The Future of the World's Religions

December 29, 2016
Hosted by Dr. Kurt Johnson, with Ben Bowler, Doug King and our Correspondents

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Episode Description

What happens to the world's religions as we become a global and multi-cultural civilization? Worldwide, traditional boundaries of all kinds are obviously breaking down. In this episode, prominent voices from across the world's religious and spiritual traditions discuss this uncertain future. First, Doug King of Presence.tv and Angie Thurston of Harvard Divinity School discuss the future “trans-narrative” that could eventually emerge from our worldwide mix of thousands of historical traditions. The conversation is then joined by Drs. Andrew Vidich, Darrol Bryant, and Kabir Helminski--prominent interfaith leaders and writers. They assess the possibilities of an emergent global consensus about religion based on shared principles, both in concepts and behavior. Together again, the commentators then discuss current global trends toward religious disaffiliation, emerging interfaith and interspiritual spirituality, and the pervasive yearning today for meaningful and authentic community.

The Convergence

The Convergence

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel

In a world inevitably going global and multicultural, what becomes of religions and spirituality? What becomes of activism towards real global change? In THE CONVERGENCE, global Interspiritual pioneer and scientist Dr. Kurt Johnson joins interfaith leaders Ben Bowler of Australia and Doug King of America in engaging women and men who are inspiring leaders and change agents around our world. Spiritual and cultural leaders, sacred and secular activists, scientists, artists, writers, economists, politicians and even shamans join in this discussion of a world trying to wake up and grow up. What is at stake and what are the technologies and cosmologies creating a world that can work for everyone? If you are concerned for our world's future and sincere about your commitments to bold and world-serving ideas, you'll want to tune in to The Convergence on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel.

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Dr. Kurt Johnson, with Ben Bowler, Doug King and our Correspondents

Dr. Kurt Johnson, with Ben Bowler, Doug King and our Correspondents

Dr. Kurt Johnson is a well-known scientist who is also a founder of the world's Interspiritual Movement. Author of the influential book The Coming Interspiritual Age and two bestselling books in popular science, he joins Australian interfaith leader Ben Bowler and American integral thinker Doug King in welcoming women and men from around the world to discuss change, and the ideas driving change worldwide today.

With expertise in evolutionary science, comparative culture and religion, and even mysticism, Kurt serves on diverse international boards and committees across the world service community. These include The Interspiritual Network, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, Friends of the Institute of Noetic Science, Gaiafield, The Evolutionary Leaders, Forum 21 Institute, The National Ethical Service, Self Care to Earth Care, Community of The Mystic Heart, and the United Nations NGO committees on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns and The International Yoga Day. Ordained in a half dozen spiritual traditions he brings a broad firsthand knowledge of world spirituality.

Ben Bowler founded 1God.com, World Weavers and UDAY. Doug King is a founder of Presence.tv and certified in Spiral Dynamics and integral thought. With Kurt's over two hundred technical publications and books in ecology and evolutionary science they and their global guests weekly bring a profound expertise in the future of religion and spirituality and the spectrum of global change.

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Episode Directory

September 2017

February 2017

January 2017

Patricia Albere


Patricia Albere is at ground zero of an evolutionary stream of spiritual awakening in which we learn to go beyond individual psychology and transformation into a new space of mutual awakening or ‘inter-being. She is the founder and director of the Evolutionary Collective and an internationally known contemporary spiritual teacher and author. Her unique discovery of the essential components that create an awakened ‘we space’ is transforming our understanding of what is possible in the space between us and in creating new fields of higher collective consciousness. She has worked with over 150,000 people in groups in the last 40 years. Her mastery as a transformative teacher is now innovating a new field of ‘inter-subjective awakening’ and post-personal development. http://evolutionarycollective.com/ View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Pato Banton


Minister Pato Banton is also a grammy nominated reggae legend that has recorded & toured the world with The English Beat, Steel Pulse, UB40 & STING! (just to name a few) . During the year 2000, while in the midst of a global trek for Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD organization, that combined huge festivals with outreach to poor & underprivileged communities, Pato learned that two of his sons had been shot in a drive-by shooting. He immediately put his career on hold & turned his sorrow into the impetus for award-winning community & educational initiatives that would consume the next six years of his life & greatly reduce gun crime across his city of Birmingham, UK. Pato's four-decade public presence has increasingly transcended music to convey a positive & often spiritual message. Now based in Southern California, he continues to tour extensively while simultaneously serving as a Mentor & Minister to his fans & Spiritual Family worldwide. To learn more go to: www.ministerpatobanton.com View Guest page

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Catherine Bell


Catherine Bell is author of the influential business book The Awakened Company. A best seller one week after its release, it won the Nautilus Book Award in leadership and business, chosen as 8 of The Best Leadership Books of 2015. She now consults extensively on The Awakened Company and it applications. She has worked worldwide with Fortune 500 companies and is devoted to helping entrepreneurs grow their organizations. Catherine co-founded BluEra, an executive search and team transformation company that was recently on the Profit 500 list two years in a row. The company was recently purchased (September 2016) by the largest search firm in the world, DHR. At DHR, she leads select senior executive searches. Catherine has an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, a sociology degree from Western University, is certified in the Enneagram, is a yoga instructor, and is an avid community volunteer, she most recently sat on the Board of the Distress Centre. View Guest page

