Speakers and Panelists:
Dr. Ariyaratne is the founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, a grassroots community development organization that combines Buddhist philosophy with Gandhian methods. His Shanti Sena (Peace Brigade) initiative has received worldwide attention.
He is recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 1996 Gandhi Peace Prize in recognition of his Sarvodaya movement active in nearly one-third of Sri Lanka’s 33,000 rural villages and the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for promotion of Gandhian values outside India.. Ariyaratne has brought together in peace discussion forums tens of thousands of Sri Lankans, Sinhalese, Tamils, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Ba’hais.
Christopher Key Chapple is Professor of Theological Studies and Associate Academic Vice President of LMU Extension at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Dr. Chapple's research interests have focused on the renouncer religious traditions of India: Yoga, Jainism, and Buddhism. He has published several books, including Karma and Creativity (1986), Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Tradition (1993), co-editor of Hinduism and Ecology (2000), editor of Jainism and Ecology (2002), and co-translator of Reconciling Yogas : Haribhadra's Collection of Views on Yoga (2003).
She is a uniquely creative educator who brings a variety of skills and artistic talent to the development of experiential curricula that builds community, addresses diversity, and helps students build a foundation for ethical and moral decision-making. She has been a leading force in the Educational vision of the Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence, bringing 25 years of hands-on experience to the building of culturally current school programs, which introduce teachers and students to nonviolent strategies and generate greater understanding, tolerance and inclusion. She is a graduate of Whittier College and a poet who has authored three chapbooks entitled: Henceforth, Spoken Word, and Face of Sky.
Jack DuVall is an acclaimed author, speaker and television producer with a specialty in nonviolent conflict. He was the Executive Producer of the two-part Emmy-nominated PBS-TV series, “A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict,” and co-author of the companion book of the same name (Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press 2001).
Mr. DuVall was also Vice President for Program Resources of WETA, Washington, D.C. and previously was Director of Corporate Relations of the University of Chicago; a political speechwriter; and a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Dr. Finley receive her Ph.D. from Western Michigan University, Sociology with focus areas in Criminology and Race and Ethnicity, Summer, 2002. Her Dissertation is on "Teachers' Perceptions of School Violence, Responses to it, and Their Resultant Impact on School Climate: A Case Study." She has authored several refereed articles and reviews and is currently researching and writing about peace education in schools and colleges.
Dolores Huerta is the co-founder and First Vice President Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America. For more than thirty years she was Cesar Chavez’s most trusted advisor. Together they founded the Robert Kennedy Medical Plan, the Juan De La Cruz Farm Workers Pension Fund, the Farm Workers Credit Union; the first medical, pension plan, and credit union for farm workers.
As an advocate for farm workers’ rights, she directed the national grape boycott. Dolores has been arrested twenty-two times for non-violent peaceful union activities. She is recipient of numerous awards and honors including Outstanding Labor Leader Award, the American Civil Liberties Union Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award, the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, and the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom Award. In 1998, she was one of the three Ms. Magazine’s “Women of the Year” and the Ladies Home Journal’s “100 Most Important Women of the 20 th Century.” In 1998, Dolores received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from President Clinton. In 2002 she received the Nation Puffin Award for Creative Citizenship. Dolores has received honorary doctorates from New College of San Francisco, 1990, San Francisco State University, 1993 and SUNI New Palz University, 1999.
Born in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Dr. Ibrahim received his Ph.D. in History from UCLA. His major publications include Merchant Capital and Islam ( University of Texas Press) and The Oral History of the Intifada ( with Tom Ricks and Adel Yahya, Tamir Institute, Jerusalem. The book contains a collection of interviews conducted with young men who "moved the street" during the first Intifada and an analysis of their observations.
Dr. Ibrahim has held fellowship from the Fullbright Hays Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a member of the Executive Board of the local chapter of the Palestine Aid Society, a non-profit, charitable and educational association. He is often called upon to speak to the media, campus groups and community organizations.
Prize-winning author and political scientist Mary King is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University for Peace. She is also a Distinguished Scholar at the American University Center for Global Peace, Washington, D.C. Currently she is a visiting Research Fellow at the Rothermerc American Institute, University of Oxford.
