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Speaker Bios
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 Conference speakers and panelists are listed alphabetically.

Kulsoom Abdullah, Olympic Weightlifting

Abdullah, a Pakistani-American who opened the door for women to wear clothing that adheres to religious codes at weightlifting competitions, began competing in 2010. She represented Pakistan at the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships as the first woman at the international level to compete wearing hijab. Her athletic feats and determination culminated in an invitation to deliver remarks at the 2011 U.S. State Department’s Eid ul Fitr reception. She is currently taking a break from major competitions and is a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech and researcher at Damballa. She is also featured in The Pakistan Four, a short documentary about redefining what it means to be a Muslim woman in the U.S.

Abdullahi An-Naum, Emory University

Prof. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, originally from Sudan, is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law School. An internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights, and human rights in cross-cultural perspectives, Professor An-Na'im teaches courses in human rights, religion and human rights, Islamic law, and criminal law.

Michael Austin,

Michael Austin is a communications consultant and Christian commentator in New York City who advises business leaders, professional services firms and individuals. He was called to follow Jesus late in life, after an intense study of meditation and yoga for more than 15 years. His interest in historical faith traditions, apart from sectarian training or affiliation has informed a unique perspective of the history of the modern church and its role in contemporary societies. Michael serves as spokesperson for Christian History Institute.  He speaks about the science and Darwinism debates; history of the church & state relationship; persecution over the last 2 thousand years and the relevance of Christian influence upon Western Civilization. Michael is owner of, a public relations firm.

Stephen Baldwin, Actor

Stephen Baldwin is an actor, director, producer and author, known for his roles in "The Usual Suspects" and "Celebrity Apprentice." He is the youngest brother of actor Alec Baldwin, and known for his conservative political and Christian beliefs.


Aparna Bhattacharyya, Raksha Inc.

Aparna Bhattacharyya was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She has served as Executive Director of Raksha since 1998. Aparna graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. She volunteered and worked as a Victim Advocate for 5 years for the city of Atlanta's Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP). From 1995-1998, Aparna volunteered and served as a steering committee member of Raksha Inc before becoming an employee. As a representative of Raksha, she has served as founding Task Force member and Board Secretary for International Women's House(the first shelter in the Southeast for battered immigrant and refugee women and their children and a founding member of Tapestri, the Immigrant and Refugee Coalition challenging gender based oppression.

Merle Black, Emory University

Merle Black, B.A. (1964), Harvard College; M.A.(1968), Ph.D.(1972), University of Chicago. Specialization: American politics, especially the politics of the modern South. His current research projects concern the rise of the Republican party in the South and the consequences for national politics, the changing electorate of the South, and the politics of the Deep South states.

Teresa Fry Brown, Emory University

Dr. Fry Brown's research interests include homiletics, womanism, womanist ethics, socio-cultural transformation, and African diaspora history focusing on African American spiritual values. In addition to four complete books, she has written articles and chapters for over a dozen more, including Those Preaching Women, Vol. 3 and The Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual. A former speech pathologist, Dr. Fry Brown is ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church and currently serves as associate pastor of New Bethel AME church in Lithonia, Georgia. In 2010, she became the first African American woman to attain the rank of full professor at Candler.

Louis CdeBaca, U.S. Department of State

In May 2009, Ambassador Luis CdeBaca was appointed by President Obama to coordinate U.S. government activities in the global fight against modern slavery. He serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary and directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which assesses global trends, provides training and technical assistance, and advocates for an end to modern slavery. Mr. CdeBaca formerly served as Counsel to the House Committee on the Judiciary and as a federal prosecutor at the Justice Department where he led the investigation and prosecution of cases involving organized crime, hate crimes, and human trafficking, among others.

Lee Clontz, Emory University

Clontz is a Web developer, MOOC producer and journalism educator at Emory University. He has spent the past year assembling and leading a team charged with producing a variety of video-based Coursera courses, as well as architecting and managing the university's WordPress and Google Search services.

Katie Corcoran, Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion

Corcoran is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR). Prior to joining ISR, she received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington. Her areas of expertise are in religion, organizations, criminology, social movements, and social networks. She is co-author of the book "Religious Hostility: A Global Assessment of Hatred and Terror" with Rodney Stark and is currently co-authoring a book on megachurches with colleagues from the University of Washington.

