This constellation of leaders has informed the why, what, how, who and when of this gathering. They have been critical in scoping the challenge and driving the recruitment and application process. We have met in person once for a daylong meeting and have had several conference calls. They have volunteered their time and we are deeply appreciative of their contributions.
Rachel Feldman: Rachel Feldman is Director of Organizing at Bend the Arc. Rachel co-founded and now directs the interfaith Community Organizing Residency (COR). In addition to her work on COR, Rachel focuses a portion of her time on Bend the Arc’s national organizing efforts such as the Caring Across Generations Campaign. Previously, Rachel worked for the Direct Action and Research Training Center’s national congregation-based community organizing network organizing congregations in Tampa, Florida on a health care campaign to get the county to provide dental care to low-income residents regardless of immigration status. She was also a founder of the Washtenaw County Workers Center in Washtenaw County, Michigan and organized low-income, immigrant workers to build power in their workplaces and to influence local policy. Rachel currently serves on the boards the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing, a collective of grantmakers and youth organizing practitioners dedicated to building the field of cross-generational organizing and of Interfaith Funders, a network of faith-based and secular grantmakers working to advance the field of congregation-based community organizing to strengthen democracy and justice. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she earned a dual degree in English and Social Sciences.
Simon Greer: Simon became the President and CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation in January 2012 after a distinguished seven-year tenure at Progressive Jewish Alliance and Jewish Funds for Justice (PJA & JFSJ). During his time at PJA & JFSJ, Mr. Greer led the organization through a period of dramatic institutional growth, including three mergers, high profile campaigns, programmatic innovation and increased philanthropic impact. Under his leadership, PJA & JFSJ developed the largest domestic Jewish service learning program in the United States, started an array of cutting edge leadership training programs, forged successful funder collaboratives and moved millions of dollars in low-interest loans to help businesses and homeowners revive the Gulf Coast after Katrina. In 2011 Greer was named to the Forward 50, an annual list of the country’s most influential Jews, in part for the role he played in convincing Fox News to cancel Glenn Beck’s popular daily show. Mr. Greer’s attention to organizational culture, change management, and leadership development helped enable the organization’s growth and emergence as a strong advocate for a fair, just, and compassionate America.
Mr. Greer has worked as a labor and community organizer and social change leader for 20 years. He founded Jews United for Justice, an urban social change group in Washington, DC and served as the executive director for New York Jobs with Justice.
Claudia Horwitz: Claudia directs stone circles at The Stone House (www.stonecircles.org), the organization she founded in 1995 to strengthen and sustain people working for transformation and justice. The Stone House is a center for spiritual life and strategic action on 70 acres of land in Mebane, NC. Claudia’s book “The Spiritual Activist: Practices to Transform Your Life, Your Work, and Your World” (Penguin Compass 2002) is a guide to individual and social transformation through spirit and faith. Claudia has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke; she practices meditation and teaches Kripalu yoga.
Valarie Kaur: Valarie is an award-winning filmmaker, civil rights advocate, and interfaith leader who centers her work around the power of storytelling. She is the founder of Groundswell at Auburn Seminary, a non-profit initiative with 80,000+ members that equips people of faith to mobilize for social change. For the last decade, she has led national campaigns responding to hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, and solitary confinement. Valarie is a prolific public speaker and frequent political contributor on MSNBC to the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. Her opinion essays regularly appear on CNN, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. Valarie earned degrees at Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Law School, where she founded theYale Visual Law Project to train students in the art of storytelling for social change.
Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews: Reverend Michael-Ray is the Director of Clergy Organizing for PICO National Network, a faith-based network of over 1200 congregations engaged in community organizing in over 200 cities in the United States. He is the lead organizer of PICO’s Prophetic Voices Initiative, which is organizing a prophetic faith voice leading the struggle for racial and economic inclusion in the US. He joined the PICO senior leadership team in January 2008.
A native of Compton, California, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences and Communications from the University of Southern California and a Master of Divinity degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West and the Graduate Theological Union –Berkeley. Rev. Mathews is a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, Calif. His dissertation project is an introductory pastoral theology for pastors engaged in faith-based community organizing.
TainaMcField: Ms. McField began her career as an educator, activist and collaborator working with young people invarious settings to mobilize their voices around human rights issues and obtain their life goals. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland with a concentration in Government, Politics & Family Studies where she honed her craft in youth and social justice advocacy as the Vice President of the College Park chapter of the NAACP. Ms. McField currently serves as Program Officer managing the Collaborative Initiatives portfolio and the Fellowship Program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Her work aligns with the Foundation’s operational tenants: seeking to build a more interdependent, socially and economically just society. Taina lives in New York City with her husband and son. In addition to her work at NCF, she enjoys exploring spiritual formation as a core member of a faith community in Harlem where she is a lead Sunday school teacher. As an executive board member of the Manhattan Chapter of Mocha Moms, Ms. McField works in her community to advance the goals of the national organization: to provide an enriching climate for moms, a nurturing environment for children, and an uplifting atmosphere for the family unit.
Rev. DoyeonPark: Rev. Doyeon Park has served as a minister of Manhattan Won Buddhist Temple and Alternative Representative of Won Buddhism to the United Nations and Inter-religious Affairs. She also serves as Buddhist Chaplain at Columbia University and New York University.
Rev. Park graduated from Dept. of Won Buddhism, Won Kwang University, Iksan, Korea and earned M.A of Won Buddhist Studies from Won Institute of Graduate Studies, Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA. She received full ordination in December, 2007.
Kerry Robinson: Kerry is the executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management which is dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the management, finances and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S. The Leadership Roundtable exists to strengthen the temporal affairs of the Church by harnessing the expertise and resources of Catholic senior-level executives from all sectors (including the financial, corporate, governmental, philanthropic, charitable, judicial and educational) in service to the Church.
