Conference Leadership

Mr. Mike King

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Mike King has served as national president and CEO of Volunteers of America since 2010, leading an organization with an annual budget of more than $1.1 billion, approximately 16,000 employees and one of the nation’s largest affordable housing portfolios with more than 25,000 units.

During his tenure, King has spearheaded Volunteers of America’s first paid advertising and marketing campaign, and has made growing public awareness of the organization to support fundraising a major priority. To this end, King has established a number of major corporate partnerships in recent years, including a growing relationship with The Home Depot, which has already provided almost $8 million to build or improve housing for formerly homeless veterans.

Dr. Dale Andrews
Dr. Dale P. Andrews joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion in 2010 as Distinguished Professor of Homiletics, Social Justice, and Practical Theology. Previously he served on the faculty of Boston University School of Theology as the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology. Dr. Andrews earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He was a visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford and has conducted two international study tours in Guatemala and Brazil. An ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Dr. Andrews has served AME Zion churches in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Dr. Andrews has received numerous fellowships and awards for his studies. In addition to multiple chapters in diverse edited volumes and journal articles, he is the author of Practical Theology for Black Churches: Bridging Black Theology and African American Folk Religion (Westminster John Knox-WJK Press, 2002). He also co-authored Listening to Listeners: Homiletical Case Studies (Chalice Press, 2004) and New Proclamation: Advent through Holy Week, Year A, 2004-2005 (Augsburg Fortress Press, 2004), and is coeditor of a multivolume lectionary commentary series, Preaching God’s Transforming Justice (WJK Press, 2011, 2012, 2013). Dr. Andrews formerly served as co-editor to the journal Family Ministry, and now serves as co-editor of the journal Homiletic.

Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock
2014headshotRev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock is Research Professor in Theology and Culture, Founding Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center, and a Commissioned Minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was the first Asian American woman to earn a doctorate in theology and the first to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Brock was a professor of religion and women’s studies for 18 years before becoming Director of a think tank for distinguished scholars and scientists at Harvard University–the Fellowship Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. From 2001-2002, she was a fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life and, in 2004, became the founding Director of Faith Voices for the Common Good. An internationally distinguished lecturer and award-winning author, her book, Saving Paradise, co-authored with Rebecca Parker, was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the best books in religion in 2008 and was a finalist for the American Academy Religion Award in constructive-reflective theology. Her most recent book is Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War, co-authored with Gabriella Lettini. Dr. Brock’s father was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War, and she was raised in a military family.

Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 12.47.30 PMRev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune grew up in North Carolina where she received her undergraduate degree from Duke University. She received her seminary training at Yale Divinity School and was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ in 1976. After serving in a local parish, she founded the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence, now known as FaithTrust Institute, in 1977 where she served as Executive Director until 1999. Now she serves as Founder and Senior Analyst at FaithTrust Institute. Today FaithTrust Institute is a multifaith, multicultural organization in the U.S. providing religious communities and advocates with training, consultation and educational materials to address the faith aspects of abuse.

Dr. Larry Graham
larry-graham-IMG_9742Dr. Larry Kent Graham is Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. He is writing a book on the impact of war on the pastoral care of families and is a member of the Soul Repair Think Tank sponsored by Brite Divinity School.

Dr. Karl Marlantes

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.22.36 PMIn 1964, at age 19, Karl completed a Marine training program and was subsequently placed in the Marine Corps Reserve. He attended Yale, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in his senior year of college, and went to Oxford University to continue his studies.

After a semester there, however, Marlantes chose to leave school to join many of his peers who were fighting in Vietnam. He landed in Vietnam in October 1968, was placed in charge of a platoon in the 4th Marine Regiment. Marlantes served for a year, and was awarded the Navy Cross, two Navy Commendation Medals for Valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. He entered counseling, and a decade later finished Matterhorn, the novel he’d been working on since returning from Vietnam. Marlantes’ most recent book is the non-fiction What It Is Like to Go to War, which weaves his personal recollections of Vietnam with analysis of the effects of war on those who fight, and how we can better prepare soldiers for the experience of war.

Rev. Dr. Wallace Hartsfield, Sr.

