His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born on 6 July 1935 to a farming family in Taktser village, Amdo, in northeastern Tibet. At the age of two, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama and later enthroned in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa as the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet. Beginning in 1949, Chairman Mao began sending tens of thousands of PLA soldiers into Tibet and by 1959, Chinese control over Tibet was complete. In March 1959, at the age of 24, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, followed by scores of Tibetans, escaped into exile in India. Since then, His Holiness has lived in the small mountain town of Dharamsala in northern India. In 1989, the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for his people. The Dalai Lama’s three fundamental commitments are the promotion of human values, promotion of interfaith harmony, and resolution of the Tibet issue.
Robert A. F. "Tenzin" Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President and co-founder of Tibet House US, the President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, and Editor-in-Chief of the Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences, a long-term translation and publication project of the Tibetan Tengyur canon. A personal friend of the Dalai Lama for over 40 years and the first American to have been ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk, he is now an ordained lay Buddhist. Professor Thurman earned B.A., A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard. Robert Thurman has cultivated a worldwide awareness of Tibet through his academic and popular writing, translation of important Buddhist texts, and commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to the China-Tibet conflict.
Zainab Salbi is Founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization helping women survivors of wars rebuild their lives. Since 1993, the organization has helped 271,000 women survivors of wars access social and economic opportunities through a program of rights awareness training, vocational skills education and access to income generating opportunities, thereby ultimately contributing to the political and economic health of their communities. In its 17-year history, the organization has distributed more than $89 million in direct aid, micro credit loans, and has impacted more than 1.4 million family members. A recipient of numerous awards, accolades, and responsibilities, Zainab Salbi has a master's degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor's degree from George Mason University.
Anthony Ramos has served as Director of Communications for GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) since 2007, where he oversees the organization's public education, web development, and branding. He serves as an organizational spokesperson at national conferences and events and in both national and local media. He also managed the development of GLSEN's national ThinkB4YouSpeak public service advertising campaign, the first-ever Ad Council campaign on lesbian and gay issues. Anthony has worked in nonprofit communications for nearly 20 years, and immediately prior to joining GLSEN served as Director of Communications for New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.
Alyn Ware is a peace educator, non-violence advocate and nuclear disarmament campaigner from Aotearoa-New Zealand. He was a leader in successful campaigns to establish peer mediation programs in New Zealand schools, make peace education part of the school curriculum, ban nuclear weapons in New Zealand, achieve a World Court ruling on the illegality of nuclear weapons, draft a model global treaty on the elimination of nuclear weapons, and build majority support at the United Nations for such a treaty. He has represented the International Peace Bureau (Nobel Peace Prize in 1910) at the Nobel Peace Summits and has established a global network of parliamentarians for nuclear disarmament. He has been awarded the United Nations International Year of Peace Award, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Award and the Right Livelihood Award.
Aldo Civico is a leading peace-building strategist and a conflict resolution expert. He is the found and the director of the International Institute for peace at Rutgers University, Newark. An anthropologist, he is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He is a member of the advisory board of the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. On peace building and conflict resolution he has been a consultant to the United Nations Development Program and to USAID.
Civico has been conducting extensive fieldwork in Colombia on internally displace people, paramilitary, youth violence and child soldiers. He was a facilitator of talks between the Government of Colombia and the ELN guerrilla. He is currently a member of the Commission on Historical Memory within the Colombian National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation. In the 1990s, in Italy, his country of origin, Civico served as a policy adviser to and as spokesperson of Leoluca Orlando, mayor of Palermo and a worldwide renowned anti-Mafia fighter. Civico is a speaker at international conferences and gives briefings to private companies in Latin America on urban security, conflict resolution and peace building. He has designed and facilitated workshops in conflict resolution in highly volatile and violent contexts such as Colombia and Haiti.
The Honorable Cory A. Booker, 41, is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, which will host The Newark Peace Education Summit from May 13-15, 2011.
Mayor Booker took the oath of office as Mayor of New Jersey’s largest city on July 1, 2006 following a sweeping electoral victory and was re-elected to a second term on May 11, 2010. He is just the third person to govern the city since 1970.
Elected with a clear mandate for change, Mayor Booker has begun work on realizing a bold vision for the city. Newark’s mission is to set a national standard for urban transformation by marshalling its resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families.
Mayor Booker and his Administration have made meaningful strides towards achieving the City’s mission. As of July 1, 2008, Newark, New Jersey led the nation among large cities for reductions in shootings and murders, achieving decreases of more than 40% reductions in both categories. Radical transformation of the Newark Police Department under Mayor Booker’s leadership, together with the deployment of over 100 surveillance cameras throughout City, has led to Newark setting the nationwide pace for crime reduction.
Among other recent notable achievements under Mayor Booker’s leadership, the City of Newark has committed to a $40 million transformation of the City’s parks and playgrounds through a ground-breaking public/private partnership. The Booker Administration has also doubled affordable housing production.
Mayor Booker’s political career began in 1998, after serving as Staff Attorney for the Urban Justice Center in Newark. He rose to prominence as Newark’s Central Ward Councilman. During his four years of service from 1998-2002, then-Councilman Booker earned a reputation as a leader with innovative ideas and bold actions, from increasing security in public housing to building new playgrounds. This work was the foundation for his leadership as Mayor. For this work, he has been recognized in numerous publications, including, among others, Time, Esquire, New Jersey Monthly (naming him as one of New Jersey’s top 40 under 40), Black Enterprise (naming him to the Hot List, America’s Most Powerful Players under 40) and The New York Times Magazine.
Reflecting his commitment to education, Mayor Booker is a member of numerous boards and advisory committees including Democrats for Education Reform, Columbia University Teachers’ College Board of Trustees and the Black Alliance for Educational Options. Mayor Booker received his B. A. and M. A. from Stanford University, a B. A. in Modern History at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and completed his law degree at Yale University.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher. Among her 10 published books, four of them were #1 New York Times Bestsellers. She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. 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. Today, Project Angel Food serves over 1,000 people daily. Marianne also founded The Department of Peace Campaign, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation to establish a U. S. Department of Peace. In December 2006, a NEWSWEEK magazine poll named Marianne Williamson one of the fifty most influential baby boomers. 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." Marianne’s latest book, published to much acclaim in November 2010, is called A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever.
Dave Courchene - Nii Gaani Aki Innini (Leading Earth Man) has travelled internationally, carrying a message of hope and peace, and sharing ancient Indigenous knowledge that he believes can act as the foundation in supporting the New Life, that Mother Earth is now entering, and that the Elders have confirmed has arrived. He has created a special place for sharing ancient Indigenous knowledge - the Turtle Lodge - which was built based on a vision that he received many years ago. Indigenous people have always relied on visions and dreams to give guidance and direction in life. Dave was recently honored by Indigenous leaders and elders at the 2010 International Indigenous Leadership Gathering for the work associated with his message and vision, including the work he has done inspiring young people.
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Clement Alexander Price is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History and Director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University, Newark Campus. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Bridgeport and the Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Dr. Price is the foremost authority on the black New Jersey past by virtue of his Freedom Not Far Distant: A Documentary History of Afro-Americans in New Jersey.
Dr. Price, the leading public intellectual in New Jersey, has been the recipient of many awards for academic and community service. At the request of Governor Corzine, Dr. Price chaired the Newark Public Schools Superintendent Search Committee during the spring of 2008. Dr. Price was instrumental in encouraging a cross-section of citizens and institutions to reverently acknowledge the pivotal importance of the 40th anniversary of Newark’s 1967 Summer of Discontent in 2007. In 2009, Dr. Price was agency lead on President Obama’s transition team for the National Endowment for the Humanities on President Obama’s transition team, and he was vice chairman of the New Jersey Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Along with the late Giles R. Wright, he was the 1981 co-founder and co-organizer of the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, one of the nation’s oldest and prestigious conferences in observance of Black History Month in New Jersey.
Anthony McMillan is the Executive Director of the Newark Downtown District (NDD), Newark's special improvement district of the central business area. The NDD is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown Newark by improving the economic viability of the central business district and enhancing the quality of life for residents, workers, students and visitors through supplemental services, marketing and physical improvement programs. Managing an annual $2 million dollar budget, Mr. McMillan utilizes a combination of practical experience and academic discipline to drive the strategic initiatives of the company. Mr. McMillan grew up in Newark and is committed to the revitalization of the city. In addition to assisting ex-offenders in successfully re-entering society by offering them employment, he has fought to provide his Clean Team and Hospitality Ambassadors with paid health benefits, holidays, and vacation days. The organization’s most recent project was a district-wide initiative to beautify every downtown street by adding a horticulture program consisting of trees and seasonal planters, as well as new trash receptacles, street furniture, decorative street and pedestrian lighting, and improved curbs and sidewalks. Activating desolate streets and lots is one of Mr. McMillan's main goals. In 2008 he created the Beaver Street Café by cleaning up this unused area, filling it with new tables, chairs, and colorful umbrellas, and getting a DJ to get people to sing karaoke and dance in the streets. "I see potential everywhere I look in Newark," says McMillan.
Deepak Chopra M.D. is the Founder and Chairman of the Chopra Foundation, and Founder and co-Chairman of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. Chopra's Wellness Radio airs weekly on Sirius/XM Stars, Channels 102 and 155. He is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post On Faith, and contributes regularly to Oprah.com, Intent.com, and Huffington Post. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over fifty-five books with eighteen New York Times best sellers on mind-body health, spirituality, and peace. Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than thirty-five languages in both fiction and non-fiction. Deepak Chopra's popularity as an international presenter and keynote speaker is exemplified in an impressive list of honorariums. Dr. Chopra is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management and Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization.
Wilbert Rideau was sentenced to death for murder in 1961 at age nineteen in a trial eventually called "kangaroo court proceedings" by the United States Supreme Court. After two retrials, he was re-sentenced in 1973 to life imprisonment in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. A ninth-grade drop-out, Rideau educated himself in prison and began writing. In 1976, he became editor of the prison publication, The Angolite, and was given the freedom to publish without censorship. He won some of America's highest awards for journalism, including a George Polk Award in 1980. In 1993, he branched out into broadcast journalism, producing award-winning reports for national radio and television. He also co-directed several films such as The Farm: Angola, USA, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Wilbert eventually won a new trial and on January 15, 2005, a jury convicted him of manslaughter and he was sentenced to 21 years, and so, having already served 44 years in prison, he was freed immediately. He now works as a consultant to capital defense teams and speaks at universities and legal conferences. His autobiography, In the Place of Justice, was published by Knopf in April 2010.
Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun Magazine a quarterly print magazine and an online weekly www.tikkun.org. He is chair of the international interfaith organization The Network of Spiritual Progressives www.spiritualprogressives.org, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley, California. He is the most prominent rabbi spokesperson for those American Jews who support Palestinian rights and an end to the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. He has been described as a "contemporary prophet" and as "America's preeminent liberal Jewish intellectual." Born and raised in Newark N.J., graduate of Columbia College, he earned two separate ph.d.s, one in psychology and one in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley where he also taught before becoming the director of The Institute for Labor and Mental Health. Among his 12 books: 2 national best-sellers: Jewish Renewal and The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right.
Earl "The Street Doctor" Best was born on December 26, 1947, in Newark Beth Israel Hospital during a great snow storm. Affectionately called the Street Doctor, he is the architect and the founder of the Street Warriors, Inc. and is known for his leadership, compassion, wit, and organizational abilities. The Street Doctor scours the Newark community feeding the homeless and supporting the less fortunate within the City. The Street Doctor is launching his first literary effort, entitled “The Fingerprint.” He hopes that the people who read this book gain understanding on why he has made the commitment to serve. In addition, he hopes to help others to find “the real you” in themselves. The Street Doctor was given a Proclamation by the city of Newark on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
Laura Simms, an internationally acclaimed performing artist, writer, educator and humanitarian is engaged in individual and community transformation. Born in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, she performs in the tradition of great storytellers combining her knowledge of traditional stories with personal narrative. Laura has performed worldwide and was a three time artist for Lincoln Center's Aesthetic Arts Institute. She appears regularly in performances, keynotes and workshops in conferences, villages, schools, universities and community events worldwide. She works with international organizations training teachers, and humanitarian workers. Laura is an artist with Catalyst Arts, a member of the Therapeutic Arts Alliance of Manhattan, is a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation , and is a Senior Research Associate at Rutgers University. She recently received the Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling. Laura is presently working in Haiti with Mercy Corps, with ETSU's CANCER STORIES project (consultant), and as storyteller in residence for the New Alternative Arts High School in Portland, Oregon.
Elizabeth J. Kucinich is a longtime peace and human rights advocate and champion for improved human health, the environment, and animal-protection, Elizabeth Kucinich is the Director of Public and Government Affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. In that capacity, she advocates for legislation that gives all children in the United States access to healthful food; she is spearheading efforts to secure passage of the Great Ape Protection Act; working to have advanced non-animal testing methods included in the Toxic Substances Control Act and has helped facilitate the introduction of a bill that would end the military's use of live animals in medical training courses.
Elizabeth has worked in some of the world's poorest nations. In India, she volunteered with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity and later initiated a village education project for under served children. Elizabeth lived in rural Tanzania for a year and a half, helping to develop rainwater harvesting and bio gas projects while working as a secondary school teacher. She left the international development field in order to further concentrate on changing the destructive international policies which create disparities in global wealth, health, social and environmental well being. Elizabeth continues to advise several education and community-building projects in East Africa and is a director of Sean Penn's Haiti relief organization.
Elizabeth earned her master's degree in International Conflict Analysis and holds a BA with honors in Religious Studies and Theology, both from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, and a Certificate in Peace and Reconciliation Studies from Coventry University, UK.
Leymah Roberta Gbowee trained as a trauma counselor during the civil war in Liberia and worked with the ex-child soldiers of Charles Taylor's army. The more she worked with them the more she came to see that they too were were victims. She joined the Woman in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET www.wanep.org) and quickly rose to leadership thanks to her leadership and organizing skills. She brought women of the Christian Churches together to issue a series of calls for peace and soon formed a coalition with the women in the Muslim organizations in Monrovia, resulting in the Liberian Mass Action for Peace. Under Gbowee's leadership the group managed to force a meeting with Charles Taylor and extract a promise from him to attend peace talks in Ghana. She then led a delegation of Liberian women to Ghana to continue to apply pressure on the warring factions during the peace process. Gbowee is the central character of the award-winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which tells the story of the women's peace movement in Liberia.