In 1988, she won a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement (1987). Her latest book, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr: The Power of Nonviolent Action (Paris, UNESCO, 1999, and New Delhi, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, 2002) covers nine nonviolent struggles of the twentieth century. In November 2003, she was given the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for promotion of Gandhian values outside India.
As a student, King worked alongside the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the Carter Administration, King had world-wide responsibility for the Peace Corps, and remains a special adviser to President Carter. She holds a Ph.D. in international politics from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth.
Padmanabh S. Jaini is Professor emeritus of Buddhist Studies in the Department of South Asian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He has also taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
His scholarly works have contributed enormously to the understanding of literary and philosophical achievements of the Jains and the Buddhists. His expertise in both the Jain and Buddhist traditions makes him a unique and rare scholar.
His major publications include The Jaina Path of Purification (1979),Gender and Salvation: Jaina Debates on the Spiritual Liberation of Women (1991), Collected Papers on Jaina Studies (2000), and Collected Papers on Buddhist Studies (2000).
Syed Mahadi is an independent scholar and is the author of A Sufi’s Ruminations On One World UnderGod. The interfaith name, John Ishvaradas Abdallah (meaning ‘servant of God’ in various religious/spiritual traditions) is the preferred pen-name of India born Syed Riyaz Mahdi. He is the founding member of ‘World Without Borders’ and serves on the Board of Directors of California based ‘South Coast Interfaith Council’ and Kerala, India based ‘World Fellowship of Inter-Religious Councils.’ He is a member of several Southern California organizations including Alliance for a Spiritual Community, South Asia Forum, and Coalition for an Egalitarian and Pluralistic India.
Dr. Majmudar received her Ph.D. from Emory University with a dissertation on “Mahatma Gandhi’s Trajectory in Truth and Fowler’s Theory of Stages of Faith.” A revised version of this will be published later this year by the SUNY Press under the title, Gandhi’s Pilgrimage of Faith: From Darkness to Light .
She is the founding Editor of Voice of India, a quarterly newsletter published by the India American Cultural Association (IACA). Her articles have appeared in various American and Indian newspapers and magazines, such as The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, American Vedantist,Fellowship in Prayer, India Abroad, India West, India Journal, and Khabar.
Mr. received his higher education in Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). After graduating. Following the 1989 California social studies textbook adoption, Mr. Mansuri formed the Council on Islamic Education as a vehicle to contribute to U.S. education and tangibly demonstrate that Muslims, like others, had a place at the American institutional table.
As the Founding Director of CIE, Mr. Mansuri involvement includes research and analysis related to public policy, education, the media, politics, religion, and discourses about American pluralism. As CIE Director, he is an organizational liaison to institutional partners, education officials, textbook publishers, and others. He serves on several advisory boards and represents CIE at major forums and conducts teacher training and other workshops.
Fournder and Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence, Eisha is a peacemaker, author, gifted speaker and an innovative educator dedicated to advancing nonviolence as a universal tool for personal and social transformation. She brings over 20 years experience developing, facilitating and directing programs for personal and community transformation for adults and teens. Co-author of the 64 Ways to Practice Nonviolence Curriculum and Resource Guide, host of The Morning Review on KPFK (90.7FM), adjunct faculty for the Agape International Spiritual Center and the Holmes Institute, Eisha has also maintained a private practice of spiritual counseling for 18 years.
Mr. Mehta is the Founding President of BMVSS, established in 1975 as a charitable society providing artificial limbs and other assistive devices to people with disabilities, particularly, the indigent. It is world’s largest limb fitting organization, best know for its Jaipur Foot—a range of prosthetic feet developed in the city of Jaipur. He also heads the Prakarit Bharati Academy, an institution devoted to research and scholarly activities in Indic religions and spiritual traditions.
Mr. Mehta had had in illustrious professional career, retiring in 1997 from the position of Chairman, Stock Exchange Board of India (equivalent of the SEC in the US). Previously, he was Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India, and Director General of Foreign Trade.
After studies of philosophy and theology, in Africa and Europe, he obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Temple university with a Thesis on Human Rights.