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.16.12 PMReverend Doctor Wallace S. Hartsfield, Sr. is a retired minister, dedicated community activist, and civil servant. Reverend Hartsfield retired as Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church on January 1, 2008 after more than 40 years of service to Metropolitan and more than 55 years as a minister of God. He served a 3-year tour of duty with the United States Army before receiving a bachelor of arts degree from Clark College in Atlanta, now Clark Atlanta University, in 1954. He went on to earn a master of divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary, now the Interdenominational Theological Center, in 1957, also located in Atlanta. He holds many honorary degrees, including a doctor of divinity degree from both Western Baptist Bible College in Kansas City, Missouri and from Virginia Seminary and College of Lyncher, Virginia.

Lt. Col. Shareda Hosein
0906_shareda-hosein-extraLt. Col. Shareda Hosein has served in the U.S. Army Reserves for the past 33 years. Presently, she is Cultural Adviser for the US Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. She also provides chaplaincy services within the Boston and Tampa communities and for Tufts University in 2008. She serves on the board of “There and Back Again,” an initiative supporting combat Veterans coping with PTSD. And, from 2006-2008, co-hosted a weekly radio program, “Talking Religion.” She is a published author, contributing a chapter to the book, “Spirituality, Women, Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power” (2011) and an article titled “Muslim Women in the Military” in Brille’s Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures (2003). She holds a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy and M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary, as well as a business degree and real estate license.

Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben
McKibbenA native of Warrington, Pennsylvania, Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben entered active duty in the U.S. Navy in 1986 following studies for a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. She received both her Masters of Divinity and her Doctorate of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. She holds a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. Kibben was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.
Kibben’s Marine Corps assignments have included Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, where she served with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Security Battalion, the Brig, Marine Corps Air Facility and the president’s Helicopter Squadron, HMX-1. She also served with the Marines of Second Force Service Support Group Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, making deployments to both Turkey and Norway.
Later she was assigned to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico as the doctrine writer for Religious Ministry. Kibben’s Navy assignments include the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, as the first female chaplain. She was the Chaplain Corps historian at the Chaplain Resource Board and the command chaplain, USS San Diego (AFS 6), in Norfolk, Virginia. As U.S. 3rd Fleet chaplain, Kibben was responsible for the training and certification of all carrier strike group and expeditionary strike group religious ministry teams. She completed a deployment as the command chaplain, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan as an individual augmentee. Kibben assumed her current duties as the 26th chief of Navy chaplains on Aug. 1, 2014.

Veterans Panel

Capt. (Chaplain) Kyle Fauntleroy, USN

Capt. Kyle Fauntleroy has served as the Command Chaplain of the Naval Surface Force, the U.S. Pacific Surface Force, Commanding Officer of the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center at Ft. Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, and as Program Director of the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center’s Warrior Transition Program at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Capt. Tyler Boudreau
tyler boudreauCapt. Tyler Boudreau served in the Marine Corps for twelve and a half years of active duty. He enlisted as an infantryman in 1989 for four years, after which he returned to Massachusetts to attend Worcester State College. In 1994, he joined the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the College of the Holy Cross, and upon graduation, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1997. Returning to the infantry, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, and then went on to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to train new recruits in San Diego. Upon his return from Iraq in the fall of 2004, Tyler Boudreau assumed command of a rifle company (Fox 2/2), and prepared to deploy again to Iraq. But by April 2005, his concerns about the war combined with his deep affection for his Marines, made him unable to remain in uniform any longer. He relinquished his command and resigned his commission.
Boudreau’s final assignment was the OIC for 2d Marine Regiment rear echelon. During this period he served as the sole Casualty Assistance Calls Officer for the regiment and its organic battalions. He spent his final days in the Marine Corps calling parents and wives to let them know their Marines had been wounded in war. Tyler Boudreau’s book Packing Inferno is about his experiences in the Marine Corps and in War.