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Cynthia Bourgeault


Mystic, Episcopal priest, and internationally-known retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach & spread the recovery of the Christian Wisdom path. She has worked closely with colleagues including Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, & Richard Rohr and actively participated in inter-spiritual dialogues & events with luminaries such as A.H. Almaas, Kabir Helminski, Swami Atmarupananda, and Rami Shapiro. She is a member of the Global Peace Initiative for Women, Contemplative Council and Shalem Institute. A founder of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School, she is a core faculty member at The Living School for Action & Contemplation. She is the author of 9 books, including The Wisdom Jesus, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, & the just-released The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory & Practice. Website: https://wisdomwayofknowing.org View Guest page

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Hana Bowers


Hana has always been a spiritual seeker, lover of yoga and all things mystical. She has traveled to and lived in many foreign countries and has always been looking to understand God more through these new contexts. She currently resides in Melbourne, Australia working predominantly in the field of spiritual immersion tourism and developing her bhakti yoga practice. View Guest page

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Ben Bowler


Ben Bowler is a serial entrepreneur with a background in sales and marketing. In 2006 he and his wife Jildou moved to Thailand to volunteer along the Thai-Burma border. In 2008 together they founded Blood Foundation, a NGO focusing on education projects. In 2008 Ben founded Monk for a Month in Chiang Mai offering men and women the opportunity to experience Thai temple life and temporary ordination. In 2010 Ben launched Muslim for a Month in Turkey offering guests first-hand experience of Turkish Islam and Sufism, underneath the spiritually inclusive banner of Rumi. In 2011 Ben launched World Weavers, offering spiritual immersion programs in Tibetan India, Nepal, Cambodia and Ethiopia. In October 2015 at the Parliament of World' Religions Ben launched 1GOD.com, an online platform aimed at countering religious fundamentalism, relativism and western materialism. Ben is a Social-Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the prestigious INSEAD business School and a blogger for the Huffington Post View Guest page

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Gregg Braden


Best-selling author Gregg Braden is internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging science and spirituality. Following a successful career as a computer geologist and systems designer, for more than 25 years Gregg has searched high mountain villages, remote monasteries, and forgotten texts to uncover their timeless wisdom. His work has led to such paradigm-shattering books as The Isaiah Effect, The God Code, The Divine Matrix, Fractal Time: The Secret of 2012 and a New World Age and Deep Truth: Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny and Fate. Gregg’s work is now published in 18 languages and 30 countries and shows us beyond any reasonable doubt that the key to our future lies in the wisdom of our past. http://www.greggbraden.com/ View Guest page

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Elena Brower


Elena Brower is a renowned yoga teacher and speaker. Influenced by several yoga traditions including Katonah Yoga, Para Yoga, and Kundalini Yoga, she is recognized worldwide for her expertise in combining physical alignment and the art of attention. Elena has been offering these practices as a vehicle for approaching our world with realistic reverence and gratitude. She is the author of Art of Attention, a yoga workbook now translated into five languages and the creator of teach.yoga, a virtual home for yoga teachers worldwide. Elena is also an executive producer of On Meditation: Documenting the Inner Journey, a film that intimately explores meditation experiences, screened on international flights and National Public Television. She's contributed to the Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Origin, Mantra, and features in Yoga Journal, the New York Times and on major TV networks. Experience Elena's filmed practices on YogaGlo, and her Audio Meditations on elenabrower.com/meditation. View Guest page

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Dr. M. Darrol Bryant


Dr. M. Darrol Bryant is the Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Spirituality in the World Religions. Educated at Concordia College, Harvard Divinity School and the University of St. Michael’s College (Toronto), he has edited/authored more than 25 volumes including Religion in a New Key and Muslim Christian Dialogue. He has been involved in interfaith dialogue since the mid-1970s. A sabbatical with his family in India transformed his approach to the religious pathways of Hinduism, Islam, Tibetan Buddhism, and the Sikh traditions, and travels in China changed his approach to Confucian, Daoist and Chinese Buddhist Ways. The dialogue of the intercultural and interreligious world remains his passion. He received the Huston Smith Interfaith Educator of the Year Award in 2011. In recent years he he has guided many inter-religious tours to sacred areas around the world, particularly India, and now also works with the World Weavers.com program affiliated with The Convergence series. View Guest page

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Vera de Chalambert


Vera de Chalambert, MTS, is a mindfulness facilitator, spiritual storyteller and Harvard educated scholar of comparative religion. She speaks and writes about spiritual culture, mindfulness in the modern world and the Divine Feminine and is a speaker at SAND Science and Nonduality Conference in the US and Europe. Vera holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and has mined for her soul at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and Jason Shulman's Institute for Nondual Healing and Awakening. Her work explores the meeting place of creativity, psychology and spirituality and is informed by insights from both Eastern and Western philosophies. She is deeply influenced by Buddhist and Kabalistic lineages and is a lover of the world’s great wisdom traditions. She recognizes the intricate process of healing and awakening, unfolding for so many around the planet at this time, and offers healing sessions and spiritual direction via Skype and phone.www.healingawakening.comPr View Guest page