His research focuses on African traditional values of Humanism and Personhood (Bumuntu), Globalization, and dialogue among civilizations, especially inter-religious Dialogue. He is currently working on an African reflection on Peace, Jihad and Western Just War theories, and the African response to the Global War on Terror.
Dr. Pan holds a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from University of Rochester, NY. He taught Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also taught and co-directed the Asian Cultures and Civilizations Program at Muhlenberg College, PA. Currently, he teaches English and American Literature and World Literature at Cal Poly Pomona. His major research and publications focus on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary relations of literature and art.
He is Professor emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii. Professor Paige is the author of Nonkilling Global Political Science (Gandhi Media Centre 2002; Xlibris 2002) which is being translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Pilipino, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, and Urdu. The English text is available free from the website.
Dr. Krishna Ahooja Patel served for 25 years in the United Nations, including 10 years in the International Labour Office, Geneva, when she was editor of an ILO journal, Women and Work during the UN Decade for Women (1977-1986).
In 1990, she was appointed to a prestigious Chair on Women's Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1992, after working as a research scholar at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, she joined the International Development Studies Program at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia where she is currently a Professor. She is also the Director of the Institute on Equity and Development at the Gujarat Vidyapith—a University of Learning--founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1922, Ahmedabad.
Samani Sanmati Pragya is a disciple of Acharya Mahapragya. She has a Masters Degree in Sanskrit from Ajmer University and a second Master’s Degree in Jain Philosophy and Comparative Studies from Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute. She is an innovative teacher who has taught in Brahmi Vidyapith and has contributed her services to many educational institutions. She has traveled to thirteen different countries including USA, Canada, Israel, and Europe and lectured on different aspects of Jainism and Ahimsa. She is currently stationed in Houston, where under her guidance Preksha meditation and other Jain spiritual activities have flourished.
Samani Unnat Pragya is a disciple of Acharya Mahapragya. She has a Masters Degree in Jain Philosophy and Comparative Studies from Jain Vishwa Bharati Institution. She has traveled to USA and England and lectured on different aspects of Preksha meditation, Jainism and Ahimsa. She is currently stationed in Houston, where she is involved in conducting Preksha meditation and other Jain spiritual activities.
Dr. Sethia received her Ph.D. from UCLA. She is the recipient of several grants, awards and honors, including Gold and Silver Medals from Rajasthan University, and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She served as the Project Director of a three-year Professional Development Program for School to facilitate an effective coverage of India and China in K-12 World History Curriculum. She is the editor of Ahimsa, Anekanta and Jainism( Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass, 2004). Her publications also include articles that address issues pertaining to the teaching about India in the College Curriculum.
Dr. Sethia has served on the Executive Board of the World History Association, and is a member of the SAT- II World History Committee appointed by the Educational Testing Service and the College Board. She has been invited by several leading publishers to review History textbooks. She has consulted for the California Department of Education and the British Broadcasting Service, and has served on the review panels of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Prior to coming to Emory University, Professor Sheth was the Robert E. Brooker Professor of Marketing at the University of Southern California, the Walter H. Stellner
Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the University of Illinois, on the faculty of Columbia University, and at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology.
He has published more than a dozen books and nearly two hundred research papers. Professor Sheth is an American Psychologocal Association Fellow, and past President of APA's Consumer Psychology Division, also past President of Association of Consumer Research.
Sulak Sivaraksa is the most outspoken Thai social critic and a prominent peacemaker. He is one of the few leaders around the world to revive socially engaged aspects of Buddhism. Through his writings about Buddhist economics, he challenges the paradigm of development based on materialistic growth.
Trained as a lawyer, Sulak Sivaraksa is a teacher, scholar, publisher and founder of many organizations and author of more than sixty books in Thai and English. One of his most popular books in English is Seeds of Peace. University of California anthropologist Herbert Phillips calls him as “a Thai institution, in a class by himself.” The venerable Thich Nhat Hanh has described him as “a bodhisattva who devotes his energies to helping others.”
As a founder and editor of Sangkhomsaat Paritat (Social Science Review), he became involved with grassroots development including several service-oriented, rural development projects and became a central figure in numerous nongovernmental organizations in Thailand. He was arrested more than once for speaking his mind against the authoritarian regime and regression of democracy in Siam.