In 2007 Gbowee was awarded the Blue Ribbon for Peace (2007) by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and, with the women of Liberia, received the Profiles in Courage Award (2009) from the Kennedy Library Foundation. Gbowee is the executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, a women's peace-building organization in Ghana, that will act to build relationships across the West African sub-region in support of women's capacity to prevent, avert, and end conflicts. She holds a master's degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va.
Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. He is a former Sierra Leonean child soldier and the author of the published memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. He moved to the United States in 1998 and finished his last two years of high school at the United Nations International School in New York. In 2004 he graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in political science. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and on many NGO panels on children affected by war. His work has appeared in Vespertine Press and LIT magazine. He lives in New York City.
Kirsten Giardi, Goodwill Vice President – Northern New Jersey Division - With over 10 years of experience developing and implementing innovative partnerships spearheaded by Goodwill, Ms. Giardi manages the Northern New Jersey Division office of 30 employees. Since 2006, Ms. Giardi has secured more than $3.5 million of private and public funding for Goodwill initiatives by creating strategic partnerships and developing proposals that are designed to provide supports that enable individuals who are at-risk to develop productive life skills. She serves on numerous advisory boards and task forces, and represents Goodwill at conferences at the state, county and local levels. Ms. Giardi is experienced in collecting and analyzing program participant and other types of quantitative and qualitative data, and has served as an expert panelist to share lessons learned from Goodwill initiatives. These various networking experiences have made Ms. Giardi invaluable in broadening Goodwill’s connections at the federal level and in New Jersey with state, county and city officials; foundation representatives; local businesses; and community residents, groups, and agencies. Ms. Giardi holds an M.A. in Teaching with secondary certification in Mathematics from Sacred Heart University.
Somaly Mam was born in the rural mountains of Cambodia, during the terror of Pol Pot's regime. She was orphaned and never knew her parents, so when a man posing as her grandfather approached her she knew no one else. This man sold her into a brothel around the age of 12 and she was forced into prostitution for what she thinks was around 6 years. In 1993, when she escaped from the brothel an aid worker found Mam and helped her start her new life. She got married and moved to France with her new husband but she could not forget the girls left behind in the brothels she had escaped. Mam went home to Cambodia and founded AFESIP (Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire or Acting for Women in Distressing Situations), a Cambodian NGO dedicated to rescuing, housing and rehabilitating women and children in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam who have been sexually exploited. In addition to all of her field work with AFESIP, which is currently housing over 200 girls just in Cambodia, Somaly is also President of the Somaly Mam Foundation. Founded in 2007, SMF supports AFESIP and several other programs in Cambodia which and help women create and sustain lives of dignity. Somaly has saved over 6,000 women and children from sexual slavery. Her sanctuaries are in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Wade Davis has been described as a “ rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” An ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker, Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University.
Currently an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, his recent work has taken him from the Amazon to Tibet, from the Arctic to Africa, from Australia to Mongolia, from Polynesia to New Guinea, living for extended periods among indigenous communities, learning and recording their complex rituals and customs, and their uses of plants as food, medicine and psychotropic agents.
Davis is the author of 14 books including The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), One River (1996), The Clouded Leopard (1999), Light at the Edge of the World (2001), and The Lost Amazon (2004). In 2009 he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures, Canada’s most prestigious intellectual forum, which were published as The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (2009).
His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series produced for the National Geographic Channel. He is one of 20 Honorary Members of the Explorer's Club, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an Honorary Member and Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal from the RCGS for his contributions to the fields of anthropology and conservation, and he is the 2011 recipient of the Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers’ Club. In fall 2011 Knopf will publish his latest book, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest.
Cameron Sinclair is the co-founder and 'eternal optimist' at Architecture for Humanity, a charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis and brings professional design services to communities in need. Over the past ten years the organization has worked in twenty six countries on projects ranging from school, health clinics, affordable housing and long term sustainable reconstruction.
Sinclair and Architecture for Humanity co-founder Kate Stohr have compiled a compendium on socially conscious design titled "Design Like You Give A Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises". He serves on advisory boards of the Acumen Fund, Detroit Collaborative Design Center and the Institute for State Effectiveness.
Sinclair is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2006 TED prize and the 2005 RISD/Target Emerging Designer of the Year. Recently he was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Along with co-founder Kate Stohr, he was awarded the Wired Magazine 2006 Rave Award for Architecture for their work in responding to housing needs following Hurricane Katrina. In 2008 they were recipients of the National Design Award for demonstrating "that good design can indeed change the world."
As a result of the TED Prize he and Stohr launched the Open Architecture Network, the worlds’ first open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. In 2009 the network will host a global challenge to redesign educational facilities around the world.
Charles Best founded DonorsChoose.org at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years. He thought up DonorsChoose.org during a lunch conversation with colleagues, and his students volunteered to help start the organization. To entice his fellow teachers to try out the new website, Charles offered them his mother's famous pear dessert. DonorsChoose.org has been growing since.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015. Sachs is also President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty.
He is widely considered to be the leading international economic advisor of his generation. For more than 20 years Professor Sachs has been in the forefront of the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and enlightened globalization, promoting policies to help all parts of the world to benefit from expanding economic opportunities and wellbeing. He is also one of the leading voices for combining economic development with environmental sustainability, and as Director of the Earth Institute leads large-scale efforts to promote the mitigation of human-induced climate change.
In 2004 and 2005 he was named among the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, a high civilian honor bestowed by the Indian Government, in 2007. Sachs lectures constantly around the world and was the 2007 BBC Reith Lecturer. He is author of hundreds of scholarly articles and many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Common Wealth (Penguin, 2008) and The End of Poverty (Penguin, 2005). Sachs is a member of the Institute of Medicine and is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to joining Columbia, he spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University.
Dr. Sam Tsemberis serves as CEO of Pathways to Housing, an organization he founded in 1992 based on the belief that housing is a basic human right. Pathways developed the consumer driven evidence based Housing First program that provides immediate access to permanent supportive housing to individuals who are homeless and who have mental health and addiction problems.
Dr. Tsemberis is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. His is currently participating in national studies of homelessness, mental illness, and addiction in the US, Canada and Europe and has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics. He recently published (Nov. 2010) the Housing First manual by Hazelden Press.
Majora Carter redefined environmental-equality via climate-adaptation & job creation, starting in the South Bronx. Now she's leading a local economic development movement across the US. She is a board member of the US Green Building Council, and The Wilderness Society, and hosts her own Peabody Award winning public radio show, The Promised Land. Fast Company named her among their 100 Most Creative in Business, and Ashoka Foundation's Changemakers.org described her as the "Prophet of Local". Her clients include federal agencies, municipalities, corporations, universities, foundations and communities.
Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Land mines (ICBL), which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since February 1998, she has served as a Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL, speaking on its behalf all over the world. Like others who’ve seen the ravages of war, she’s an outspoken peace activist who struggles to reclaim the real meaning of peace—a concept which goes far beyond the absence of armed conflict and is defined by human security, not national security. Since January of 2006, Jody Williams has worked to achieve her peace work through the Nobel Women’s Initiative, which she chairs. In 2003, Williams was named Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Justice, in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. She is a prolific writer and the recipient of fifteen honorary degrees, among other recognitions. She is currently working on a memoir related to her work for social justice.
"We must teach the "lil" dudes the right way"
James 'Loose' White is no stranger to the streets. In fact, many may argue that he is the epitome of the streets. Through his travels as a hustler and gang banger, he has come to be well respected for the work he has "put in!" Today, who would have known, or expected, that the concept of "putting in work" would transform and be defined as a positive, as opposed to its popular –sometimes negative– undertone. This is the Loose of today. He is a refined hustler whose new energy has earned him a degree in administrative management from Berkley College, Newark, New Jersey. He is also a refined gang banger who spends his time doing mentoring, conflict resolution and gang intervention to many young primarily in the metropolitan area. While his final destination is still somewhat unclear what is clear is that he is on a trajectory of change that is transforming many young people along the way. Why? Well, according to an interview with Gil Noble on "Like It Is," Loose sincerely believes that, "The African-American male should understand that his love is a tool for healing, and that it will teach his child to seek things that are good for him."
In September 2009, Brick City was premiered in Newark, New Jersey. The documentary, executive produced by Forest Whitaker captured Loose in his "element" as a transformational agent working to lift the young people in his community. The series received great reviews but the work that needs to be done is "not really for TV." According to Loose, "the problems are in the street and the solutions must be delivered to the street, because that is where the people are who need this work."
James’ work started many years ago as a main component to a "ceasefire" that brought 500 rival gang-bangers together in one room, was drafted and signed by top members of various sets of the Bloods and Crips. While many treaties fail, Loose and many of his comrades have held steadfast –working to bring peace in the streets of Newark and the surrounding areas. The "Cease Fire" led to conditions that would allow Loose to lend his passion for peace to others in communities such as Paterson and East Orange. Historically, the first "ceasefire" organized on the east coast, Loose is a part of peace he hopes to bring to the streets. As a founding member of "Saving Our Selves" or "SOS," Loose has spent time on panels with Dr. Joy Leary, Min. Louis Farrakhan, Dr. William Cosby and many others community activist who have been working to improve conditions in urban neighborhoods.
Today, James is the Founder and Executive Director of "Neighborhood Healers" –a not for profit, 501(c)(3) organizations that seeks to organize all of the above mentioned activities and deliver them to people in need. As his organization continues to expand, his vision also expands to align the ideas with those of his organization.
Shirin Ebadi is a lawyer, human rights activist, and the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her work defending the rights of women and children in Iran, and advocating an interpretation of Islam which is compatible with democracy and human rights. She is the first Iranian and Muslim woman to receive the prize. Ebadi received a law degree from the University of Tehran in 1965, and became one of the first female judges in Iran. In 1975, she was the first Iranian woman to preside over a legislative court. Following Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, Ebadi was demoted to the position of a clerk in the court she had presided over because the revolution deemed women unfit to serve as judges. Unable to accept the discrimination against her, she resigned, and although her application was repeatedly rejected, finally obtained a license to open a law firm. For the next two decades, Ebadi devoted her life to the promotion of women’s rights, the defense of children, and political activists. Her organization, the Association for Human Rights Advocates, provides pro bono legal service to political prisoners in Iran. Shirin Ebadi has spoken out strongly against discrimination and injustice in her country, at times despite great risk to her own safety. In 2000, she spent a month in solitary confinement as a result of defending the family of a student killed by the police in protests in Tehran. Shirin Ebadi’s principal arena is the struggle for basic human rights and the fundamental value that political power in a community must be built on democratic elections. She favors dialogue as the best path to changing attitudes and resolving conflict, and as a conscious Muslim believes there is no conflict between Islam and fundamental human rights. Dr. Ebadi is the founder of three NGOs in Iran, The Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Child, The Association for Human Rights Advocates, and the Organization against Mines in Iran. She is the author of 14 books, including available in English a memoir Iran Awakening; Refugee Law in Iran; and, The Golden Cage.
Nancy B. Black, M.D., is a graduate of Smith College with a degree in Religion and a graduate of the University of Washington, Seattle, with a degree in Asian Languages and Literature, focusing on Tibetan Language and Buddhist Studies. Her Medical Degree is from Tufts University and she is board certified in adult and in child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Black holds the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army and has almost 20 years of continuous active duty service. She is the Program and Training Director for the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship based at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award-winning actress, producer, director, best-selling author and children’s advocate. She is the founder of The Hawn Foundation, a public charity with a mission to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, and happier lives. Working with leading neuroscientists, educators and researchers, the Foundation developed MindUP™, an evidence-based curriculum and teaching model for grades K-8 that provides children with the social and emotional tools to improve academic performance. MindUP™ is currently being taught in schools in the United States and Canada, and is in the process of broadening globally. Ms. Hawn has received many honors for her work with children. Among them, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) presented Goldie with a special award for her work to increase public understanding of mental health.
Career: Goldie is one of the most recognizable and beloved actresses in Hollywood. In 1969, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Cactus Flower alongside Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman. Since then, she has starred in more than thirty films including Sugarland Express, Death Becomes Her, Private Benjamin, Everyone Says I Love You, and The First Wives Club. Goldie earned a second Academy Award nomination for her starring role in Private Benjamin, which she executive produced. She has received nine Golden Globe nominations to date, including one for her role in Banger Sisters alongside Susan Sarandon in 2003.
Goldie made her directorial debut in 1997 with the film Hope. She published a best-selling memoir, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, in 2005 and is a mother to four grown children, Oliver and Kate Hudson, Wyatt Russell and stepson Boston Russell.
Mahishan Gnanaseharan began grade one at Abington Avenue School and currently a grade 7 student at Science Park High School, Newark, New Jersey. Born in Sri Lanka, immigrated to Canada in 2000 and to USA in 2004. Lives in Newark, NJ with both his parents; father, Selliah Gnanaseharan, an instructor at Essex County College, and mother, Nirmala Gnanaseharan, a registered nurse at Clara Maas Hospital, Bellville, NJ. Actively involved in community work through Boys Scouts of America for creating a better and a safe community environment in and around Newark and other cities.
Awards/Honors received 2004 & 2010
- "Star Reader" awarded by the Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker for completion of reading more than two thousand books at the Newark Public Library.
- Awarded and honored for winning a writing contest "NJ Devils and Me" Newark Public Library -August 2008.
- Active participant in "Summer Reading Challenge" program and read more than four thousand books since 2004.
- Honor award for "Create your Own Book" - Newark Public Library-2008.
- Winner of Newark district school debate contest- November, 2010
- Winner of school Spelling Bee contest- Abington Ave. School 2008 & 2009.
- Winner of Newark district Spelling Bee contest - June 2008.
- Honored as academically advanced student by Johns Hopkins University in 2009 and 2010. Scholarships awarded to complete 3 week courses; "Writing and Imagination" and "Renaissance" Moravian College, Pennsylvania.
- Participated in the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) special program for learning about architecture and meeting real live architectural challenges.
Writing Contest Winner- National Campaign to Stop Violence
National Recognition Award- July 2010. The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
- Active participant in the national campaign to stop violence (www.dtwt.org). Became a national winner of a writing contest on "Impact of violence in our lives and how to combat violence in our society". Winners from each state were honored and their writings were published in the Library of Congress and in the Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.
Poetic Contest Winner Award-"Peace and Harmony" Creative Communication- August 2010.