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Deepak Chopra


A world renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, Deepak Chopra MD is the founder of the Chopra Foundation, cofounder of Jiyo.com and the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as "one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”
Chopra is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, Health Sciences, Researcher, Neurology and Psychiatry, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Executive Management at Northwestern, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine.”
With more than 85 books, including numerous New York Times Bestsellers, his most recent book with Dr. Menas Kafatos, is You Are The Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters. Learn more at: http://www.discoveringyourcosmicself.com/ View Guest page

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Dr. Richard Clugston


Dr. Rick Clugston directs the Sustainability and Global affairs programs at the Center for Earth Ethics, and is the Co-director of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future. He previously directed Earth Charter USA and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment focusing on ethics, spiritual values and sustainable development. Rick is also a co-founder of the Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership, and has worked extensively with United Nations agencies and commissions. Rick has taught and published on human development, strategic planning, educational reform, and most recently on environmental ethics, spirituality and sustainability. View Guest page

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Jeff Vander Clute


Jeff Vander Clute is a facilitator of awakening to the direct experience of Unity and the ultimate foundation of one's essential nature. He supports individuals, businesses, and whole organizational ecosystems on their journeys of development and transformation, helping each uniquely to operate from a place of inspired AWAKENESS. Jeff has founded and worked with a range of organizations, from technology startups to social enterprises and nonprofits building movements for Peace. In 2013, he co-founded Sourcing The Way, a coaching and consulting company from the awakened future. Jeff is also an inventor of consciousness technologies and an Evolutionary Leader committed to realizing global enlightenment and a healed Earth in this lifetime View Guest page

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Stephen Dinan


Stephen Dinan is the founder and CEO of The Shift Network and a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and Evolutionary Leaders. He is recently the author of the bestseller Sacred America, Sacred World. The Shift Network was founded in 2010 and has served over 700,000 people worldwide, with customers in 150 countries. It delivers virtual summits, courses, and trainings featuring over 50 core faculty and 1,000 thought leaders in domains as diverse as spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, shamanism, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability. View Guest page

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Rev. Michael Dowd


The Reverend Michael Dowd is a veteran sustainability activist and big history / big integrity evangelist. An enthusiastic and outspoken religious naturalist, he is the author of the bestselling bridge-building book, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, endorsed by 6 Nobel Prize winners and science luminaries, including noted skeptics and atheists, and by religious leaders across the spectrum. Michael and his wife, Connie Barlow, an acclaimed science writer and gifted evolutionary educator, permanently travel North America spreading this holistic message. Celebrated by liberals and conservatives alike, Michael shares “The Great Story” — humanity’s common creation story — in ways that uplift and expand heart, mind, and soul. His passion is showing how a sacred view of death, human nature, and the trajectory of big history can inspire and empower each of us to live with greater integrity, joy, and zest for life. View Guest page

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Duane Elgin


Duane Elgin is an internationally recognized author and speaker regarding our planetary transition. My books include: The Living Universe, Voluntary Simplicity, Promise Ahead, and Awakening Earth. With Joseph Campbell and other scholars, he co-authored Changing Images of Man. He has done numerous studies of the long-range future since the early 1970s—first while working as a social scientist on a Presidential Commission on the American Future, and then with the futures group in the think-tank, SRI International. He received the Peace Prize of Japan, the Goi Award, in Tokyo in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to a global “vision, consciousness, and lifestyle” that fosters a “more sustainable and spiritual culture.” Duane is the Executive Director of a project bringing together more than a dozen “Great Transition Stories” that offer new ways of understanding our time of profound global change. http://duaneelgin.com/ View Guest page

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Steve Farrell


Steve Farrell is Worldwide Executive Director for Humanity's Team, a global grassroots movement focused on awakening and embodying Oneness so humanity may enjoy a sustainable world of peace, harmony and happiness. Humanity’s Team has over 500,000 friends in over 150 countries. It currently co-sponsors the global Conscious Business Declaration. It also founded Global Oneness Day, a day it created following its visit to the United Nations in May 2010; a Oneness Declaration; a year-round Living in Oneness summit; an annual Spiritual Leadership Award; a Conscious Business Declaration, Conscious Business Practitioner Training & Certification, Community Circle, prayer and meditation programs; and service projects focused on helping people and the environment. Previously, Steve co-founded two high growth technology companies based in Silicon Valley that were featured in the INC 500. He was an officer in the Young Entrepreneurs' Organization and Young President's Organization. View Guest page

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Karenna Gore


Karenna Gore is Director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Well known for her worldwide appearances supporting environmental, climate, and social justice issues, she is credited by many with significantly furthering the message her father Al Gore's Nobel Prize winning work in support of environmental and climate health. In this regard the Center for Earth Ethics sponsors programs in eco-ministry, sustainability and global affairs, and The Original Caretaker's Initiative with indigenous peoples. She received an M.A. in Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, a J.D. From Columbia Law School and a B.A. from Harvard University. She previously worked as a lawyer and as Director of Community Affairs for the Association to Benefit Children. She is the author of Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America. She lives in New York City with her three children. View Guest page

