Community

SPEAKERS

 

The Off the Mat Global Action Speakers are at the forefront of the movement to integrate mind-body tools into their fields, including mental health, humanitarian aid, juvenile justice, and social justice, and community development. 

 

We are so grateful to them for the work they do in the world and for sharing their passion, inspiration and lessons learned with us at the 2013 Global Action Summit.

 

 MICHAEL SKOLNIK 

Editor-In-Chief, GlobalGrind.com & Political Director to Russell Simmons

Michael Skolnik is the Political Director to hip-hop pioneer, Russell Simmons and the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com, an online destination founded by Mr. Simmons.   As his role as Political Director, Michael oversees Mr. Simmons’ entire social justice and political activities.  The focus of their work together is based around three core themes: education, poverty and ignorance.  GlobalGrind reaches over 4.5 million people a month, predominantly serving a multi-racial segment of the 18-34 population, covering entertainment and celebrity news, lifestyle content, fashion, style, music and politics.

Michael serves on the Board of Directors for The Trayvon Martin Foundation. He is also active on the Leadership Council of Gen44, the Democratic Party’s group for young professionals, and was an official surrogate for the 2012 Obama campaign.


 

Rev. ANGEL KYODO WILLIAMS

Founder & Senior Fellow, Center for Transformative Change

Dubbed "the most vocal and most intriguing African-American Buddhist in America," by Library Journal, Rev. angel Kyodo williams is a maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer and friend to many. She is the founder of Center for Transformative Change and the author of the critically acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace. Her book has been hailed as "a classic" by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, and "an act of love" by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker. A social visionary, she sees Transformative Social Change—inner awareness practice applied to broad-based social change—as America's next great movement. Calling for a paradigm shift that "changes the way change is done," angel envisions the building of a Presence-centered social justice movement as the foundation for personal freedom, a just society and the healing of divisions of race, class, faith and politic. Her work engages at the root, field and resource levels of social transformation. She notes, "Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters." 

 

 

HALA KHOURI, M.A., E-RYT

Co-Founder, Off the Mat, Into the World

Hala has been teaching the movement arts for over 20 years. Her roots are in Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga, dance, Somatic Psychology, and the juicy mystery of Life itself. Creative movement and honest self-exploration has always been a source of tremendous healing for Hala, and her calling to pass this on to others has been clear to her since she began teaching at the age of 16. Hala earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Religion from Columbia University and has a Master's degree Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She wrote her thesis on using yoga and other complementary disciplines such as eco-psychology and somatics for self-empowerment to inspire a global shift towards peaceful and sustainable living. She is also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and focus on trauma's impact on the body-mind and ways to resolve it. Hala has taught yoga and the movement arts to a wide variety of people and places ranging from juvenile detention centers, mental health hospital and police stations, to yoga studios, conference halls and jungles.

 

 

SEANE CORN

Co-Founder, Off the Mat, Into the World

Seane Corn is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher known for her impassioned activism, unique self-expression, and inspirational style of teaching. As one of the world’s leading yoga experts, Seane has been featured on Oprah.com as well as  magazine covers like "Origin" and "Yoga Journal" and news programs like "The Today Show," and has utilized this national platform to bring awareness to global humanitarian issues. Engaged in social issues and activism since she was a young adult, Seane went on to co-found Off the Mat, Into the World in 2007, her proudest collaboration to date. Seane has since spent time in the US, India, Cambodia, Haiti and Africa teaching yoga, providing support and aid, and providing HIV/AIDS prevention education. As a strong and articulate voice for social change she was named the National Yoga Ambassador for YouthAIDS,  was honored with the “Conscious Humanitarian” award in 2005, and was given the “Global Green Millennium Award” in 2013 for her outreach efforts. She has several self-authored yoga DVD programs available through Gaiam, Yoga Journal and Sounds True. www.seanecorn.com

 

 