Ms. Janci Bridges
JBridgesMs. Janci Bridges is the Volunteer Coordinator for Military Veteran Peer Network for Midland and Ector counties. Prior to joining the VPN, Bridges joined the Air Force in 2004 and was stationed at Al Udeid, Qatar in May of 2006. Her main role within the Air Force during this time was with mortuary affairs and she saw 22 soldiers home for their final journey until she separated in August 2007.
Her role at VPN is to offer peer to peer support and host peer groups that support healing and understanding. Ms. Bridges also uses her journey to help other veterans who think there is no hope to know that there is. As the Volunteer Coordinator, she offers volunteer opportunities for veterans within the community to aid veterans with reintegrating into the world and feeling isolated.
She has been happily married for 2 years and is the mother of 7 children, ranging from ages 14-4 months.

Mr. Camilo Mejia
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 12.38.37 PMMr. Camilo Ernesto Mejia was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1975 and finished high school in New York City and enlisted in the U.S. Army. After completing his active duty, he attended the University of Miami majoring in psychology and Spanish. Before he graduated, in the spring of 2003, he was reactivated and deployed to Iraq for five months and Jordan for two more months. In late 2003, he came home to US on furlough and realized he could not go back. “I realized that I was part of a war that I believed was immoral and criminal, a war of aggression, a war of imperial domination. I realized that acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role in the military, and I decided that I could not return to Iraq.” In May of 2004, Mejia was convicted of desertion and served his year’s sentence at Fort Sill military prison, Oklahoma. Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience. His book The Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia (the New Press, 2007) details his experience. In August of 2007, Camilo Mejia became the chair of the board for the non‐profit organization Iraq Veterans Against the War. He is also a member of the Soul Repair Center National Advisory Board.

Rev. Michael Yandell
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 12.41.06 PMRev. Michael Yandell served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician in the United States Army from 2002 to 2006. He was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II from February through August 2004. Upon separation from the Army in 2006, he returned home to West Tennessee to earn his Bachelor of Music at the University of Tennessee at Martin. While in college Mr. Yandell took some electives in religious studies, and he became interested in pursuing theological education. He moved to Fort Worth in 2012 to pursue a Master of Divinity at Brite Divinity School, and graduated in May of 2015. Rev. Yandell is currently in the PhD in theology program at Emory University.

Workshop Leaders

Ms. Lauren Zapf

As a former military officer, current mental health clinician, and adjunct professor, Lauren has ample experience in the fields of leadership, research, and healthcare. As a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, she managed several ship systems, including the Aegis combat system, deploying to the Arabian Gulf in 2005 and 2007 and earning two Navy Commendation Medals. As a mental health clinician, she has worked with many underrepresented groups in the Washington, DC Area, including those with chronic mental illnesses, women struggling with addiction, and service members and veterans coping with trauma symptoms. She has also taught several master’s-level classes at Marymount University, including substance abuse counseling and research and evaluation. For her dissertation, Lauren designed a strengths-based assessment to measure service women’s wellness, including social, emotional, and spiritual components, focusing on themes such as feminism and moral injury. She successfully defended her dissertation in August of this year. As a SWAN Senior Fellow, Lauren continues to focus on public health policy development, specifically addressing service women’s mental health, reintegration, and holistic wellness issues.

Rev. Dr. Carrie Doehring
CRev. Dr. Doehring is ordained in the Presbyterian Church, USA, a licensed psychologist, and a diplomat in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Many of her publications explore how people draw upon religious faith and spirituality to cope with experiences like moral stress, trauma and soul injury.

Major David Fry
david fryCommissioner David Fry was appointed to the Drug Court bench in September, 2007. He is a graduate of Central Missouri State University, and served in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Major, before entering law school. His Juris Doctorate degree is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law, and was bestowed in 1985. Prior to being appointed, Commissioner Fry practiced law with the Missouri State Public Defenders Office, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, and was in private practice.

