Angha, Ph.D., is an international Muslim Sufi leader, a renowned
scholar, and a resident of Marin County. Her long CV demonstrates
tireless dedication to the transformation of individuals, communities,
and institutions; an ongoing commitment to human rights; and interfaith
cooperation. She has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years to
empower others - especially women - through education and leadership
training. Her peers and many admirers consider her a visionary transformer.
Sufism, the mysticism of Islam, has many forms and is practiced
in many cultures. Traditionally, Sufi communities have been isolated
from each other (often by choice) and guided solely by men. Dr.
Angha changed all that. In 1983, she and her husband Dr. Ali Kianfar
co-founded the Marin-based International Association of Sufism (IAS),
to open a line of communication among Sufis from around the world.
IAS was the first Sufi organization admitted as an NGO/DPI to the
United Nations. Dr. Angha is IAS' main representative the UN. IAS
earned UNESCO's "Messenger of Peace" award in 2000.
Through her steadfast leadership, Dr. Angha has paved the way for
Muslim women to assume leadership roles within the Sufi community,
the greater Islamic community, and the international interfaith
religious community. She established a Sufi network uniting individual
Muslim and non-Muslim communities under one umbrella organization.
She was the first woman ever to sit in the inner circle council
of the annual Sufi Symposium - a truly revolutionary accomplishment.
To recognize and acknowledge the contribution of Sufi women to the
advancement of our civilizations, and to empower women, Dr. Angha
formed the Sufi Women's Organization, an international humanitarian,
nonsectarian organization working for human rights with focus on
women's rights. SWO now has chapters in the US and 14 other countries.
Locally, Dr. Angha has held numerous positions on interfaith councils
and was an active member of the Marin Interfaith Council. She established
a partnership with Dominican University that resulted in an annual
series of "Building Bridges of Peace" lectures. The first lecture
brought together members from all the religious communities in the
County, as well as the general public, to establish networks for
joint community action and social justice. In San Jose, where people
of many cultures reside, Dr. Angha formed a domestic violence awareness
and prevention program for women in the Middle Eastern community.
Marin County is indeed fortunate to claim Dr. Nahid Angha as one
of our own.
Angeles Arrien is a cultural anthropologist, award-winning author,
educator, and consultant to many organizations and businesses. Raised
bi-culturally and first generation of a Basque immigrant family from the
Pyrenees mountains of Spain, Angeles discovered as a young girl, her
deep interest in teaching and in learning about other cultures, because
of her own bi-cultural experience. With family in both the Basque
communities of Idaho and Spain, she eventually pursued her interests in
diverse cultures and international work through an advanced degree in
Anthropology and Folklore at UC Berkeley. This allowed her to learn
about cross-cultural and indigenous traditions, and explore the
commonalities of Perrenial Wisdoms encompassing spiritual and religious
traditions, societal mores, and universal values.
As a young woman travelling around the world as part of her studies,
teaching and research, Angeles developed a lifelong commitment to
finding the common ground between people and communities. She feels it
is important to bridge differences and optimize the creative
opportunities and points of unity found in diversity, by revealing the
“universal wisdoms” that transcend culture, history, or family
conditioning. Angeles has remained committed for over 45 years to the
pursuit of these universal and perennial wisdoms, and in disseminating
them through her national and international work, in a sustainable
manner so they will be preserved for generations of the future. Her
lectures, courses, and writings, bridge cultural anthropology,
psychology, comparative religions, conflict resolution and mediation
She has written seven books, which have been translated into thirteen
languages. Her award-winning books include: The Signs of Life (Winner
of the 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award), and The Second Half of Life:
Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom (Winner of the 2007 Nautilus Award for
Best book on Ageing). Angeles is most known for her book, The Four-Fold
Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionary,
from which her programs, keynotes and workshops draw most extensively,
to enhance the personal and professional development of others. Through
her Fold-Fold Way programs, and lifelong love of nature, she has
provided 3-day 3-night solo wilderness experiences for over 6000 people
of all ages.
