Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim


Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are the Directors of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. Over the last twenty years, the Forum on Religion and Ecology has been drawing together the research and insights of scholars, theologians, and laity within the world’s religions. They have identified ideas, ethics, and practices regarding ecology and justice from these traditions in books, journals, and films. Now there are environmental statements from the world’s religions, educational programs, and grassroots projects on the ground. 

Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies.  

Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998). Together they are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. In this series she co-edited Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000).

Tucker has been involved with the Earth Charter since its inception. She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and was a member of the Earth Charter International Council. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of Orion Magazinethe Garrison Institute, and Green Belt Movement U.S.

Grim teaches courses in Native American and Indigenous religions and World religions and ecology. He has undertaken field work with the Crow/Apsaalooke people of Montana and Salish people of Washington state. He is the author of The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians (University of Oklahoma Press, 1983) and edited Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community (Harvard, 2001). Grim is co-executive producer of the Emmy award winning film, Journey of the Universe. This film is the center piece of massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by Yale/Coursera.

Felipe Zurita

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Felipe Zurita joined the Golden Rule Project team in March of 2017. Since then, he has shared his talents and passion coordinating all our projects to promote more kindness and empathy in our communities. From project coordination, to graphic design, social media, managing our website and keeping our projects sustainable, Felipe is always trying to bring the Golden Rule to life through his work and life.

He is a native to Chile, who after graduating from college and living around the world, decided to set foot in Salt Lake City, and loves it.

Lauren Zinn

Lauren Zinn is an Interfaith educator, minister, and consultant. Through her custom-designed youth and adult programs, she guides all people in growing spiritually – with, through, or past – religion. She also designs and officiates interfaith ceremonies for special occasions. Her background in business training bolsters her consulting to interfaith and faith-based organizations. She is currently focused on mentoring rookie religious school teachers and functionaries of any tradition in moving from a Sunday School to a Spiritual School experience with their students through her Ten Principles of Responsible Religion. Lauren earned a Ph.D. in Educational Planning, a Masters in Philosophy, and a Certificate in Gaming-Simulation from The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), studied at The Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (Montclair State University, NJ) and is a seminary-ordained Interfaith Minister (All Faiths Seminary, NYC). She is uniquely positioned to shift the paradigm underlying religious education to a spiritual one benefitting all humanity. She is available to speak on her work including her forthcoming book, Responsible Religion: From Sunday School to Spiritual School.

Michael Zimmerman

Michael Zimmerman is the founder and director of The Clergy Letter Project, an international organization of more than 15,500 religious leaders and scientists created to demonstrate that religion and science need not be in conflict. Through The Clergy Letter Project, Zimmerman created Evolution Weekend and has nurtured its expansion around the world. Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for congregations around the globe to elevate the level of discourse about the compatibility of religion and science, thousands of congregations in 20 countries have participated.

Dr. Zimmerman, a biologist, is vice president for Academic Affairs / provost at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is the author of Science, Nonscience, and Nonsense: Approaching Environmental Literacy, published in 1995 by Johns Hopkins University Press. Additionally, he has published scores of scientific papers and hundreds of opinion pieces and book reviews in the popular press. He currently writes for The Huffington Post.

Andre Van Zijl


As an award-winning artist of international merit, Zimbabwean born artist Andre van Zijl’s work has historically been an artistic commentary on socio-political and global culture from a holistic spiritual standpoint. In his ancestral and adopted homeland, South Africa, he was a victim himself of the political secret police, which has deeply motivated him to give voice to those without a voice. Art to him “is a creative sword for peace.” His work from this era challenged the institutionalized inequities between the privileged wealthy few and the exploited dis-empowered masses, structured as a system of government called apartheid – “apart-hate”. This included other forms of oppressive political power that deny challenging art, cross cultural communication, and democratic spiritual growth. Andre’s art was instrumental as a historical voice of progress and change in this tumultuous period and is represented in many important international museums, public and private collections and numerous publications worldwide. Most recently he was published in the 4 volume series – “100 Years of South African Art “ – by Wits University for the South African National Gallery, 2012. 