SUZANNE STERLING

Co-Founder, Off the Mat, Into the World

Suzanne is a musician, yogi, activist and social innovator who has been performing and teaching transformational workshops for over 20 years. She is a leading expert in sound and consciousness and her unique style is a passionate, ecstatic journey into the heart of creativity, authentic connection with Source, and joyful service. She is part of the nationwide faculty for YogaWorks Teacher Trainings.  She is one of the co-founders of OTM, and is the Director of the Seva Challenge. For many years, she has worked with Starhawk and the international Reclaiming Community, creating ritual and training teachers in eco feminist spirituality.  An award winning musician, she has released 3 solo albums, 5 DVD soundtracks and has 3 new albums being released in 2013.  Her life work is dedicated to inspiring others to find their unique voice and to use self expression as a tool for community building and conscious evolution. 

 

 

KERRI KELLY

Executive Director, Off the Mat, Into the World

In the late 90s, Kerri found yoga, and with it found a powerful tool for healing her own body and a spiritual tool for changing her life. Yoga led her to a risky next step: leaving a successful, high-powered marketing career to dedicate herself to empowering others through yoga. Kerri is the founder of Yoga Catalyst, a movement-inspired coaching program to help individuals reshape their body and reignite their life. Since joining Off the Mat more than five years ago, she has been instrumental in building the community around yoga and activism and mobilizing the global community to create positive social change.

 

 

FABIAN ALSULTANY

 DJ

For over 20 years, LA-based DJ Fabian Alsultany has performed his tribalistic musical alchemy at major festivals, world class nightclubs and venues, conferences and yoga/retreat centers across the globe. Alsultany performs with an uncanny sense for musical wizardry and an irrepressible ambition to infuse the national music scene with eclectic, worldly beats and universal rhythms, causing Billboard Magazine to dub him the “World Music Impresario.” He is the founding member of NYC DJ collective GlobeSonic Sound System, and is the co-founder of the Tadasana Festival of Yoga & Music, which raised $22,500 for OTM in 2012. He is DJing all four Wanderlust Festivals this summer, and Kerri, Suzanne, Sean and Hala love and adore Fabian and his music! www.djAlsultany.com 

 

 

TERRI COOPER

Founder, Yoga Gangsters

Teacher, writer, activist and movement builder for social change, Terri Cooper is a long-time Off the Mat leader.  In 2003, she began volunteering as a yoga teacher in some of Miami’s marginalized communities. The work and connection was so compelling that she constantly felt drawn to do more. In 2008, she expanded her service into a community outreach program and began to train other yoga teachers to serve in this way. In just a few short years, Yoga Gangsters has touched the lives of more than 3000 people (mostly youth in crisis), has more than 265 trained volunteers and has raised more than $220,000 through grassroots community events. Learn more about Terri Cooper and her yoga studio in Miami, 305 Yoga.

 

 

MIKE DE LA ROCHA

Musician, Writer, Speaker, Activist

Mike integrates social justice, the arts, and his personal experiences to bring diverse communities together to address social inequities and injustice. With over 15 years experience as a human relations advocate and legislative deputy in the City of Los Angeles, Mike has been involved in strategic coalition-building and innovative youth development programs. He currently advises a number of members of the US Congress and other statewide and local elected officials on juvenile justice policy. In 2012, Mike merged his love of politics and music by creating The Living Rooms Across America Tour, a 10 state music tour that stimulated conversation, built community and inspired people to get engaged in the civic process.

 

 

TEO DRAKE

Yoga Teacher, Activist

Teo Drake is a yoga and martial arts teacher, educator, and activist. As a queer-identified trans man living with AIDS, he has 101 reasons to not want to be present in his own skin. The physical and spiritual practice of yoga and Buddhist traditions made it possible to begin to heal and feel at home in his own body. As a yoga teacher, he works mainly with adults and children who do not have access to mainstream yoga venues for a variety of reasons. As an activist and educator, he works with institutions to increase queer and transgender individuals' access to care.