- Winner of a poetic contest. "Peace and Harmony" published in most public schools’ journal in the United States.
Speech given – 2008 – 12 minutes.
- "What does Newark Public Library mean to me" – "Booked for the Evening", fund raising gala by the Newark Public library, December, 2008.
- Class President- Grade 7, Science Park High School- 2010 (current)
- Boys Scouts of America- rank-First Class
Skills, hobbies, & interest
- Piano and Keyboard since 2004
- Swimming- since 2006
- Active member of Boy Scouts of America- First Class
- Playing member - Newark Baseball team
- Community work
- Fond of reading- reading fanatic.
- Listen to music
- Watch CNN, History, National Geography & Sports channels
- Read & discuss US & world politics
- Interested in pursuing astronomy & ornithology
David Kerr established Integrity House, the nationally recognized premier provider of substance abuse treatment and support services, in 1968 in one of the toughest inner cities, Newark, N.J.
This important work emanated from David’s experiences as a New Jersey State Parole Officer and as a response to the growing heroin epidemic and living with addicts in recovery for two years in the late 60’s.
In 1981, Kerr authored the first national definition of the Therapeutic Community treatment modality, and today Integrity House stands as a national and international prototype for drug addiction recovery. This mode now includes a five-year process of residential and outpatient treatment for men and women, transitional housing, adolescent male treatment, residential methadone reduction, job readiness, intervention, health outreach, education, counseling and medical care. It is designed not only to treat the acute disease of addiction, but to foster personal growth by changing an individual’s behavior and lifestyle through a highly structured community of people working together to help themselves and each other.
More recently, Integrity House has instituted its Initiative for Women & Children, which offers new and larger facilities and strategies to address the unique challenges and obstacles encountered by female addicts, especially those with children.
Realizing that the problem of substance abuse requires a full family and community interest, in 1999, David inspired the creation of a community consortium called the Bridge to Recovery. Other community projects David has driven include an ex-offender re-entry program with the Newark Office of the Mayor, the Bradley Court Initiative and The Council. Both of these last two initiatives reach deep into the grass roots community to change the culture of gangs and addiction and to improve conditions in ‘the hood’ from within.
Integrity House, now with locations in Newark and Secaucus, N.J., provides treatment and services to 1,400 addicts per year, to reclaim their lives, health and personal dignity. Kerr has been appointed co-chair to The Mayor’s Task Force on Addiction in Newark and is recognized on a local, state and national level as a leader in drug addiction recovery.
David holds a B.A. in Psychology from Lehigh University and a M.A. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research. David is married to Linda Kerr, and they have three children and 7 grandchildren.
Dr. Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. Dr. Noguera is an urban sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. He holds tenured faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development, as well as in the Department of Sociology at New York University. Dr. Noguera is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). In 2008, he was appointed by the Governor of New York to serve on the State University of New York Board of Trustees.
Dr. Noguera received his bachelors' degree in Sociology and History and a teaching credential from Brown University in 1981. He earned his masters' degree in Sociology from Brown in 1982 received his doctorate in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 1989. Dr. Noguera was a classroom teacher in public schools in Providence, RI and Oakland, CA. He has held tenured faculty appoints at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2000-2003), where he was named the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools and at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-2000), where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. He has published over one hundred and fifty research articles, monographs and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, youth violence, the potential impact of school choice and vouchers on urban public schools, and race and ethnic relations in American society. His work has appeared in multiple major research journals. Dr. Noguera is the author of The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada (Peter Lang Publishers, 1997), City Schools and the American Dream (Teachers College Press 2003), Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools (Josey Bass, 2006) City Kids, City Teachers, with Bill Ayers and Greg Michie (New Press 2008), and The Trouble With Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education (Wiley and Sons, 2008). Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.
Jim Shelton was appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary to run the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the US Department of Education in April of 2009. Immediately prior to joining ED, Jim was a Program Director for Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where, over 5.5 years, he oversaw education programs including Next Generation Models, School Replication, College Access and Scholarships, and numerous State and District partnerships. Jim began his career developing computer systems; and later became a senior consultant to CEOs and other for-profit and non-profit leaders while working for McKinsey & Company. He transitioned into education full-time as a private equity investor, which led him to co-found and led a company with the mission of opening and running high quality schools in high need communities. After selling the company, Jim worked with Joel Klein, Chancellor of New York City Schools, leading the planning for his reform strategy - Children First – followed by launching the east coast office of NewSchools Venture Fund, a non-profit venture fund focused on education. Throughout his life and career, Jim has been an active volunteer as a tutor, counselor, service center manager, and board member. He has a B.A. in Computer Science from Morehouse College and a Masters in Education and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, author, and social activist. She has worked with dying people since 1970. She is Founding Abbot and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center and Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She founded the Ojai Foundation, The Project on Being with Dying, the Upaya Prison Project, the National Network of Contemplative Prison Programs, and is a co-founder of the Zen Peacemaker Order. She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. Her various academic honors have included a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, appointment as an Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University's Peabody Museum, Rockefeller Chair at California Institute of Integral Studies, and the Harold C. Wit Chair at Harvard Divinity School. Her books include:The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); Shamanic Voices; Shaman: The Wounded Healer; The Fruitful Darkness; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America and Being with Dying: Compassionate End-of-Life Care Training Guide (with Dossey and Rushton), andBeing with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death. Among many sound recordings of her lectures, she has done a six CD series for Sounds True entitled Being with Dying. She is co-chair of the Lindisfarne Fellows, and is Board member and Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute. She is a board member of numerous other institutions as well. She has practiced Buddhism since the 1965 and received Refuge Vows in 1976 from Zen Master Seung Sahn. In 1980, she was ordained as a Teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. In 1990, she received the Lamp Transmission from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. In 1997, she was ordained as a Soto Priest by Bernard Glassman Roshi. In 1999, she received Dharma Transmission and Inka from Glassman Roshi. She has also studied with renowned Vajrayana teachers including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Venerable Khyentse Rinpoche, Venerable Chakdud Rinpoche, and others.
Extraordinary leaders and teachers change the way we perceive the world. The very best lead us by their example. Tao Porchon-Lynch, Master Yoga teacher, approaching her 93rd year, the daughter of an Indian mother and a French father, spent her first twenty years in India. Tao is uniquely equipped to spread Yogic insights, originating in India, to Westerners seeking enlightenment, with over 70 years of yoga practice and 40 years of teaching yoga to students in India, France and the U.S.
Having studied with Indra Devi and Aurobindo and BKS Iyengar in Pune and Mumbai, Tao learned how to tap into the incredible power all individuals possess but only few can access. In 1995, Tao attended the Yoga for Peace International Peace Conference in Israel with Indra Devi.
Tao is a living advertisement for how to tap into our human potential with her philosophy, "There is nothing we cannot do if we harness the power within us."
Anzella King Nelms is an educator who truly believes that all children can learn. She was employed by the Newark Public Schools as a teacher, Title I Project Coordinator, Vice Principal, Principal, Associate Superintendent, and Assistant Executive Superintendent. On July 21, 1999, Mrs. Nelms was named State District Deputy Superintendent of the Newark Public Schools. Prior to this appointment, Mrs. Nelms served from 1995 to 1999 as the Assistant Superintendent of School Leadership Team I. In that capacity, she was responsible for administering the operations of and services to sixteen (16) schools. Her responsibilities included implementing the District’s curriculum, developing and monitoring instructional programs, planning and implementing professional development for her School Leadership Team, approving resources for students, parents and staff, and serving as the supervisor for principals and vice principals.
While principal of Camden Middle School from 1979 to 1989, Mrs. Nelms and her staff successfully led the school to become one which gained the respect, not only of the Newark community, but also of educators and communities throughout New Jersey and the nation under the New Jersey State Department’s Effective Demonstration Schools Project. As a result of this success story, Mrs. Nelms was featured in a Channel 9 documentary entitled, "Takeover". She is also featured as an effective school leader on a New Jersey State Department video entitled, "Working Together- Improving Schools".
As Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Nelms developed 16 "Theme Schools" within her School Leadership Team. During the 1998-99 school year, the U.S. Department of Education named one of these schools, Ann Street School of Mathematics and Science, a National Blue Ribbon School. In keeping with her belief that education must meet the needs of the total child, Mrs. Nelms started a tennis program, initiated a recorder program for the intermediate grades and encouraged NJPAC residencies in her schools.
As Deputy Superintendent, Mrs. Nelms worked in tandem with the Superintendent in all aspects of district administration, including the supervision of Educational Services, which included the departments of Teaching and Learning, Special Programs, and Special Education. Additionally, she took great pride in sharing the knowledge that she had gained with six dedicated Assistant Superintendents and one Associate Superintendent and many other Newark Public Schools staff. Mrs. Nelms worked diligently to make a difference in the lives of the many students, parents and Newark Public School employees, always modeling in her behavior, her commitment and regard.
Anzella King- Nelms has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, however, she views the daily recognition from her students, staff and parents as the most significant honor of all, for they are the reason she devotes her life to education. Not only has Mrs. Nelms worked with an outstanding group of administrators, teachers, parents and students, she also has the respect of the Newark community.
In the years after her retirement, Ms. Nelms continues to generously share her knowledge by supporting schools and special projects pertaining to education.
Jonathan Granoff is an author and international advocate emphasizing the legal, ethical and spiritual dimensions of human development and security. He is president of the Global Security Institute, Co Chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Nuclear Non-proliferation and serves on numerous governing and advisory boards including: ABA International Law Section, Millennium Development Goal Awards, and Jane Goodall Institute. He is a founding member of the United Religions Initiative’s Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. Since his youth he has been a student of the renowned Sufi sage Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. Mr. Granoff is the award-winning screenwriter of The Constitution: the Document that Created a Nation, and has articles in more than 50 publications and books. He is a regular contributor to Tikkun and Huffington Post. He is honored to be representing the Nobel Peace Laureate organization the International Peace Bureau at the Newark Peace Education Summit.
In October 2010 LaVar Young was tapped by Newark Now’s Board of Directors and its Founder Cory Booker to be the President and CEO of Newark Now. In his capacity as President, LaVar oversees the daily operation, budget of 3.5 million dollars and overall direction of Newark Now. Newark Now was founded in 2003 to provide Newark residents with skills, tools, and support to transform their neighborhoods. After a robust outreach effort, Newark Now's work began with seven brave grassroots organizations.
Today, those seven organizations are some of the most successful grassroots organizations within the City of Newark and have been joined by many more organizations that partner with Newark Now to improve their neighborhoods. Over the years, Newark Now's work has evolved. Today, it is an intermediary organization that partners with municipal government, residents, grassroots organizations, and the philanthropic community to catalyze the achievement of positive outcomes throughout the city. The organization channels the efforts and energy of the grassroots community to improve safety, economize independence, and civic participation.
Prior to becoming President of Newark Now, LaVar served as Director of Fathers Now at the Newark Comprehensive Center for Fathers. During his time at Fathers Now, LaVar was instrumental in bringing national attention to Fathers Now for its exceptional outcomes with fathers in transition. Participants are men who have lost their jobs and homes, or who are re-entering the workforce following incarceration and seek to assume greater responsibility for and contribute to the lives of their children. During the past 8 years LaVar has held leadership roles for several Newark based organizations, as well as, municipal government. His hands-on approach allows him to build relationships with businesses and city agencies, benefiting any program he is involved with. As Deputy Director of the Newark Best Men program, he implemented abstinence teaching practices and self esteem building workshops for male students at six Newark public schools. In 2004 LaVar was hired as the Director of Mentoring Programs at Big Brother Big Sisters, and continued to act as Interim Executive Director until 2006. As Operations and Policy Manager for the Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement in the City of Newark. LaVar was influential in securing funding in the amount of one million dollars from the National League of Cities for disconnected youth in the city of Newark.
Recently LaVar was highlighted in the “I AM NEW JERSEY” profile by the Star Ledger for his work in the City of Newark, and was invited to the White House for a round table discussion on fatherhood initiatives with President Obama where he received The National Volunteer Service Award. This past January LaVar received the Martin Luther King Visionary of the Future Award from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. LaVar and Fathers Now have been featured on CNN’s Building up America, USA Today, and Man Up, a documentary on a Fatherless Nation.
Drew Katz, Founder and CEO, The Drew A. Katz Foundation, CEO - Interstate Outdoor Advertising
Drew Katz created his foundation to support causes near to his heart, e.g. programs and organizations that provide a direct and measurable benefit in many challenging areas including but not limited to organizations addressing medical, educational, social, emotional, and cultural needs of those less fortunate. Mr. Katz is currently a board member of the International Board of Covenant House, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, and Wilson Disease Association International. He is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council at Stanford Law School. Mr. Katz has served as a mentor to inner city youth for seven years in Manhattan through the Grand Street Settlement House's J.U.M.P. program. Since 1999, Drew Katz has served as Chief Executive Officer of Interstate Outdoor Advertising, Inc. headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Mr. Katz is also a principal of Foster Interstate Media, Inc., a California-based company. Mr. Katz graduated from George Washington University in 1993 and received his J.D. with distinction from Stanford Law School in 1996. He has worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, New Jersey and for the Philadelphia Public Defender's Service.
Ibrahim Sharif, Government Representative at the New Jersey State Parole Board
Ibrahim Sharif was appointed by New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey as Executive Director of the New Jersey State Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission in 2002, after serving as a Commissioner for six years under the leadership of former Governor Christie Todd-Whitman. Recently, Mr. Sharif was re-appointed to the MLK, Jr. Commission by Former Governor Jon Corzine.
Currently, he is the Government Representative at the New Jersey State Parole Board: managing re-entry programs to ensure organization and structure, efficacy, quality assurance, quality control, transparency, and measured outcomes. With a rewarding career of over thirty years at Merck & Company (started as a janitor, chemical operator, certified electrician, secretary of Local 8-575, supervisor for executive chauffeur services, supervisor of site security and food services, and coordinator for Community Relations/Public Affairs); and five years as Special Confidential Aide to Mayor James Kennedy of Rahway New Jersey. Mr. Sharif brings to the New Jersey State Parole Board his genuine and unique sense of style, expertise, and knowledge in educating the public and private sectors of the importance of economical networking, shared services, the power of human capital, and one’s ability to revitalize their human character. And he spearheaded an initiative by bringing Merck & Company to the NJSPB to support a Patient Assistance Program. Networking with healthcare agencies is a priority to support ex-offenders and their families. By example, Mr. Sharif subscribes to the belief of the Honorable Booker T. Washington, who stated, “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” And he attributes his business mindset by a quote from Albert Einstein “you don’t use the same minds that created the problem to solve the problem.”
