Presenters' Bios

Cindy Sheehan lost her son in an ambush in Iraq in 2004. As information became available verifying that the war was based on lies, she began speaking out. In August 2005, she went to Crawford, TX to confront the President. Ten thousand people joined her, and millions more worldwide. She is a moving writer and vibrant storyteller and founder of Gold Star Families for Peace.

Anne Lamott
writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus.  But armed with self-effacing humor, she is laugh out-loud funny, and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment.  Actually, she writes about what most of us don't like to think about. Anne Lamott is the author of six novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, All New People, and Crooked Little Heart, as well as four best-selling books of non-fiction, Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Traveling Mercies and Plan B: Further Thoughts on FaithAnne Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at U.C. Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country.  Lamott's biweekly Salon Magazine and online diary, Word by Word was voted The Best of the Web by Time magazine. 

Molly Ivins began her newspaper career with the Houston Chronicle and then moved tothe Minneapolis Tribune where she became the city's first female police reporter. Returning to her home state as co-editor of the Texas Observer, she concentrated on politics and social justice issues. In 1976 Ivins became a political reporter for the New York Times.

Many awards stem from her freelance work appearing in many national magazines,and she contributes essays to both the Lehrer News Hour and National Public Radio. She has written several books, most recently, Shrub; the Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush. She is an active participant in the journalism network of Amnesty International and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Molly Ivins is singular in her profession not only for her willingness to speak truth to power but for her use of humor to lampoon the self-seeking, the corrupt and the incompetent in positions of public trust. Her wit and insight place her squarely in the tradition of America's great political humorists like Mark Twain.


Diane Wilson
is a mother of five and a fourth-generation shrimper from the Texas Gulf Coast. Through hunger strikes and other direct action, she has been putting pressure on chemical companies to stop poisoning the bay. A longtime environmentalist and peace activist, Wilson is one of the founding members of CODEPINK.

Most recently, Diane spent 3 months in a Texas county jail for
her protest against the wanton corruption of the Bush Administration and Congressman Tom DeLay; Halliburton and war profiteering during a fundraiser for DeLay hosted by Dick Cheney. After her time in jail she is now taking on the corrupt Texas prison industrial complex and standing up for incarcerated women.She is currently fasting with 100s of other activists in front of the White House- for more details visit

Rha Goddess
is a performing artist and social/political activist. Her work has been internationally featured in several compilations, anthologies, forums and festivals. Rha's debut project, "Soulah Vibe" received rave industry reviews from Ms. Magazine, The Source, XXL, Interview, etc..Time Magazine called it "one of the year's coolest records." As Founder and CEO of Divine Dime Entertainment, Ltd., she was one of the first women in Hip Hop to co-create, independently market and commercially distribute her own music world wide.

In May 2000, Essence Magazine recognized Rha as one of 30 Women to Watch in the new millennium. In 2002, BAM's prestigious Next Wave festival's NextNext series, chose her as one of six artists deemed to be influential in the next decade. Her activist work includes, Co-founding the Sista II Sista Freedom School for Young Women of Color, and being the former International Spokeswoman for the Universal Zulu Nation. Rha has also been an encore featured keynote in the Women & Power Summit at Omega Institute along with Iyanla Vanzant, Eve Ensler, Anita Hill, Eileen Fisher, Jane Fonda, Alice Walker, and Marion Barry.

Rebecca Solnit
is a writer, historian, and activist with a particular interest in geography, landscape, slowness, insurrection, photography, the inner emotional life of great public events, indirect routes and subjects that escape category. She lives in San Francisco, has received various awards, including the Lannan, a Guggenheim, and the Western Writers of America Spur Award, and is the author of ten books, including most recently A Field Guide to Getting Lost and Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.

is a vocal artist with a vision of music for healing, transformation, and social change. A vibrant, gifted singer, performance artist, composer, and master teacher, Rhiannon has been bringing her unique and potent blend of jazz, world music, improvisation and storytelling to audiences for over three decades. Rhiannon is deeply interested in the healing power of music, and takes her songs and improvisations beyond the realm of clubs and concert halls to one on one sessions in hospice and other settings.

Ann Wright
was the deputy chief of mission in the U.S. embassies of Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She received the State Department's award for heroism as charge d'affaires during the evacuation of Sierra Leone in 1997. She has also been a U.S. Army colonel, with twenty-six years of military experience.

She resigned March 19, 2003 due to her disagreement with the Bush Administration's decision to go to war in Iraq without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the lack of effort in resolving the Israel-Palestinian situation, the lack of policy on North Korea and unnecessary curtailment of civil liberties in the United States.

