Reed Price is a cross-media content consultant whose firm, @rveep, helps nonprofits and for-purpose organizations tell their stories in text, image and video. A former national journalist, Reed also has extensive professional experience in social media. Among his clients: The Charter for Compassion International, Island Volunteer Caregivers, and the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. He’s the communications coordinator for the Bainbridge Island/North Kitsap Interfaith Council in Washington state and is a longtime member of Eagle Harbor Congregational Church (UCC) on Bainbridge Island. He admires the music of Leonard Cohen, the art of Wassily Kandinsky and the reflections of Henri Fredric Amiel. For more information, visit rveep.com.
Isabella Price is an educator, international speaker, and the author of the leading-edge book series “One Truth, Many Paths” on the world’s wisdom traditions. Two of her recent titles are Jesus Christ: The Love and Wisdom of a 1st Century Mystic (2014) and Sacred Love: Manifestations of the Goddess across Cultures (2015). Isabella holds an MA in the humanities (global history and comparative religion) from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. For over 25 years, she has been teaching classes and workshops at universities, colleges, and various religious venues.
Isabella travels extensively and participates in numerous rituals and celebrations across the religious and cultural spectrum. She has sought out teachers from different spiritual traditions and teaches meditation to veterans suffering from PTSD and other community members. Isabella is also a certified SQ21 Spiritual Intelligence coach. She is passionate about helping people, communities, and organizations identify and effectively address misunderstandings affecting members of all cultures and religions. For more information, please visit her website at www.onetruth-manypaths.com.
Joseph Prabhu is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and member of the Executive Committee of the Parliament of the World's Religions. He is active as both a scholar and a peace activist. He has edited: The Intercultural Challenge of Raimon Panikkar (1996 ) and co-edited the two-volume Indian Ethics: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges (2007, 2011). He has three books in process, “Liberating Gandhi: Community, Empire and a Culture of Peace,” due out in 2011, and “Hegel, India and the Dark Face of Modernity” and “Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” due out in 2012. He has been a Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University and of the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago and a Visiting Professor there. He has also been co-editor of Re-Vision from 1995-2003 and a contributing editor of Zygon. He is the past President of the international Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, 2008-09, and the Program Chair for the Melbourne Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2009. Among his many awards are the Outstanding Professor Award of CSULA for 2004-05 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Soka Gakkai, USA and a Commendation from the Southern California Committee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Riess Potterveld is president of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), beginning July 1, 2013. GTU is a consortium of eight seminaries and various centers and affiliates comprising one of the largest interreligious centers in the U.S. Previously he served as president of Pacific School of Religion (2010-2013), where he had earlier directed seminary development, and of Lancaster Theological Seminary (2002-2010). He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
Dr. Potterveld has taught courses in transformational leadership and the practical skills of ministry. He preaches and speaks widely on issues of church and society and offers workshops on the interface between spirituality and art.
Riess previously served as senior minister of The Congregational Church of Northridge, California for 18 years. While at Northridge, he also lectured in the religious studies department of California State University, Northridge, where he received the Meritorious Performance and Professional Promise Award in 1988.
Riess was the co-founder and for three years, beginning in 1986, the president of The Valley Shelter, a large multi-service shelter for homeless people in the San Fernando Valley.
Riess is married to Tara Potterveld, a sign language interpreter for the deaf and sculptor, and they share four adult sons and seven grandchildren.
Tara Potterveld is a sculptor working primarily in bronze and lives in the Bay Area. She received an MA degree in sculpture from California State University, Northridge and a BA in linguistics, Summa Cum Laude, from the same university. Tara’s sister, brother, and brother-in-law are all sculptors working in wood, stone, and metal and have participated in numerous exhibitions over the years.
Tara’s primary vocation is as a Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf, and she specializes in interpreting in legal settings. She authored “Law Enforcement Interpreting for Deaf Persons” in 2012, published by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. In addition, she has led workshops and taught classes for other interpreters in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Trinidad Tobago, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Tara and her husband Riess share four sons and seven grandchildren.
