Allison Stokes is founding director of the Women’s Interfaith Institute, with affiliates in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts (since 1992) and the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York (since 2002). Currently a member of the Ambassadors Advisory Council for the Council for the Parliament of World Religions, she first attended the Parliament in 1999 in Cape Town. At the Parliament in Melbourne in 2009, she gave a slide lecture about her research on the little known story of women speakers at the 1893 Parliament in Chicago. She is Historian of the New England Women’s Ministers Association.
Stokes was a speaker for the New York Council for the Humanities (NYCH) on the topic “Learning about Islam and Reaching across Faith Divides: Americans Respond to 9/11.” She has served as scholar facilitator for the “Muslim Journeys” reading and discussion program offered by the NYCH and by the National Endowment for the Humanities/American Library Association.
Stokes earned her Ph.D. in American Studies and M.Div. degrees at Yale, and Th.M. degree at Harvard. She has served as a college/university chaplain at Wesleyan, Vassar, Yale, Ithaca College, and most recently at the University of Rochester, where she was director of the Interfaith Chapel. For several years she was Director of the M.K. Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester. She is author and co-author of various articles and books, including Ministry After Freud (1985), Defecting in Place—Women Taking Responsibility for Their Own Spiritual Lives (1995), and Shalom, Salaam, Peace (2006).