Rabbi Kim Geringer
kim geringerRabbi Kim Geringer calls herself “a product of the Reform Movement through and through.” She grew up at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, New York, and as a teenager was active in NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth), her local temple youth group and the Reform Movement’s camp system as well. She received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and a Master’s degree in clinical social work from Boston College. She then worked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities, primarily as a psychotherapist, but then later also as a supervisor of graduate students, staff trainer, and director of agency clinical services. After a decade or so, a combination of factors led her to apply to rabbinical school: active lay involvement at her then home congregation, Temple Sinai in Summit, NJ, participation in a variety of Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) adult study programs, and an increasing desire to move Judaism from the periphery of her life to the center. Accepted to the Reform Movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), she took her children (then 12 and 8) with her when she spent her first year of rabbinical study in Jerusalem. She was ordained in 1999. Following ordination she simultaneously served as rabbi at Temple Har Shalom in Warren, NJ and Assistant Director of the URJ’s Department of Worship, Music and Religious Living. At the URJ, Rabbi Geringer was involved in developing all of the Reform Movement’s worship transformation initiatives, consulted and spoke at Reform congregations around North America, and authored or co-authored many publications about worship and personal religious observance. Currently, she is also an adjunct faculty member at HUC-JIR. Rabbi Geringer lives in Short Hills with her husband, Colin Dunn. They are the parents of two children, Rachel and Adam.

Dr. William Gibson
Dr. Bill Gibson received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from St. John’s University in 1990. He completed a clinical psychology internship at the Coatesville (PA) VA Medical Center and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychology at the Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital in Malvern, PA. During his career as a psychotherapist and neuropsychologist he has worked in a variety of settings and with a wide range of patient populations. He is particularly interested in the roles religion and spirituality play in physical and emotional health. Dr. Gibson is presently a Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist and coordinator of PTSD-SUD services at the Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic at Canandaigua Veterans Administration Medical Center in Canandaigua, NY.

Sgt. Michael Killam
MichaelKillamSgt. Michael Killam, Program Manager of MVPN Veterans Program at MHMRTC, is a Vietnam Veteran of the US army which is the largest branch of the US Military responsible for land operations. He was in the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Delta Troop, 2nd of the first Air Calvary “Scouts” and was a POW in 1969 He served 2 years and 2 days and his highest rank was Buck sergeant. He retired at E2 Private.

Dr. Elizabeth Liebert
Elizabeth Liebert (174x261)Dr. Elizabeth Liebert, SNJM is Professor of Spiritual Life at San Francisco Theological Seminary. She has taught at SFTS since 1987 and served as Dean of the Seminary and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She is the author of five highly affirmed books on spiritual disciplines. Her most recent book is The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making. Beth’s current research focuses on discernment and decision making for organizations, including churches.

CDR Cindy McDermott (USN ret.)
Cindy-McDermottCDR Cindy McDermott has more than 25 years’ experience in interpersonal and institutional communications, focused on strategic planning and delivery for various internal and external stakeholders. During her time as the Employee Communications Manager for Alcoa’s Davenport, Iowa, plant she intensely focused on business plan metrics and employee culture change by successfully integrating communications tools to achieve objectives. In addition, she served in the United States Navy Reserve, retiring in 2006 as the Public Affairs Department Head for the Midwest Readiness Command, located in Chicago, Illinois, and achieving the rank of Commander (O-5). After retiring from Alcoa in 2013, Cindy moved to the Kansas City area to be closer to family, and has formed a strategic communications company, McD Media. In addition, she is the Executive Officer of RezVets, a military veterans’ organization offering outreach and support to KC veterans, their families and friends.

Lt. (Chaplain) Zachary Moon
Lt. Zachary Moon is a commissioned military chaplain currently serving with the Marines and has served as a chaplain in the VA hospital system and with a residential recovery program for combat vets with PTSD. He is the author of Coming Home: Ministry That Matters with Veterans and Military Families (Chalice Press, 2015). Zachary is a PhD candidate and serves as faculty for the Military Ministry Program at Iliff School of Theology in Denver CO.

SSG. Pedro Sotelo
SSG. Pedro Sotelo served in the Missouri Army National Guard and the US Army Reserves from 1995 to 2004. He was a staff sergeant (E6) when deployed to Iraq in 2003 as a team leader of a special operations team. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have two children. His son just started his career in the US Army and is currently serving in Ft Irwin, CA. His daughter is in college pursuing a degree in art. He will be starting on his MDiv degree this fall and hopes to eventually continue toward a PhD.

