Ahmed Abdi currently works as an Outreach Manager at Fair Work Center, where he conducts "Train the Trainer" & "Know Your Rights" workshops for community partner organizations around King County. He also helps coordinate the Fair Work Collaborative, a coalition of 10 organizations committed to collaborate and educate workers on labor standards. He has seven years of experience in community, political, union, business and coalition organizing. He has worked at SEIU775, Working Washington. He has also served on the boards of African Diaspora of Washington, and the Somali American Public Advocacy Committee. Ahmed speaks Swahili and Somali.
Mr. Abdi will lead "Strategic Organizing for Economic Justice" during the first session.
The Rev. Kelle J. Brown is the Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care at Plymouth Church United Church of Christ. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta and Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry, and will complete a Doctorate of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary this year. Kelle is the chief consultant of ReConciling Acts, and facilitates conversation and training in antiracism and inclusion. The title for her workshop is rooted in her belief that justice is the sacred cloth that people of faith are called to wear. She enjoys singing, creating mixed media art, and spending time with her daughter, Indigo, the joy of her life.
Rev. Brown will lead "Reading the Bible Through the Lens of Justice" during the second session.
Elsie Dennis is Shuswap First Nations and serves on the Indigenous Peoples Network in the Diocese of Olympia in Western Washington State. She has worked as a communications specialist for the diocese there and at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle. Elsie also has worked in the Ethnic Ministries office as an assistant. In addition, Elside served as the Public Information Services Manager for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission in Olympia. She has worked at the communications consultant for Indigenous Ministries, The Episcopal Church. She has been a member of the Executive Council's Anti-Racism Committee. Elsie served as one of the Ethnic Ministries Ambassadors for Indigenous Ministry, and is on the Bishop's Committee at her home parish, St. Matthew/San Mateo, in Auburn. She has worked as an advocate for battered women and their children at a municipal court in the Victim Assistance Unit, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Elsie and her husband Jim live in the Seattle area. She is the mother of five children, and grandmother to four.
Ms. Dennis will co-lead, with Rev. David Hacker, "Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery" during the first session.
El Presbitero Gobernante Germán Zarate Durier es sociologo y teológo, El es Director de la Oficina Nacional de diaconía.
El Presbitero Docente Jairo Barriga Jaraba es teológo y filosofo. El es Secretario General del Presbiterio de la Costa.
Los presentadores son acompañantes y defensores de victimas.
Rev. German Zarate Durier is a theologian and sociologist, and serves as Director of the National Office of Diakonia, Presbyterian Church of Colombia.
Rev. Jairo Barriga Jaraba is a theologian and philosopher, and serves as Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of the Coast (Presbyterian Church of Colombia).
Both presenters are victims' advocates and defenders. They will lead "Conflict, Violence, and Reconciliation: Faith Communities Building Peace in Colombia" during the first session.
Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD., one of the Interfaith Amigos, is a spiritual guide, author, teacher and therapist. He has taught Jewish traditions of Kabbalah meditation and spirituality since the 1970s. In 1993, he founded Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue which currently worships at Seattle First Baptist Church. He has written several books, including three books with the other Interfaith Amigos, Imam Jamal Rahman and Pastor Don Mackenzie: Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi & an Imam; Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith; and Finding Peace Through Spiritual Practice.
Rabbi Falcon will be a panelist, with Imam Jamal Rahman and Pastor Ricky Willis, for the "Weaving Our Strengths through Interfaith Dialogue: Working WITH our unhoused neighbors to restore self-reliance" workshop offered during the second session.
Elizabeth (Beth) Farmer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA. She has been a social worker for over twenty years, and is currently the Director of Refugee and Asylum Services for the North Puget Sound Region of Lutheran Community Services (LCS). Beth was the creator and director of the Pathways to Wellness project, which designed the Refugee Health Screener-15, a validated screener for detecting emotional distress in refugee populations. Beth has won numerous awards for her work including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader award.
Ms. Farmer will lead "The Challenges and Contexts of Refugee and Asylum Seekers in Our Region" during the first session.
Briana Frenchmore currently serves on the Farm Worker Ministry Northwest board and on the United Church of Christ's Justice Witness Ministry board for the Pacific Northwest Conference. She is a former UCC Justice Leadership Program intern with the Church Council of Greater Seattle where she focused on organizing and education in Seattle congregations around living wage and immigrant rights issues.
Ms. Frenchmore will co-lead "Storytelling as a Tool for Community Organizing & Faithful Action" with Esmy Jimenez during the second session.