Janel Curry, Gordon College

Dr. Janel Curry serves as the Provost of Gordon College, and holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota. As the chief academic officer at Gordon, Dr. Curry leads an intellectual community of scholars and teachers in 20 academic departments. She oversees numerous academic programs, provides guidance to curriculum needs and pedagogy, and helps connect faculty with specific grant and scholarship opportunities. A scholar in geography and environmental studies who has published extensively in the area of human-land relations. Dr. Curry was also a two-time Fulbright Scholar, based at the City University of Hong Kong.

Rebecca Cusey,

Cusey is the Managing Editor of the Entertainment Channel at, as well as the lead movie critic. She is a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Her work has appeared in USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Daily Caller,, World Magazine, National Review Online, Relevant Magazine,, numerous newspapers, and many other outlets. She appears often as a guest reviewer and commentator on radio and television.


Alia El-Sawi, Homeland Security Investigations

Alia El-Sawi currently serves as the Victim Assistance Specialist for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Her area of responsibility includes all of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. In this capacity, she designs and provides educational trainings and outreach to law enforcement, attorneys, mainstream service providers, and community-based organizations on human trafficking and child exploitation. Additionally, she is involved in conducting victim interviews and completing a portion of the immigration documents and relief available to human trafficking survivors.  She works to establish collaborative relationships locally, statewide, and nationally. Prior to her work with Homeland Security, Alia worked for a non-profit, Tapestri, and served as the Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator.  In her past position, she provided trainings, outreach, and direct services/case management to foreign-born survivors of human trafficking.

Arthur Farnsley, Indiana University Religious Studies

Farnsley is Research Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He is also Executive Officer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Art's past books include, "Southern Baptist Politics", "Rising Expectations: Urban Congregation, Welfare Reform, and Civic Life", and "Sacred Circles, Public Squares", a book about religion's role in shaping the city of Indianapolis. His current book, "Flea Market Jesus", is about the individualism and alienation of flea market dealers who don't participate in mainstream business, politics, or religion. Art is also 25-time knife and tomahawk throwing champion of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association.

Jerry Gonzalez, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials

Jerry Gonzalez is the founding and current Executive Director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. At GALEO, Gonzalez has utilized not only his extensive political experience but also his deep understanding of the struggles of the Latino community in Georgia. During the 2010 Census, Gonzalez strongly advocated for strong participation of the Latino community, which ended up having a 96% increase, representing 28% of the state’s overall growth. Most recently Gonzalez and GALEO have been actively fighting passage of Georgia’s HB 87, an Arizona-style anti-immigration legislation. After the passage of HB 87, Gonzalez worked with community leaders and lawyers on a lawsuit that sought to halt its implementation and filed an Amicus Brief in support of the litigation to stop HB87.

David Gushee, Mercer University

Dr. Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He has published 18 books and many hundreds of essays, book chapters, articles, reviews, and opinion pieces. A self-described Evangelical centrist, he was a founding partner of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, which advances dialogue among Christians and non-Christians on a range of issues including prison reform, Middle East peace, nuclear disarmament, and climate change. Dr. Gushee serves as Senior Columnist for ABPNews/Herald and theologian-in-residence for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He is also a columnist for the Huffington Post and an active voice in social media (twitter: @dpgushee). Dr. Gushee serves on the board of directors of Sojourners and is Board Vice-Chair of the Public Religion Research Institute.

Jehu Hanciles, Emory University

Hanciles is author of Euthanasia of a Mission: African Church Autonomy in a Colonial Context (2002) and Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration and the Transformation of the West (2008).  He has written and published mainly in issues related to the history of Christianity (notably the African experience) and globalization.  His current research aims to survey the history of global Christian expansion through the lens of migration.

Lauren Holt, Emory University 

Holt's current work, developing the relationship between multimodality and multiliteracies pedagogy and the current ESL curriculum, reflects the prismatic, interdisciplinary present of scholarship and work in academia. Holt developed a keen interest in writing and communication theory and pedagogy working at a number of communication centers while earning her degrees in English. During time as a Britain Postdoctoral Fellow in a program through Georgia Tech, Holt was given the opportunity to practice and develop her interests in multimodality and multilliteracies in the writing and communication classroom.

Todd Johnson, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Center for Study of Global Christianity

Johnson is Associate Professor of Global Christianity and Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Johnson is visiting Research Fellow at Boston University’s Institute for Culture, Religion and World Affairs leading a research project on international religious demography. He is co-author of The World’s Religions in Figures, co-editor of the Atlas of Global Christianity, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia. He is editor of the World Christian Database (Brill) and co-editor of the World Religion Database (Brill).