Angeles has taught in the University of California system at
Berkeley, Los Angeles, Irvine, Davis, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. She
has been an associate professor at three Bay Area graduate schools, the
California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), John F. Kennedy
University and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. While at CIIS,
she co-designed and implemented the Social and Cultural Anthropology
Doctoral program, and received their Distinguished Teaching Award. Since
1988, she has received three honorary doctorate degrees in: Philosophy;
Transpersonal Education; and a Doctorate of Divinity. For many years,
she has been an international advisor and past Fellow at the Institute
of Noetic Sciences. She is currently a core faculty with the End-of-Life
Counselor Training (EOL) program sponsored by the Metta Institute,
which trains and supports professionals who wish to work in the field of
hospice and palliative care in a compassionate way.
Angeles is the also the Founder and President of the Foundation for
Cross-Cultural Education and Research. The Foundation supports the
preservation of cultural heritage of Indigenous Traditions worldwide;
sponsors multi-cultural bridging and collaborative projects between
countries, professions, generations and faiths. Additionally, it honors
international elders as invaluable mentors and wisdom-keepers; fosters
the development of emerging youth leaders worldwide; and supports
environmental sustainability through the conservation of heritage seeds,
reforestation, and has sponsored the development and dissemination of
over 200 water wells in countries in need. The Foundation’s outreach has
positively impacted people and communities in 27 countries, and has
provided over 400 scholarships worldwide to youth and elders.
Angeles Arrien’s work has been featured on CNN, and is currently used
in medical, academic, and corporate environments. Within the medical
community, she has consulted with: the Institute for Health and Healing
at the California Pacific Medical Center; the Kaiser Permanente Group;
Sutter Community Hospitals; and the American Association of Critical
Keynote addresses, workshops and presentations to name a few, have
included: The State of the World Forum; Wharton Business School;
International Women’s Forum; American Leadership Forum of Silicon
Valley; Hewlett-Packard Labs; and the National Organizational
Development Network Conference. Her expertise to work with diverse
multi-cultural issues, mediation, and conflict resolution, has been used
by the International Rights Commission and the World Indigenous
Council. Requests for her organizational and international skills have
taken her expertise to: Bali, China, Indonesia, New Zealand,
Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Hawaii, the Czech Republic, Germany,
Ireland, South Africa, Mexico and Canada.
Angeles enjoys living with her sister in a hundred year old house, in
nature-full Sonoma County. As vast as the depth and breadth of her
expansive and far-reaching lifelong work, Angeles is best known for her
personhood, depth of character, compassionate engagement, skillful and
astute communication abilities. She is a wonderful storyteller, with a
delightful sense of humor, creative outlook on life, and is beloved by
her students, colleagues, friends and family. She remains committed to
walking the spiritual path with practical feet, and to making the world a
better place by leaving a legacy of increased cultural and spiritual
tolerance and understanding for generations of the future.
is Marin's best-known voice for peace, mindfulness, and practical
spirituality. She has published four best-sellers that demystify
spirituality and Buddhism (It's Easier Than You Think; Pay Attention,
For Goodness' Sake; Don't Just Do Something, Sit There; and That's
Funny You Don't Look Buddhist). She writes a column for Shambhala
Sun Magazine and is known internationally for her work at Spirit
Rock Meditation Center.
of New York City, Sylvia married her husband, Seymour, in 1955 and
graduated from Barnard College in 1956. After moving to Marin in
1961, Sylvia earned a Master's in Social Work from U. C. Berkeley
and a PhD. in Psychology from Saybrook Institute while raising her
has always been an activist. As president of Marin Women for Peace
in the 1960s she, often accompanied by her children, led marches
down Miller Avenue to protest the Vietnam War. She was a member
of the Marin Chapter of the Women's International League of Peace
and Freedom, and once represented Marin at a League Conference in
1967, Sylvia worked for the Marin County Community Mental Health
department as a psychology consultant to local police and sheriff's
departments. She began private practice of Psychotherapy in 1984,
was on the board at Center for the Family in Transition and served
as Board Chair for one year.
began teaching at the College of Marin (COM), Child and Adolescent
Psychology, in 1970. She also designed and taught Parapsychology
and Psychology of Meditation. She is pleased to have created the
College's first course in Women's Studies. She also introduced Hatha
Yoga at COM and taught in until 1984.