 

 

MARIANNE ELLIOT

Author, Human Rights Advocate, Yoga Teacher

Trained as a lawyer, Marianne helped develop human rights strategies for the governments of New Zealand and Timor-Leste, has worked as Policy Advisor for Oxfam, a non-profit international development agency and spent two years working in human rights in the Gaza Strip prior to her time in Afghanistan, where she served in the United Nations mission (2005-2007). Her memoir Zen Under Fire, tells the story of her work in Afghanistan, the toll that work took on her health and relationships and how yoga helped her find a way to stay well while doing good. Marianne writes and teaches on creating, developing and sustaining real change in personal life, work and the world. She created the 30 Days of Yoga online courses to help others establish and maintain home yoga practices to support them to do their good work in the world. Marianne is the regional leader for Off the Mat, Into the World Australia and New Zealand

 

 

MARIANNE MANILOV

Co-Founder, The Engage Network

Marianne is the co-founder of The Engage Network, a part of Movement Strategy Center which incubates, researches, and advises on building decentralized, people-

led networks.  The Engage Network marries the best online organizing strategies with a unique, small circle approach to build field.  Some of their partnerships include:  the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy/SEIU International, SEIU I, Roots of Change, and The Bully Project. Prior to Engage, Manilov spent 25 years in organizing. She has held senior positions with Amnesty International, Greenpeace International, and has worked on such campaigns as Jackson 88 and the National Campaign for a Living Wage.Marianne believes transformational practices are necessary because without working with love and inner skills, our organizing infrastructures break down. Her practices include meditation and dance.  She is part of the Heart and Soul Center of Light Spiritual Community in Oakland, California  

 

 

NIKKI MYERS

Founder, Y12SR

An accomplished teacher and practitioner,  Nikki Myers is a Yoga Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, and Certified Addictions Recovery Specialist. Born from her personal struggle with addiction, she is the founder of  Y12SR, The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery.  Based in its theme ‘the issues live in the tissues’, Y12SR is a relapse prevention program that weaves the art & science of yoga with the practical tools of 12-step programs. Y12SR meetings are now available all over the United States and the curriculum is rapidly becoming a feature of addiction recovery treatment centers. Nikki’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Yoga Journal, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post and more.  She  is honored to be the co-founder of the annual Yoga, Meditation and Recovery Conferences at Esalen Institute and Kripalu Center

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MELODY MOORE, Ph.D.,RYT 

Clinical Psychologist, Author, Speaker 

Dr. Moore is the Founder of the Embody Love Movement (ELM), whose vision is to create a world where all see and treat themselves, and therefore others, with unconditional love. She also founded ELM’s Integrated Center for Psychotherapy, Yoga, and Nutrition to create this revolution, one already beautiful body temple at a time.  Dr. Moore’s passion lies not only in helping clients, most of whom struggle to connect to and embrace their bodies, to restore balance in their relationships with food, themselves, and others, but more so in creating conditions for clients to thrive, to live fully in love with themselves and with an abundance of possibility and a commitment to purpose. Embody Love Movement is a prevention program that teaches young people that they are purposeful, meaningful, and beautiful for who they are, not for what they look like. The movement changes the conversation from negative self-talk to meaningful dialogue about showing up as oneself in the world. Dr. Moore is a contributor to the upcoming anthology, Yoga and Body Image, and travels across the country spreading the revolution of unconditional self-love.

 

 

PHILIP STEIR

DJ

Philip has been a vegan and an animal rights activist for nearly 25 years and has worked with In Defense Of Animals and Animal Acres Farm Sanctuary. In 2012, Philip signed an exclusive deal with Spirit Music Group to remix the classic back catalogue of Pete Townshend and The Who for licensing in film, television, advertising and new media. Through his selection of songs and style of remixes, Philip helped to further build The Who brand.  An avid yoga practitioner, Philip received his 200-hour teacher training certification from Yoga Tree in San Francisco in 2011. http://www.mcdman.com/steir.html

 

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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