His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. He was born in a small village called Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. Dalai Lama means Ocean of Wisdom. Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshin Norbu, the Wish-fulfilling Gem, or simply, Kundun, meaning The Presence.
During his travels abroad, His Holiness has spoken strongly for better understanding and respect among the different faiths of the world. Towards this end, His Holiness has made numerous appearances in interfaith services, imparting the message of universal responsibility, love, compassion, and kindness. “The need for simple human-to-human relationships is becoming increasingly urgent . . . Today the world is smaller and more interdependent. One nation’s problems can no longer be solved by itself completely. Thus, without a sense of universal responsibility, our very survival becomes threatened. Basically, universal responsibility is feeling for other people’s suffering just as we feel our own. It is the realization that even our enemy is entirely motivated by the quest for happiness. We must recognize that all beings want the same thing that we want. This is the way to achieve a true understanding, unfettered by artificial consideration.”
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid is founding Chairman of Sound Vision Foundation, leading producer of educational content on Islam and Muslims. He is also executive producer of the daily Radio Islam talk show on WCEV 1450 AM in Chicago and the Adam's World series for children.
Imam Mujahid has been selected seven times since 2011, as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. The list is developed in cooperation with the Georgetown University in the United States.
He has excelled in building alliances and coalitions among Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
Imam Mujahid served as Chair of the Council for the Parliament of the World's Religions, the premiere interfaith organization in the world. He is former Chairperson of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. The Council is a federation of mosques serving 400,000 Muslims in the greater Chicago. He has also served at the steering committee of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights. As a leader of United Power for Action and Justice, a coalition of 60 churches, synagogues, mosques, and labor organizations in Chicago, he has led efforts for the universal health coverage in the state of Illinois. As a leader in the March 10th Movement, he worked for comprehensive immigration reforms. As a member of the Independent Task Force of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Imam Mujahid helped develop proposals on the civic and political integration of Muslim Americans in America. He also serves at the Faith Advisory Council of the Democratic National Committee which consists of approximately 60 Christian leaders, imams, and rabbis.
Right Rev. William E. Swing
Right Rev. William E. Swing is the President and Founder of the United Religions Initiative (URI). Whilst Bishop, Swing had the original vision of URI in 1993, in response to an invitation from the United Nations which asked him to host an interfaith service honoring the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. Swing served as the Episcopal Bishop of California from 1980 until his retirement in 2006. In that capacity, he was a national and international leader in response to the AIDS crisis, co-founded Episcopal Community Services to address San Francisco’s homeless problem, and co-founded Community Bank of the Bay to support local businesses and the economy.
Chief Phil Lane Jr.
Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. is an enrolled member of the Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations and is an internationally recognized leader in human, community, and economic development. During the past 50 years, Chief Lane has worked with Indigenous Peoples from the Americas, Micronesia, Southeast Asia, China, India, Bhutan, Hawaii, and Africa. He served 16 years as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada (1980-1996). In 1982, Chief Lane founded the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII). As well, Phil is Chairman of Four Directions International and Compassion Games International.
Chief Lane has been the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions. He was the first indigenous person to win the prestigious Windstar Award, presented annually on behalf of the late John Denver and the Windstar Foundation. In 2000, he received the Year 2000 Award for Freedom and Human Rights given by the Swiss Foundation. In 2008, Chief Lane received the Ally Award presented by the Center for Healing Racism for his dedicated work, for more than 19 years, as one of the key Indigenous leaders in the resolution of Canada's Residential School issue, which involved the sexual, physical, cultural, psychological, and emotional abuse of thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada.
On August 15, 1992 in recognition of his hereditary lineage of leadership and longtime service to Indigenous Peoples and the Human Family, Indigenous Elders from across North America recognized Phil as a Hereditary Chief of the Hinhan Wicasa and Deloria Tiospayes of the Ihanktonwan Dakota, through a Traditional Headdress Ceremony. Since 2008, Chief Lane has stepped into global leadership. He currently serves as a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Council of Elders. He is host of the Shift Network’s Global Indigenous Wisdom Summits. As well, Chief Lane is an Honorary International Advisor to the Help Foundation of Beijing
Hinako Omori is a musician with a love for synthesizers and anything that makes interesting sounds. Born in Yokohama, Japan she moved to London when she was three, where she is still based. Her debut EP 'Auraelia' was released on Nov 22nd, 2019.
Initially training to be a sound engineer, Hinako studied Music and Sound Recording at the University of Surrey and then went on to continue working in music, at a record label and as part of a curation team for a festival. After session playing on the side, she leapt into working full time as a pianist/keyboard player and programmer – some of the artists Hinako has worked and toured with include Georgia, Kate Tempest, KT Tunstall, James Bay, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Ellie Goulding and Fionn Regan.
Clare is a singer, musician, and composer. She creates mantras and meditation music for yoga and spiritual practices. She teaches and leads meditation sessions, as well as practices in Reiki and Quantum Energy Healing.
Clare was raised by a Scottish mother and a Japanese father and moved to Scotland when she was 15. "My mum wanted my siblings and I to be fully bilingual and bicultural." She struggled with this change. She became a minority and music became her easy escape at school.
Fast forward a few years, Clare went on to study music in London and started her career as a session/touring musician. Over the years, she has played keyboards and sang backing vocals for various artists and toured around the world with them. During this time she became a wellbeing and mindfulness enthusiast, all in practice to stay “well” on tour. She founded her skincare and wellbeing company Majo Medicine in 2016, a business she runs with her sister Rosa.
Noam Heinz Lowenstein
Noam Heinz Lowenstein is a British-American-Israeli baritone. He has performed as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra, Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra, Tel Aviv Soloists, the Buchmann Mehta Symphony, the Ramat Gan Chamber Orchestra, The Orfeus Ensemble, the Israel Symphony Rishon-LeZion Orchestra, and more. He has been awarded masterclasses with notable musicians including Thomas Hampson, Thomas Quasthoff, Dan Ettinger, Chen Reiss, Jennifer Larmore, and more.
In Fall 2019 Noam completed his Israel Defense Forces service, where he served for nearly three years as an ‘outstanding musician’ (a status awarded to only three male opera singers in the previous seven years) and as a personal assistant to the head of the IDF’s Jewish Education department.
Soprano Shani Oshri was born in Israel and is currently finishing her degree in music performance at Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, under Efrat Ben Nun. Shani was a recipient of a full scholarship from the Israel America Cultural Foundation (2010-2020) and a baroque scholarship from the foundation (2012-2014), a scholarship from “the Ronen Foundation” (2019-20), the "Young Artist Encouragement" scholarship from the Netanya Municipality (2012) and an excellence scholarship from the Buchman-Mehta School of Music (2014-2019).
As a soloist, Shani has sung with many well-known choirs in Israel and in tours in Europe and Asia. These choirs include the Moran Ensemble, the Gary Bertini Choir, the Buchmann Mehta Chamber Choir, and the Nitzan Choir. She has had masterclasses with internationally recognized performers, such as Maestro Thomas Quasthoff, Maestro Dan Ettinger, Maestro Kevin Murphy, Chen Reiss, Graham Johnson among others.