Bios (Download full pdf text here).
is the founder and president of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka,
the world's largest spiritually-based people's development movement working in
15.000 villages in Sri Lanka. Based on Buddhist and Gandhian principles, the Sarvodaya
Movement works for social and economic justice for the poorest of the poor in
Sri Lanka and in the world.
Sarvodaya means "the awakening of all" and Shramadana means sharing. The essence of the movement is that "Everybody Wakes Up
through Sharing Labor, Energy, Resources, and Love." Dr. Ariyaratne has described the goal of Sarvodaya as a
"dual awakening": the awakening of the individual and the awakening
of society. Started 47 years ago
by Dr. Ariyaratne, Sarvodaya has mobilized tens of thousands of people to
create housing, water projects, solar energy, food production, pre-school programs, legal services,
women's projects, orphanages, child welfare agencies, village banks, and
more. Dr. Ariyaratne has also led some of the world's largest peace
marches and meditations to address the conflict in his country, with 650,000
people gathering in Sri Lanka in 2004.
For his development work and his peace activities, Dr. Ariyaratne has
received numerous international awards, including: the Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership from the
Philippines (1969), the King Boudouin Award for International Development from
Belgium (1982), the Niwano Peace Prize from Japan (1992), and the Mahatma
Gandhi Peace Prize from the Government of India (1996). Working with all
religions and all ethnic groups, Dr. Ariyaratne has described Sarvodaya as
"the essence of religion", because it seeks to unite all people to
work together to build a non violent and cooperative society.
Kelly Bryson MA, MFT author of the best selling book ("Don't be Nice, Be Real - Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others. COVER TEXT: A Handbook to Nonviolent Communication(sm)" has been featured in Elle and Shape magazines, appeared on many TV and Radio shows, lived in an ashram many years, is a humorist, singer, & licensed therapist in private practice. He keynotes conventions (National Montessori), is an inspirational speaker, an authorized trainer for the international Center for Nonviolent Communication for over 20 years, and has trained thousands in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. He trains, presents and consults with groups, corporations (Tony Robbins, Paul Mitchell Salons), churches (Sun. morning talks for many Religious Science, Unity and others), schools, (U.Cal.L.B, Body/Mind College), clubs and organizations. He studied with E. Stanley Jones, Gandhi's concierge/friend. He lives in Central Ca. Kelly's website: www.LanguageOfCompassion.com
Sally Carless is the founding director of Global Village School (www.globalvillageschool.org). Launched at the turn of the millennium, Global Village School is an international K-12 homeschool diploma program focused on peace, justice, diversity, and sustainability. Global Village is working to effect change on the personal and global levels by providing a transformative education that empowers students to cultivate their gifts and passions while becoming wise and capable stewards of the planet. The distance learning model makes this type of education available to youth and adults around the globe. Sally believes that education is a key component of progressive social change, and Global Village provides a natural outlet for her passionate commitment to creating a more just and peaceful world. A musician and writer, Sallyâs articles have been published on Commondreams.org and in Paths of Learning and Hopedance.
Diane V. Cirincione, Ph.D. is a therapist and former postdoctoral clinical researcher at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to her Masters Degree and Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, she also has expertise and her B.S. Degree in Organizational Behavior. She has additional specializations in family systems, couples therapy, grief counseling, domestic violence, and multiple forms of interpersonal relationships. She has founded and owned four companies and is currently focusing her time and energy on the exploration and expansion of the concept of Regenopause and The Regenopause Dialogues, revaluing and redefining the stages of womenÕs lives. Additionally, she serves as Vice President of the Jampolsky Outreach Foundation, a non-profit foundation that introduces and mentors culturally appropriate adaptations of Attitudinal Healing into every aspect of daily life. Dr. Cirincione is author of Sounds of the Morning Sun and co-author with her husband and partner of 25 years, Dr. Jerry Jampolsky, of the best selling books and audio tapes Love Is The Answer; Wake-Up Calls; Change Your Mind Ð Change Your Life; Simple Thoughts That Can Change Your Life; and Me First and The Gimme Gimmes. Dr. Cirincione is a respected international lecturer, clinician, and author who has worked in over 50 countries. She continues to work cross-culturally and globally learning from people worldwide and has been the recipient of over a dozen, international, humanitarian awards.
Andrew Cohen Andrew Cohen is a pioneering spiritual teacher and founder of the award-winning What Is Enlightenment? magazine. Over the past twenty years, he has become widely recognized as a defining voice in the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality. Through his public teachings, residential retreats, and close work with a worldwide body of students, as well as through his engaged inquiry with leading thinkers across diverse religious traditions and scientific disciplines, Cohen is creating a new context for understanding personal spiritual transformation as a human evolutionary imperative. He is the author of Embracing Heaven & Earth and Living Enlightenment, among other books, and the founder of EnlightenNext, an organization dedicated to the evolution of consciousness and culture, and to the transformation of our world.