Ryan Polsky is a writer from Los Angeles, California who is passionate about social justice, current events, and making the world a better place. He enjoys getting to know, learning about, and working with people of diverse backgrounds. He is a recent graduate of Colorado State University, with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication, and is currently the storytelling intern at United Religions Initiative. In his free time he enjoys sports, chess, and music.
Nadya Pohran is a graduate student who approaches the study of religion through the lens of cultural anthropology. In addition to focusing on lived religion in her academic writing, she explores spiritual themes in her poetry and playwriting.
She is particularly interested in the way that religious beliefs and spiritual experiences form and inform individuals’ understanding of themselves and the society around them. Her master’s thesis at the University of Ottawa (2013-2015) focused on Charismatic Protestant practices of healing prayer. Her PhD at the University of Cambridge (2015-2018) is an anthropological study of Indian Christianity. In it, she engages with ideas of interfaith dialogue and comparative religion within an Indian cultural context.
S. Brent Plate's teachings and writings explore relations between sensual life and spiritual life. He is a writer, editor, public speaker, and visiting associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College. He has authored/edited twelve books and written for The Christian Century, The Islamic Monthly, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, and other sites. He is co-founder and managing editor of Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief; president of CrossCurrents/ The Association of Religion and Intellectual Life; and is a board member of the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica, NY. His most recent book is A History of Religion in 5½ Objects: Bringing the Spiritual to its Senses. Website: www.sbrentplate.net Twitter: @splate1
Jason Pitzl-Waters is a visual artist living in the Pacific Northwest. For ten years he worked as a journalist within modern Paganism, founding The Wild Hunt, a resource for Pagan news and commentary.
Craig Phillips became active in interfaith relations during an internship with the World Conference of Religions for Peace in 2008. Afterwards he enrolled in Hartford Seminary in a graduate program focused on Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. His thesis is on the cultural relativism and the issue of universality in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from an Islamic perspective. Since 2009 he has been program coordinator for the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut. He also works as social media coordinator at Hartford Seminary. Craig has lived in India and spent considerable time in Nepal, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey. In the summer of 2011 a fellowship took him to a workshop in Auschwitz, Poland, to study professional ethics. Craig plans to combine his diverse experiences and education for a career in interfaith and inter-cultural relations.
Weston Pew hails from the Rocky Mountains of western Montana and is the founder and director of Inner Wild, a regenerative leadership program that uses contemplative tools such as pilgrimage, group dialog, rites of passage and nature connection to cultivate a deeper understanding of and relationship to self, Earth, and community. Inner Wild currently runs programs in Montana and New York City. Weston is also the founder of the Sacred Door Trail, a 175-mile interfaith pilgrimage trail, located in the mountains of Montana, dedicated to spiritual unity and our connection to Earth and community. Currently he is helping to create an urban pilgrimage trail in New York City and is wrapping up a masters in experiential education through Prescott College.
Tina Petrova has been part of the Canadian film, television and stage scene for over 30 years as an award winning actress, writer, producer and director. She is an alumnus of Academy Award Winner Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre and an accredited juror for The Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. Film critics have dubbed Tina “a driving force” and “visionary,” creating works of “faith and healing.”
Her feature directing debut, “Rumi Turning Ecstatic,” had its world premiere on Vision TV in January 2006. Since then, it has been translated into three languages and programmed in over 17 countries – including a special invite to the United Nations in 2007.
Tina produced and directed a half-hour documentary entitled “Animating the Golden Rule” – a captivating journey through the world’s various faith traditions by youth - through music, rap and drama. She is author of Animating the Golden Rule - Teacher's Guidebook (2014). Visit The Golden Rule Movie to find out more about the DVD and Teacher's Guidebook.