Rabbi Nancy Wiener
rabbi-nancy-h-wiener-dmin-mahl-mphilRabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min. is Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at the New York School of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She was named the Dr. Paul and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professor in Human Relations in 2012. She also serves as the rabbinic program’s Fieldwork Coordinator. Rabbi Wiener was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1990, where she received an M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 1988. She earned a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from HUC-JIR in 1994. Dr. Wiener is a board certified chaplain with the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and holds a certificate in Pastoral Counseling from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, New York. She earned an M.A. in History from Columbia University and her B.A. magna cum laude in 1980 from Brandeis University.

Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis
Dr. Stephen Xenakis is a psychiatrist with an active clinical and consulting practice. He is the Founder of the Center for Translational Medicine that develops treatments and conducts tests on brain related conditions affecting soldiers and veterans. He has been a senior adviser to the Department of Defense on wide range of issues concerning the care and support to service members and their families. Retiring at the rank of brigadier general, he served 28 years in the United States Army as a medical corps officer. Dr. Xenakis has been written widely on medical ethics, military medicine, and treatment of detainees, including book chapters and legal reviews and appears regularly on national radio and television. He is currently working on the clinical applications of quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) to brain injury and neurobehavioral conditions and promoting integrative care programs for veterans. Dr. Xenakis is an Adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services of Health Sciences of the military medical department. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine.

Dr. Troy Harden
Dr. Troy Harden has over 25 years’ experience serving and consulting in social service and community settings. Dr. Harden currently serves as an Associate Professor within Chicago State University’s Master of Social Work Program, specializing in trauma and traditional and non-traditional interventions within community settings. He has worked as a clinician, administrator, educator, activist and community practitioner concerning community issues in diverse settings. Dr. Harden served as a consultant with such diverse institutions as the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Appraisal Institute, the Pan African Association, and Burrell Communications, and concerning the development of Cook County’s Project Brotherhood, a Men’s Health Clinic. He is a trainer and facilitator and responsible for co-creating and facilitating leadership trainings, organizational development, and educational learning experiences for organizations, men, women, adolescents and children on three continents, including with union organizers in Chicago, adolescents in West Africa, business executives in London, England, and within maximum security prisons. He is currently a Co-Principal Investigator with DePaul University’s Multifaith Veterans Support Project, an initiative in the state of Illinois to engage the faith community in supporting veterans. He is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago’s Master of Social Work program, and received his doctorate from DePaul University’s School of Education, specializing in curriculum and training.

Chaplain (Major) Oluwatoyin Olabisi Hines
Chaplain (Major) Oluwatoyin Olabisi Hines Is Ministry Coordinator and co-leader for the Multi-Faith Veteran Support Project (MVP) at DePaul University Egan Office for Urban Education and Community Partnerships (UECP). She also serves as Family Life Chaplain at the rank of Major in the Illinois Army National Guard (ILARNG).

Dr. Nancy Ramsay
ramsay_nancy_headshotDr. Nancy Ramsay serves as Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care at Brite Divinity School. She began her service at Brite in June of 2005. Prior to that time she served as the Harrison Ray Anderson Professor of Pastoral Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. She holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a D.Min from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. She is active in the Society for Pastoral Theology where she has served as Chair of the Steering Committee and Co-Editor of the Journal of Pastoral Theology. She is a member of the Association of Practical Theology and the International Association for Practical Theology. She has also served at the regional and national levels of AAPC. She holds clinical memberships in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists where she also has supervisor status. She is an ordained clergywoman in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Dr. Ramsay’s research and publication interests include current constructive issues in Pastoral and Practical Theology, pastoral perspectives on aging and Alzheimer’s Disease, gender, intimate violence, and addressing issues of race and class, and effective pedagogy in diverse classrooms. She is a Consultant for the Wabash Center and is serving for the second time on the leadership team for a Wabash Colloquy on Effective Teaching and Learning in Racially and Culturally Diverse Classrooms.