Phil Cousineau is a best-selling author and award-winning documentary filmmaker, photographer, and world-wide lecturer, Phil has led nearly twenty adventure pilgrimages to sites worldwide and has been interviewed on CNN, BBC, PRI, and NPR about the resurgence of pilgrimage, and sacred travel. He lectures widely on creativity, architecture, mentorship, and sports. Among his 18 books, PhilÕs most recent, The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the True Spirit of the Ancient Games, we chosen by the US Olympic Committee as a gift to every American athlete competing in the Athens, 2004 Games. His 15 screenwriting credits include the 1991 Academy Award-nominated: Forever Activists.
Raphael Cushnir is a popular contributor to "O, The Oprah Magazine." He presents lectures and workshops on his "Living the Questions" process worldwide. His first book, "Unconditional Bliss: Finding Happiness in the Face of Hardship" was nominated for the year 2000 Books for a Better Life Award. His second book, "Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life" is currently used in Faith in Action programs at New Thought churches around the country. His latest book, "How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment, has just been published. For more info: www.hownow100.com.
Christine Elliot is an Attorney Coach who works with small law firms to increase their profitability. John and Christine have organized a San Diego grassroots campaign to advocate for, and educate people in how to support, the passage of the Department of Peace Bill.
Ela Gandhi, former member of Parliament in the Republic of South Africa is a qualified social worker by profession, but has always been more of a social/ political activist. From her early childhood, she has been driven by a community spirit. She helped child welfare fund raising when still in Primary School. To Mrs. Gandhi, liberation, social justice, animal and environmental rights issues are important. She consistently take up issues of prejudice, oppression, power and of ensuring that the voices of the voiceless are heard. To this end then, all her work as an activist in South Africa was directed towards the raising of the issues of the oppressed. While she worked as a social worker, healing and providing relief to people, she also tackled the bigger questions of how people can be mobilized to take up their own issues. But this work drew attention to Mrs. Gandhi and she was placed under house arrest for 8 years. During the RSA negotiations process she was selected as one of the representatives of her organization to represent the people. She was then selected to be on the list of candidates for parliament and was sent to parliament for two terms, resigning from parliament in January 2003. At present, she is Editor and Chairperson of the Board of management of Satyagraha- In pursuit of Truth a Non Profit Organisation which runs a newspaper, promoting Gandhian ideals. She is Secretary of the Gandhi Development Trust, which makes awards on an annual basis and holds a Gandhi Lecture. She is Chairperson of the Domestic Violence Help Line, the Mahatma Gandhi Handicraft Centre, and Trustee of the Mahatma Gandhi Trust which owns a property which was donated to the Natal Indian Congress when Gandhiji left South Africa in 1914. She is a member on the Advisory Boards of Unilever Ethics Centre, International Advisory Board of the World Parliament of Religions and Advisory Board of the Ahimsa Centre, in California. She is Vice President of the South African Chapter of World Conference on Religion and Peace and is on the ANCÕs Commission on Religious Affairs. She is hoping to soon set up a Centre for Nonviolence with focus on building a resource centre, a research facility, an academic facility, a materials development facility and a community outreach programme.
Cynthia L. Henson is an International Business Consultant and developed the Strategic Plan for the Peace Army.
Jean Houston, Ph.D., is a scholar, philosopher, cultural historian, storyteller and internationally renowned seminar leader in the human potential field. She is the author of 16 books ranging from mythology and psychobiography to applications of her own and others' research in neural and sensory re-education, creativity and innovative learning paradigms; Director of the Foundation for Mind Research which focuses on the understandings and uses of humanityÕs vast and underused potentials.
Rita Marie Johnson is the Director of the Rasur Foundation, which sponsors the Peace Army of Costa Rica.
Jim Kenney is Executive Director of the Interreligious Engagement Project (IEP21), dedicated to helping global religious and spiritual communities the engage with one another and to address issues of peace, justice, and ecological sustainability. He was a founding trustee and, for many years, Global Director of the Parliament of the WorldÕs Religions.
James L. Lockard serves as Pastor of the Westlake Church of Religious Science, along with Rev. Sue Rubin. He is on the Board of Directors of Religious Science International and the RSI/UCRS Visioning Bridge Committee, which is engaged in conversations with the United Church of Religious Science regarding the presentation of Religious Science to the world.
