spirit.
In 2014, I wrote How Does Raven Know? Entering Sacred World | A Meditative Memoir. Unlike my previous seven books, How Does Raven Know? invites you to see the world anew informed not by science but by sacred wisdoms-- a world we modern ones have dismissed or ignored, but still held for us in the ancient wisdom traditions of most cultures. It is not a call to action, but to relationship with forgotten companions and animate Earth which, in my own experience, willingly offer us support, encouragement, and consolation.
My articles appear in a wide range of professional publications and magazines, and can be downloaded free from my website, www.margaretwheatley.com. On the website, you will also see a number of DVDs and CDs that I’ve produced on topics ranging from personal to organizational.
I was raised on the East Coast of the U.S., first in the New York City area, and then lived in Boston for 15 years. In 1989, my family and I moved west to the mountains and red rocks of Utah. I have two adult sons, five stepchildren, 21 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. My family, friends and work bring me great joy, and so does the time I spend being in the true quiet of wilderness or wandering among the red rock canyons of Utah.
I can be reached at: Margaret J. Wheatley Inc., P.O. Box 1407, Provo, Utah 84603
Tel: 801.376.8847; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marion Woodman, LLD, DHL, PhD (Hon), is a Jungian analyst, teacher and author of The Owl Was A Baker's Daughter; Addiction to Perfection; The Pregnant Virgin; The Ravaged Bridegroom; Leaving My Father's House; Conscious Femininity; Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness (with Elinor Dickson); Coming Home to Myself (with Jill Mellick), The Forsaken Garden (with Thomas Berry, Sir Laurens van der Post and Ross Woodman, interviewed by Nancy Ryley), The Maiden King (with Robert Bly) and Bone-Dying Into Life.
Marion has been exploring the relationship between psyche and soma through her work and teaching for 30 years. She has developed the BodySoul Rhythms intensives, together with her colleagues Mary Hamilton and Ann Skinner, to create an opportunity to study the inter-relatedness of dreams and body and to share the work with the many women who are genuinely interested in this exploration. A visionary and teacher, she has developed some of Jung's ideas in an original and creative way.
Carmen Williams, a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and health and fitness instructor, awakened to her spiritual magnificence and her interest in the healing arts through her efforts to address the personal emotional wounds that resulted from her own experiences of childhood abuse. With over 15 years of experience as a grassroots community organizer and spiritual worker, she is a graduate of Rhema Bible College and is currently an Intuitive Evolutionary Teacher, a Specialist in Spirit, and a Wholistic Healing Facilitator.
Len is an educational consultant, play theorist, and sound training specialist who offers the Solisten™ Training Program, the portable application of the 55-year old Tomatis® Method, both in Charleston, her original home, and Scottsdale, AZ, her current home. A Doctorate in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute in California, Len works in subtle energies as a visionary and leadership coach and realizes the vital need for humans to take responsibility for the land and their homes where they live. She has conducted workshops and play seminars at home and abroad. After engaging in the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium at TSI in May 2007, Len took the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium Facilitator Training with Lynne Twist and will facilitate our symposium for the Pachamama Alliance this year. Len is an active participant in The Sophia Institute.
Claire Zammit is the co-creator and co-leader of the Feminine Power courses for women and the co-founder and co-leader of the Feminine Power Global Community. Claire a highly trained specialist in transformative education with a unique gift for designing and delivering dynamic, leading edge programs that give participants access to life-altering worldview shifts that lead to embodied and lasting change. Claire is currently completing her doctorate in the field of Transformative Learning and Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies, researching the life-changing transformations of women in her year-long Feminine Power Mastery program. She also holds a Masters degree in Social Ecology and a BA in Communication. Claire is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Feminine Power: Awakening to the Creative Force of Life and co-creator and co-host of the internationally acclaimed Women on the Edge of Evolution teleseries.
Ingrid Zimmer is the Associate Director of Word Dance Theater. After receiving a B.A. in Dance/Theatre from Pomona College, trained in the Limon Technique, Ms. Zimmer lived in Europe where she toured, performed and studied dance at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany under the artistic direction of Pina Bausch. Now based in Washington DC, performing, teaching and choreographing, Ms. Zimmer has performed in venues including the Kennedy Center, Jacobs Pillow, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France, and the Gran Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporanea in Monterey, Mexico. For the last eight years, Ms. Zimmer has exclusively studied and performed Isadora Duncan’s technique and choreography. In addition to Word Dance Theater, Ms. Zimmer also performs with the Isadora Duncan International Institute and the Duncan Dancers in venues including the 92nd St. Y in NYC, the Smithsonian, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Dance Place, Piccolo Spoleto and a tour in Greece.