Robert P. Jones, Public Religion Research Institute

Dr. Robert P. Jones is the CEO of PRRI and a leading scholar and commentator on religion, values, and public life. He is the author of two academic books and numerous peer-review articles on religion and public policy. Dr. Jones writes a semimonthly column at The Atlantic on politics, culture, and religion. His “Faith by the Numbers” segment is also a regular feature on Interfaith Voices, which is carried on NPR stations around the country. Dr. Jones serves as the Co-Chair of the national steering committee for the Religion and Politics Section at the American Academy of Religion. He is also an active member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Society of Christian Ethics, and the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

Don Kerwin, Center for Migration Studies

Donald M. Kerwin, Jr. has directed the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) of New York since September 2011. Between 1992 and 2008, he worked for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), including for 15 years as it Executive Director (ED). Upon his arrival at CLINIC in 1992, Mr. Kerwin coordinated CLINIC’s political asylum project for Haitians. Mr. Kerwin returned to CLINIC as its interim ED between September 2012 and March 2013. CLINIC, a subsidiary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is a public interest legal corporation that supports a national network of more than 220 charitable legal programs for immigrants.

Thomas Lake, Sports Illustrated

Lake is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. Four of his stories have been chosen for the annual Best American Sports Writing collection, and a fifth, “The Boy Who Died of Football,” was anthologized in Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists. In 2009, Lake won the Henry Luce Award from Time Inc. for “2 on 5,” the tale of an improbable comeback in high school basketball. He lives in Atlanta.

Rachel Laser, Union for Reform Judaism/Religious Action Center

Rachel Laser is the RAC's Deputy Director. She has a diverse background in policy advocacy, coalition-building, message development and political strategy. She served as Director of the Culture Program at Third Way, a Washington, DC progressive think tank specializing in understanding and reaching moderates. While there, she was the architect of the first-ever pro-choice/pro-life abortion bill in Congress, and founded and led Third Way's gay equality initiative. Prior to Third Way, Rachel served as Senior Counsel at the National Women's Law Center in the Health and Reproductive Rights Group, where she founded the Pharmacy Refusal Project, and as General Counsel for Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington.

Michael Lindsay, Gordon College

Award-winning sociologist and educator Dr. D. Michael Lindsay is the eighth president of Gordon College, and an expert on religion, culture and leadership. View from the Top, Dr. Lindsay’s most recent book, was released in May 2014. It reports the findings of his 10-year PLATINUM Study, the largest-ever interview-based study of senior organizational leaders in the U.S., including former Presidents Carter and Bush, and hundreds of CEOs at the nation’s largest corporations and nonprofits. Dr. Lindsay earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University, and graduate degrees in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and Wycliffe Hall at Oxford. He serves on the boards of Christianity Today and The Veritas Forum. He and his wife Rebecca live in Wenham, Massachusetts and have three daughters: Elizabeth, Emily and Caroline.

Thomas Long, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Long’s primary area of research is homiletics (the history, theory, and practice of preaching). He served as the senior homiletics editor of "The New Interpreter’s Bible", and he is associate editor of Journal for Preachers and editor-at-large for the Christian Century. His introductory textbook, "The Witness of Preaching", has been translated into a number of languages and is widely used in theological schools around the world. In 2010, Preaching magazine named it one of the 25 most influential books in preaching for the past 25 years. Dr. Long’s books have generated interest both in the academy and the media. His book "What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith" was selected as the Academy of Parish Clergy Book of the Year for 2011. Emory University awarded him the Emory Williams Award for teaching excellence in 2011.

Karen Lyons, UMC Clarkston

Rev. Karen Lyons received her Master of Divinity degree from Emory University, Candler School of Theology in May 2003 and Certification in Christian Education and  extensive training in Clinical Pastoral Education and Care. She has worked as a  Chaplain Intern at Metro State Prison for over six years and also served as a Chaplain  Resident at Grady Hospital. On February 5, 2005, she assumed the role of Senior Pastor of Cliftondale UMC and was appointed there for nine years. She was Ordained Elder in Full Connection in July 2010. She officially assumed the role of Associate Pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in June 2013, becoming appointed as the first female Associate Pastor at St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Marie Marquardt, Emory University

Dr. Marquardt’s interests include religion among Latin American immigrants, gender and migration, multi-ethnic and multicultural congregations, religious diversity in new immigrant destinations, and the role of religion in shaping civic engagement and public life.