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Antoinette Hall


Antoinette "Rootsdawtah" Hall is a world renowned keyboardist in the Reggae Industry. She became involved in the Spiritual Community after working with Pato Banton and joining on his Mission of spreading the Good News that "we're all God's Children, brothers & sisters". Since then she has become very proactive in Global Outreach Ministry, which includes The Urantia Movement, U-Day Thailand, Parliament of the World's Religions, 1GOD.com, Harvard Divinity School & most recently, a presentation for the Convergence Gathering at the United Nations Chapel in New York. Antoinette's Facebook spiritual communities also include, MinisterPatoBanton, Urantia Aspirations, Ministers For Christ Michael, Urantia 101 for New Readers, and COEXIST! Her present musical works include the "Thoughts of Paradise" Meditation CD, "The Words Of Christ" & the "Joyful and Happy" soundtrack which is featured in the spiritually motivated documentary called "Return to Happiness”. View Guest page

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Philip H. Hellmich


Philip M. Hellmich, author of God and Conflict, is a thought leader creating a new narrative of peace, from inner peace to international peace-building. As the Director of Peace at The Shift Network, Philip is the chief architect of the Summer of Peace, Yoga Day Summit and World Peace Library – online global forums that seek to inspire, inform and involve people in the many ways that peace is emerging around the world. He also is the co-lead faculty of the Peace Ambassador Training. Summer of Peace: an annual event with free online educational summits featuring leading peace-builders from around the world. The Summer of Peace culminates on and builds supports for the annual United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21. Philip appears in peace events and initiatives around the world, representing The Shift Network's substantial work. He recently co-authored a chapter on peace-building for a Peace Studies volume co-authored with The Convergence host Dr. Kurt Johnson. View Guest page

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Dr. Kabir Helminski


Dr. Kabir Helminski is a renowned translator of the works of Rumi and others; a Shaikh of the Mevlevi Order, which traces back to Jalaluddin Rumi; co-director of The Threshold Society (Sufism.org); and a Director of the Baraka Institute (Barakainstitute.org). His books on spirituality, Living Presence and The Knowing Heart, have been published in at least eight languages. Among his recent publications are The Book of Language: Exploring the Spiritual Vocabulary of the Qur’an and Love’s Ripening: Rumi on the Heart’s Journey. In 2009 Kabir was named as one of the 500 most influential Muslims. He has toured as Shaikh with the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey. In 2001 he was the first Muslim to deliver the prestigious Wit Lectures on spirituality at Harvard Divinity School. Kabir has worked closely with the interfaith and interspiritual movements, co-founding Spiritual Paths Foundation with Fr. Thomas Keating, who worked closely with founding The Interspiritual Network. Web: www.sufism.org View Guest page

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Emily Hine


Emily Hine is the CEO of HineSight Consulting, and is the founder and host of The Global Compassion Summit. She is also an inspirational writer and speaker. After 911, Emily quit her job at Microsoft in order to commit her life to expanding peace and compassion in the world. Shortly thereafter, she served on the Executive Team for Seeds of Compassion, a global event with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu that brought 150,000 people together. She then became the Chief of Peace for The Shift Network and co-designed our first Peace Ambassador Training with James O’Dea. Emily now serves on faculty for The Shift Network Peace Education Programs. http://emilyhine.com/ View Guest page

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Myra Jackson


Electrical Engineer, Organizational Development Professional and Founding member of the Gaiafield Project, Myra Jackson holds the title of Diplomat of the Biosphere awarded by Stockholm Resilience Centre, SRC. Her primary work is focused on climate change, the Planetary Commons, Culture of Peace initiatives and public policy affecting the wellness of people and planet. Linking local and global policy-making, she is Senior Advisor, Whole Earth Civics, Geoversiv Foundation. In her role as, UN Representative in New York and Geneva, Myra serves as the focal point on climate change for the Commons Cluster of NGOs. She recently facilitated Oprah Winfrey’s Belief series initiative as an official program of the United Nations hosted by the President of the 70th General Assembly in October 2015. View Guest page

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Dr. Kurt Johnson


Dr. Kurt Johnson, Convergence Radio Host and a commentator on this Peace Episode, is author of the influential book The Coming Interspiritual Age and a founder of The Interspiritual Network and Unity Earth. Involved in the interface of spirituality, science and activism for over forty years, he is a former monastic, retired from a professional career in evolutionary biology and a professor of comparative religion, associated respectively with the American Museum of Natural History and the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City. In science he is the author of two award-winning books, Nabokov's Blues (McGraw-Hill) and Fine Lines (Yale) and over two hundred refereed journal articles. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders, serves on two major United Nations committees, as President of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the Gaiafield subtle activism Council and also writes regularly on integral theory and policy subjects like peace and sustainability. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Kurt Johnson


Dr. Kurt Johnson, our host, is well known internationally as a scientist, comparative religionist, activist and former monastic. Active in spirituality and professional science for over 40 years, his influential book The Coming Interspiritual Age appeared in 2013. As a Christian monk he founded (with Br. Wayne Teasdale) what has become the Interspiritual Network (www.interspirituality.com) a major hub for global inter-religious and inter-cultural discussion. Serving on several committees at the United Nations, Kurt also works with the international Contemplative Alliance and Integral communities. In science Kurt’s PhD is in evolution, ecology, systematics and comparative biology. Associated with the American Museum of Natural History for 30 years, he published over 200 articles on evolution and ecology, the bestselling books Nabokov’s Blues (2000) and Fine Lines (2015) and chapters in The New UN Development Agenda. He is also known as a biographer of famed novelist Vladimir Nabokov. View Guest page

