Louise Mangan, President
Pacific Inter-Christian Community
Louise Mangan chairs the board of the InterSpiritual Centre, and represents ISC at the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and the Greater Vancouver Compassion Network. ¬†She is a founder of Women of Spirit and Faith‚ÄďCanada (WSFC) and involved in the North American WSF network. Louise is a founding member and former Ministry Coordinator of the Pacific InterChristian Community. ¬†She was also the original chair of the Interdisciplinary Midwifery Task Force of BC.
A retired United Church minister, Louise co-authored Living the Christ-Life and other publications, and has another book underway. She offers spiritual support to individuals and couples, and describes herself as “partner, mother, grandmother, and friend.”
Shams Alibhai, Vice President
Shams is a practitioner in international development with more than 20 years of experience. She has Canadian and international experience managing programs. In Canada, Shams has worked with Simon Fraser University‚Äôs Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures, and with the Aga Khan Foundation. In August 2007, Shams joined the BC Council for International Cooperation as the Executive Director. The most recent overseas experience was with the Aga Khan Development Network in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic from 1997 to 2004.
Shams hold‚Äôs a Master of Arts degree in Islamic Studies from McGill University.¬†¬†Her Bachelor of Arts degree was from Simon Fraser University. She is bilingual and proficient in Farsi, Gujarati, and has basic understanding of Russian.
Rebecca Tobias, Secretary
United Religions Initiative [URI] Trustee for Canada and the USA
Ambassador to the United Nations
Rebecca Tobias is a Global Council Trustee of the United Religions Initiative and the Program Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, which designs and facilitates interfaith and intercultural programming which serves to foster a culture of peace; and through her work has coordinated capacity-building projects with civic, faith, and social justice advocacy organizations locally, nationally and internationally. As a Fellow with the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Working Groups for Indigenous Populations, Rebecca assisted in the drafting of resolutions presented for the Human Rights Sub-Commission meeting held in August 2005 and since that time has served as a delegate to the United Nations for several CSO‚Äôs including the inaugural meeting of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace.
Prameya Chaitanya, Treasurer
Shree Mahalakshmi Hindu Temple
Prameya Chaitanya is the Acharya ‚Äďin ‚Äď charge of Shree Mahalakshmi Temple in Vancouver. A descendent of the royal family of Jhansi ki Rani, he had his training in Theology and in the study of Yoga and Herbal medicine at a very young age, in the world renowned institute ‚Äď Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy, popularly known as Sivananda Ashram at the foot of the Himalayas in Rishikesh, India. He started his training in religious and philosophical study under the tutelage of Swami Naraharitirtha, a great saint of Kailash ashram in Rishikesh.
He also obtained training in Astrology, Astronomy and other sciences with Swami Narayanananda Saraswati, who was a disciple of Narasimha Bharati of Sringeri Mutt. He studied the Upanishads in detail with Swami Bramhananda Saraswati of Rama Krishna mission in Uttarakashi. He later undertook an in-depth study of the Hindu Scriptures at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Bombay, under the two great masters H.H. Swami Chinmayananda and H.H. Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
Christine Boyle, Board Member
United Church of Canada
Christine Boyle is motivated by a belief in the inherent goodness of people, and a longing for social institutions that support our deep desire to care for one another. She has a BSc in Urban Agriculture and First Nations Studies from UBC, and an MA in Religious Leadership for Social Change from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She is a community organizer and a communications specialist, currently working with the¬†Columbia Institute, the¬†Interfaith Institute for Justice, Peace and Social Movements, and on a project called¬†Spirited Social Change. In her free time she rides her bicycle, bakes bread, and enjoys the company of courageous people.
Noam Dolgin, Board Member
Noam Dolgin is an international leader in Jewish & environmental education. His experience includes serving as Associate Director of the Teva Learning Center, North America’s foremost Jewish environmental education organization, and as Executive Director of the Green Zionist Alliance.¬† Most recently Noam worked as the NextGen Program Manager for the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. Noam has developed a number of published curricula including the Elijah’s Covenant climate change curriculum for grades 8-12 , and Torah Aura’s environmental instant lesson packages for Grades K-7.¬† More information on Noam‚Äôs work is available atwww.noamdolgin.com
Noorin Fazal, Board Member
Noorin Fazal is inspired by education, scholarship, creativity and spirituality as drivers for social change. She has been involved in various youth initiatives focusing on community-service learning and global citizenship curriculum development. Noorin is part of the first cohort of educators in the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), based out of the Institute of Education, University of London, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies in the United Kingdom. As part of her Master’s level research, Noorin completed two field studies in religious education classrooms: critical questioning processes for teaching and learning; and virtue ethics pedagogy related to the question, ‘What does it mean to be human?’ For Noorin, this question is at the core of her faith; it is the Qur’anic concept of common humanity that motivates her to create spaces for dialogue between individuals and communities. She is especially excited by collaborations involving sound, paint, movement and creative writing.
Aline LaFlamme, Board Member
Aline LaFlamme is a Metis grandmother, pipe carrier,¬†Sundancer,¬†drum maker, traditional healer, therapist and workshop facilitator. Aline was founder and¬†Executive Director of the Aboriginal Front Door Society providing tradition healing and culture to Aboriginal street people;¬†¬†provided culturally- based healing workshops and ceremonies in communities and in prisons for many years; is a founding member of Skemcis Medicine Wheel Society; took people on their Vision Quests for over 14 years; has created over 1250¬†Native hand drums. Aline provides Rites of Passage camps to youth; and facilitates teachings & cross-cultural workshops for colleges, schools,¬†government and various NGOs. Aline has a degree in Criminology, three years training in Hakomi therapy and conflict resolution. Aline also has many years of¬†traditional teachings from respected Aboriginal Elders.
Vandy Savage, Board member
North Vancouver Unitarians
Vandy Savage is a businesswoman, artist, film producer, and environmentalist.¬† She spent 20 years as a retail executive for Macy‚Äôs, Federated Dept. stores, and Nature Co. as a buyer, Vice President and Executive VP. She co-founded Foresight Design. Clients included: the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History NYC, The Corning Glass Center, Madison Square Garden, MCA/Universal, and The North Face. Vandy spent 8 years as a producer for Frank Vitz Productions, Inc. Her credits include a 7-part PBS Evolution series, films for the Smithsonian, the Bermuda Natural History Museum, and Timberland. She spent the last 2 years as Animation Producer for How to Boil a Frog and the Green Party.
Currently Vandy is involved with Tanker Free BC, How to Boil a Frog, Vancouver Peak Oil, North Shore Unitarian Church and is co-writing a book and musical.
Sandra Severs, Board Member
Sandra Severs has been ordained to ministry in The United Church of Canada for 25 years. A resident of British Columbia for the past fifteen years, she has worked with communities at opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum, serving the congregation of West Vancouver United Church and as the Deputy Executive Minister of First United Church in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.¬†¬†Sandra brings to her present work with New Way Community a long history of involvement with social justice issues. She has worked regionally and nationally chairing committees on ecumenical and interfaith relationships as well as education for mission. As a writer her work has been published in¬†Megaphone, The¬†Vancouver Sun¬†and¬†The Tyee¬†newspapers.¬†¬†In addition to her theological training, Sandra holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a M.A. in Environmental Ethics from the University of Calgary.