Learning Track Leaders

Dr. Timothy Barth
Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Texas Christian University

Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton
Dr. Joanne Braxton, Ph.D. is a writer, educator, scholar, administrator, public speaker and campus minister. She teaches literature and creative writing at the College of William and Mary, where she is Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor of English and Africana Studies. As Associate Interfaith chaplain of the William and Mary Canterbury Association, Dr. Braxton holds full ministerial standing in the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ, with degrees from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, the Pacific School of Religion, Yale University and Sarah Lawrence College. In addition, she has received continuing education in narrative healing practices from Columbia University Medical School and the Duke University Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Braxton has been a Senior Fulbright Professor in Germany, France and Spain and has lectured widely in both the United States and abroad. Her writings, both creative and scholarly are widely published. Dr. Braxton’s current areas of research include moral and ethical formation, and spiritual life writing and medical humanities, focusing on the healing power of narrative practice and story-making. Braxton’s Institute for Human Sustainability, Resiliency and Joy recently sponsored a one-day symposium on “The Violence That Touches Everyone: Human Sustainability in a Time of War” at the Williamsburg, Virginia Regional Library.

Rev. Dr. Kristen Leslie

Kristen LeslieRev. Dr. Kristen Leslie is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care, Eden Theological Seminary.
She has a Bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, and a Doctorate from Claremont School of Theology.
Dr. Leslie’s research has focused on intercultural pastoral theology; womanist and feminist pastoral counseling; pastoral theological implications of sexualized violence, particularly on pastoral counseling issues for survivors of acquaintance rape; and ministry in higher education with young adults. She has taught many specialized courses on pastoral care, and has led international travel seminars to Bosnia, Croatia and Australia.

She has worked with chaplains at the United States Air Force Academy on issues of sexualized violence and religious intolerance. In 2005, Professor Leslie co-authored the report that brought to light the problem of Christian proselytizing at the Air Force Academy.

Dr. Leslie is the author of Three Decades of Women Writing for Their Lives in Feminist and Womanist Pastoral Theology, and the book, When Violence Is No Stranger: Pastoral Care and Counseling with Survivors of Acquaintance Rape. She has prepared and presented numerous journal articles and public lectures on pastoral care, chaplaincy and spiritual care after rape. She occasionally is called on as a consultant for matters related to clergy misconduct, religious intolerance and sexualized violence.

Dr. Jeanne Hoeft

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 10.26.22 AMDr. Jeanne Hoeft specializes in Pastoral Theology, with interests in feminist theory, intimate partner violence, and parish based pastoral care. She serves as lead faculty for Global Health and Wellness track in the Doctor of Ministry degree. Her most recent publication is Practicing Care in Rural Communities and Congregations. Dr. Hoeft received her BS in Religion from the University of Florida, her MDiv from Candler School of Theology, and PhDs from Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver.


Dr. Charlotte McCloskey
Dr. Charlotte McCloskeyDr. Charlotte McCloskey is a licensed Psychologist in Kansas, Clinical Assistant Professor, KU Medical Center-Department of Family Medicine, Center for American Indian Community Health. Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. McCloskey has experience providing psychological clinical services to many underserved communities, including Native Americans, international political refugees, veterans experiencing PTSD, female survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence, and individuals facing life changing illnesses. She has also focused her clinical work for a time on diversity issues including lesbian/gay/bisexual and transgender issues, women’s issues and racial/ethnic minorities. Her clinical positions with the Kansas City VA, and Columbia VA Medical Centers has prepared her to work with underserved populations who are experiencing moderate to severe psychopathology coupled with societal influences of rejection and abandonment. Additionally, her clinical work through the Marjorie Kovler Center for Survivors of Political Torture prepared her to work with populations that not only were facing psychological barriers to recovery but also political and social issues. Her position with the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance provided her both clinical and research opportunities to address a range of health disparities for American Indian populations, which was also a primary focus of her graduate and post graduate research. Her current areas of research include smoking cessation, behavioral modification, ethnic identity, health literacy, pain management and program development.

Dr. HC Palmer, M.D.
HC Palmer_photoDr. HC Palmer, an assistant poetry editor at Narrative Magazine, was born in Kansas and served with the US Army’s First Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1965–1966 as a battalion surgeon. Specializing in internal medicine and sports medicine, Palmer practiced in San Diego, New Orleans, and Kansas. He is retired and lives in Lenexa, Kansas, with his wife, Valerie. His poems have been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is a member of RezVets at The Church of the Resurrection.