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Karuna


Karuna is well known internationally as a teacher of Kundalini Yoga and as yoga spokesperson for Patheos.com, the Website for the Future of Faith. Along with her background as an Associate Level Trainer in the Aquarian Trainer Academy of Kundalini Yoga (KRI), Karuna is an ordained “Wisdom Keeper” in this, and medicine traditions of the Lakota, a spiritual guide for the Sacred Feminine and a frequent guest teacher and speaker for The Interspiritual Network, Self Care to Earth Care, and Forum 21 Institute. Earlier, as a major fashion model and actress, Karuna, a graduate of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, brought yoga to that community as founder of the Life Center in London. From her Hacienda de Guru Ram Das outside Boulder CO, Karuna has founded teacher training programs in India, regularly hosts great voices like Snatam Kaur, Mirabai Ceiba, and Guru Ganesha, and teaches Conscious Child Yoga and mentoring programs for young models and actors. See www.lightonkundalini.com View Guest page

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Father Thomas Keating


Celebrated internationally as an historic contemplative voice, Fr. Thomas Keating has been a Trappist monk and priest for over 70 years. He is one of the architects of the Centering Prayer movement and, as well, a co-founder of Contemplative Outreach, past president of the Temple of Understanding and of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. He is the author of over 30 books, one of which, Open Mind, Open Heart, has sold over half a million copies and has been translated into 10 languages. For years he has given intimate support to the Interspiritual Movement by hosting its leaders annually at St. Benedict Abbey in Colorado to discuss the future of the movement and its strategies. Central to the word's interfaith and interspiritual movements for many year, Fr. Keating mentored the influential book The Common Heart in which were stated the historic Nine Points of Agreement across the world's religions. He was recently subject of a major feature film The Rising Tide of Silence. View Guest page

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Loch Kelly


Loch Kelly, M Div, LCSW, is the founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. He is an author, meditation teacher, educator and licensed psychotherapist. His current bestselling book, Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness, has been named Top 10 Best Books of the Year by Spirituality & Health Magazine and Spirituality and Practice. A graduate of Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, Loch was awarded a fellowship to study forms of non-dual meditation in Sri Lanka India and Nepal from 1981-1982 and has since delved into a variety of disciplines under teachers from around the world. He studied Buddhism with Professor Lily de Silva at the University of Kandy, Sri Lanka, Insight Meditation with Godwin Samararatne and at the Theravada monasteries, Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Meditation with Fr. Bede Griffiths and Anthony de Mello, Advaita at Sri Ramana Ashram, and Dzogchen and Sutra Mahamudra with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche in Nepal. View Guest page

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Doug King


Doug King was born in Charleston W. Va. and grew up in NE Ohio. (Go Buckeyes!) He graduated with a dual degree in Theology and Biblical Languages in 1973. He worked with his father, author, scholar and speaker Max King, to eventually form Presence International. Doug has a background in business, being founder and CEO of a technology company in Atlanta, Ga. for 20 years. Since 2010, Doug has been the president of Presence, leading this growing network to engage emergent, integral, and interspiritual organizations and idea leaders in shared goals for the common good. Doug also serves on the Advisory Board for Forum 21, a United Nations NGO. Doug lives with his wife, Denée, in Dacula, Georgia. View Guest page

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Rev. Ken Kitatani


Rev. Ken Kitatani is an ordained clergyperson in The Sukyo Mahikari Centers for Spiritiual Development and a well known cultural and environmental activist. He currently serves as the president of the Forum 21 Institute (www.forum21.co), a public forum for NGO's at the United Nations particularly concerned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. He also is the USA representative of Women In Need International, an NGO that advocates for gender equality and sustainability, and an adviser to the Happiness Alliance that promotes Gross National Happiness (GNH). In Sukyo Mahikari Centers for Spiritual Development, Ken currently serves as the division chief of the international affairs department of the world headquarters in Japan. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in East Asian Studies. View Guest page

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Yanni Maniates


Yanni Maniates is currently the North American Director of the India Mystic Express Journeys and the UDAY Interspiritual Music Festivals as well as the 1God.com Interspiritual Online Education Program. Also, he is Director of Eco-Ministry, Forum 21; event coordinator, The Interspiritual Network; and editor, “Steering Toward the Omega Point: Roundtables 2 and 3: Discussions of Altruism, Evolution, and Spirituality.” In the 80’s he was the Director of an organization that hosted many major international, interfaith, ecumenical conferences. Also, he was the Director of a medium sized publishing company in NYC. As well, he has been teaching Meditation, Intuitive Development and Hermetic and Perennial Wisdom teachings for nearly 30 years. The primary focus of his work has been to help people experience the still, small voice within or as he prefers to call it: The Embrace. He is the author of six books on Meditation and Intuition and three Meditation CD's; see www.insideoutjourneys.com View Guest page