Dr. Charika Marasingh: Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) in Law, Balliol College, Oxford University (2005); Volunteer, Sarvodaya, the largest voluntary movement in Sri Lanka. Voluntary work with Sarvodaya dates back to her childhood when she facilitated in 1969 establishing Sarvodaya childrenâs groups island-wide. In 1985 as a fresh law graduate she helped forming the Sarvodaya Legal Services Movement now operating in 200 villages in 24 administrative districts. As an active trustee of the Vishva Niketan International Peace Centre she is involved in organizing spiritual resources workshops, meditation programmes and peace dialogues. Responding to the needs of tsunami survivors she helped Sarvodaya Legal Services Movement of which she is a honorary director to introduce the psycho-spiritual healing project. Also she helps Vishva Niketan to facilitate the project entitled ãspiritual networks ö Community Reawakeningä, through a group of volunteers, ãMeth Sith Sabendiyoä (Compassionate Minds); 2001 ö 2004, Trustee OneWorld International Foundation, U.K; 1985-2002 Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law,
University of Colombo; Author, Manual on Child Abuse (published by Sri Lanka Police Department); Manual on Violations against Women (published by Ministry of Womenâs Affairs, Sri Lanka). With the expertise in the field of child rights law, in 2005 August, Charika launched the Company C R L (Child Rights Law) International, first of its kind to promote and protect child rights.
Barbara Marx Hubbard is a communicator of humanity's potential to evolve. As an author of five books, a speaker, social innovator and spiritual pioneer, she has established the new field of conscious evolution. Her evolutionary perspective suggests a way through our global crises toward an immeasurable future. In 1984 her name was placed in nomination for the Vice Presidency of the United States on the Democratic ticket suggesting a Peace Room in the White House to scan for, map, connect, and communicate what is working in the world. As President of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, she has developed an on-line evolutionary educational process on her EVOLVE Website called Gateway to Conscious Evolution, now reaching over 1000 people worldwide. Her new DVD Video Series entitled, Humanity Ascending: A Feminine Voice of Conscious Evolution is designed to place the ÒmemeÓ of conscious evolution into the global mind. It offers a comprehensive understanding of conscious evolution self and social. She has been a co-founder of many organizations such as the World Future Society, Women of Vision and Action, Global Family and The Association for Global New Thought. Her books include , Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence, The Evolutionary Journey, The Hunger of Eve and Revelation.
Dorothy J Maver is presently serving as Executive Director of the Peace Alliance and the Peace Alliance Foundation. The Peace Alliance Foundation is a 501.c3 educational organization dedicated to helping develop a Culture of Peace through the practical application of the principles of nonviolence and cooperation. The Peace Alliance, is a 501.c.4 inspired by HR Bill 1673 proposing a Department of Peace with non-violence as the organizing principle. Previously, Dot served as the National Campaign Manager for Dennis Kucinich for President 2004, is the founder of the Vermont Peace Institute, and one of the co-founding members of the Vermont Peace Academy. Dot is an innovative educator with a teaching background in Health, Physical Education, Psychology and Philosophy at both the high school and university levels. She is a member of the international faculty with Polaris College, Denmark, for whom she facilitates teacher training, and she has a private practice in Transformational Kinesiology (TK). She and her therapy dog Bear, a Belgian Malinouis Shepard have worked for the past eight years with children and adults and have brought joy to many seniors citizens. Dot also served as a director of the Institute for Visionary Leadership from 1990 - 2001. In the world of fast-pitch softball Dr. Dot is well known for her revolutionary fast-pitch hitting technique, The Maver Method: Secrets of Hitting Success, available on video. She is also co-author of the book Conscious Education: The Bridge to Freedom.
John McNeil is a San Diego businessman and owner of a company manufacturing environmentally-friendly packaging products.
Harry Morgan Moses, D.D., is the founder of New Thought Center of San Diego, where he served as the Senior Minister for over 10 years. Harry co-founded the Affiliated New Thought Network (ANTN) and served as its president for 5 years. In September of 1999, Dr. Moses joined a select group of distinguished leaders for dialogue with the Dalai Lama in the ÒSynthesis ProjectÓ at His HolinessÕ residence in Dharmasala, India. He continues to serve on the Advisory Council for the Association for Global New Thought (AGNT). Committed to bringing the consciousness model to the world, Harry is an author, principle speaker and wisdom teacher who is sought throughout the nation and beyond.