Andre's most recent one-person exhibition was at the 2015 World Parliament of Religions in USA entitled "I AM: An Archaeology of the Future". This exhibition is ongoing as he continues to add to the tableaux of images illustrating artifacts gathered from a future spiritually based civilization. Currently, the artwork is 10 ft. high and 40 ft. wide. These themes exploring the impact of mystical identity are shared through his ecstatic poetry "Emptied of Myself".
Andre is currently writing a memoir on his spiritual journey. He is a board member of the Southern California Parliament of World Religions (SCCWPR), as well as co-founder, co-director of All Paths Divinity School

Sister Zeph


Likened to a “Malala with a laptop,” Sister Zeph is an award-winning crusader for girls education and digital skills in rural Punjab, Pakistan. At the age of 13, Sister Zeph began going door-to-door to recruit students for her free open-air school in her region, where 52 percent of women were illiterate.  Today she braves threats to her life, and her school, called  Zephaniah Free Education, provides education to hundreds of girls annually, teaching formal education, English, computer skills, business education, and sewing. Zeph attributes much of her success to the use of digital tools – from World Pulse to YouTube – which helped her inspire supporters, share success stories, and fundraise. In 2014 she was the recipient of World Pulse’s Lynn Syms Prize.  In partnership with sculptor and philanthropist Lynn Syms, the prize recognizes an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change.  In 2015 she was also recognized by the Malala Fund, and a major documentary called “Flight of the Falcon“ was made about her life.

Kira Zalan


Kira Zalan is a freelance journalist based in Africa, where she has covered counter-radicalization, peace building, technology and sanctions. Before changing continents, Zalan was an associate editor and then a temp managing editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she oversaw the publication of the weekly feature news magazine The Report. She was also the Washington reporter for, where she covered financial regulation and financial crime. Her freelance work has been published by PRI/GlobalPost, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, The Root, Marie Claire, Redbook, Ms., Rewire, Center for Public Integrity, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Washingtonian and Northern Virginia magazines. Zalan received a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University and one in Russian and post-Soviet studies from the London School of Economics. 

Malcolm Clemens Young

Malcolm Clemens Young is the rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Los Altos (in California’s Silicon Valley) and a founder of Ventana School. He is the author of The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau (2009) and The Invisible Hand in the Wilderness: Economics, Ecology and God (2014). He did his undergraduate work at U.C. Berkeley and has a doctoral degree in theology from Harvard University.

Wai Kit Ow Yeong

Ow Yeong Wai Kit holds a master's degree (with distinction) in the Department of English Language and Literature at University College London (UCL). Born in Singapore, he graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a BA (first-class honours), majoring in English Literature and minoring in Philosophy. He has been president of the NUS Buddhist Society (2010-2011) and vice-president of the campus interfaith group NUS Interfaith (2009-2012). His research interests include modern religious literature, contemporary British and Irish poetry, as well as topics in the philosophy of religion. He is a recipient of the Singapore Ministry of Education Teaching Scholarship and teaches English and Literature at Bukit Batok Secondary School there.

Margaret Wolff

Margaret Wolff is an author, freelance writer, and retreat leader whose work navigates the intersections of spiritual, personal, professional, and societal transformation in women’s lives. Her writing and training use creativity and dialog as vehicles to explore this great adventure and provide the deepened self awareness and skills that bring concrete benefits for the individual, her family, her organization and community, and the world at large. Margaret’s expertise includes interfaith and intergenerational collaboration, change management, values clarification, and peace and reconciliation issues. Retreat topics include: “Conversations That Matter: Dialogue As Transformation & Saving Grace,” “Spirit at Work: Making Your Work & Life Be About What You Value Most,” “Women As Leaders,” “Listening to Your Inner Voice,” and “Learning to Tend & Befriend the Chaos in Our Lives.” Her writing clients run the gamut from blogs, interviews, articles, and stories for Beliefnet,, and Yoga International to, collateral materials, website content, project proposals, and development for the corporate and non-profit sector. She has degrees in Art Therapy, Psychosynthesis, and Leadership and Human Behavior. Contact Margaret at or 760-310-3069.