Eric Marrapodi, CNN

Marrapodi is an award-winning journalist for CNN. As the Senior Washington Producer based in D.C., he has covered everything from natural disasters, to politics, to religion. He was one of the first international journalists on the ground in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 and put up the first live pictures following the quake, work for which the team at CNN received an Emmy Award. He is the founding co-editor of CNN's Belief Blog. The site has won nearly every award for digital journalism, including a Webby, an Online Journalism Award, and multiple awards from the Religion Newswriters Association, including site of the year in 2012.

Bryan Miller, Heeding God's Call

Bryan Miller is Executive Director of Heeding God’s Call, the faith-based and grassroots movement to prevent gun violence. Bryan devoted himself to gun violence prevention after his brother was one of three officers killed in a 1994 massacre at Washington, D.C. police headquarters. He was Executive Director of Ceasefire NJ for 15 years and also chaired the Presbyterian Church USA team that drafted the denomination’s landmark policy, ‘Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call,’ adopted in 2010. Faithful public pressure by Heeding God’s Call led federal authorities to shutter Philadelphia’s most notorious gun shop in 2009. Heeding God’s Call currently has volunteer chapters in the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. areas.

Suzii Paynter, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Suzii Paynter of Austin, Texas, became the third executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship following a unanimous vote by the CBF Coordinating Council on February 21, 2013. She began work at the Fellowship's Atlanta office on March 1. Previously, Paynter served as the director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and director of the Advocacy Care Center of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). As a leader at the BGCT since 2001, Paynter envisioned, created and managed large-scale programs and projects that focused on ministering alongside and advocating for the least of these. Her experience and accomplishments reflect her commitment to the missional and cooperative work of Baptists at all levels – local, state, national, regional and international, as well as ecumenical and interfaith ministry.

Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Emory University—Dept. of Religion & Director of Emory-Tibet Partnership

Dr. Negi, a former monk, was born in a small Himalayan kingdom adjoining Tibet. He began his monastic training at The Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and continued his education at Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India. He is the founder and spiritual director of Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., in Atlanta, Ga. The Emory-Tibet Partnership he directs is a multidimensional initiative founded in 1998 to bring together the foremost contributions of the Western scholastic tradition and the Tibetan Buddhist sciences of mind and healing.

Amy Reynolds, Wheaton College

Dr. Amy Reynolds is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College, where she also is the coordinator of the Gender Studies Certificate Program. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University, an M.P.P. in public policy from Georgetown, and her B.A. in sociology from Harvard University. Before joining the Wheaton faculty she was a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. She also worked for World Relief in El Salvador (2002- 2003) investigating the coffee industry and alternative markets. Dr. Reynolds’ publications concern the sociology of religion, international political economy, and the sociology of gender. Her book, Free Trade and Faithful Globalization: Saving the Market (Cambridge University Press), is coming out in Fall 2014. 

Clifford Saron, UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain

Clifford D. Saron, an Associate Research Scientist, received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1999. Dr. Saron has coordinated field research investigating Tibetan Buddhist mind training under the auspices of H. H. the Dalai Lama, served on the Mind and Life Institute’s (MLI) Program and Research Council, and been faculty at the MLI Summer Institute. Dr. Saron is Principal Investigator of the Shamatha Project, a multidisciplinary longitudinal investigation of the effects of long-term intensive meditation on physiological and psychological processes central to well-being, attention, emotion regulation and health. In 2012, Dr. Saron was awarded the inaugural Templeton Prize Research Grant from the John Templeton Foundation to continue this work.

Don Seeman, Emory University

Professor Seeman received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University in 1997. His research interests include medical anthropology, anthropology of experience, Ethiopian-Israelis, anthropological approaches to Hebrew Bible, Judaism and Hasidism, and violence and extremism in Israel. He has taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Jeffrey Shaw, Atlanta Dream Center, Inc. — Out of Darkness

Shaw graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2007 and worked for 7 years with a small civil litigation firm. In the course of his legal work, he assisted exploited women with family and criminal law matters. In 2011, Shaw founded Out of Darkness as a 24-hour rescue hotline in Atlanta. He left his law firm in December 2013 to direct Out of Darkness full-time. Out of Darkness is now the anti-trafficking arm of Atlanta Dream Center, Inc., and its mission is to reach, rescue, and restore all victims of commercial sexual exploitation. In the past 2-1/2 years, Out of Darkness has conducted over 200 rescues.