Nina Wise
is known for her provacative and original performance works. Her pieces have garnered seven Bay Area Critics' Circle Awards, and she has received, among other prestigious honors, three National Endowments for the Arts fellowships. Her written pieces have also appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.




Lillie P. Allen
 is a nationally recognized trainer who founded Be Present, Inc. and developed the Be Present Empowerment Model to support the development of a diverse national network of women and girls committed to changing their circumstances, and leading social change efforts within their families and communities. Her groundbreaking workshop, "Black & Female: What is the Reality?" was presented at the 1st National Conference on Black Women's Health Issues in 1983 at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lillie Allen serves as the executive director of Be Present, Inc. She is a consultant to the Pettus-Crowe Foundation and a member of the National Network of Grantmakers Women's Caucus. Lillie has been involved in public health education for over twenty years, and has a broad background in human development, interpersonal relations, group dynamics, and the interconnections and conflicts between work, home and personal goals.

Inga Muscio is the author of
Cunt: a declaration of independence and Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society. In her not-exactly-plentiful spare time, she writes other stuff, reads it in public, and continues to expand on her work in Cunt and Blue-Eyed Devil by doing workshops and the like.

Star Wolf
knows that "the healer lives within." She is the founder and director of Venus Rising Institute for Shamanic Healing Arts and Venus Rising Isis Cove Retreat Center.  Creator of the Shamanic Breathwork Process, she holds a doctorate of ministry.  As an addiction counselor, a Shamanic Pastoral Counselor, spiritual midwife and guide for souls in transformational process, Star Wolf has worked with people from every walk of life with a wide range of challenges.


Adeeba Afshan Rana
defines herself as a Pakistani-American poetic activista with a lot on her mind. 

Her journey began in pre-school where she championed the other girls of the playground, a red crayon clutched in her raised fist. Today, she works diligently to cultivate the voices of her people. Adeeba has been hooked onto conversations of women and power, art and activism since taking the stage at the Apollo in 2004 as the winner of We Got Issues! hottest rant contest. She also works closely with the Boston Center for Community and Justice, educating and inspiring young people to use their voices in action; protest, praise and power. 

She is currently a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she edits the Nexus, a Social Justice and Diversity magazine.  She is studying English, Social Thought and Political Economy, and Education.

Celia Alario is a media strategist, PR practitioner and facilitator with more than a dozen years providing spokesperson and publicity trainings to social changemakers of many movements. Her specialty is sup-porting those groups with the most leading edge demand sets and tactics, and weaves elements of grassroots organizing and stra-tegic campaigning into her dynamic media trainings. She is dedicated to helping activists find their voice as movement spokespeople and to helping groups be-come more strategic in their approach to PR and media. Celia loves to play frisbee and hulahoop and practice yoga when she isn't busy reading up for her service on the
Boards of Directors of ITVS (Independent Television Service) and Public Interest Pictures, a non-profit film production company.

Sylvie Minot took a dance class in 1994 at the age of 29, fell madly in love with the dance and hasn't stopped dancing since. She received a BA in Dance from San Jose State University, and found her way into the
5Rhythms movement practice. She is currently part of the teaching staff at the Moving Center School in Mill Valley, and  a dancer/choreographer in California.  

Sylvie has experienced the power of dance to transform our life and to support us in living our passion. She incorporates this experience, along with her studies in various healing practices, into her teaching.
Sylvie is passionate about the journey created within the 5Rhythms and is dedicated to the embodiment of spirit through dance. For more information about Gabrielle Roth and The 5 Rhythms see: www.themovingcenterschool.

Debbie Russell
, considered herself a "cerebral activist" until November, 2000. When the "UN-ELECTION" happened she jumped on board with globalization work at Public Citizen-Texas (which 9/11 killed); meanwhile forming & organizing with: the Austin Democracy Coalition, Austin Against War & Texans United Against War, the Austin Center for Peace & Justice, the Austin Bill of Rights Defense Committee and CodePink-Austin and was instrumental in passing the City of Peace Resolution & the resolution against the Patriot Act for Austin (to which she consults with other TX cities on).

She is a board member of the ACLU, central TX chapter and the secretary for Peace Action-Texas, and just finished a 3-year stint as a member of the City of Austin's Urban Forestry Board.
Her ultimate goal is find the perfect formula for combining art, education and action in pursuit of a just and peaceful global DO-ocracy!

Wanda Whitaker
's background covers over twenty-five years of media sales, cause-related marketing and event production. Additionally, she has worked with many nonprofit organizations as a volunteer and employee servicing the socially and economically challenged. Currently, she serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Global Exchange where she most recently traveled to Japan to speak on behalf of the US peace movement.

has taken numerous classes focused on spiritual awareness and emotional healing including the completion of a Mastery course on eliminating interference patterns of DNA. Her experience with socially challenged youth and women propelled her to launch Indigo Unlimited LLC, an umbrella of spiritual and personal development services and products and its subsidiary, Anchored in Spirit. The ventures are designed to empower individuals to reach their highest potential through promoting self-improvement, self-confidence, self-discovery and spiritual awareness.