James R. Doty, M.D.is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Founder and Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. In addition to being a neurosurgeon, he is also an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. His philanthropic works supports a variety of programs throughout the world including those for HIV/AIDS programs, blood banks, medical care in third world countries and peace initiatives. Additionally, he has endowed chairs at major universities including Stanford University School of Medicine and his alma mater, Tulane University School of Medicine. In addition to serving on the Board of a number of non-profit foundations, he is a Senior Advisor to the World Peace Festival and the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Rev. Robert Chodo Campbellis a Soto Zen Buddhist priest. He is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He serves on the Core Faculty for the Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Programs. Chodo is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. He is Co-Director of Contemplative Care Services for the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center. He gives Panel addresses, Workshops and retreats in a variety of settings from corporations to national healthcare conferences.
Bob Roth is vice president of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, author, lecturer, and a teacher of Transcendental Meditation since 1972. Bob has taught meditation to thousands of people on all continents and currently oversees the implementation of meditation-based programs for 150,000 at-risk teens and adults in public schools, on military bases and in veterans' organizations, on American Indian reservations, and in homeless shelters and prisons throughout the United States and worldwide. Bob is also working with filmmaker David Lynch to establish a meditation-based University of World Peace in both the US and India, which would provide students with both the knowledge and techniques to resolve conflict and promote health and peace on the individual, institutional, and societal levels.
Marian Schreck is the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Newark Renaissance House, Inc., a comprehensive therapeutic community for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. Marian has twenty-five years of experience in the field of addiction services. She has held a wide range of positions during her career. She began as a counselor at Renaissance House and advanced to various supervisory and administrative positions within the organization. She was named Vice President in 2001 and elected an officer of the company in 2005.
During her time as an executive at Newark Renaissance House, Inc. the program has grown to include services for over 200 adults, adolescents and children with a budget of $4,000,000. As the COO Marian is responsible for all areas of concern and her portfolio includes such diverse responsibilities as the quality of clinical care and the maintenance and upkeep of four buildings. Under her direction, the program has built a 40,000 square foot health care facility and a 9000 square foot office building.
John Hagelin, Ph.D., is the President of the David Lynch Foundation. He is a renowned quantum physicist, educator, author, and science and public policy expert. He has conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). He is responsible for the develop-ment of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the superstring—a theory that was featured in a cover story of Discover magazine.
In addition, Dr. Hagelin has spent much of the past quarter century leading a scientific investigation into the foundations of human consciousness. He is one of the world’s pre-eminent researchers on the effects of meditation on brain development, and the use of collective meditation to defuse societal stress and to reduce crime and social violence.
Dr. Hagelin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1981. He is currently director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy and professor of physics at Maharishi University of Management.
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedyis the third generation in her family to be involved in transformational work around the world. As President of Power Living Enterprises, Inc., she leads training programs for individuals, organizations and communities focusing on health/sustainable living, values-based leadership and self-development. Called “smart with a heart,” she left a successful career as VP of Business Operations at MTV Networks and founded the first yoga studio in Harlem. She is a National Spokesperson for the American Heart Association, has co-created the Young PWR Brokers which teaches self-esteem to girls, and is part of “A New Way Forward” which trains African-American mentors for vulnerable Black youth. Although she is American, she was born in Ghana, started school in Australia and studied/lived in Italy. She has an MBA from Harvard, a Ph.D. in World Religions, executive education in Global Leadership & Public Policy, and certifications in Holistic Health and Yoga. She has received numerous awards, including being named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She is the author of multiple books/CDs, and has been featured in media from CNN to Oprah’s book Live Your Best Life!
Arthur RomanoArthur Romano was trained in nonviolence by civil rights hero and Freedom Rider, Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr. whom he recently assisted in training former rebel fighters from the Niger Delta. In 2004, Arthur was awarded the prestigious Rotary World Peace Fellowship for the study of conflict resolution. During that time, the Dalai Lama visited Scotland and Arthur worked with the Scottish Parliament to implement a strategy that brought together peace educators from across the country to develop best practices. Arthur is currently serving as a Senior Research Fellow at Rutgers-Newark and works with the National Peace Academy and the Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Alternatives in Brooklyn.
The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is the Founding Director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his undergraduate degree (summa cum laude) and was also an Integral Honors Scholar (studying Philosophy and Physics), and has a graduate degree in Comparative Philosophy of Religion from Harvard University. He is also a recipient of several awards and honorary degrees. At the age of ten years, he entered a Buddhist monastery in Rajgir near ancient Nalanda University and was subsequently ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is his spiritual mentor.
He has been interviewed by the National Public Radio and articles on him and his work have appeared in the New York Times and the Boston Globe. He also speaks at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and various institutes of learning.
Venerable Tenzin lectures internationally and is also President of The Prajnopaya Foundation, a worldwide humanitarian organization.
Dashaun "Jiwe" Morris has lived a life that most twice his age couldn't identify with. As told in Jiwe's award winning Memoir "War Of The Bloods In My Veins", while most third and fourth grade boys were enjoying little league and summer camp, a nine year old Jiwe's reality was bearing the hardship of being sent to live with relatives, being introduced to gang banging and conforming to a new environment in Phoenix, Arizona much different from that of "Brick City", NJ. At the impressionable age of eleven, Jiwe was "put on" and became an active member of the Bloods. At age 24, in jail facing 25 years, and possibly raising his new born baby from behind bars, Jiwe began to look deep within himself for answers that would explain his predicament. What began as a soul searching exercise would later turn into a gripping account of street life through the eyes of a full blown gang banger.
Ms. Theo Koffler is a businesswoman, educator and humanitarian. She is the founder of Mindfulness Without Borders, (MWB) a nonprofit organization, which is recognized as a leader in bringing best practices in social-emotional and mindful awareness-based education to conflict and post-conflict communities. MWB is noted for its peace and leadership education programs for youth in Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, and Israel since 2008, and most recently in North America. MWB collaborates with secondary schools, NGOs and governments committed to improving the quality of the educational experience for students and teachers. www.mindfulnesswithoutborders.org
In 1979, along with her father and brother, she founded Super-Pharm Israel Ltd. Today, Super-Pharm operates stores in Israel, Poland and China and was named Global Chain Drug Retailer of the Year (2010), by Chain Drug Review.
Ms. Koffler was awarded Millennium Development Ambassador, by Teachers Without Borders; board member, Hawn Foundation; Advisor, InnerKids Foundation, and former program advisor to Garrison Institute’s Contemplation and Education Initiative.
Yusef Ismailis a self- motivated achiever with a boundless passion to end senseless gun violence in urban communities, nationwide. Since Stop Shootin’s inception, Yusef has managed the organization full-time as the Executive Director. Under his direction, the agency has continued to be at the forefront of an Anti-Violence Movement that has helped the city of Newark set a national standard for urban violent crime reduction. Yusef Ismail continues to give of himself, time, and talent selflessly to Newark youth and families. Yusef has been vital in turning an often used catch phrase into an action-oriented organization. He lets everyone know that he did not start this organization to be recognized or appreciated, rather, he is driven to give, help, and save lives.
Uday JoshiUday Sharad Joshi is the Director of Partnerships and Community Programsat the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Prior to joining NJPAC, Uday worked as a model arts program director with Alameda County's Office of Education's Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, and served on both the City of Oakland's Cultural Affairs Commission and the Port of Oakland's Public Art Commission. In addition to co-producing the Oakland Youth Arts Festival: Art Saves Lives, Uday was also the Director of Performing and Visual Arts at the Oakland School for the Arts, a public performing arts charter school for grades 6-12. Uday is an Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Scholar, a Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute Fellow, and holds a Master's degree and Bachelor's degree from Harvard University and Cornell University respectively.
Shavar Jeffriesis the Chairperson, Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark; President, Newark Public Schools Advisory Board. He grew up in the South Ward of Newark, New Jersey, where he lives today with his wife and two children. Currently, Shavar is an Associate Professor of Law at Seton Hall School of Law where he teaches Criminal Law, as well as a Civil Litigation Clinic in the Law School's Center for Social Justice. In 2008, he served as Counsel to Attorney General Anne Milgram. Professor Jeffries, a Newark native, is extensively involved in the Newark community. Shavar was elected to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board, winning more votes than any school-board candidate in seven years. Shavar was then unanimously selected by his colleagues to serve as President of the board. He has and continues to dedicate much of his career to public service focusing on parent advocacy to improve the quality of education received by Newark and urban children.
Chandri Barat is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Barat Foundation, a Newark based non-profit dedicated to bringing arts education and a global perspective to underserved youth. The Foundation came to Newark in 2004, seeing a critical need to expand its summer study program in France to include inner-city youth. Chandri’s direction led to the growth of year-round arts education initiatives including a city-wide muraling project and an educational green food truck bringing healthy food into inner-city food deserts. Prior to establishing the Barat Foundation, Chandri co-founded Legume, Inc., the first natural foods company to go public. After doctoral studies in political philosophy and French, Chandri spent a year in India studying and practicing Siddha Yoga with Swami Muktananda, who bestowed her spiritual name, Chandri. Chandri is the proud wife and life partner of Gary Barat, entrepreneur and fine-arts photographer, and mother of two daughters and contemporary artists, Athena and Ariana.
Dr. Marc A. Meyer is Director of Educational Programs and Initiatives for The Hawn Foundation. Dr. Meyer received his B.A. from Arizona State University, B.A. and M. Phil. from the National University of Ireland, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, University of Rochester, and Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. Marc was professor of history and founding director of the college honors program at Berry College, Georgia. Dr. Meyer also acted as Director of Academics and Interim Headmaster of the Ross School in East Hampton, Head of School at the Brown School in Schenectady and was the Director of Research and Content Development at the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. Dr. Meyer has published numerous books, including The Search for Order: Landmarks of World Civilizations and The Culture of Christendom and over three-dozen scholarly papers.
Robert F. Sherman Ph.D.,Initiative Director for Social and Emotional Learning, NoVo Foundation. Previously, he directed the Action Center to End World Hunger, a division of Mercy Corps. He also supervised Global Citizen Corps, Mercy Corps’ youth activist and service program. Sherman created the Effective Citizenry program at the Surdna Foundation, supporting organizations that encourage young people to shape civic and community life. Anchored in social and emotional learning, the program funded a range of youth development strategies focused on activism and social justice.
Prior, Sherman worked in New York City government: as Executive Director of the Increase the Peace Volunteer Corps, a city-wide, grassroots race relations initiative of the Mayor’s office; and directing the Community Relations Institute, a think tank studying neighborhood-based responses to racial tension. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University, and a BA from Haverford College.
Carlos Lejnieks is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, a one-to-one, youth mentoring agency based in Newark. Lejnieks took over an agency serving only 116 youth and, within 2.5 years, grew it to serve over 1,000 children. BBBS has received honors for high quality programming including the national Gold Standard Award for excellence in mentoring as well as having had the National Big Sister of the Year come from Newark receiving a commendation from President Obama. Lejnieks is Chairman of the NJ Charter Schools Association, Trustee/Co-Founder of Democracy Prep (Harlem) and serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, having replaced Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Lejnieks served on President Obama’s Regional Finance Committee and Transition Teams for Governor Christie and Mayor Booker. Lejnieks holds degrees from London School of Economics and Brown University.
Sharon Salzbergis Co-Founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon's latest book is the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, published by Workman Publishing. She is also the author of The Force of Kindness, published by Sounds True; Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, published by Riverhead Books; and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, published by Shambhala Publications.
As the oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III is carrying the torch lit by both of his parents into the 21st century. Martin's dedication to creating and implementing strategic nonviolent action to rid the world of social, political, and economic injustice has propelled him to the forefront as one of the nation's most ardent advocates for the poor, the oppressed, and the disillusioned.
Throughout his life, Martin Luther King, III has been nurtured among individuals deeply committed to the struggle for human rights and a nonviolent society. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Morehouse College, and is the recipient of numerous awards and several honorary degrees. In addition to being the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta; Mr. King is married to Arndrea Waters King and they are the proud parents of a young daughter, Yolanda Renee. Martin King, III is both humbled and honored to serve as an ambassador of his parent’s legacy of nonviolent social change.
Lauren Pesso is the Human Trafficking Fellow at My Sisters’ Place (MSP), a domestic violence and human trafficking service organization in Westchester County, NY. The Fellowship is supported by LexisNexis and the Somaly Mam Foundation. As the Human Trafficking Fellow, Lauren is responsible for overseeing MSP’s response to human trafficking, including ensuring that victims are assisted with a range of case management services; providing technical assistance, training and outreach to community partners; and researching and developing protocols, trainings, and best practice models for intake, case management and legal representation of human trafficking victims. Prior to joining MSP, Lauren worked as a counselor for victims and witnesses of crime at Sanctuary for Families and the Crime Victims Treatment Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital; managed gender-based violence research teams in Eastern Europe and East Africa; and coordinated various maternal and reproductive healthcare programs at EngenderHealth, an international women’s health organization. Lauren earned her BA from Wesleyan University and joint Masters Degrees in Social Work and Public Administration from Columbia University.
Amy Merrill is the Program Director for PROJECT FUTURES global at the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of slavery and the empowerment of its survivors and based on the vision of survivor and leader Somaly Mam. PROJECT FUTURES, SMF’s newest program, serves as a platform for volunteer engagement, empowering individuals to take action against modern-day slavery by raising awareness and funds within their networks. As Program Director, Amy is responsible for developing and managing the new program, working with a global committee of current SMF Young Professionals and members of PROJECT FUTURES Australia (an independent nonprofit) on marketing and development, liaising with volunteers worldwide, and overseeing volunteer events and activities as they develop. Prior to SMF, Amy worked as a management consultant for nonprofit organizations through Webb Management Services and as Associate Director of the Jazz Foundation of America. She has served as counselor and leader at various youth and family camps, and has worked in public education, law, and event production. Amy holds an MA in Arts Administration from NYU, as well as BA’s in Music and English from UC Berkeley.