Rev. Ellen Grace OÕBrian is the Founding Teacher and Senior Minister of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, a thriving interfaith ministry in the spiritual tradition of Kriya Yoga with headquarters in San Jose, California. Ordained in 1982 by Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, she teaches yoga philosophy and spiritual practice at CSE, leads retreats, worship services and classes in spiritual living as well as being a frequent guest speaker at conferences. She is also the Founder and Director of the Love in Action Interfaith Seminary. Rev. OÕBrianÕs published books include: Living the Eternal Way: Spiritual Meaning and Practice for Daily Life; and A Single Blade of Grass: Finding the Sacred in Everyday Life. www.csecenter.org
Abdul Rashied Omar is Muslim imam from Cape Town, South Africa. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Council for a Parliament of the WorldÕs Religions and Coordinator of the Kroc InstituteÕs Program in Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame.
John Raatz has been a personal manager / agent in the entertainment industry, representing both high-profile celebrity actors and musicians. Clients have included Eckhart Tolle, Baraka, Mindwalk, A Brief History of Time, Fritjof Capra, Peter Russell, Chellis Glendenning, Dead Can Dance, Deepak Chopra, Madonna and Donovan. He served on the 2004 Grammy screening committee, the Blue Ribbon panel of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) 2005 Gold Quill awards, and has been named a judge at the Inspiration Film Festival 2005 in Los Angeles. Most recently, TVG developed and implemented the marketing and communications strategy and campaign for the indie box office hit film, "What the Bleep Do We Know?!"
James Redfield. When author James Redfield self-published his first novel in 1993, the immediate groundswell of enthusiasm made The Celestine Prophecy one of the most successful self-published books of all time. In 1996, The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision, also became an instant bestseller. The Celestine series of adventure parables continued in 1999 with the publication of The Secret of Shambhala: In Search of the Eleventh Insight and, in 2002, James joined author Michael Murphy and filmmaker Sylvia Timbers in a collaborative work entitled God and the Evolving Universe (J.P. Tarcher). Redfield's contributions to environmental and humanitarian causes is extensive, and has resulted in Humanitarian of the Year awards from Habitat for Humanity and the International New Thought Alliance, and in Wisdom Media Group's WorldView Award. In 1997 Redfield was awarded the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Senate at the XXIII Pio Manzu International Conference. Pio Manzu is a nongovernmental arm of the United Nations headed up by Mikhail Gorbachev. In the spring of 2004, principal photography began on a feature film based on The Celestine Prophecy. The movie is slated for theatrical and DVD release in early 2006.
William L. Ury co-founded HarvardÕs Program on Negotiation where he currently directs the Global Negotiation Project. He is co-author (with Roger Fisher) of Getting to Yes, Getting Past No, and The Third Side. Over the past twenty-five years, Ury has served as a negotiation adviser and mediator in conflicts ranging from wildcat strikes in a Kentucky coal mine to corporate restructurings to ethnic wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. With former president Jimmy Carter, he co-founded the International Negotiation Network, a non-governmental body seeking to end civil wars around the world. Most recently, Ury has served as a third party in a civil war in Indonesia and in a bitter political struggle in Venezuela. Ury is also co-founder of the e-Parliament Initiative, which is intended to link together the 25,000 elected parliamentarians around the world (together with representatives of civil society) in an Internet-based forum to address global problems such as AIDS, childrenÕs rights, and war.
Linda Watson returns for her fifth year of teaching yoga at AGNT. She is a wellness consultant and integrative healing therapist by profession and passion. She offers experiences to engage in the deep
soul work that transforms life into the most extraordinary adventure imaginable through her private practice, classes and retreats. An avid student of yoga and movement for most of her life, she received
training from many notable teachers and has served on the teaching faculty of the renowned Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. Her greatest joy is witnessing her students and clients awaken to their
inherent wholeness and live passionate, inspired lives. Linda can be contacted at email@example.com
Levi Weiman-Kelman is rabbi of Kehilat Kol Haneshama, a Reform Jewish congregation in Jerusalem. Levi is a leader of the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism and of Rabbis for Human Rights. His congregation is a model for inter-religious understanding, dialog, and healing in Jerusalem.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer. She has published nine books, four of which - including the mega bestseller A Return to Love -- have been #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her titles also include Illuminata, A Woman's Worth, and Healing the Soul of America. She also edited Imagine: What American Could Be in the 21st Century, a compilation of essays by some of America's most visionary thinkers. Her latest book is entitled The Gift of Change. Ms. Williamson has been a popular guest on numerous television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose. 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 The Peace Alliance, a grass-roots campaign to support the legislative initiative to establish a United States Department of Peace. Today, there are Department of Peace campaign groups in 31 states, and you can find out more about the campaign and ways that you can be involved, at http://www.marianne.com/.