Amira Diamond
is a musician and spiritual activist devoted to issues of environmental justice and democracy.  She has served with Julia Butterfly Hill as Circle of Life's Associate Director in Oakland, CA.  Amira is on the Board of Democracy Matters where she worked as the West Coast Director, educating college students and organizing around election reform on the West Coast and in Arizona.  Born into a musical family, she began formal training on the violin at age 3 and has performed as a singer throughout her life.  Amira incorporates her background as a performing artist, healer and musician into all aspects of her work.


Laurie Kaufman, MA, has been teaching earth-based spirituality for over ten years. She was featured in the book Modern Pagans: An Investigation of Contemporary Ritual (Re/Search Books) and is a graduate of the  Berkeley Psychic Institute's Women Clairvoyant Program. Laurie has been a professional drummer and performer and currently works for TreePeople in Los Angeles, an environmental nonprofit that is helping nature heal our cities.

Eliza Gilkyson
- The daughter of successful folksinger Terry Gilkyson, Eliza is a third-generation poet/musician who, growing up in Los Angeles, knew that her life would revolve around music. As a young teenager she recorded demos for her dad and started writing and recording her own material as well. In her late teens Eliza moved to New Mexico to pursue an alternative lifestyle and eventually raised a family, while continuing to perform, write and record. She cut numerous records, including her most well known work on Gold Castle Records, 1987's Pilgrims, which charted her. She then wrote, recorded and toured with Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider in the early 90's.

Eliza returned to the United States In 1994 to release Through the Looking Glass for Private Music and, in 1997, Redemption Road for SilverWave/MTI. In 1999 after creating her own label, Realiza Records, she released Misfits, a collection of previously unreleased recordings, which was received readily by radio and press as a homecoming to a sound that connected all the dots between her roots, her personal story and her passionate voice. Throughout 2001 and 2002, Eliza has gained a wider audience through appearances on Austin City Limits and National Public Radio, European and North American tours and favorable press coverage.

Jodie Evans, cofounder of CODEPINK, has been a community, social and political organizer for the last 30 years. She has used her skills for the protection of the earth, to give voice to communities and people who go unheard and unseen, in the area of human and civil rights, to protect the rights of women, to raise the minimum wage for farm workers, to protect dolphins, in El Salvador in the early 80's and with Zapitistas since '94. From 1973 to 1982, she served in administrative capacities in all of Jerry Brown's campaigns and in his staff and cabinet as Director of Administration.

Medea Benjamin is a cofounder of both CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange. She has been a tireless advocate for social justice for more than 20 years. Described as "one of America�s most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and called "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, Medea has distinguished herself as an eloquent and energetic figure in the progressive movement.

Gael Murphy is an active leader in the peace and justice movement and serves on the executive committee of CODEPINK: Women for a Peace. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Occupation Watch Center and a steering committee member of United for Peace and Justice.

Rae Abileah
coordinates CODEPINK's local groups. She connects CODEPINK's national campaigns
with the grassroots women's movement for peace, and brings organizing resources to local coordinators who work creatively to stop the war in Iraq from over 200 small towns and cities around the country, and many around the world.  Rae has found through CODEPINK a network of compassionate women who daily inspire her to stand up for peace, from marches, to vigils, to getting thrown out of Bush�s Inauguration! Rae is from San Francisco, California, and when not on the road for pink protests, she compliments her activism with creative writing, home-cooked meals, surfing, and calling the Congressional switchboard on speed dial.

Laurelee Roark
, M.A., C.C.H.T. C.M.T, is the founder of Beyond Hunger,Inc.,, co-author of "It¹s Not About Food, Change Your
Mind, Change Your Life, Free Yourself From the Obsession of Food and Weight', Putnam, New York, New York, 1999 and ³Over It, A Teens Guide For Going Beyond the Obsession of Food and Weight", New World Library, Novato,Ca. 2001. Laurelee has worked in the field of eating disorders and body image disturbances for more than 20 years. Her ground breaking approach has been featured in national newspapers, magazines, TV and radio shows. She
conducts workshops, support groups and gives lectures worldwide. She is a certified  yoga teacher and the owner of Yoga Lite Yoga Studio. For more information about her, Beyond Hunger, Inc. or Yoga Lite please call-707-391-7725.

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Ameeta Nanji- click her name for more info