Dennis Muhammad is the Founder & CEO of The ENOTA Project Inc., a comprehensive training and consulting organization focusing on helping police departments and communities engage to create effective solutions around sensitive issues. After 20 years of working as a consultant with police departments and communities it became apparent to Mr. Muhammad what was lacking in reducing violent crime was a community action plan that would produce systemic change from within. As a result in 2008, Dennis Muhammad birthed The PeaceKeepers Global Initiative, which calls for the hearts and minds of men to assume personal accountability and communal responsibility in reducing violence in their communities. As a motivational speaker Dennis Muhammad has traveled extensively throughout the United States, as well as abroad, promoting The PeaceKeepers Global Initiative.
Michael Anne Kyleis Chief Operating Officer at Newark Now. Prior to this role she worked in Newark for the Heinz Family Philanthropies on healthcare initiatives. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, and loves her job at Newark Now because she is passionate about the social determinants of health. She looks forward to presenting with her marvelous colleagues.
Van Jones Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs: The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009. He is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress. Additionally, he is a senior policy advisor at Green For All. He also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Van is the founder of Green For All, the national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2007. The Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term "green jobs." Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally. In addition to Green For All, he is the co-founder of two social justice organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change.
Van's work has earned him many awards and honors, including:
- Van was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.
- Van was designated by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader."
- Van is a recipient of the international Ashoka Fellowship.
- Van was one of Essence Magazine's 25 most inspiring African Americans in 2008. Last year, Ebony Magazine named him one of the Power 150.
The Kogui, Arhuaco, Wiwa and Kankuamo mama are indigenous people living in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of northern Colombia, in South America. They are the only civilization to have survived the Spanish conquests and to have kept their individuality. They are perhaps the only indigenous people in the world who, because of the particular nature of their surroundings, have been able to keep themselves apart and sustain their culture inviolate.
- Ñankwa Chaparro Torres
- Jazinto Zarabata
- Pedro Juan Noevita
- Julio Pinto Gil
- José Gabriel Alimaco Dingula
Russell Simmons: Forbes Magazine recently named Russell Simmons one of “Hollywood’s Most Influential Celebrities.” USA Today named Russell Simmons one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years,” calling him a “hip-hop pioneer” for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, finance, the jewelry industry, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy. From creating his seminal Def Jam Recordings in 1984, to the 2007 publishing of his New York Times best-seller Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success and his latest New York Times best-seller “SUPER RICH: A Guide To Having It All”, Russell is recognized globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy. Giving back is of primary importance to him in all aspects of life and as Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, he has consistently leveraged his influence in the recording industry, fashion, television, financial services, and jewelry sectors to give back. A devoted yogi, Russell also leads the non-profit division of his empire, Rush Community Affairs, and its ongoing commitment to empowering at-risk youth through education, the arts, social engagement, and promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations. Russell also serves as UN Goodwill Ambassador For The Permanent Memorial To Honor The Victims Of Slavery and The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Soledad O'BrienSoledad O’Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN/U.S. Since joining the network in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning, record-breaking and critically acclaimed documentaries on the most important stories facing the world today. She also covers political news as part of CNN’s “Best Political Team on Television.”
O’Brien’s most recent documentaries include Almighty Debt, a Black in America special that explores the role of the black church in helping African Americans survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; Rescued, a look at Haiti’s remarkable children before, during and after the devastating earthquake; and Gary and Tony Have a Baby, the story of two gay men and their struggle to have a baby that has a biological and legal connection to both of them. In 2009, Soledad reported for Latino in America, a wide-ranging look at Latinos living in this country; how they’re reshaping America and how America is reshaping them. Prior, O’Brien reported for Black in America 2, a four-hour documentary focusing on successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans. O’Brien’s reporting for Black in America in 2008 revealed the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She has also reported for the CNN documentary Words That Changed a Nation, featuring a never-before-seen look at Dr. King’s private writings and notes, and investigated his assassination in Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination. Her Children of the Storm project and One Crime at a Time documentary demonstrate O’Brien’s continued commitment to covering stories out of New Orleans.
Kate Snow, a correspondent for “Dateline NBC” also serves as a fill-in anchor for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and contributes for all platforms of NBC News.
Snow has covered breaking news stories such as the earthquake in Japan and the oil spill in the Gulf. She has explored issues affecting parents and children, including a recent “Dateline” special on bullying. Over her career she has covered politics, three presidential elections, the White House and Congress.
Previously, Snow was the anchor of the weekend edition of "Good Morning America;" frequently reporting for "Good Morning America," "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline."
Snow is a graduate of Cornell and holds a master's in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She serves on the national board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Snow and her husband have two children.
Imam Deen Shareefis the Convener of the Council of Imams in New Jersey and a founder and executive board member of the Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace. He currently is the Director of Logistics and Industrial Opportunities in the Department of Economic & Housing Development and Senior Advisor to Mayor Cory A. Booker in the City of Newark, New Jersey. He has been instrumental in the establishment, operation and renovation of Islamic and Cultural Centers in Newark, East Orange, Elizabeth, Hillside and Irvington, New Jersey. In 1984 he co-founded Waris Associates Inc., a group of community residents focusing on addressing educational, cultural and economic community concerns. In 1995 he led Waris Associates Incorporation in the acquisition and renovation of its current location at 62-70 Howard Street, Irvington New Jersey. Along with the establishment of the Waris Cultural Research and Development Center has been the establishment of Masjid Waarith ud Deen and Comwealth EDC. These organizations co-exist and cooperate to develop and implement spiritual, educational, recreational, cultural, social and economic development programs that address the challenges facing American families today. Waris CRDC, Masjid Waarith ud Deen, ComWealth EDC and its family of companies and supporters are committed followers of the internationally recognized leadership of Imam W. Deen Mohammed (ra).
Mona Polaccais a Havasupai, Hopi, and Tewa Native American whose tribal affiliation is of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of Parker, Arizona. She is a member of The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, a group of women representing indigenous cultures from around the world, who are concerned with destruction of the earth and indigenous ways of life. She has served as a U.S. delegate at the Indigenous Women’s Intercontinental Meeting in Lima, Peru participating in the drafting of the Statement on Indigenous Women’s Issues and participates in the United Nation Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples Issues. She is a member of a working group planning the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, currently in the planning phase. She has been instrumental in acquiring Native American Freedom of Religion rights on behalf of incarcerated Native men and women in the Arizona State prisons. She is also the President/CEO and faculty of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit program dedicated to promoting a vision of wellness providing trans-cultural training, to individuals, families, and healthcare professionals.
Michael Christensen (M.A., Yale, Ph.D., Drew) is Director of the Shalom Resource Center for Prophetic Leadership and Community Development, and Affiliate Professor of Spirituality and Religious Studies at Drew University. He serves as the International Director of Communities of Shalom—a grass-roots, interfaith, international, community development network of over 100 ‘shalom sites’, coordinated by Drew University in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church.
Dr. Christensen’s Ph.D. dissertation and expertise is on “Apocalyptic Interpretations of the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster.” He has published ten books and many articles on various topics of practical theology, spirituality and social justice, most recently Partakers of the Divine Nature: Deification in the Christian Traditions.
An ordained United Methodist minister in the California-Nevada Annual Conference, Dr. Christensen is married to Dr. Rebecca Laird. They have two teenage daughters and live in Madison, New Jersey.
Rabbi Matthew D. Gewirtz began his tenure as Senior Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in July 2006. He earned his Masters in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 1996 and was ordained by HUC-JIR in 1997.
A strong advocate of social justice, Rabbi Gewirtz is a founding executive committee member of the Newark Coalition for Hope and Peace, an interfaith organization of Jews, Christians and Muslims that is committed to ending gang violence in Newark. He also serves on the Board of the Jewish Vocational Services MetroWest, which provides nonsectarian assistance to New Jersey residents who need vocational, education, and health and human services.
A regular contributor to numerous professional publications, including the CCAR Journal and The American Rabbi, he is the author of “The Gift of Grief: Finding Peace, Transformation and Renewed Life after Great Sorrow” (Random House).
Jarrad Toussant: For the past seven years, Jarrad has served in city of Newark working to scale social innovations such as Teach For America and Citizen Schools. During this tenure as Development Director of Teach For America, Jarrad helped build the largest funding base in the history of the New Jersey region. Most recently, as Executive Director of Citizen Schools New Jersey, Jarrad lead an organizational expansion which tripled the enrollment of the students served in Newark. Jarrad studied Humanities at University of Texas at Austin and obtained a Master’s in Public Administration from Rutgers University. Jarrad is also currently completing the Executive Masters in Business Administration program at Rutgers.
LY Marlow is the award-winning author of Color Me Butterfly, an endearing true story about four generations of mothers and daughters that suffered and survived 60+ years of domestic violence and abuse: the true story of her grandmother, her mother, herself, and her daughter.
But the story does not end there. In the fall 2007, Ms. Marlow discovered that her 22 year old daughter was trapped in an abusive relationship--one in which the abuser not only tried to kill her daughter twice, but threatened the life of their baby girl named Promise, an experience that inspired Ms. Marlow to found Saving Promise, the first of its kind domestic violence awareness brand to make domestic violence a national priority in the same way as breast cancer awareness.
In her role as author, advocate, and founder of Saving Promise, what has been most inspiring is Ms. Marlow’s story and timely message for change.
William Livermore is the CEO & Executive Director of the Somaly Mam Foundation and member of the New York City Human Trafficking Task Force. Since assuming his leadership role with the foundation in 2009, he has been responsible for implementing new outcomes-based strategies across the organization and establishing multiple corporate, public, and NGO partnerships in the areas of public awareness, advocacy and survivor services. He has been involved with the Somaly Mam Foundation since it’s beginning and has contributed significantly to the organization’s fundraising, program development, and awareness efforts.
As a member of the New York City Human Trafficking Task Force, Livermore has provided strategic guidance to the Mayor’s Office in establishing its human trafficking public awareness campaign and strengthening its anti-trafficking efforts and survivor services. Prior to joining the foundation, Livermore served as the Director of Thought Leadership Programs at LexisNexis, where he was responsible for building the company’s Rule of Law initiative and managing government, legal, and NGO relationships. He also served as Lead Advance for the Clinton White House and held management positions at Cornell, Corning, Unisys, and LexisNexis. Livermore is a Cornell University graduate and lives with his family in New York City.
Jason Milton, M.S., is a Senior Consultant for the Social & Economic Analysis Practice at Gallup and directs the Community Development Division. His primary areas of expertise are job creation, wellbeing, and education. Milton leads the national outreach strategy for the Gallup Student Poll and Wellbeing Index and consults with government, education, public health, corporate, and nonprofit clients. He is also a member of Gallup’s Public Release Committee.
Prior to joining Gallup, Milton served as a public school teacher in junior and senior high schools. During that time, he served as department chair and a head coach. He also worked in the healthcare industry. Milton received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Chapman University and a master’s degree from California Baptist University.
Sandra Bowie is the Vice President for Arts Education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Prior to joining NJPAC, she served as the Managing and Administrative Director, Department of Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, at New York University. Prior to joining NYU, Ms. Bowie was Assistant Director, Teacher Education Department, at New School University; Teacher of Acting in the Theater Studies Program at Yale University; and Director of Acting and a tenured professor in the Department of Drama at Howard University.
A Weehawken resident and professional actor for twenty years, Ms. Bowie has performed on stage, film and television and is the recipient of The Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Performance in a Musical in Washington, DC for her performance in A…My Name is Alice at Horizons Theatre. She is a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, The Black Theatre Network, Actor’s Equity Association, The Screen Actors Guild and the National Association of Academic Advisors. Ms.Bowie received her Masters of Arts in Acting from Illinois State University and Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from South Carolina State University.
John W. Farrell (Jack)holds an advanced degree in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York. He is currently employed at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey as a Program Analyst for the University of Behavioral Healthcare -Violence Institute of New Jersey. Mr. Farrell provides training on gangs and gang intervention for the Violence Institute of New Jersey. Until recently, Mr. Farrell also provided case management services for the Rutgers University Police Institute's Greater Newark Safer Cities Initiatives. Mr. Farrell serves on the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Community Advisory Board. He has received many community, state and federal awards for his commitment to community service. He is a sought after lecturer, who has appeared on television and radio. He has published and collaborated on articles about substance abuse.
The Rev. Dr. Robert Corin Morris an Episcopal priest with long experience in interreligious dialogue, is a co-founder of the Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace. He is the founder and executive director of Interweave, an interfaith community learning center "for spirituality, wellness, and the common good" at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit NJ, where he serves as Assistant to the Interim Rector. He is on the Advisory Council for the Muslim-based Interfaith Dialogue Center, and is the author of three books: Wrestling with Grace: A Spirituality for the Rough Edges of Daily Life (Upper Room, 2003), Suffering and the Courage of God (Paraclete, 2005), and the forthcoming Provocative Grace: The Challenge in Jesus’ Words (Upper Room, Summer 2006).
As the senior student of one of the first Japanese teachers to bring Buddhism to the West, Bernie Glassman became one of the best-trained American Zen priests. After completing his training, he founded the Greyston Bakery and Foundation and the Zen Peacemakers, demonstrating that social action and business as spiritual practices can be powerful tools for reducing suffering. By selling brownies to clients like Ben & Jerry’s, the bakery has provided employment for hundreds of people off the streets. The Greyston Foundation also includes childcare, community gardens and an AIDS clinic. Taking intensive training out of the monastery and into society, Zen Peacemakers currently lead street retreats all over the world as well as the annual Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat. Guided by Bernie’s decades of practicing Socially Engaged Buddhism, Zen Peacemakers includes over 80 affiliates around the world who work to help others in conflict zones, prisons, hospitals and schools.
Jimmie Briggs, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Man Up Campaign.org
Youth As Agents of Change for Ending Gender Violence Jimmie Briggs will outline his vision for enlisting non-traditional partners for stopping violence against women and girls, namely youth and men. starting the Man Up Campaign, a global initiative to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls. Following his explanation of the origins and development of the Man Up Campaign, Briggs will introduce several like-minded initiatives and partners, including A Call to Men, V-Girls and Girl Up, detailing the precedent and necessity of innovative partnerships and approaches in the pursuit of gender empowerment and equality.
About Jimmie Briggs: Jimmie is the visionary behind, and executive director/co-founder of the Man Up Campaign, a global effort to activate young women and men in 50 countries around the world-including the United States-to combat violence against women and girls through the arts, sports and technology. An award-winning journalist, author and lecturer, he is the recipient of recognition from the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists, The Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism, GQ Magazine's "Better Men Better World" Search, "21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women's eNews, and scores of others. A graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, Jimmie Briggs is the author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War, and the forthcoming The Wars Women Fight: Dispatches from A Father to His Daughter.