The Rev. David Hacker is the Regional Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane to Between the Ridges. The Land Between the Ridges describes the landscape of the Yakama Nation and surrounding communities. The work of Between the Ridges is to face the reality of our shared history and to seek new visions of reconciliation emerging between the many barriers that divide us. Rev. Hacker’s work includes directing Noah’s Ark Homeless Shelter in Wapato, WA. Previously, he was the Director the Campbell Farm, a Presbyterian Mission Station on the Yakama Reservation, and Congregational Organizer for Lutheran Public Policy Office (now Faith Action Network).
Rev. Hacker will co-lead, with Elsie Dennis, "Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery" during the first session.
John Hale is CEO of Call of Compassion NW and President of Northwest Interfaith Community Outreach. John is applying his education and more than 20 years of extensive executive management experience to achieve clear and actionable goals through compassionate action in these non-profit organizations. He is a mission-based strategist skilled at identifying and creating new, value-enhancement possibilities. He manages with a collaborative style, and his lifelong dedication to spiritual action both guides and drives how he walks in the world.
Mr. Hale will facilitate "Weaving Our Strengths through Interfaith Dialogue: Working WITH our unhoused neighbors to restore self-reliance" during the second session.
Dr. Darryn Hewson spends much of his time experiencing first-hand the traditions of others. His doctoral work focused on worship as a form of dialogue and creating sacred spaces. He has worked with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and others all over the world, trying to help people understand what is most important in their relationship to an infinite God. His mission is to build bridges across the things that divide us, doorways through the barriers that separate us, and windows into the knowledge that can erase the ignorance of hate and fear between us.
Dr. Hewson will lead "An Interfaith Approach to Scripture" during the first session.
Rick Jackson is Co-Founder and Senior Fellow of the Center for Courage & Renewal. www.couragerenewal.org Rick teaches, consults, and speaks with leaders, non-profit organizations, and philanthropies on a range of topics, including identity and integrity, youth and community development, and strategies to foster long-term positive cultural change. He earned a B.A. in history from St. Olaf College; a Master of Arts in religion and social ethics from Yale University Divinity School; and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he was an executive with the YMCA for 25 years.
Mr. Jackson will lead "'Habits of the Heart' for Healthy Conversations" during the second session.
Esmy Jimenez is the Resource Development and Community Engagement leader for Puentes, an organization that provides mental health resources for undocumented individuals and their families affected by detention and deportation. She currently serves as a mentor for Young Women Empowered and hosts a community garden with Seattle Tilth’s Just Garden Program.
Ms. Jimenez will co-lead "Storytelling as a Tool for Community Organizing & Faithful Action" with Briana Frenchmore during the second session.
Melanie Neufeld is pastor of Community Ministry at Seattle Mennonite Church working with people experiencing homelessness in Lake City, a neighborhood of Seattle. She leads a congregational and broader neighborhood effort to end homelessness through the Lake City Taskforce on Homelessness. Melanie has graduate degrees in Social Work and Divinity. She is committed to community organizing, working with people on the margins, mothering, yoga practice, Interplay (the practice of bringing more playfulness into one's life), and spiritual direction group process.
Ms. Neufeld will lead "Coming Alongside as Neighborhood" during the first session.
Imam Jamal Rahman, one of the Interfaith Amigos, is co-founder and Muslim Sufi Minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary in Seattle and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He has written several books, including three books with the other Interfaith Amigos, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie: Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi & an Imam; Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith; and Finding Peace Through Spiritual Practice.
Imam Rahman will be a panelist, with Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Ricky Willis, for the "Weaving Our Strengths through Interfaith Dialogue: Working WITH our unhoused neighbors to restore self-reliance" workshop offered during the second session.
Kyna Grace Shilling is a creative worship aggregator, curator, and facilitator with the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ and at Plymouth Congregational Church UCC, where she works to build vibrant, interactive, intergenerational worship experiences through elements of visual arts, music, ritual, storytelling, technology and liturgy. She also serves on the PNC's Youth and Young Adult Task Force and manages several of the conference social media accounts.
Ms. Shilling will lead "Weaving Creative Worship" during the first session.
Sarah Tatterson is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist with the Lutheran Counseling Network and a graduate of Seattle University’s Pastoral Counseling Program. She has worked in the mental health field since 2006 and is passionate about the integration of faith and spirituality in the human experience of healing and transformation. As a daughter of missionary parents, Sarah grew up overseas; she currently resides in West Seattle with her husband and three teenagers.
Ms. Tatterson will lead "Mental Health & the Church" during the second session.
Pastor Ricky Willis is the president of United Black Christian Clergy and pastor of Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church.
Pastor Willis will be a panelist, with Rabbi Ted Falcon and Imam Jamal Rahman, for the "Weaving Our Strengths through Interfaith Dialogue: Working WITH our unhoused neighbors to restore self-reliance" workshop offered during the second session.