Women and Girls Task Force
Sande Hart, Director of Women and Girls
Sande's the mother of 2 young adults and lives in Southern California. She serves as Lead of the Charter for Compassion Women and Girls sector, Founder and President of the women's interfaith organization S.A.R.A.H., One Humanity Institute Leadership Team, Parliament of World Religions Women's Task Force, and Past Chair of the United Religions Initiative for North America.
Sande's passionate about elevating women and girls by providing opportunities, weaving relationships, and being in service to the divine feminine that is rising strong in our world right now. She's been engaged with the Charter for Compassion since 2012 and is dedicated to advocating for Compassionate Cities and Charter Partners when it became clear to her that compassion was the force of resilient and regenerative change in any environment and the new solution to any old problem. Coupled with the power women hold as catalysts for lasting change, Sande recognizes the critical need of the Charter for Compassion’s Women and Girls sector.
Betsy Spano, Director of Relationship Outreach
Despina Namwembe, Regional Women and Girls Director, Africa
Despina is a social scientist with a strong background in Peace and Conflict Studies and other human rights related learnings. She works with the United Religions Initiative (URI) as the Regional Coordinator in the Great Lakes Countries of Africa, coordinating the work of over 30 self-organized interfaith organizations that address different development action areas in the region. She has passion for conflict resolution, gender issues, promoting the safety and future of the girl child, and promoting a gender based environmental approach to the preservation of nature. Encouraging and promoting justice systems that support those in need and providing human based opportunity linkages to all globally as they happen. She is globally travelled and connected and has participated in various social action programs especially those aimed at promoting human dignity. She believes in equal opportunities for all irrespective of the different social backgrounds. She is also an author contributing mostly to women’s related literature.
Namrataa Arora Singh, Regional Women and Girls Director, India
Namrataa is a spiritual eco-feminism activist, currently a fellow with Change.Org's She Creates Change program in India, battling against the use of plastics and for issuers relating to empowering women. A certified professional coach, Namrataa founded Life Beyond Motherhood in 2012, which delivers group coaching sessions for women leaders, consults with corporates on their gender diversity strategy and provides bulk 1-1 coaching services. An intentional Buddhist, Namrataa is the author of the Possibility of Balance, a mother of a 10 year old daughter and is based in Mumbai, India. With her experience spanning two decades of working in MNCs and running her own organisation, Namrataa envisions to engage talented women across India to drive social impact in various areas, with a marked focus on environmental issues.
Brenda Gustin, Regional Women and Girls Co-Director Capitol Region, California
Brenda has always been interested in freeing ourselves from suffering, loosening beliefs and providing tools to clarify our view. Becoming a mother led her to co-create a Sudbury School for children to create from the innate desire to grow into responsible citizens. At The Radiant Health Center she and her colleagues assist adults in doing the same. As VP of Mercey Springs Foundation, she actively engages to highlight the work of great people and co-create the CA Vision 2020 Conferences with The Shift Network. As a BraveHeart Sister, women are healing to prosper and thrive. The Charter for Compassion Women & Girls Sector provides opportunity to share tools and exampleship to those who desire
collaboration in creating a new world based in peace, harmony and pleasurable experiences for all. Sacred Geometry provides opportunity to learn about the nature within us all. The yantras of the chakras, planets, goddesses and their relationship to our bodies, mind and souls enhance our life journey. Through asana, drawing and painting yantras and mandalas, Brenda and her students open doorways leading to the Art of all things.
Joan Marie, Regional Women and Girls Co-Director Capitol Region, California
Joan is an artist, Conscious Touch Educator, and massage practitioner since 1990, serving all ages from infants to elders, foster children, and hospice. She studies the ways of the Magdalene and Our Divinity. Owner of Mirth to Earth, Director with Compassionate Women & Girls, steward of The Red Tent and co-founder of Compassionate Capitol Region. In 2017 Joan received a Certificate of Recognition by the California Legislature Assembly for her work with veterans. Joan has produced InterDependence Day, UN International Day of Peace and in 2014, this Carmichael event represented the United States globally with seven other countries. She is currently producing the webinar series V2020 for CW&G.
Susan de-Gaia, Regional Women and Girls Director, Kern County, California
Susan de-Gaia is a feminist, environmentalist, and peace activist. She teaches online courses in religion and philosophy for Central Michigan University and is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions (in press 2018). A community activist, Susan has a passion for raising women’s voices to be heard across the world as we face many challenges today. She was a founding member and served on the board of Green Dragon Farms, an organic farming project in the California Frazier Mountain Communities, and is an active member of Frazier/Mount Pinos Mountain Neighbors, a group dedicated to promoting diversity and supporting a healthyenvironment. Susan wants to see peace between all peoples and works to engage all in the struggle for the rights, education, health, and happiness of women, whoever they are, in all social and cultural contexts.
Raising consciousness among men is Clay Boykin’s calling. Clay has recently dedicated his next twenty years to creating circles of men around the world who gather, physically and virtually, to engage in contemplative conversations on the over-arching theme of male spirituality. Using his thirty-eight years as an organizational change agent, and with his deeply held principles of servant leadership, Clay founded the Men’s Fellowship Network. Since 2012, over 20,000 collective man-hours have been invested in exploring the divine masculine and divine feminine essence within every person. Clay’s recently published book, Circles of Men, examines how men come together in a contemplative setting to learn about vulnerability, cultivate trust, hold space, explore the many religious and spiritual traditions, and learn from one another’s life journey. Recently, Clay accepted a volunteer position as Assistant Director of Compassionate Austin, and is developing an initiative for the Charter for Compassion focused on Men and Boys
Global Advisory Council
Suhair is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). She helps individual leaders amplify natural strengths as well as transform limitations to achieve personal and professional success. Her approach is unique to each person by focusing on one’s own nature, behavior and mannerism and tapping into each individual’s potential for higher performance. Her clients are looking for change, awareness and fulfillment as well as professional growth and leadership development. Suhair possesses an exceptional ability to connect with people evoking true transformation. She focuses on soft skills needed to shift perspectives and achieve targets. Suhair is a strong believer that when we align with who we truly are, we become an unstoppable force of nature.