George Wolfe

George Wolfe is Professor Emeritus at Ball State University where he served as director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies from 2002 to 2006, and Coordinator of Outreach Programs from 2006 to 2014. He is a certified mediator and was trained to conduct interfaith dialogue at All-Faiths Seminary International in New York City where he was ordained an interfaith minister. In 1991, he was awarded an open fellowship from the Eli Lilly Endowment which made possible his first trip to India where he became interested in the nonviolent philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi.

Wolfe received his doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana University. As an educator, he frequently lectures both within and outside the United States on topics related to nonviolence, peace education, academic freedom, and the role of the arts in social activism. He has been a featured speaker in the Hall of Philosophy at Chautauqua Institution and has served as a panelist at the annual International Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado. He has also served on the advisory council of the Toda Institute for Peace, Policy and Global Research, and served as a visiting scholar at Limburg Catholic University in Hasselt, Belgium. In the spring of 2007, he presented peace education workshops in the island nation of Saint Lucia by invitation of the Ministry of Education.

Dr. Wolfe is also a classical saxophonist who held the rank of Professor of Music Performance at Ball State University. He has appeared as a soloist with such ensembles as the Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force, Chautauqua Motet Choir, the U.S. Navy Band Brass Quintet, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and the Saskatoon Symphony. He has also given recitals and master classes throughout the United States, as well as at major conservatories and universities in Europe, Central America, and the Far East.

Hailey Woldt

Hailey Woldt is passionate about helping to improve the world by supporting visionary individuals including entrepreneurs, artists, diplomats, and anyone with a good idea and a good heart. She has a masters degree in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge and a bachelors in international affairs from Georgetown University, and has had a varied career including researching with the Brookings Institution, investing with the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, backpacking in New Zealand, and is currently supporting visionary startups by working with MassChallenge UK. 

Diane Winston

Diane Winston is Religion Dispatches director. She holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and has worked as a reporter for several of the nation’s leading newspapers, including the Baltimore Sun, Dallas Times Herald and The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the author of Red-Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army (1999) and co-editor of Faith in the Market: Religion and the Rise of Urban Commercial Culture (2002). 

JW Windland

JW Windland is a comparative mythologist and founder of the Encounter World Religions Centre, an internationally recognized educational organization designated as a “Gift Of Service To The World” by the Parliament of World Religions. Encounter promotes religious literacy and celebrates religious diversity. It blends academic and experiential learning, focusing on four aspects of religion: people, places, practices, and philosophy. JW has more than forty years experience in the study, teaching, and first-hand encounter of world religions. In addition to an academic background in religious studies, JW has long-term friendships with practitioners, joins in their rituals and introduces thousands of people to the distilled wisdom of diverse communities in the North American mosaic. JW lectures internationally to universities, religious groups, and service and professional organizations.

Birgitta Winberg

Birgitta Winberg was born in 1953, in Stockholm, Sweden and brought up in a working class environment, with no academic tradition. Raised in a suburb of Stockholm, she experienced the calling to the priesthood quite early, at the time of my confirmation, when she was 15 years old. Winberg studied theology at the University of Uppsala and earned a Bachelor of Divinity in 1984. She was ordained a priest in the Stockholm diocese, Church of Sweden in 1985. She felt that her calling was to work with people who were not traditional church people, so she worked her first five years in a multicultural suburb with many problems. After that Winberg was asked by the bishop who ordained her, Professor Krister Stendahl of Harvard University, to become a chaplain at a Stockholm prison. “You are the right person for that,” he said. And he was right. She worked as a prison chaplain for 22 years.

During this time Winberg was involved in international prison chaplaincy work through the International Prison Chaplains Association. She represented Europe for ten years and was the president of the organization for five years. During this time she worked with representatives of different churches and religions, chaired side-events at UN conferences, visited prisons and prison chaplaincy teams all over the world to encourage and equip prison chaplains to work with human rights for inmates. After arranging a world-conference in Stockholm 2010, she was asked by Bishop Eva Brunne in Stockholm to work with interreligious dialogue at the diocese. Since 2010 she's worked at the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue in Stockholm, for the Church of Sweden, and the diocese of Stockholm.

Winberg is single, as so many Swedes are, living in the inner city of Stockholm with her dog Mary.