Kerry is a member of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities in Wilmington, Delaware and a member of the Board of Directors of FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities).
Benjamin Ross: Benjamin works as the lead consultant to The Nathan Cummings Foundation on the 2030 Faith in America Challenge. Previously, Benjamin worked in the secular, Jewish and interfaith social change field for fifteen years before beginning rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. He most recently served as the Chief of Field Operations for Jewish Funds for Justice, now called Bend the Arc. Benjamin served as the board chair of the Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn, board co-chair of Interfaith Funders, was a founding member of B’nai Jeshurun’s synagogue organizing work, and served on the synagogue’s Board of Trustees for six years. He is a Wexner Graduate Fellow, Tisch Fellow, and recipient of the UJA Federation of New York's Rabbi Seymour Siegel Scholarship.
Nadia Roumani: Whether as a community organizer or an economist, a development specialist, researcher or social entrepreneur, Nadia has worked tirelessly to uncover hidden talents and resources within individuals and organizations, and to build collaborative, creative, learning communities committed to social change.
She first learned to take a people-centered approach from economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. “He’s the one that made me realize the importance of asking questions and the power of unbound curiosity,” she says of Stiglitz, a mentor and her former boss at the World Bank. After graduating from Stanford, Nadia worked with Stiglitz to launch the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University, where she earned a master’s degree in international affairs.
In Nadia’s desire to understand and bring about systemic change, she not only worked with global institutions, but also prioritized change at the grassroots level. In 2008, she co-launched the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California. AMCLI helps young, pioneering Muslim non-profit executives and public officials realize their full potential to foster healthy, civically engaged communities needed to sustain a robust, pluralistic American public square.
Rev. Gabriel Salguero: Rev’s. Gabriel and Jeanette Salguero, are the Senior Pastors of the multicultural Lamb’s Church in New York City. Their life’s work is bringing an ethical framework to public policy and empowering multicultural leadership. The Salguero’s have worked on issues of indigenous leadership development, faith and public policy, as well as racial and economic justice. Rev. Gabriel Salguero is the founder of P.O.G. international, a ministry focused on diversity leadership empowerment and training. He presently serves as the President of the National Latino Evangelical Coaltion. Salguero is an executive member of the Latino Leadership Circle. He is recognized as one of the emerging national leaders among Latino(a) faith leaders. Rev. Salguero was the moderator on the discussion on Philip Jenkins’ The Next Christendom at the Christian Churches Together’s gathering in Houston Texas in January 2004.
He is currently a featured panelist for, The Washington Post’s OnFaith panel, an on-line panel of religious leaders and scholars. Rev. Salguero is often a guest columnist onEl Diario/La Prensa. Rev. Salguero has written multiple chapters on ethics and race, multicultural and Latino(a) leadership, borders and immigration reform. He also has had featured articles in Perspectivas: Occasional Papers, Apuntes, and PRISM magazine. Rev. Salguero has been featured onTelemundo’s Al Rojo Vivo piece on Latinos and ecology. He has numerous newspaper articles on Latinos and faith in the public sphere in the Trenton Times, and the Associated Press. The Rev’s. Salguero have convened regional forums on immigration in New York, New Jersey, and Orlando, Florida. Gabriel and Jeanette have two beautiful sons, Jon-Gabriel and Seth Alexi.
Doran Schrantz: Doran is the Executive Director of ISAIAH, a faith-based community organization of 100 member congregations in the Twin Cities metropolitan region, St. Cloud, and Rochester in Minnesota. ISAIAH is an affiliate of PICO. Ms. Schrantz has been at the center of ISAIAH’s development from a small, more locally focused organization of 64 member institutions, to an organization considered one of the most powerful voices in the state around issues of racial and economic justice. In the past 5 years, ISAIAH has explored the intersection of faith-based, community organizing, movement-building, politics, policy, and research and has launched powerful partnerships at the state level such as Minnesotans for A Fair Economy which is a collaborative of faith, community and Labor.
In partnership with Ohio Organizing Collaborative and PICO, Ms Schrantz was at the forefront of launching the Prophetic Voices Campaign which seeks to develop clergy, lay leaders and congregations to do transformative prophetic ministry, utilize cutting edge civic engagement tools and online organizing as well as public advocacy to build a wider prophetic faith movement for justice. The Prophetic Voices campaign was at the center of defeating the Voter ID Amendment in Minnesota this past year. In 2012, she was awarded the Young Leader Award from Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, an award which recognized 10 leaders under 40 who are innovating around health and health care. She is a 2010 alumni of the Rockwood Year Long Leadership from the Inside Out Program. Ms. Schrantz is also an Advisory Board Member of the Center For Public Ministry in Minnesota.
Rev. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson: Tyler Wigg-Stevenson is the founding director of the Two Futures Project, a movement of American Christians for the abolition of nuclear weapons that has been recognized by secular and religious media including PBS, Christianity Today and The Washington Post, and which was also named by Relevant Magazine as one of “50 Ideas that Changed Everything.” Tyler also chairs the Global Task Force on Nuclear Weapons, an initiative of the World Evangelical Alliance.
Tyler is also a frequent writer on issues of faith and culture and a contributing editor toSojourners magazine. He is the author of The World is Not Ours to Save: Finding the Freedom to Do Good (InterVarsity), Brand Jesus: Christianity in a Consumerist Age(Seabury), as well as numerous book chapters and articles, which have received awards from the Associated Church Press and the Evangelical Press Association.
An ordained Baptist minister, Tyler holds degrees from Swarthmore College and Yale Divinity School. He and his wife, a theologian, live in Toronto, where he fills his spare time with doctoral studies, service as the associate pastor of an eclectic urban parish, and Muay Thai.