Suhair is a coach in the Humanitarian Coaching Network (HCN) – www.thehcn.org, a platform that connects humanitarian staff with a global cohort of volunteer professional coaches. Its aim is to provide an innovative way of supporting the wellbeing and development of humanitarian staff, particularly those serving in the most isolated and complex posts. She received a certificate of appreciation in recognition of her outstanding support to the Leadership Development Pathway (LDP) with the United Nations Development Program.
Previous to her coaching experience, Suhair’s career included time with Accenture which provided her with a solid foundation to expand into several management roles in the consulting and financial services industries.
Suhair is a painter using art as a doorway for deeper and richer self-expression. Her art has been displayed at several exhibitions and as permanent fixtures in establishments. Suhair speaks Arabic, English and studied French. She is currently living in Abu Dhabi with her family.
Hena was born and raised in the foothills of Himalayas in India. Her formal academic education culminated with a Masters in Labour laws and welfare, which led to work with a few global companies in India, APAC and Europe in Human Resources' department. Hena is currently based in London and an active member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK). She has the opportunity to design and improve HR processes and policies in mature matrix organizations and she has also managed and dealt with HR challenges of both growing/booming and mature economies with tangible bottom line improvements.
In her free time she supports charities like FIBIS (translation, as I speak multiple languages), Aspire Foundation (mentor young women professionals), CIPD (vice chair of Hertfordshire county) and also advise an eduprenuer who is starting his business venture across India and UK.
Lynne Reeder, Ph.d. (Melbourne, Australia)
Dr Lynne Reeder is a Director, Australia21 a public interest think tank. She completed her PhD (Monash University) on the ethical aspects of the international relations theory of global interdependence. She is a member of the global compassion e-discussion group run by the Compassionate Mind Foundation, University of Derby, UK. She trained as a meditation teacher with Deepak Chopra in the US, and currently teaches meditation at a regional hospital Wellness Centre.
Lynne is an active member of the Australian Charter of Compassion group – which is working to bring awareness of the Charter and to encourage Australians to get involved - www.charterforcompassion.com.au
Priya Saklani (Mumbai, India)
Priya Saklani Phd, RMT, CHLC, is a certified Reiki Master and Teacher (in several Reiki healing modalities). She is a certified holistic life coach and also a certified Animal Reiki practitioner . She holds a doctorate degree in holistic and spiritual healing and is a graduate from Divine Blessings Academy which is accredited by AADP (AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DRUGLESS PRACTITIONERS) AND INHA (INTERNATIONAL NATURAL HEALERS ASSOCIATION). Priya is also a registered member with INHA. Priya is an aromatherapist, herbalist, flower essence therapist, crystal healer, EFT practitioner, spiritual reflexologist , chakra therapist. Priya is a pioneer of animal reiki in India . She has had the privilege to study with Kathleen Prasad the world renowned Animal Reiki Teacher. Her speciality is connecting with animals and their guardians. Her devotion is to bring the partnership between animals and humans into a better understanding and respect for one another.In her opinion, animals have already mastered unconditional love and they are here to teach us that ,they are pure positive beings and are energy balancers of the planet. Visit Priya's website: http://www.priyasaklani.com/
Zareen Quereshi (Karachi, Pakistan)
Zareen has a Masters degree in Marketing and Media from the Institute of Business Management in Pakistan and has over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector. Her past employers include the British Deputy High Commission, Transparency International Pakistan and WWF-Pakistan.
Zareen has been associated with Charter for Compassion Pakistan since the execution phase began in 2013 and has successfully designed and implemented the Compassionate Community Network project, Compassionate School Network project, Mumkin, the women empowerment project, and the Education Management Project. She has also represented CfC Pakistan at a number of national and international forums. She is a startup specialist and has developed the water project for the Child Life foundation launched in March 2016.
Monica Willard (New York, New York, USA)
Monica Willard is the coordinator for the United Religions Initiative (URI) team at the United Nations. Other UN representatives include: Swamini Sri Lalitambika Devi, Martha Gallahue, Mussie Hailu in Nairobi, Audrey Kitagawa, Deborah Moldow, Patrick Nickisch in Geneva, and Rabbi Roger Ross. Since 1997, Monica has worked with the Department of Public Information to organize the annual International Day of Peace Student of Observance at United Nations Headquarters, and serves as a Co-Chair of the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the UN. While President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, Monica helped organize World Interfaith Harmony Week events at the UN since it began in 2011. This included two major events with the 66th and 67th Presidents of the General Assembly in 2012 and 2013. Monica represented the United Religions Initiative as a founding member of the Tripartite Forum, a groundbreaking, informal group of Member States, UN System Agencies and Religions NGOs who worked together from 2005-2010 to bring the voice of faith-based organizations into peace and development issues. She received the 2009 Spirit of the United Nations Award from the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns NY, and was Chair of the 49th Annual DPI NGO Conference at UN Headquarters in 1996.