Sun, Nov 01|
Addressing Critical Global Issues: The Role of Faith Communities
A Conversation with Audrey Kitagawa, Chair of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Larry Eastland, Chair of The John A. Widtsoe Foundation, and Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life at The University of Southern California
Time & Location
Nov 01, 2020, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM PST
About the Event
Where does religion fit into solving critical challenges on a global scale? What does moral leadership look like? How can you personally enact change needed to address these challenges? If you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’re not alone. In this live virtual conversation, we’ll discuss how global religious organizations impact policy through the United Nations Multi-faith Advisory Council, what moral leadership looks like, and how you can use your time, talents, resources and energy to enact change locally, which leads to global change.
Join our live conversation and Q&A on Sunday, November 1.
Learn more about our conversation partners:
Audrey Kitagawa, JD
Audrey E. Kitagawa, JD, is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World's Religions, President and Founder of the International Academy for Transcultural Cooperation, President of the Light of Awareness International Spiritual Family, Chair of the UN Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and co-facilitator of the United Religions Initiative UN Cooperation Circle.
Audrey has written many book chapters on multicultural communication, religion, worldviews, cultural diversity, and more. She has also 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 several awards, including 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 also received the Spirit of the UN Award, 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 was also conferred an Honorary Interfaith Minister degree by the New Seminary.
Dr. Larry L. Eastland
Larry Eastland has served four U.S. Presidents, including Staff Assistant to the President (President Gerald Ford), Director of Operations for the Summit of Industrialized Nations (President Ronald Reagan), and as the U.S. Delegate to the World Tourism Organization (elected Chairman of the General Assembly and Security Council). He also served as a Foreign and Defense Policy Assistant at the U.S. Senate and Deputy to the Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology. He is a combat-decorated U.S. Marine Corps officer, having served as an infantry Firebase Commander and Intelligence Officer in Vietnam.
Dr. Eastland received a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Brigham Young University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He was recently selected as an Outstanding Alumnus at BYU and is currently on the CFHSS National Advisory Council. He is a founder of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.
His corporate offices are in the U.S. and Hong Kong with business interests on four continents. He is a Distinguished Director of the American Conservative Union. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he has served as an LDS missionary in Berlin, a bishop, in a mission presidency, and currently serves as Assistant Director, North America West Area Communication Council.
Dean Varun Soni
Varun Soni is the Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. He earned his B.A. in Religion from Tufts University, where he also earned an Asian Studies minor and completed the Program in Peace and Justice Studies. He subsequently earned his M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School and his M.A. degree through the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He went on to receive his J.D. degree from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, where he also completed the Critical Race Studies Program and served as an editor for the Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law. He earned his Ph.D. through the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, where his doctoral research focused on religion and popular culture.
Dean Soni is currently a University Fellow at USC Annenberg’s Center on Public Diplomacy and an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Religion. He has authored several books , and his writings have appeared in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Crosscurrents, Jewish Journal, and Harvard Divinity Bulletin.
Prior to joining USC, Dean Soni spent four years teaching in the Law and Society Program at UCSB. Born in India and raised in Southern California, he has family on five continents and they collectively represent every major religious tradition in the world.