H.E. Ana Teresa Dengo Ambassador of Costa Rica in Austria, and Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the United Nations in Vienna (UNOV). Non-resident Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Currently serving as Co-Chairperson of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission on behalf of the Latin American Group. Chair of the Group of Latin America and Caribbean States in Vienna (I Semester 2010). Chairperson of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) (May 2009-May 2010). Co-chair of the Article Conference in Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO) for 2007-2009. She served as Chairperson of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission for the year 2007. Ms Dengo worked for eight years for the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, first as an External Relations Officer and then as an International Cooperation Officer and Training Coordinator.
Previous to this, she worked with the Organization of American States and at the Costa Rican Mission to the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C, She was a principal negotiator of the Group of 77 and China at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Ms Dengo served as Associate Director of the US Peace Corps in Costa Rica, which she left when she was granted a scholarship to Harvard University. Before that, she had worked the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, as Industrial Promotion Officer at the Costa Rican Ministry of Trade and Exports and eight years in the Costa Rican private sector.
Joe Green is the Founder and President of Causes.com, the largest online platform for activism, which has over 150 million users and has raised $30 million for charity. Causes aims to empower any individual to effect positive change by leveraging their social network. Joe's approach to building these online tools is rooted in his offline experience as a grassroots political organizer for federal, state, and local campaigns. Joe is also an investor and advisor in companies including, Path, Asana, and Facebook. Previously, Joe founded Essembly, a non-partisan networking site devoted to open and intelligent debate of political issues. Joe graduated from Harvard College in 2006 with a degree in Social Studies. He was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA, where he first become engaged in the political process while serving on the local public school board.
Darly Presgraves oversees GLSEN’s Communications Department and is responsible for all aspects of GLSEN’s public image and brand, including web presences, social media, marketing, media relations and constituent relationship management. He is also leading development of new creative for GLSEN’s award-winning Ad Council public awareness campaign about the use of anti-LGBT language among teens. Daryl facilitates GLSEN trainings on addressing anti-LGBT bias and behavior in schools, having led workshops at schools and conferences across the country, including the National Association of Secondary School Principals and International Bullying Prevention Association annual conferences. Daryl graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Journalism degree and was an award-winning sports writer for The Tampa Tribune before moving to the New York area in 2004.
Amandine Roche is an international consultant for the United Nations, the European Commission, and USAID. Amandine works on the democratization process in post-conflict countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Amandine is a committed peace maker in the field of human rights, education, media awareness, gender and non-violence. She is the co-founder of Noorina Foundation, which promotes a culture of peace and non-violence in Afghanistan. Author of four books, she lives and works in Kabul.
Congressman Donald Payne is serving his 12th term representing New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District. He serves as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, as a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce as well as the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where he is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. A strong advocate for peace and global responsibility, Payne helped secure passage of a bill authorizing $48 billion for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. He was recognized as having the most supportive record /on issues involving the Northern Ireland peace process. He gained national recognition when he was selected to manage the debate in opposition to the use of force in Iraq before fully exploring a diplomatic solution. Congressman Payne, a widower, is the father of 3, grandfather of 4 and the great grandfather of 1.
Isobel Arthen studies Environmental Science at Mount Holyoke College. Her dedication to peace and social justice began at a very young age, leading her to start an interfaith council at her elementary school. She attended her first Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1993, and has been involved ever since, representing the EarthSpirit Community and the PeaceJam Foundation as a youth presenter and performer in the 2009 Parliament in Melbourne, Australia. Isobel became involved with PeaceJam in 2006, when she founded a group at her high school. Since then she has participated as a youth ambassador, mentor, advisor and emcee. Isobel’s love of world music traditions has taken her to numerous countries in Europe and Africa where she has performed and studied with musicians from many cultures. Isobel’s primary passion is healing the world we live in by protecting the Earth’s environment and preserving the web that holds it together.
Jacqueline A. Norris Ed.D For more than 30 years Dr. Norris has been an educator in New Jersey's public schools. She has held positions as a teacher at the elementary and secondary levels, and as an administrator at both the school and district levels. Throughout those years she worked to ensure that the children for whom she was responsible were equipped with social and emotional literacy skills necessary to be successful students and more importantly citizens in a pluralistic society.
Dr. Norris has been a faculty member in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood at The College of New Jersey where she was Past Chairperson of the Department of Educational Administration and Secondary Education. Presently, she is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education where she shares her knowledge and passion for creating schools as places of academic achievement based on a strong foundation of respect, responsibility and a sense of belonging.
Kathi Lloyd A native of Newark, NJ Kathi Lloyd is a recent graduate from University High School. In high school, she participated in numerous activities such as the Newark Youth Connection Mayors Youth Council where she represented the youth in the South Ward for three years. As an active and vocal high school student, Kathi sought interest in the Stand & Deliver program, which gave her an opportunity to sharpen her public speaking skills and share her poetry with the community.
Graduating with over 900 hours of community service, she received a National Volunteer Service pin and a letter from President Barack Obama thanking her for her service. Now attending Essex County College majoring in history, she is still an active member of her community who plans to be a teacher in Newark and run for public office here as well.
Fashion icon Donna Karan seeks not only to dress one's outside, but to address their inside, mind, body and spirit. In 2007, she founded the Urban Zen Foundation, dedicated to three interconnected objectives: Preservation of Culture (The Past) Integrative Healthcare (The Present) and the Empowerment of Children (The Future.) Urban Zen stores marry philanthropy and commerce, selling the Urban Zen lifestyle as well as global artisan treasures, while the Urban Zen Center is site to numerous exhibits, lectures and forums. Urban Zen’s Integrative Therapy (UZIT) is a groundbreaking program that integrates Western medicine with Easter healing techniques with over 50 Urban Zen-certified therapists practicing today. In 2010, Urban Zen launched Hope, Help & Relief Haiti by collaborating with leaders in music, fashion, film, finance and art to help Haiti after the earthquake. Currently, Karan is working with The Clinton Global Initiative to develop and support sustainable Haitian opportunities for US consumerism.
Edward Norton is an award winning actor, director and producer. He has appeared in more than 20 films, and was nominated for two Academy Awards for the films Primal Fear and American History X. Norton is also a committed social and environmental activist. In recognition of his many years advocating for environmental protection and sustainability, he was recently designated the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. He also serves on President Obama's President's Committee for the Arts and Humanities. As a response to the events of September 11th and the increasing conflict in the Middle East, Norton founded The Libby Rouse Fund for Peace at Yale University a fund that provides travel study grants to encorage undergraduates to study the people and cultures of the Middle East. Norton also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, the Signature Theater Company, Friends of the Highline, and Enterprise Community Partners, which works to transform low-income communities through the development of sustainable, affordable housing. Last year Norton recently co-founded Crowdrise, an innovative web platform that brings the power of crowdsourcing and the fun of social networking to fund raising and volunteerism which in less than a year has helped raise millions of dollars for charitable causes through grassroots campaigns and small donations. The Crowdrise founders were recently named to Barron's 2010 list of the 25 Most Important People in Philanthropy.
Sean Carasso is an avid adventurer, who left college early to travel the world with John Paul DeJoria and with every step wanted to see more. In 2008, he went to South Africa on a TOMS Shoe Drop and traveled north into the Democratic Republic of Congo. There he learned of children sent to the front lines of war, armed with only a whistle. That night he wrote a small journal called Falling Whistles that was forwarded around the world. He received thousands of emails asking, what can we do? The Falling Whistles campaign was born with a simple response – make their weapon your voice and be a whistleblower for peace. Out of his garage-office in Venice California, FW has partnered with local leaders in Congo to rehabilitate hundreds of women and children and is creating a global coalition for peace in our world's deadliest war.
Dawn Engle Dawn Engle began her career as an economist, working for the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. She was the youngest women ever appointed to serve as Chief of Staff to a U.S. Senator. In 1991, she co-founded the Colorado Friends of Tibet, and in 1994, she and artist Ivan Suvanjieff began working together to create the PeaceJam program. Suvanjieff and Engle became husband and wife in March of 2000, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu presiding over the ceremony. Dawn Engle has received dozens of awards, and has been nominated six times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the co-director of the award-winning documentary film, ‘PEACEJAM’, co-authored the book, ‘Simple Acts of Peace’, which was published by Penguin in 2008, and directed the documentary film, ’2012: The True Mayan Prophecy’, which was released this year. Over the past 15 years, almost 650,000 young people across the globe have participated in the PeaceJam program, creating more than one million projects to improve their communities and the world. In September of 2008, The Dalai Lama, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and 7 other Nobel Peace Laureates joined together to launch PeaceJam’s ‘Global Call to Action’ campaign, calling for one billion acts of service and peace by the year 2018. To join in the call, go to www.peacejam.org!
Sara Hirsch is co-founder (with director and photographer Michael William-Paul) of Universal Models for Peace UMP), a network of fashion models supporting positive models of peacemaking in the community and globally. UMP focuses on conflict resolution, disarmament and reduced weapons spending to eliminate poverty and achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Nikkole Salter is a Los Angeles-born, award-winning actress and writer. She entered the professional scene with her co-authorship and co-performance of the play, In the Continuum (ITC) named by the New York Times as one of the Best Plays of 2005. For its Off-Broadway run and international tour, Miss Salter received an OBIE Award (2006), and the NY Outer Critics Circle's John Gassner Award for Best New American Play (2006). Amid an emerging acting/writing career, Ms. Salter’s deep sense of social responsibility led her to found and serve as Executive Director of THE CONTINUUM PROJECT, INC., a non-profit organization that creates innovative artistic programming for community empowerment and enrichment. Miss Salter is an active member of the Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. She received her BFA in theatre from Howard University and her MFA from New York University's Graduate Acting Program.
Maria Snyder is a top model, trailblazing designer, eco-fashion pioneer, activist and “A New Generation of Artists for Peace”. Maria attended school in Athens, Greece, studied at the American University in Paris and received a Master’s Degree in 20th Century Art History. While in Paris, Maria was discovered by Yves Saint Laurent and quickly rose to fame within the fashion industry. This launched an international modeling career and work with legendary designers, photographers and artists across the globe. Maria’s career in fashion-design began after meeting Diane von Furstenberg who exhibited Maria’s fashion creations as art. As a result of her innovation in style and trendsetting ability, Maria rose to international fame as a top fashion designer. Maria was “one of the first designers to introduce an exclusive eco-collection created from recycled materials” and has been compared to Niki de Saint Phalle and Sonia Delauney, two of the world’s greatest female artists who turned their art into fashion. Maria recently launched several brands devoted to eco-awareness and inter-connectedness. Eco Boys and GirlsTM, an entertainment, educational tool for children to learn, engage and participate with simple and direct messages of love, peace and environmental awareness. Partners include the National Education Association, Association of Science and Technology Centers and Friends of the United Nations. Maria is receiving increasing recognition as “Leading a New Generation of Artists for Peace”. She has created work for foundations, institutions and hospitals around the world. The Fulbright Center in Washington, DC, featured Maria's HeartsUnite painting at The Global Symposium of Peaceful Nations. Her 35 foot PeaceN’Love art installation is on permanent display at the entranceway to the Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, TX. At the annual American Public Health Association conference, Maria’s PeaceArtTM was featured "as an emerging body of work that spans graphic, advertising, and fine arts in techniques and media, while illuminating the challenges of bringing images and ideas about peace into the modern mainstream, after decades of marginalization”.
Narae Lee is International Coordinator and UN representative of Peace Boat US, a global peace education initiative which takes up to 1,000 passengers on the global voyages. She is a strong advocate of peace and disarmament, and has organized a number of disarmament education events with Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) in and around the United Nations as part of Peace Boat’s 'Hibakusha Project’. Narae has coordinated an annual Northeast Asian Women’s Peace Conference since 2009 to build peace on the Korean Peninsula and promote women’s participation in regional peace processes. In addition, she organizes meetings with US government officials and experts to support the efforts of a Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC) to resume the Six-Party Talks and promote dialogue for a constructive and peaceful solution to the tensions in Northeast Asia. Narae holds her master’s degree in International Relations from New York University.
Allison Pytlak is the Disarmament Program Coordinator for Religions for Peace, an international coalition of representatives from the world’s great religions dedicated to promoting peace. Alison coordinates the Arms Down Campaign, an initiative of religious youth which has generated over 20 million endorsers of the call for nuclear abolition and the reduction of global military spending by 10% to fund the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of ending poverty and providing water, food, education and primary health care for everyone in the world.
Gloria Strickland, the Director of the All Stars Project of New Jersey and Associate Dean of UX, is one of the country’s leading youth development experts. She received her Masters Degree in Education with a major in Developmental Psychology from New York University and, for the past 30 years, has been a key builder of the non-profit All Stars Project. Ms. Strickland founded the All Stars Project of NJ in 1999, which, to date, has touched the lives of more than 10,000 young people from Newark and surrounding communities. Under her leadership, the ASP NJ Development School for Youth — a leadership training program — has become the leading outside of school program for young adults in Newark. The DSY connects young people to NJ business executives from more than 80 companies who donate their time, helping the young people develop the attitudes and skills needed to succeed in the professional workplace. In 2008 Strickland received the Minority Achievers Award from NJ’s Community YMCA, and her achievements have been highlighted in numerous articles in the Star-Ledger and on New Jersey Network.
Ms. Weiss launched PeaceKeeper™ Cause-Metics™ in April 2002 and serves as the company’s lead voice and salesperson. PeaceKeeper is the first cosmetics company to give donations to urgent human rights issues for women and sells into 500 stores across the country including Whole Foods, Wegmans, etc. PeaceKeeper was nominated as finalist as “Best Lip Product of the Year” and launched a lip gloss with the United Nations called PeaceKeeper UNIFEM Lip Gloss. PeaceKeeper sources certain raw ingredients from developing world farmers and gives micro-credit loans to the families of those farmers. PeaceKeeper’s slogan Transform You. Transform The World reflects Weiss’s understanding that we are a microcosm of our planet and what we do affects us all. PeaceKeeper’s key focus is the funding of women who have been trafficked or indentured into a sustainable trade. Ms. Weiss began her professional career in sports marketing for International Management Group’s Athletics Division, rising to become an agent for 45 elite athletes. Weiss has raised over $20 million for events and charities during her career. Ms. Weiss lives in NYC with her eleven pound fierce-beast-of-love Shih Tzu, Lucy.