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Brian McLaren


Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and networker among innovative faith leaders. His dozen-plus books include A New Kind of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy, Naked Spirituality, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?, We Make the Road by Walking, and The Great Spiritual Migration. He is a senior fellow with Auburn Seminary, and a board member and leader in Convergence Network, Center for Progressive Renewal, and Wild Goose Festival. He and his wife, Grace, live in Florida and have four adult children and five grandchildren. Well known across the media, Brian has contributed to many periodicals, including Leadership, Sojourners, Worship Leader, Tikkun, Conversations, Christian Century, Christianity Today and The Washington Post. Time listed him among twenty-five influential Christian leaders in America. He has appeared in a variety of national media, including CNN, ABC, FOX News, PBS, NPR, and The New York Times. Website: www.brianmclaren.net View Guest page

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Deborah Moldow


Rev. Deborah Moldow is an ordained interfaith minister committed to assisting in the transformation of human consciousness. She is the Representative to the United Nations of the World Peace Prayer Society, which promotes the universal prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” At the UN, she co-chairs the International Day of Peace NGO Committee and facilitates the United Religions Initiative multi-faith cooperation circle. Deborah is Co-Director of the Evolutionary Leaders circle project of the Source of Synergy Foundation. Rev. Deborah also leads monthly Interfaith Sundays at the Chapel at Croton Falls, NY. Her newest project, the Garden of Light, provides an online platform for the emerging global spirituality. http://www.revdeborah.com/; http://www.gardenoflight.org/; http://www.worldpeace.org/; http://www.evolutionaryleaders.net; http://www.sourceofsynergyfoundation.org; http://www.chapelatcrotonfalls.org; View Guest page

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Mike Morrell


Mike Morrell is the Communications Director for the Integral Theology think-tank Presence International, contributing author with Richard Rohr of 'The Divine Dance,' co-founder of The Buzz Seminar, and a founding organizer of the Wild Goose Festival. Access Presence's 7-part Integral Theology video series: http://presence.tv/free-downloads. Mike curates his contemplative and community experiences via Relational Yoga, the ManKind Project, (H) Opp and Authentic North Carolina, taking joy in holding space for the extraordinary transformation that can take place at the intersection of anticipation, imagination, and radical acceptance. Mike is also an avid writer, publishing consultant, author coach, futurist, and curator of the book-reviewing community at TheSpeakeasy.info. He lives with his wife and two daughters in North Carolina. You can read Mike’s ongoing exploration of Spirit, Culture, and Permaculture – and receive exclusive updates – here: http://mikemorrell.org/bonuschapter View Guest page

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Mindahi Bastida Munoz


Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz is the General Coordinator of the Otomi-Hñahñu Regional Council in Mexico, a caretaker of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi people, and has been an Otomi Ritual Ceremony Officer since 1988. Born in Tultepec, Mexico, he holds a doctorate of rural development from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and is the President of the Mexico Council of Sustainable Development. Bastida Muñoz is a member of the steering committee of the Indigenous Peoples' Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative, and has served as a delegate to several commissions and summits on indigenous rights and the environment. He has written extensively on the relationship between the State and Indigenous Peoples, intercultural education, collective intellectual property rights and associated traditional knowledge, among other topics. View Guest page

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Dr. David Nicol


Dr. David Nicol is the author of the ground-breaking book Subtle Activism which explores the profound connection of subtler realms of reality, as known from ancient and indigenous wisdom traditions and modern science's comprehension of our quantum reality. As a pioneer in this compelling area of human inquiry David has joined others and led in the founding of the Gaiafield Project (www.gaiafield.net) and Subtle Activism Institute (www.subtleactivism.net). Most recently, David and Gaiafield have been deeply engaged in the pivotal questions of the current political and sociological scene, in their WISE-USA leadership campaign throughout the recent election cycle. In collaboration with other leading organizations, David and his networks convene regular public subtle activism programs intended to support greater peace, sustainability, and social justice in our world. David also teaches philosophy, cosmology, and consciousness studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. View Guest page

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James O'Dea


James O’Dea is the author of The Conscious Activist: Where Activism Meets Mysticism which won the COVR Conscious Living Book Award. He is the former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and served as Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of Amnesty International and CEO of the Seva Foundation. O’Dea is also a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Group and an Honorary Fellow of the Laszlo New Paradigm Institute in Italy. James also serves on the Advisory Board of The Peace Alliance and KOSMOS Journal. He is a well-known figure in international social healing and a regular contributor to various blogsites and news outlets. He co-authored and co-led the Social Healing Project and Report with Dr. Judith Thompson. It explores key facets of healing amidst violence and conflict in places such as Rwanda, N. Ireland, Israel/Palestine and to the U.S. to address racial and indigenous healing, and to co-host processes towards understanding and transformation. View Guest page

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Ras I Ray


Legendary reggae musician, former bass player for the Easy Star All Stars and founder of the Until That Day movement". Renard Jude Shy, Sr., known by most as “Ras I Ray”, was born in New Orleans to a musical family. He rose to fame through the Easy Star All Stars who, in 2008, released an original EP entitled Until That Day, a song written by Ras I Ray. This song became an international hit, as well generating a viral international catch-phrase Until that Day. Soon after, Ras I Ray dedicated his work entirely to the Until That Day mission. It is a global vision to spread through music, public speaking and other educational and artistic arenas worldwide, to remind humanity that by simply remembering what That Day means we are bringing That Day closer to becoming a reality. View Guest page