the 1980's Sylvia began teaching meditation and is a founding teacher
at Spirit Rock. Her Wednesday class draws nearly 80 students a week
who consider the class their spiritual community. In 1996, Sylvia
was among a group of Western teachers of Buddhism who dialogued
with the Dalai Lama in India. In 2000 she and the Spirit Rock faculty
and staff hosted an International Conference of Buddhist Teachers
that brought the Dalai Lama to Marin.
is a practicing Jew as well as a Buddhist meditation teacher. In
1994 she helped develop and teach the first Mindfulness training
series for rabbis. In April 2006, Sylvia will teach at Spirit Rock's
first Interfaith Mindfulness retreat. She represents Spirit Rock
on the Marin Interfaith Council. We are honored to have Sylvia Boorstein
in the Marin Women's Hall of Fame.
Peggy Harrell, Director of Marin County's Prisoner Services, was
ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ 22 years ago.
Prisoners in jail and at San Quentin Prison have come to depend
on her after more than two decades she has spent working among them.
When Peggy started working in the jail,
there were very few rehabilitation services. As she says,
"In the beginning I carried a cardboard box with pencils, paper,
and magazines up and down the tiers." Today seventeen outside
agencies provide programs for prisoners. Many of these are
considered models. In fact personnel from other sheriff's
departments, seeking to begin rehabilitation programs of their own,
often visit to see how Marin's successful programs work.
The jail's drug and alcohol recovery programs
have transformed the lives of countless inmates. These programs,
administered by Bay Area Community Resources, stress that the person
is responsible for his own recovery.
Other programs Peggy supervised emphasize
the practical skills required for successful rehabilitation.
These programs include English as a Second Language, GED preparation
and exam, job search techniques, AIDS education, breast cancer detection
workshops, parenting skills, and spiritual direction by various
The Mothers and Fathers program directed
by Marin Literacy emphasizes positive parenting by teaching prisoners
and importance of reading to their children. After completing
an eight-week class, prisoners pick two books to be sent home to
their child. They read one of the books onto tape, so the
child can hear the absent parent's voice over and over again.
San Quentin inmates also receive Peggy's
care and attention. She visits Death Row weekly and has served
as a Spiritual Advisor at the executions of three men. Peggy
considers it a great privilege to work among the incarcerated in
FU NANCY SCHROEDER
Schroeder is a Buddhist priest, a teacher, an activist, an innovator,
an organizer, and a visionary. She is a mother, a mentor, a friend.
Ordained in 1986, Fu has been part of the San Francisco Zen Center
for 30 years. She serves as Director at Green Gulch Farm, and as
president of the Marin Interfaith Council. But these words don’t
reveal the person, or show why Fu has been nominated to the Marin
Women’s Hall of Fame.
Green Gulch Fu has worked towards positive change, for ways to bring
Buddhism to the greater community. She developed a Work Practice
Apprenticeship program that enables people on limited income to
participate in life at Green Gulch. She initiated a Three Week Intensive
Medication Period that enables staff to use quieter times at the
center to renew their personal spiritual practice. She established
a Coming of Age program that offers teens a year in which they examine
issues of maturity, responsibility, and service while exploring
meditation and self expression.
Fu has helped make Green Gulch a place that
welcomes diversity. She has helped make the center more accessible
to people with disabilities. She has led retreats designed to present
Buddhist teachings in a safe environment for the LGTBQQ community.
She has served on the Diversity and Multiculturalism committee at
the center and Marin Horizon School, which her daughter attends.
also initiated a unique cultural exchange program with members of
the Little Singer Community School on Navajo land. One summer several
Navajos visited Green Gulch, and the next Fu led a group to the
Navajo lands in the Four Corners. Among the contingent was Fu’s
African American daughter who has physical challenges. This trip
gave Fu the chance to practice plenty of patience, compassion, leadership,
and love, day to day. The impact of this cultural exchange on all
the participants cannot be measured.
a Buddhist priest, Rev. Fu bears witness to the importance of women
as leaders in religion. Through her work, she creates a peaceful
space for people to come together in the spirit of harmony and understanding.
When she was ordained, candidate Nancy Schroeder received a “dharma”
name meant to express some of her unique qualities. The name she
was given, “Furyu Doshin,” translates from the Japanese
as “Wind and Stream, Way Seeking Heart.” This name clearly
captures the qualities Fu manifests.