Glenda Stansbury, Insight Books, Inc.

Before joining In-Sight Books, Stansbury worked for 12 years for the Oklahoma Education Association as a trainer/facilitator. She was responsible for developing and delivering teacher training all over the state of Oklahoma and was cited by the National Education Association as one of the top trainers in her field. Prior to that, she was a Special Education teacher in the field of emotional disturbance and also has taught prepared childbirth, sign language for the deaf and music. She has worked as Marketing and Development Director for In-Sight Books for 19 years and has been Dean of the In-Sight Institute for 15 years, co-training over 2200 Funeral Celebrants across North America with Doug Manning.

Richard Stearns, World Vision U.S.

The former CEO for Parker Brothers Games and Lenox, Rich holds a B.A. in neurobiology from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Following a sense of God’s call on his life, he resigned from Lenox in 1998 to become World Vision’s U.S. president. Driven by his passion to raise awareness and support for poverty and justice issues, Rich authored The Hole in Our Gospel and a new book called Unfinished. Rich and his wife, Reneé, live in Bellevue, Washington, and have supported World Vision since 1984. They have five children of their own — plus millions more around the world.

Todd Stiefel, Stiefel Freethought Foundation

Stiefel is the Founder and President of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, the primary sponsor for The Reason Rally. In 2009 he made the transition from Chief Strategy Officer of Stiefel Laboratories to full-time freethought activist. He won the Foundation Beyond Belief 2012 Heart of Humanism award, and American Atheists' 2010 Activist of the Year and 2012 Philanthropist of the Year. During 2012 and 2013, he led the Foundation Beyond Belief international team that raised $930,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Katrina Lantos Swett, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

Dr. Lantos Swett currently serves as Chair of USCIRF. Senator Harry Reid appointed her to a second term on the Commission in April 2014.  The Senator first appointed her in April 2012, and she was elected to serve as Chair in June 2012, then again in July 2014. Dr. Lantos Swett is the President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice—a human rights organization she established in 2008 to carry on the work of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos. In addition she has taught Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy at Tufts University and at the University of Southern Denmark. Katrina currently serves on the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the International Advisory Board of UN Watch, the Budapest based Tom Lantos Institute, the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation, and the Advisory Board of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy.

Manuel Vasquez, University of Florida

Manuel A. Vásquez received his B.S. from Georgetown University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University. He has been an Andrew W. Mellon fellow at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Americas. His area of expertise is the intersection of religion, immigration, and globalization in the Americas. In particular, he has focused on contemporary transnational religious networks across the hemisphere, with increasing interest in the comparative study of transnational religious dynamics in the “Global South.” Vásquez’s empirical work is combined with interest in method and theory, particularly in regard to embodiment, material culture, practices, place-making, and mobility (physical and virtual).

Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

A member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of La Crosse, Wisconsin since 1962, Marlene Weisenbeck served her congregation as its President from 2002-2010. Sister Marlene served the presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious from 2009-2011. She served on the White House Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships during 2012-2013. The assigned topic for study was modern slavery. Upon concluding that assignment, she convened a La Crosse-area Task Force to Eradicate Modern Slavery, which today has 50+ participants. Currently, Sister Marlene is serving as a consultant in religious law to individuals and religious institutes.

Rev. Robert C. Wright, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Rev. Robert C. Wright is the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. At the time of his election in June 2012, he had served 10 years as rector of St. Paul’s in Atlanta. Since becoming bishop Wright addressed the Georgia legislature about gun control, spoke up for Medicaid expansion and led a prayer vigil outside a prison during the execution of a convicted murder. Wright was born in a Roman Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, Pa., and was adopted at 9 months. After graduating high school, he served five years in the U.S. Navy before entering Howard University in Washington D.C., where he worked as a child advocate for two mayors. He later studied at Cambridge in England and earned a master of divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Pastoral Counselor

Pamela Ayo Yetunde is a pastoral counselor in private and clinical practice. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leader Program, Sati Center for Buddhist Studies' Chaplaincy Program, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Theology degree. Ayo leads mindfulness, lovingkindness, and compassion meditation classes weekly in a clinical setting. Ayo, a former financial consultant, is the author of "Vigil: Spiritual Reflections on your Money and Sanity."

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