Reimagining Interfaith Cooperation begins on Sunday with a keynote panel featuring three movement leaders.
Rabbi David Saperstein (@RabbiSaperstein) was designated by Newsweek Magazine as the most influential rabbi in America and by the Washington Post as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” David Saperstein, for decades, directed the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the Reform Jewish Movement, the largest segment of American Jewry, to Congress and the Administration. Today he serves as a Senior Advisor to the Union for Reform Judaism for Policy and Strategy. For over two years (through Jan. 2017), Rabbi Saperstein served our nation as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, carrying out his responsibilities as the country’s chief diplomat on religious freedom issues. Also an attorney, he taught seminars on Church-State law and Jewish Law for 35 years at Georgetown University Law Center. During his career, Rabbi Saperstein has served as the chair or co-chair of several national interreligious coalitions including the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty and served on the boards or executive committees of numerous national organizations including the NAACP, People for The American Way, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Religious Partnership on the Environment and the World Faith Development Dialogue. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at both the Georgeotwn University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and its School of Foreign Service's Center for Jewish Civilization as well as the Senior Advisor for Strategy and Policy for the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Saperstein is married to Ellen Weiss, an award-winning journalist and has two sons, Daniel and Ari.
Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi (@melsanousi1) is the Director of the Secretariat of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (NRTP), a global network initiated by United Nations Mediation Support Unit, UN Alliance of Civilizations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Religions for Peace, KAICIID Dialogue Center and Finn Church Aid. He heads the NRTP's Washington D.C. Office. Originally from Senegal, Dr. Elsanousi served as the director of Community Outreach and Interfaith Relations for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He is the Founding co-chair of Shoulder to Shoulder. He served on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry’s Taskforce on Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group.
Rev. Jennifer Bailey (@faithmattersnet) is the Founder and Executive Director of The Faith Matters Network, which centers the voices of leaders who have traditionally been pushed to the margins of religious narratives. Named one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in the multifaith movement for justice. Her organization is a new interfaith community equipping faith leaders to challenge structural inequality in their communities. Jennifer has nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combatting intergenerational poverty. An Ashoka Fellow, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, On Being Fellow and Truman Scholar, Jennifer earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she was awarded the Wilbur F. Tillett Prize for accomplishments in the study of theology. She writes regularly for a number of publications including On Being, Sojourners, and the Huffington Post. Her first book, tentatively titled Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister is currently under contract with Chalice Press. Rev. Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Satjeet Kaur (@sikh_coalition) is the newest Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the United States. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Satjeet spent eight years working for the Sikh Coalition in nearly every core facet of the organization’s work. In her early years with the organization, she managed operations, supported Sikh state standards and education projects, developed Sikh awareness resources, and launched the Sikh Coalition’s social media platforms. Through this work, Satjeet has also established herself as a leading community organizer. Since 2010, she has provided direct support to local Sikh communities in response to hate crimes and helped manage the multi-month national response to the Oak Creek tragedy in 2012. Fluent in Punjabi, Satjeet was born and raised in New Jersey and is a graduate of New York University with degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology. She is a New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow and a board member for Lahir – a project to encourage a revival in Sikh community activism through the arts. She is also a member of the Asian American Impact Fund. Prior to joining the Sikh Coalition, Satjeet was a marketing, communications and donor recruitment specialist for SAMAR – a South Asian focused marrow donor recruitment organization. When not working, she enjoys spending time with family and traveling.
The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian Jr. (@VKazanjianURI) is Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative (URI), the world’s largest global, interfaith, grassroots, peacebuilding organization working in 106 countries through 938 member groups dedicated to creating cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. Prior to URI, Victor was Dean of Intercultural Education and Religious and Spiritual Life, and Co-director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Wellesley College. He is co-founder of Education as Transformation Inc., a program that is widely acknowledged as the catalyst in the movement to establish interfaith programs on college and university campuses nationally. Victor is also a visiting faculty member at the Malaviya Center for Peace Research in Varanasi, India. Victor is an internationally recognized thought leader, speaker and author and editor of books and articles in areas including interreligious and intercultural dialogue, conflict transformation, community organizing, peacebuilding, leadership, and diversity and democracy. Victor is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and was trained as a community organizer. He is a graduate of Episcopal Divinity School and Harvard University.