Coppy Holzman is the co-founder and CEO of charitybuzz, the leading destination for luxury online charity auctions. Holzman has used his twenty-five years of experience as a senior level Internet, retail and consumer products executive to grow the charitybuzz brand to 110 countries, with more than 500 nonprofit partners and 50,000 affluent bidders around the world, raising $50 million for charity. Holzman’s “conscious capitalism” business model, coupled with a commitment to white-glove customer service and the most innovative technology, is helping to change the future of philanthropy. Prior to charitybuzz, Mr. Holzman was a founder of webvan, which was the largest Internet IPO in history. He began his career in retail serving as Senior VIce President for merchandising at Macy's. In all of his career positions, he has had a relentless focus on customer service addressing the needs of an upscale consumer.
Paulette Cole is the CEO and Creative Director of ABC Home, a visionary presence in both retail and socially responsible business. Under Paulette¹s direction, ABC Home was created as an iconic NYC destination that has served as a catalyst in representing home design as a key form of self-expression. With beauty, design and commerce as tools, ABC guides a conscious, influential participant/change-agent to creatively commit to nurturing the planet and its communities while actualizing home as a sacred space. ABC aspires to manifest a universal exchange where spirit, sustainability, culture, currency and creation coexist; a holistic sensory experience to inform and inspire participation. Paulette’s newest initiatives include ABC Kitchen with Jean-Georges, integrating cuisine into the ABC experience committed to offering the freshest local & organic ingredients; and Deepak Home Base, a platform for education and a salon for conversation with the leading scientists, sages, and luminaries defining the cultural climate of our age.
Youth Representative for Newark Conservancy: Maurice Bernard is 18 years old and currently a senior at Science Park High School and will be graduating in June, 2011. His hobbies consist of music production, singing in the Science Park choir and writing & recording songs. Maurice has lived in Newark most of his life and has helped the community a great deal. “Mo” has tutored and helped young students at the YMCA with their homework. Maurice joined Greater Newark Conservancy in 2009; he has participated year round as a Jr. Ranger and during the summer in the Newark Youth Leadership Project. He has helped out in many aspects of greening the community including educating young children on environmental issues through Jr. Rangers Youth Gardening program, community awareness events and beautifying the city he lives in. Maurice has ambitions to become a dentist or an R&B artist and plans to go on to college in September 2011.
Youth Representative for All Stars Project of New Jersey: Yvonna Wade is pursuing a degree in Government and a minor in Theology from Georgetown University. A native of East Orange, New Jersey, Yvonna graduated from Newark Tech High School in 2008. As a high school student, Yvonna participated in various extracurricular activities, including the New Jersey Development School for Youth, a program of the All Stars Project of New Jersey, which she continues to be a part of today. While in high school, Yvonna developed a passion for politics and public policy. In June of 2007, Yvonna was selected among a competitive pool of high school students to participate in the New Jersey Governor’s School of Public Issues, an extensive summer program committed to meeting the educational needs of talented high school students.
While at Georgetown, Yvonna has been afforded the opportunity to travel the world. In December of 2009, Yvonna was selected to participate in an exchange program sponsored by the Republic of China’s Ministry of Education. While in China, she participated in extensive language programs, as well as cultural activities. In addition to traveling to China, Yvonna’s interest in politics and international affairs inspired her to study abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa this past Fall. While in Cape Town, Yvonna volunteered at Leap School for Math and Science, a local charter school for underprivileged students in Cape Town. As a volunteer at Leap, Yvonna founded a mentoring program, Sisters of the Cape, that was created to cultivate a dialogue among young women from local townships, while building lifelong friendships and support systems. As shown through her many volunteer experiences, Yvonna continues to serve her community, locally and globally. This past December, The All Stars Project of New Jersey presented Yvonna with the Young Leaders for Change Award, commending her on her outstanding commitment to serving her community.
While in the nation’s capital, Yvonna has coupled her keen interest in politics with invaluable work experience. Yvonna has interned with political analyst Donna Bazile, as well as Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) at the United States House of Representatives. After graduation, Yvonna plans to attend law school. In the future, she is interested in running for public office.
Nichelle 'Browneyes' Brown is Senior Program Manager of the All Stars Talent Show Network in NJ. Her work with the All Stars has been featured in Newsday, The Daily News, and on NBC 4's Positively Black and she was awarded a prestigious Point of Light Award by President George H. W. Bush in 2002. A young single mom, surviving on welfare in Far Rockaway, Queens in 1991, BrownEyes became the only rapper, male or female, to ever win the All Stars Project's National Finals at the historic Town Hall theatre. BrownEyes went on to become an extraordinary organizer for the All Stars, bringing hundreds of young people from some of the poorest and most neglected communities in New York, Atlanta and, now, Newark into the program and popularizing performatory development as a way out of the destructive traps of ghetto life.
The Fortune Society works on all phases of prisoner re-entry, including housing, programming, counseling, legislative issues, and job training. Fortune works to create a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated can become positive, contributing members of society. The play THE CASTLE is a tells the stories of four ex-convicts with a total of over 70 years in New York Prisons. The play traces their real life journeys from childhood to criminality to prison and to redemption. THE CASTLE is written and performed by Angel Ramos, Casimiro Torres, Kenneth Harrigan and Vilma Ortiz Donovan, and conceived of and directed by David Rothenberg. THE CASTLE opened off-Broadway in New York City and played for over 14 months. It has toured throughout the country to dozens of prisons, colleges, religious organizations, criminal justice conventions and an annual meeting of over 200 parole officers. A film of THE CASTLE is in post production as a full length documentary film.
Aimee Oberndorfer Lê is Director of Programs for Man Up, a global campaign to activate youth to stop violence against women. Her work with youth and vulnerable populations has taken her around the world, working with education, psychosocial, peacebuilding, and livelihood training programs, including locally-led initiatives throughout eastern Africa, and UNICEF in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Aimee earned her M.A. in International Training and Education at American University, and holds a certificate from the International Trauma Studies Program at Columbia University. She currently also consults with the Center for Global Health and Peacebuilding and lives in Washington, D.C.
AFESIP CAMBODIA is a non-governmental, non-partisan, and non-religious organization established at the grass-root level in Cambodia in 1996. The dire situations of thousands of victims forced into sex slavery are the reason why AFESIP exists today. We are devoted to "humanly correct development" in order to fight against the trafficking of women and children for sex slavery.
AFESIP CAMBODIA cares for those victimized by trafficking and sex slavery. The primary objective of AFESIP's work is to secure victims' rights by providing holistic care through a victim-centered approach, with the long-term goals of successful and permanent rehabilitation and reintegration.
"Humanly correct development" is defined as conforming to the most fundamental rights; those applicable anytime, anywhere, and to any persons in peace as in war time, freely contracted by any country of the world" (UN civil and political rights pact, article 6; right to live, article 7; forbidding of torture, article 8; forbidding of slavery, article 11; forbidding of unfair detention).
AFESIP's aims and objectives are:
- To combat trafficking in women and girls for sex slavery
- To provide holistic care and recovery for those rescued from sex slavery
- To provide women and girls with occupational skills
- To reintegrate those rescued into the community through financial independence in a sustainable and innovative manner.
AFESIP CAMBODIA also seeks to combat the causes and consequences of trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation through:
- Outreach work in HIV/AIDS prevention
- Advocacy and campaigning
- Representation and participation in women's issues at national, regional and international forums.
"The land we bought was literally 'the site from hell', Architecture for Humanity's design fellow managed to design classrooms that we will be able to replicate on any site. I really think it could be the best built school in rural Uganda."
– Carol Auld, Kutamba AIDS Orphans School, Bikongozo, Uganda
Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design.
By tapping a network of more than 40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, we bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.
Each year 10,000 people directly benefit from structures designed by Architecture for Humanity. Our advocacy, training and outreach programs impact an additional 50,000 people annually. We channel the resources of the global funding community to meaningful projects that make a difference locally. From conception to completion, we manage all aspects of the design and construction process. Our clients include community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations.
Design is important to every aspect of our lives. It informs the places in which we live, work, learn, heal and gather. We engage all stakeholders in the design process. We believe our clients are designers in their own right.
Thoughtful, inclusive design creates lasting change in communities by:
- Alleviating poverty and providing access to water, sanitation, power and essential services
- Bringing safe shelter to communities prone to disaster and displaced populations
- Rebuilding community and creating neutral spaces for dialogue in post-conflict areas
- Mitigating the effects of rapid urbanization in unplanned settlements
- Creating spaces to meet the needs of those with disabilities and other at-risk populations
- Reducing the footprint of the built environment and addressing climate change
Architecture for Humanity is a catalyst for innovation. We learn by doing. We know the value of sharing success stories and lessons learned—our own as well as those of others. To foster knowledge sharing and promote best practices, we developed the Open Architecture Network (www.openarchitecturenetwork.org). This groundbreaking on-line network empowers architects, designers, builders and their clients to share architectural plans and drawings—including CAD files. All plans are shared through an open-source model and can be freely downloaded by all.
Design is the ultimate renewable resource. Join us in building safer, more sustainable and more innovative structures—structures that are assets to their communities and an ongoing testament to the ability of people to come together to envision a better future.
The Chopra Foundation's Mission is to participate with individuals and organizations in creating a critical mass for a peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthy world through scientifically and experientially exploring non-dual consciousness as the ground of existence and applying this understanding in the enhancement of health, business, leadership and conflict resolution.
The Chopra Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well being, cultivating spiritual knowledge, expanding consciousness, and promoting world peace to all members of the human family.
- Education and Research
- Annual Sages and Scientists Symposium
- Annual prizes to Sages and Scientists for contribution to the understanding of consciousness and their contribution to the betterment of humanity.
- Collaboration with universities and institutions on research on the scientific understanding of consciousness.
- Collaboration with and support
Donors Choose is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.
Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.
Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school.
You'll get photos of your project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. If you give over $100, you'll also receive hand-written thank-you letters from the students.
At DonorsChoose.org, you can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions. We call it citizen philanthropy.
The Newark Downtown District, Newark's special improvement district of the central business area was established by an ordinance passed in September 1998 by the Newark Municipal Council. The NDD is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
The NDD is dedicated to revitalizing downtown Newark by improving the economic viability of the central business district and enhancing the quality of life for residents, workers, students and visitors through supplemental services, marketing & physical improvement programs. The NDD is funded through a special assessment on district commercial properties billed and collected by the City's tax collection department and turned over to the NDD for operation management. The assessment is roughly 5% of the commercial tax bill. Residential properties are exempt. The NDD's boundaries extend from Central Avenue and Broad Street at the north, heading south down to Branford/Edison at Broad Street; University Avenue to the west (running between Central and Branford) and moving east just behind Penn Station.
The NDD is overseen by a fifteen (15) member Board of Trustees consisting of business and property owners within the District, representatives of non-profit organizations, as well as municipal officials and staff.
The Fortune Society works on all phases of prisoner re-entry, including housing, programming, counseling, legislative issues, and job training. The Fortune Society is a nonprofit social service and advocacy organization, founded in 1967, whose mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities. Fortune works to create a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated can become positive, contributing members of society. We do this through a holistic, one-stop model of service provision that includes: Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI), drop-in services, employment services, education, family services, health services, housing services, substance abuse treatment, transitional services such as the Rikers Island Discharge Enhancement (R.I.D.E.) program, recreation, and lifetime aftercare. Our service model is based on more than forty years of experience working with people with criminal records. We’ve found that without a solid foundation in core skill areas, too many of these individuals resort to the self-destructive choices that result in crime and incarceration. Our continuum of care, informed and implemented by professionals with cultural backgrounds and life experiences similar to those of our clients, helps ensure their success. Fortune serves approximately 3,000 men and women annually via three primary New York City-area locations: our service center in Long Island City, and both the Fortune Academy (a.k.a. “the Castle”) and Castle Gardens in West Harlem. Our program models are frequently recognized, both nationally and internationally, for their quality and innovation.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike. We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities.
GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome as members any and all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.
Goodwill Industries International enhances the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work.
Integrity House is committed to help individuals and families through an effective and measurable system of comprehensive Therapeutic Community addictions treatment and recovery support in a way that brings about positive, long-term lifestyle change.
Ishmael Beah Foundation(IBF) is a private, independent institution dedicated to helping children and youth affected by war reintegrate into society and improve their lives. The Foundation aims at creating and financing educational and vocational opportunities for children and youth who have been affected by war, so that they can be empowered to choose a life free of conflict.
The Foundation will achieve its goals through providing tuition, granting scholarships, creating literary and study corners that will be open to children and youth, as a way of engaging them and providing them with a safe place to take charge of their lives.
The founding of the Somaly Mam Foundation was made possible by circumstance, when trafficking survivor and activist Somaly Mam crossed paths with two Americans determined to help build global awareness and support for the fight against child slavery.
Here's the story: In early 2007, friends and Air Force Academy graduates, Jared Greenberg and Nicholas Lumpp, became aware of a growing international crisis. The sex slave trade had developed into the third most profitable criminal industry, behind only narcotics and weapons. Governments had yet to effectively handle the problem, and funding for organizations fighting the illegal trade was minimal. Disturbed by the public's lack of awareness of these ongoing atrocities, Jared and Nicholas decided it was time to take action and help put an end to sexual slavery, once and for all. But with an industry that generates $12 billion a year, enslaves millions of young women and children, and is protected by corrupt government and law enforcement officials, they had their work cut out for them.
Fate intervened a few months later when Jared and Nicholas viewed an online video clip of Anderson Cooper 360 and saw a show spotlighting an extraordinary woman by the name of Somaly Mam. Sold into slavery at the age of 12, she later escaped and made it her mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintegrate victims. The result was AFESIP, an organization that has transformed the lives of thousands of victims of the illegal trade since its inception in 1996. Somaly is now regarded as one of the most prolific activists fighting sexual slavery. Jared and Nicholas hopped on a plane and traveled into the center of the sex slave industry. They talked with Somaly Mam, toured facilities, and met some of the young women who had been rescued. The experience changed their lives. Yet they realized that many people around the world do not know this industry even exists. Increasing awareness and funding organizations like AFESIP seemed paramount to combating the illegal trade. Then, during an inspiring conversation on a car ride from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap, Somaly explained her vision for a U.S. based organization that would take her life's passion to the next level. The Somaly Mam Foundation was born.