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker is an academic leader, a scholar, educator and communicator, an advocate for social change, a counselor and a builder of learning communities and a Research Associate of the Braxton Institute. The distinguished theologian is the author (or co-author) of several books, including Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire and Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering and the Search for What Saves Us, both with Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock. Dr. Parker is also president emeritus of the Starr King School for the Ministry and a founding board member of the Soul Repair Project.

Closing panel- What We All Can Do

Mayor Sly James of Kansas City
mayor_sly_james_bopc_picMayor Sly James was elected on March 22, 2011 and sworn in on May 1, 2011. He was born and raised in Kansas City and learned valuable lessons about resiliency and dedication watching his parents work hard to take care of their family. Despite the challenges they faced, Mayor James’ father, a chef, janitor, and small business owner; and his stepmother, who helped manage their business, still made sure that James and his brothers had the opportunity to go to a good school and follow their dreams. This laid the foundation for Mayor James’ commitment to education and ensuring every child receives a high-quality education regardless of where they live or their socio-economic background. Mayor James focuses his efforts to make Kansas City best in 4 areas: Education, Employment, Efficiency, and Enforcement.
Prior to his election, Mayor James enjoyed a successful legal career which spanned almost three decades. He developed a proven record of success as a leader, an effective coalition builder, and a fierce advocate. He joined Blackwell, Sanders, Matheny, Weary & Lombardi in 1983, and became the first African-American partner in the firm’s history in 1990. In February, 2002, he started his own successful small business, The Sly James Firm, where he worked with victims to seek justice and positive outcomes to disputes.
The mayor attended Bishop Hogan High School in Kansas City, graduating in 1969. After serving his country as a military police officer for four years in California, the Philippines, and Japan during the Vietnam War, he graduated cum laude from Rockhurst College. He then went on to earn his law degree, also cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1983.

Dr. Jon Sherin
JSherinAs Volunteers of America’s executive vice president for military communities and chief medical officer, Jonathan E. Sherin, MD, PhD oversees the expansion and innovation of Volunteers of America’s programs for our nation’s service members and brings key clinical and scientific expertise to the organization as a whole. Dr. Sherin is a leading authority on the care of veterans struggling with reintegration challenges and has testified before Congress on the issues of veteran suicide and homelessness. Prior to joining Volunteers of America, Dr. Sherin had a distinguished career in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). In his last post, he served as chief of mental health for the Miami VA.
Dr. Sherin has held various academic appointments, most recently as clinical professor and vice chairman for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami. He is an accomplished neurobiology researcher with significant achievements for which he has received awards and recognition at the national and international level. He completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University, his graduate work in a combined program at the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School, and his post-graduate training at UCLA. He continues to teach and provide psychiatric care as a volunteer at the VA in Los Angeles, Calif.

Ms. Mea Williams
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.40.27 PMMs. Mea Williams, born in Cambridge, Ohio, is a Navy Veteran, a mother, a wife and the President/CEO of Grace After Fire, an organization that assists women veterans with the transition process and reintegration back into the civilian sector after their military service. In her role, Ms. Williams directs and oversees all efforts and activities related to developing and implementing Table Talk ™ Color Me Camo, an innovative peer-to peer program.
In 2000, Ms. Williams began her military journey in Norfolk, VA working on board the flight deck of Amphibious Assault Ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) as part of the crash and salvage team, personnel who are on standby ready to respond to any mishaps that may happen on the deck during takeoff and landing of aircraft. Upon returning from a seven-month deployment as part of the crew of one of the first ships to respond to the September 11th attack, she decided it was time to change paths to do something she had always loved – journalism. After three years on sea, she became a Navy journalist stationed at the Navy Public Affairs Center in Norfolk. There, she toured the states and many bases interviewing people highlighting news worthy events and writing featured stories that captured the true essences of what Navy sailors do. In 2006, Ms. Williams ended her Navy career as a Journalist and later moved with her family to Houston, Texas.
After serving her country for 6 and half years, Ms. Williams earned both her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and her MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Administration from Ashford University. Due to her unrelenting determination, passion to see others reach their full potential and strong people skills, she was nominated by her peers and mentors for and then selected to participate in Leadership Texas 2015. Now a resident of Katy, Texas, Ms. Williams carries out her purpose of effecting change in the lives of many in and around her community.