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Etoy Ridgnal


Etoy Ridgnal is President of Community Advocacy Partners, a social impact firm that builds cross-sector partnerships between entertainment companies, philanthropy, governmental agencies and communities to achieve large-scale impact. A 20-year history as a respected strategist, she has led campaigns around such projects as “CONCUSSION”,Sony Pictures Entertainment, “BELIEF”, VP/OWN:Oprah Winfrey Network, “SELMA”, VP/Paramount Pictures, the Democratic National Committee, American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations,(AFL-CIO), NY State Working Families Party and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to name a few. She brokered partnerships between key artists, international organizations; media and film personalities. View Guest page

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Brandan Robertson


Brandan Robertson is a spiritual thought-leader, contemplative activist and commentator at the intersections of spirituality, sexuality, and social renewal. He is author of Nomad: A Spirituality For Travelling Light and writes regularly for Patheos, Beliefnet, and The Huffington Post. He has published at TIME, NBC, Washington Post, Religion News Service, and Dallas Morning News. A sought out commentator, he regularly contributes to media outlets. Interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, SiriusXM, TIME, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Associated Press, he is one of “the most hope-inspiring young Christian leaders”, speaking to diverse audiences, from Oxford University to speaking at the White House. He is founder and director of Nomad Partnerships, a non-profit working to empower faith leaders around the world to be fierce advocates for human rights. He served as the immediate past national spokesperson of Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Website: www.brandanrobertson.com View Guest page

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Kabir Sehgal


Kabir Sehgal is an American author, composer, producer, navy officer, military veteran, investment banker, and financial executive. He works in corporate strategy at First Data Corporation, a global payments technology firm, which completed the largest IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of five books including A Bucket of Blessings and Coined. He has also won two Grammy Awards and a Latin Grammy Award as a record producer. He was previously a vice president at JPMorgan Chase. He is co-author with Deepak Chopra of a book entitled Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome: Poems & Songs Inspired by American Immigrants. Sehgal is a composer, librettist, and musician who wrote an opera on the European financial crisis. He co-founded an arts non-profit organization that merged with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. He received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. View Guest page

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Oscar Miro-Quesada Solevo


Oscar Miro-Quesada Solevo is a respected kamasqa curandero and altomisayoq adept from Peru, visionary founder of The Heart of the Healer (THOTH), originator of Pachakuti Mesa Tradition cross-cultural shamanism, and co-author of Lessons in Courage: Peruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday Life (with Bonnie Glass-Coffin). An internationally-acclaimed shamanic teacher, healer and Earth honoring ritualist, don Oscar is an OAS Fellow in Ethnopsychology, UN Invited Observer to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and member of the Birth 2012 Welcoming Committee and the Evolutionary Leaders Circle. He has been guiding ethnospiritual apprenticeship expeditions to sacred sites of the world since 1986, with special emphasis on Peru and Bolivia. He is a popular faculty member at The Shift Network and educational centers around the world, dedicating his life to the revitalization of aboriginal wisdom traditions as a means of restoring sacred trust between humankind and the natural world. View Guest page

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David Spangler


David Spangler is a renowned voice across the global contemplative and metaphysical community. A spiritual teacher (and "practical mystic" as he has called himself) since 1965, he was a founder, and then co-director (1970-1973) of the celebrated Findhorn Foundation community in northern Scotland. He is also credited as a co-founder of the Lindesfarne Association, whose Lindesfarne Fellows included some of the most seminal cultural thinkers of our time. A co-founder of the Lorian Association, he currently works as director of its Center for Incarnational Spirituality. He is the author of numerous books, among them the celebrated book Revelation, The Birth of a New Age and, most recently, Apprenticed to Spirit. He emphasizes a practical or incarnational spirituality in which our everyday lives can be experienced as spiritual or sacred, as opposed to a spirituality concerned solely with the transpersonal and transcendent. He is a happily married father of four. www.lorian.org View Guest page

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Luisah Teish


Luisah Teish is a writer, performer, speaker, and artist, author of several books, most notably Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals, a woman’s spirituality classic. She has contributed to 25 anthologies and is referenced in 90 works by various authors. A storyteller drawing materials from the myths and folklore of the African diaspora, she uses guided imagery to engage audiences at conferences, workshops, and in ritual theater. Yeye, as she is known, is an initiated elder in the Ifa/Orisha tradition. Holding a chief’s title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria, she is a co-founder of the Overground Railroad (with Harriet Tubman Wright and Julia Stege) dedicated to eradication of slavery, restorative justice, and liberation of the human spirit. She teaches transformational mythology, spirituality, and life guidance for the Shift Network, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and Balade Black Productions. www.yeyeteish.com View Guest page

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Angie Thurston


Angie Thurston is working to deepen spiritual community amidst increasing religious disaffiliation. A graduate of Brown University, she is a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and an On Being Fellow. She is the co-author, with Casper ter Kuile, of How We Gather and Something More, two reports profiling new ways that Americans are congregating. Angie is a leader in the international fellowship of Urantia Book readers. She began chairing semiannual spiritual gatherings for young adults in 2010 and is dedicated to connecting and supporting young community leaders nationwide. Website: www.angiethurston.com View Guest page