Audri Scott Williams

Audri Scott Williams is a global trustee for the United Religions Initiative, former dean of Continuing Education and Community Service at Charles County Community College, former U.S. Army Reservist, author, and human rights activist. She is especially known for her 12 years spent walking the world for peace and for the Red Flame of Freedom, a movement dedicated to ending modern forms of slavery. She has been a servant of the people at a grassroots level locally, nationally, and internationally for over three decades, receiving numerous awards for her service to humanity. Recently she declared her intention to be a Democratic candidate for the 2018 elections for Congress in the state of Alabama.

Monica Willard

Monica Willard helped organize the first United Religions Initiative gathering in New York in 1997 and signed the URI Charter in June 2000 at the United Nations garden. She has been at the UN since 1991, representing The Ribbon International and Pathways to Peace before representing URI, starting in 2002. Ms. Willard chaired the annual UN Department of Public Information NGO Conference in 1996. Since 2005, she has worked with member states and UN system agencies to promote interfaith dialogue and cooperation for peace. As URI’s NGO representative to the United Nation, her portfolio includes the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 and the Tripartite Forum, a partnership with member states, UN system agencies, and religious non-government organizations (NGOs) to promote interfaith cooperation for peace. “Representing the URI at the UN affords me the wonderful opportunity to share the work of the URI with member states,” she says.

Janessa Gans Wilder

Janessa Gans Wilder is a former CIA officer turned peacebuilder, social entrepreneur, and nonprofit executive. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Euphrates Institute, an organization that builds peace and understanding about critical Middle East issues. She founded Euphrates after five years at the CIA focused on the Middle East, including serving 21 months in Iraq from 2003-2005. Janessa is a frequent speaker in interfaith, community, government, international, and educational settings. She has written dozens of articles and been interviewed by major news outlets, including CBS, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Democracy Now, and many more.

For over a decade, Janessa has provided the vision and leadership to grow Euphrates Institute into a global network of peacebuilders and changemakers, now comprising 22 Chapters worldwide. She created and leads transformative Travel Study programs to Israel, Palestinian Territories, and Jordan, focused on listening to the ‘Other’. She conceived of the Visionary of the Year program to honor, support, and increase the visibility of groundbreaking changemakers. In the fall of 2015, she organized a coast to coast speaking tour for the year’s visionary, which included speaking at the United Nations on the International Day of Peace, an NPR interview, and a speech to officers of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Previously, Janessa taught political science at her undergraduate alma mater, Principia College, and was a consultant to the State Department. She has a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University and a bachelor’s in International Relations from Principia College.

When not traveling to the Middle East, she enjoys spending time in nature with her family.

“I’ve experienced the impact of healing the divide between Middle East and West through the power of personal relationships. I’m so grateful to be part of a community that understands how timely, imperative, and, indeed–possible, is change in our relations with the Middle East. And that the best way to accomplish this is to begin with ourselves and our perceptions.”

Justin Wilbur

Justin Wilbur is a senior facilitator, project manager, and trainer at Youth LEAD, a leadership program based out of Sharon, Massachusetts that actively puts “youth in the driver’s seat" by putting them in charge of facilitation and management. Through his four years of work with Youth LEAD (formerly Interfaith Action), he has facilitated heated discussions, engaged in community building work, and planned the annual Teenage Interfaith Diversity Conference.

Jim Wiggins

Jim Wiggins, Ph.D., joined Syracuse University’s Department of Religion after completing his graduate work in 1963. He served on virtually all departmental committees, including director of graduate studies in religion (1975-80), and was elected by his colleagues as chair of the Department for five four-year terms (1980-2000). His academic field is Western religion and culture, with interests in the history of Christianity and Christian thought, religious/cultural diversity, death and dying, interpretive theory, mysticism, and narrative and religion. His book Religion as Story appeared in 1975; he is co-author of Foundations of Christianity (1972), Christianity: A Cultural Approach (1987), and In Praise of Religious Diversity (1996). From 1983 until 1992 he served as executive director of the American Academy of Religion. From 2002 until 2010 he was executive director of InterFaith Works of Central New York, a multi-purpose agency with a staff of two dozen. Jim is a trustee of North American Interfaith Network.