Webinar: Sacred Values and Traditional Wisdom of the Indigenous Peoples
May 9, 2024 | 2 PM EDT



Audrey E. Kitagawa, J.D.

Audrey E. Kitagawa, JD, is the President/Founder of the International Academy for Multicultural Cooperation, President of the Light of Awareness International Spiritual Family, and the former Advisor to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations.

She is a United Nations Representative for the United Religions Initiative, and is Chair Emerita of the NGO Committee of Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, NY.

She has been enstooled into the royal family as the Nekoso Hemaa, (i.e. Queen Mother of Development), of Ajiyamanti in Ghana, West Africa, and has a school which she helped to build named after her in her African name, the Nana Ode Anyankobea Junior Secondary School.

She wrote the chapter, Crossing World Views, The Power of Perspective in the Hawaii Japanese American Experience, which was published in a book about multiculturalism, communication and Asian women entitled, Learning In The Light. Her chapter, Globalization As The Fuel For Religious And Ethnic Conflict has been published in the book, Globalization And Identity, Cultural Diversity, Religion and Citizenship. Her article, The Role Of Identity In The Rise And Decline of Buddhism In Hawaii, The 50th State Of The United States Of America, has been published in Sambhodi, a Buddhist Journal. She published articles in World Affairs The Journal Of International Issues, entitled, The Power of Om: Transformation of Consciousness, and Practical Spirituality. She wrote the chapter, The US In Foreign Affairs: Source of Global Security, Or Source of Global Fear? in the book, America & The World The Double Bind.

She has been listed in Who’s Who Of American Law, Who’s Who Of American

Women, Who’s Who In America, Who’s Who In The World, and Prominent People of Hawaii.

She is the recipient of the Medal “Pride of Eurasia” and a Diploma from the Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University for her outstanding contribution to the development of spiritual culture and education in Eurasia.

She is the recipient of the Spirit of the UN Award which is given to outstanding individuals who have demonstrated the vision and spirit of the United Nations as expressed through the UN Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

She is the recipient of a Citation from the Office of the President for the Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York, for her commitment to community well being by providing outstanding services and support to local residents, youth and those in need.

She was conferred an Honorary Interfaith Minister degree by the New Seminary.


Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer

Manulani Aluli Meyer is the fifth daughter of Emma Aluli and Harry Meyer who grew up on the sands of Mokapu and Kailua beach on the island of O’ahu and along the rainy shoreline of Hilo Palikū. The Aluli ʻohana is a large and diverse group of scholar-activists dedicated to Hawaiian education, restorative justice, land reclamation, ʻohana health practices, cultural revitalization, arts education, prison reform, transformational economics, food sovereignty, and Hawaiian music.  Dr. Aluli-Meyer works in the field of indigenous epistemology and its role in world-wide awakening. Professor Aluli-Meyer obtained her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from Harvard (Ed.D. 1998). She is a world-wide keynote speaker, writer, and international evaluator of Indigenous PhDs who now works at the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu campus.

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Rosalia Gutierrez

Leader of the Indigenous People of Argentina Cooperation Circle in Buenos Aires, United Religions Initiative


Francisco Morales

Global Council Trustee, Latin America and the Caribbean, United Religions Initiative

Francisco Morales is Urban Indigenous member of the Aymara community in Argentina, and he is a social science student and writer on issues of Indigenous worldview and Latin American thinking. Francisco has been a part of URI since 2008, when he and others founded Comunidad Cosmica CC. He was selected as URI Youth Ambassador in 2010 and serves as a member of the URI Multiregion Leadership Team. He has been a part of the youth facilitators team since 2017.

Currently, Francisco is also advisor to different social organizations on issues of interreligious dialogue and diversity in conflict situations. He is a member of the First Nations of America Student Community – CEPNA. Together, with other Indigenous writers, Francisco founded the Circle of Indigenous Written and Oral Knowledge.


Michael Raigoza (Nomlaki)

Program Officer for Cultural Projects, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples

Michael is California native as an enrolled member of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians who was born in Auburn, California and has lived all over the state. Spending time in Auburn, Grass Valley, San Diego, Huntington Beach, and Chico he is now happy to call Humboldt County home. Michael prides himself on having roots in Northern California and wants to help the native communities to thrive here and all over the world. Michael graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies with emphasis in Renewable Energy and Conservation Ecology. He has worked for his tribe as a grant writer and is now excited to be grantmaking for other Indigenous communities with the Seventh Generation Fund. In his spare time you can find Michael doing anything outdoors or active. Whether it’s walking his two dogs (Tycho and Wima), hiking, fishing, backpacking, snowboarding, or any sport with a ball.


Lauren Van Ham

Climate Action Coordinator, United Religions Initiative

Raised in the Midwest, Lauren Van Ham’s professional life began as a performing artist in NYC before attending interfaith seminary in California. After ordination (1999), Lauren served as chaplain in both healthcare and corporate settings, and seminary Dean at The Chaplaincy Institute. Her passion for spirituality, art and Earth’s teachings construct her focus in eco-ministry, grief & loss, and sacred activism. She is a guest writer for “Progressing Spirit,” an online publication exploring theology, spirituality and public events. She holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Naropa University. Lauren is a spiritual director and serves as guest faculty for several schools in the Bay Area.

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