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Rick Ulfik


Rick Ulfik is Founder of We, The World and the WE Campaign at WE.net, a global coalition-building group that unites and amplifies the efforts of people, organizations and movements working for the common good. Rick is the Co-Creator of the annual 11 Days of Global Unity - 11 Ways to Change the World ending on Sept 21st the UN International Day of Peace. 11 Days is a global platform for peace, justice, sustainability and transformation that annually includes as many as 700 associated events in over 60 countries. Participants include Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, Eve Ensler, Bill McKibben, Marianne Williamson, Robert Thurman, Riane Eisler, Tavis Smiley, many others. Rick is also a Nonviolent Communication Workshop Facilitator and leader. He is an award-winning composer and keyboard player writing music for ABC TV, NBC, CBS, radio, the Olympics, films, has performed with Queen Latifah, Phoebe Snow, Carlos Santana, Judy Collins. He serves every year as an Emmy Awards Judge. View Guest page

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Dr. Andrew Vidich


Dr. Andrew Vidich is an award winning author, consultant and international speaker in the fields of meditation, mysticism, and leadership. He holds a doctorate in Religion with a specialization in the transformational methods within different religious traditions, and a specialization in Islamic Sufism. His most recent book Light Upon Light: Five Master Paths to Awaken the Mindful Self won the best book award in the category of Eastern Religion by USA Book News. He also co-authored The Heart of the Healer, and The Heart of Healing, two anthologies of writings including chapters by Norman Cousins, Richard Moss, and Bernie Siegel, Deepak Chopra, and Andrew Weill along with several books on modern mysticism and healing, among them Love Is A Secret: The Mystic Quest for Divine Love. Dr. Vidich was an adjunct professor of Religion at Manhattan and Iona colleges and taught courses in Meditation, Islamic Studies, Religion and Death and Dying. He can be reached at avidichkirpal@gmail.com View Guest page

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Claudia Welss


Claudia Welss’s belief that social change requires personal transformation guided her to leave her work with corporations at the University of California to focus on the nexus of consciousness, technology, and human-Earth energetics. Her board and advisor roles include the Institute of Noetic Sciences, IONS Innovation Lab, Global Coherence Initiative, Gaiafield Project, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, and Amplifield. She’s cofounder and Chair of Invest in Yourself at Nexus Global Youth Summit and Network, with the education council for Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI) and Evolutionary Leaders. She created NextNow Collaboratory, which Thomas Malone of MIT Center for Collective Intelligence called, a “new kind of collective intelligence.” Previously, she was director of UC Berkeley Haas School of Business’s Center for Executive Development, building and delivering strategic learning programs for corporations and innovating sustainability content. http://noetic.org/ View Guest page

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Ken Wilber


Ken Wilber is one of the most important philosophers in the world, the most widely translated academic writer in America (with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages), widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive philosophical thinker of our times. From academic philosophers to silicon valley entrepreneurs and futurists, exposure to Wilber's comprehensive worldviews changes lives and world directions. Wilber is especially relevant because he is the originator of the first truly comprehensive or integrative philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”. Incorporating cultural studies, anthropology, systems theory, developmental psychology, biology, and spirituality, it has been applied in fields as diverse as ecology, sustainability, psychotherapy, psychiatry, education, business, medicine, politics, sports, and art. A coherent organization, coordination and harmonization of all these arenas, Ken's visionary work can be explored at www.kenwilber.com and www.integrallife.com View Guest page

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Diane Williams


Diane Williams is the Founder and President of The Source of Synergy Foundation (SOSF), an organization committed to consciously synergizing individuals, organizations and efforts by tapping into the infinite source of the collective potential to serve as a positive force for global transformation. She serves as Co-Director of the Evolutionary Leaders: In Service to Conscious Evolution, a project of SOSF. Diane also served as first Chairperson of the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns (CSVGC) at the United Nations in New York. http://www.evolutionaryleaders.net; http://www.sourceofsynergyfoundation.org; http://csvgc-ny.org/ View Guest page

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Dr. David Sloan Wilson


Dr. David Sloan Wilson is the author of Does Altruism Exist? Culture Genes and the Welfare of Others (in Yale/Templeton's series on The Foundational Questions in Science) and Darwin’s Cathedral. He is co-founder of Evolution Institute (www.evolution-institute.org), the Prosocial Movement, Prosocial Magazine, and the Altruism Channel at YouTube. He is Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at State University of New York and Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo, Norway. He applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, both in his own research and as director of EvoS, a campus-wide evolutionary studies program that recently received NSF funding to expand into a nationwide consortium. His books also include Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives, and The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time. View Guest page

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Tim Wise


Named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, Tim Wise is one of America’s most prolific public intellectuals. His critically acclaimed books, high-profile media interviews, and year-round speaking schedule have established him as an invaluable voice in any discussion on issues of race and multicultural democracy. Three decades of activism, beginning with divestment from apartheid South Africa in the 80s, and his work in Louisiana to end racism and Nazism, in the 90's, Tim Wise is considered one of the great public moralists in America today. In his bracing new book, Under the Affluence, he brilliantly engages the roots and ramifications of radical inequality in our nation today. With clarity, passion and eloquence, he demonstrates how America’s myth of personal entitlement based on merit is inextricably linked to pernicious racial bigotry, and he points the way to greater compassion, fairness, and economic justice. www.TimWise.org View Guest page

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