Amelia Perkins serves as director of special projects for the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR). She has studied and worked in the areas of religion and the arts. After receiving a Masters of Theology from Harvard in 2005, she received a travel fellowship to spend a year recording the lives of Greek Orthodox nuns both in writing and on film. Amelia has worked as a researcher at the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, working on content for the Museum of World Religions in Taiwan. She also worked on the Religion and Arts Initiative at One Center in New York, connecting diverse religious communities through interfaith arts events. In her role at CPWR, she works on international outreach and programs such as webinars, trainings and interreligious encounters.
Janet Penn is the founder and director of Youth LEAD (Youth Leader’s Engaging Across Differences), formerly Interfaith Action. She works with civic and interfaith groups across the country to give teens the skills they need to communicate respectfully when they are unlikely to agree, then trains teens to facilitate these conversations and organize to address challenges facing their communities. Janet is passionate about creating a youth-led space for sustained, deep dialogue and engagement. She presents regularly at national and international interfaith and leadership conferences and retreats and has over 25 years of experience in non-profit business management.
Kusumita Pedersen is chair of the Department of Religion at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Pedersen has been involved for more than 25 years with the international interfaith movement. Her academic interests include interreligious dialogue and cooperation, global ethics, and human rights.
Previously, executive director of the Project on Religion and Human Rights, a group that provides a forum for study and advocacy, collaborating with academic resources and public policy centers to ensure that religion is included in the promotion of human rights. She has been joint secretary for Religious Affairs of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival and executive director of the Temple of Understanding which is involved with interfaith education and supporting the U.N.
Currently, she is co-chair of the Interfaith Center of New York which seeks to create understanding and respect between the different religious groups that can be found in New York City. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions which hopes to establish harmony and engagement between the world’s religions.
Dr. Pedersen has concentrated for much of her life to promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding and wrote for The World’s Religions After September 11 (2008) which highlights the changes in the relationships between the faiths that are occurring into the 21st century.
C.S. Pearce is an author and writer whose work appears in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post’s On Faith, and other media outlets. She was formerly Director of Media Relations for Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Lincoln University.
Dr. Jennifer Peace is the assistant professor of Interfaith Studies at Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). In addition, she co-directs the Center for Inter-Religious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE), a joint initiative between Hebrew College and ANTS. Having worked as an interfaith organizer for more than 15 years, Dr. Peace was a founding board member of the United Religions Initiative, part of the initial leadership team for the Interfaith Youth Core, and a founding member of the Daughters of Abraham, a book-group model for Muslim, Jewish and Christian woman that has grown into a national movement. Dr. Peace is co-editor of a new collection of interfaith narratives, My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (2012).
Dan Pawlus, vice president of communications at Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), oversees all media efforts, website communications, thought leadership, and branding initiatives. Dan’s been a communicator on several “stages” throughout his career with an eclectic background in the entertainment business that includes professional performing in Broadway tours, theme parks, cruise ships and Wild West stunt shows as well as extensive work in television development and production with award-winning artists and producers. He currently co-hosts "30 Good Minutes," a weekly interfaith talk show, on WTTW 11(PBS) in Chicago. Always involved in the faith world, Dan has been active in music ministries at various churches across the country. His favorite production, however, is his family that includes his wife Leanna, son Luke, and beautiful twin girls.
Charles Randall Paul (PhD, University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought, 2000; M.B.A., Harvard University, 1972) is board chair, founder, and president of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He has lectured widely and written numerous articles on healthy methods for engaging differences in religions and ideologies, and he is currently completing two books: Fighting about God: Why We Do It and How to Do It Better and Converting the Saints: An American Religious Conflict. He is on the board of editors for the International Journal of Decision Ethics. Dr. Paul has also had a professional career in the commercial real estate business, receiving the Phoenix Skyline Award for Excellence in Urban Development. He has been married to his wife Jann for more than forty years, and they have five children.
Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based institution building the global interfaith youth movement. Eboo’s core belief is that religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He has spoken about this vision at places like the TED conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, as well as college and university campuses across the country. He writes regularly for The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Huffington Post. Author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation (2007), he holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes scholar. In 2009 Eboo was named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009.