Newark Now was founded by Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker in 2003 to provide Newark residents with skills, tools, and support to transform their neighborhoods. After a robust outreach effort, Newark Now's work began with seven brave grassroots organizations. Today, those seven organizations are some of the most successful grassroots organizations within the City of Newark and have been joined by many more grassroots organizations that partner with Newark Now to improve their neighborhoods.
Over the years, Newark Now's work has evolved. Today, Newark Now is an intermediary organization that partners with municipal government, residents, grassroots organizations, and the philanthropic community to catalyze the achievement of significant positive outcomes throughout the city. The organization channels the efforts and energy of the grassroots community to improve safety, economic independence, and civic participation.
Newark Now initiatives include:
- The Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) is dedicated to providing Newark area residents with access to valuable resource and benefits. The FEC directly connects thousands of Newarkers annually to important governmental, financial, and legal services.
- A Fatherhood Center that is committed to helping fathers develop a stronger commitment to father, stronger parenting skills, and more solid employment.
- Family Success Centers that connect more than 1000 of Newark's most challenged families to vital government and non-governmental services and resources in ongoing ways, and coordinated the overall Newark Family Success Center Network of 12 Family Success Centers.
- Super Summer initiative that connected more than 150,000 Newarkers to positive activities, events, and resources.
- An annual Brighter Holidays campaign that provides more than 1500 challenged Newark families with toys, clothing, and food, during the December holiday season.
- NewarkRx is an innovative program created to assist low-income, uninsured or underinsured New Jersey residents with obtaining access to critically needed, often life-sustaining, prescription medications.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Refund Now sites that, in 2010 helped more than 3,800 low-income families obtain more than $6.3 million in tax refunds through free, professional tax preparation services.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid Coaching - Financial Aid U: At Newark Now's VITA Sites we can help those interested in attending college with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We also assist with other issues related to College Access including school selection and college applications.
- A Community Partners initiative that helps dozens of Newark community organizations build capacity and coalitions, and provides organizations with training to help them grow – leadership development, strategic planning, program development, community organizing, fundraising, and media relations.
Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. We six women -- representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa -- decided to bring together our extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality.
Only 12 women in its more than 100 year history have been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize is a great honor, but it is also a great responsibility. It is this sense of responsibility that compelled us to create the Nobel Women's Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world - work often carried out in the shadows with little recognition.
We believe peace is much more than the absence of armed conflict. Peace is the commitment to equality and justice; a democratic world free of physical, economic, cultural, political, religious, sexual and environmental violence and the constant threat of these forms of violence against women -- indeed against all of humanity.
It is the heartfelt mission of the Nobel Women's Initiative to work together as women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to use the visibility and prestige of the Nobel prize to promote, spotlight, and amplify the work of women's rights activists, researchers, and organizations worldwide addressing the root causes of violence, in a way that strengthens and expands the global movement to advance nonviolence, peace, justice and equality. We accomplish this mission through three main strategies: convening, shaping the conversation, and spotlighting and promoting.
As originators of the Housing First model, Pathways to Housing seeks to transform individual lives by ending homelessness and supporting recovery for those with psychiatric disabilities. We believe housing is a basic human right, and aspire to change the practice of homeless services by:
- Providing immediate access to permanent independent apartments, without preconditions
- Setting the standard for services driven by consumer choice that support recovery and community integration
- Conducting research to find innovative solutions and best practices for those who suffer from mental illness and homelessness
Renaissance House is a private not-for-profit community based organization. www.nrh.org We serve clients, families and the community through innovative and multidisciplinary programs that treat the disease of addiction and the behavioral, mental health and lifestyle issues associated with this disease.
PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY The rebirth of one's potential for success is the core principle of all our treatment programs. Programs are designed to meet the unique needs of three of the most underserved and least empowered populations of society; women, adolescents and children of substance abusers. By utilizing the therapeutic community model of treatment Newark Renaissance House offers a continuum of comprehensive, personalized, drug-free services. This firm but supportive behaviorally based method of substance abuse treatment with a focus on honesty, self reliance and clear civic values is integrated with education, mental health and medical services, and the concepts of the Twelve Step Program. Communication skills, conflict resolution, anger management and socialization skills are major components of each program. All clients are treated within the context of their family and emphasis is placed on family participation in the treatment process. We believe by treating women, adolescents and children of substance abusers we will help break the generational cycle of substance abuse within the family. By healing and building stronger families, we ultimately build better neighborhoods.
The International Institute for Peace at Rutgers University in Newark was founded to foster the global culture and practice of peace. By pioneering innovative research and educating the next generation of peace building leaders, the Institute works to reorient societies in conflict towards sustainable peace. The Institute works side-by-side with communities around the world to foster alliances among religious leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, and political leaders to practice peace as peace is both the precondition and the product of an open, equal, and fair society.
The Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience is celebrating its second decade as an interdisciplinary academic program at Rutgers-Newark that serves the greater Newark metropolitan region by reaching into the community at large with lectures, symposia, film, performances, exhibitions, and other programs that enhance public understanding of urban life, the social construction of difference, race relations, local history, urban youth culture, and education.
Through its numerous programmatic partnerships, the Institute provides essential context for the good work of public institutions, among them the Newark Public Schools, The Newark Public Library, The Newark Museum, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Boys and Girls Club of Newark, WBGO, Public Radio in Newark, New Jersey Network, the New Jersey Historical Society, the American Jewish Committee, the National Park Service, and the New Jersey State Police. Such partnerships bridge the collegiate/community divide, fostering mutual learning and productive public service.
The Institute is a co-sponsor, with the New Jersey Historical Commission, of the annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series. The conference has drawn thousands of citizens to Rutgers-Newark in observance of Black History Month in New Jersey since 1981, when it was co-founded by Institute director, Dr. Clement Price and Giles R. Wright, the inaugural director of the Afro-American History Program at the New Jersey Historical Commission. This free lecture series is a community based ritual in public scholarship that brings to the university some of the nation's foremost scholars and humanists conversant with African-American and African history and culture. It has become one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious events of its kind.
Tikkun is a magazine dedicated to healing and transforming the world. We seek articles that directly or indirectly give us new insight on how to make that healing and transformation a reality.
The Turtle Lodge ~ Anishnabe Mikinack Kinamakamik Inc. ~ is an Indigenous place of learning, healing and sharing for all peoples.
Built in 2002 based on a vision received, the Turtle Lodge is founded upon spiritual, land-based teachings that bring balance to life. It has been built for our children ~ the center of our lives. Our fundamental goal is Mino-Pi-Mati-Si-Win – A Good and Peaceful Way of Life. The Turtle Lodge is based on the Seven Sacred Laws and the Eight Paths of the Medicine Wheel, the ancient universal values of the Anishnabe People of Turtle Island (North America).
The Turtle Lodge offers Children, Youth, Adults and Elders the opportunity to come together in a sacred environment for:
- Traditional teachings
- The sharing of Indigenous perspectives on how to have a good and peaceful life.
The Turtle Lodge is a place for sharing our universal and ancient knowledge, and also, a place for sharing among people of all races and nations.
Urban Farm Fresh, Inc. is working to create a comprehensive, sustainable citywide food system for the residents of our inner cities, a system that is focused on fresh, local foods and community empowerment.
Urban Farm Fresh is all about providing affordable access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. We do this through multiple projects, including our flagship Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) is a global network of over 700 parliamentarians from more than 75 countries working to prevent nuclear proliferation and achieve nuclear disarmament. Membership is open to current members of legislatures and parliaments at state, federal, national and regional levels.
The Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) was established on May 8th, 2006 under the laws of the Republic of Ghana as a women-focused, women-led Pan-African Non-Governmental Organization with the core mandate to promote women's strategic participation and leadership in peace and security governance in Africa. Over the last two decades and especially since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security in October 2000, women the world over have been engaged in activities that aim at(re)building particularly war-torn societies, restoring relationships and promoting social cohesion. In Africa, the involvement of women in peace building gained prominence during the two decades of violent conflicts/wars that saw and resulted in the mobilization of women across all sectors to find lasting solutions and take action. Various approaches were used with the aim of achieving this purpose but for WIPSEN-Africa, such strategic engagement must be systematic and requires proactivity, access to timely and accurate information, knowledge of the issue area, and specialized skills. It demands that the erstwhile, ad-hoc, impulsive and reactionary nature of women's activism be structured and informed. This not only necessitates capacity strengthening and grassroots mobilization, but also action-oriented research, policy influencing, documentation, information sharing, and strategic dialogue, networking and partnership building. This is the raison d'être for the establishment of WIPSEN-Africa, and the organization was founded to professionalize and institutionalize women peace and security inAfrica. WIPSEN-Africa is a network organization and collaborates with partner, associate and affiliate organizations across the Continent and in the Diaspora implement its mandate.
Women for Women International works with socially excluded women in eight countries where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities. Each woman we serve has her own story–some of loved ones murdered, and others of physical and emotional trauma. Most have endured a struggle for survival.
When we enroll women in our one-year program, they learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living. They come to understand their rights and how to fight for those rights in their homes, their communities and their nations and become leaders.
Women for Women International (WfWI) believes that lasting change can only be achieved when women have access to both knowledge and resources.
The Temple of Understanding has led the way in interfaith education and advocacy for 50 years. The organization educates youth and adults both cross culturally and inter-religiously for global citizenship and peaceful coexistence; advocate for acceptance and respect for religious pluralism by the worlds governing bodies; and actively continue to promote justice and tolerance.
The organization was founded in 1960 by a pioneering visionary, Juliet Hollister, with the support of a distinguished group of “Founding Friends,” which included Eleanor Roosevelt, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Sir Zafrula Khan, H.H. Pope John XXIII, Anwar al-Sadat and H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama, among others.
The Dalai Lama Center For Ethics & Transformative Values at MIT is dedicated to inquiry, to dialogue, and to the creation of programs that affect the ethical and humane dimensions of life. This nonpartisan center is a collaborative think tank focused on the development of interdisciplinary research and programs in various fields of knowledge from science and technology, to education and international relations.
The Center is founded to honor the vision of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and his call for a holistic education that includes the development of human and global ethics. It will emphasize responsibility as well as examine meaningfulness and moral purpose between individuals, organizations, and societies.
Mindfulness Without Borders brings best practices in social-emotional learning and mindful awareness-based education to conflict and post-conflict communities. It is recognized for its peace and leadership education programs for youth and their educators in Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, and Israel since 2008, and most recently in Canada and the United States. Our educational programs integrate ideas and insights from the foremost experts in education, psychology, neuroscience and human development.
Mindfulness Without Borders is based on the premise that one of the best ways to break the cycles of individual and cultural narratives, forged by histories of hatred, violence and fear, is to create a domain where personal mastery of emotions and behavior may be reclaimed, hard lines dissolve and where minds and hearts meet and flourish. Through teacher training workshops and youth-centered activities, we address vital life and leadership skills that individuals need to tackle the challenges that affect them—social, economic and environmental.
All Star The All Stars Project, Inc. (ASP) is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting human development through the use of an innovative performance-based model. The ASP creates outside of school, educational and performing arts activities for thousands of poor and minority young people. It sponsors community and experimental theatre, develops leadership training and pursues volunteer initiatives that build and strengthen communities.
The ASP actively promotes supplementary education and the performance learning model in academic and civic arenas.
The Dalai Lama Foundation The Foundation was established in 2002, with the Dalai Lama's endorsement and advice, by a core founding group including long-time friends of the Dalai Lama and members of the Silicon Valley business community.
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) is a Nobel Laureate Organization dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. IPB will be represented at the Newark Peace Summit by Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, which is one of 300 member organizations in 70 countries working together under IPB auspices. Founded in 1892, IPB is the world’s oldest and most comprehensive peace foundation, covering a wide scope of peace and development issues.
MiND: Media Independence is the newest initiative of Independence Media, the non-profit organization which owns and operates WYBE Channel 35 in Philadelphia, PA. In 1990, WYBE debuted as one of the nation’s only independent public TV stations. WYBE has served its community with international news, documentaries, and unique programs on diverse topics.
In 2005, Independence Media started developing MiND, a new multi-platform television and internet channel. Deeply rooted in WYBE’s local and global community orientation, MiND emphasizes learning, social awareness, and a hands-on approach to media.
MiND’s schedule is filled with 5-minute programs, half of them are made by MiND members. The 5-minute program length reduces the cost and complexity of making programs, and provides MiND’s viewers with an extraordinarily wide range of ideas. Every MiND program plays on-air and online for two years. MiND's 5-minute program schedule is also seen in a mirror stream and on-demand at www.mindtv.org.
The PeaceJam Foundation "The mission of the PeaceJam Foundation is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody."
Abolition 2000 ABOLITION 2000 is a network of over 2000 organizations in more than 100 countries working for a global treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. Abolition 2000 members have produced a draft treaty which has been circulated by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his Five-Point Nuclear Disarmament Proposal, and have helped achieve United Nations resolutions and parliamentary resolutions calling for negotiations on such a treaty. Abolition 2000 members also advance steps towards nuclear abolition including nuclear-weapon-free zones, divestment from nuclear-weapons-making corporations, a phase-out of nuclear energy and the promotion of safe and renewable forms of energy production that do not provide the materials for weapons of mass destruction and do not poison the environment for thousands of centuries.
JAGS Foundation was set up as a lasting tribute to James Andre Godfrey Smartt-Ford who was tragically murdered inside Streatham Ice Rink in February 2007.
As a result of James' tragic death, his mother, Tracey Ford set up a 'Families Supporting Families Network' to give relatives and friends access to resources, information and mutual support following the work of LOST (Losing Our Sons Tragically) founded by James's parents Trevor & Tracey Smartt-Ford.
Tracey frequently addresses audiences at schools, conferences, pastoral, governmental, police, youth and community group meetings and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio London and community radio debates and discussions on the serious impact of youth violence.
Global Colors BARTON BROOKS founded Global Colors and continues to run day to day operations. He strongly adheres to the principle that if you think something should be done, well then, figure out a way to just go and do it.
Global Colors aids in the development of grassroots campaigns using local ingenuity and resources to accomplish very specific goals.
Our projects are geared towards creating immediate change - while teaching individuals, families, and travelers how to do the same in their own back yard or across the globe.
"The Newark Peace Education Summit thanks Balance Water for providing water for the three days of the conference. For more information about how Balance Water is focused on both mind and body.
*Subject to change