Light and Shadow

National Wisdom Council

The i am WE Global Village National Wisdom Council is made up of a dedicated community of people supporting healing spaces and justice work.

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Mytch Pierre-Noel Dorvilier

Pastor Mytch is a product of slavery, an ordained minister at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, currently serving Bethel Lutheran Church in Fresno. She is an ELCA coach, a truth-teller, and an enthusiast advocate of human dignity. She sees everyone for whom God has died for. 

         

She is an adapting leader. She grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the starting point of New World slavery and the first black revolution. She grew up in a religious universe ostensibly Catholic, where spirits hide inside of saints. Her curiosity about other religions comes from the fact that some of her family members are Christians, and others practice different beliefs. By the time she became a young adult, she had studied the Bible with seven different denominations. She also studied the Qur'an, visited synagogues, Buddhists, and Baha'i Temples. She grew up speaking Creole and French and later added fluent Spanish, English, and Wolof to her language list. She worked with the Lutheran World Federation in HAITI and later served with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission in West Africa. Living all that together gives her much room to think and much room to be. After immigrating to the United States of America with her family of three, she tried to avoid the call to ordained ministry. Still, she finally decided it was God's will for her life, and she received her Master's of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary in 2016. Before coming to Fresno, she worked with community development and multi-ethnic ministries in the Eastern North Dakota Synod and as priest-in-charge in the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota. She served churches in North Dakota and Minnesota as an interim pastor.

         

She loves getting to know people and listening to their stories. Sharing stories with other human beings makes her feel whole. She treasures her Haitian heritage because it gives meaning to her. She likes spending time with her three children and friends and cooking, doing yoga, running, dancing, and contemplative writings.

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Acenel Laurent

Born and raised in Haiti where he studied Agricultural Sciences with a major in Economy graduating from the Universite’ Episcopal d’Haiti. He continued his studies with the State University of Haiti specializing in Cultural Heritage and Tourism.

         

He is now serving as the Vice Coordinator of Volonté Des Citoyens Consequents pour Avancement des Nippes (VCCAN), a local agricultural organization promoting community and school based agricultural sustainability projects. 

         

He also provides leadership in grant management for the Green School, Clean School in partnership with Haiti Project.  In addition, Mr. Laurent is the co-founder and the CEO of Passion Tours et Evenements, a tourism business offering educational, historical, and cultural tours.  Mr. Laurent hosts a radio program once a week featuring guest speakers on current social and community topics of interest in Haiti. 

         

Since completing his Level I and Level 2 Nonviolence Leadership Training certification in 2017 and 2018 from the University of Rhode Island’s center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies, he is developing a joint project with the Universite’ Episcopal d’Haiti to establish a Haiti Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies.  

         

He has international travel and experiences in Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic. He has traveled extensively for training and speaking engagements in the US, including Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Now he is serving as board member for "I am we the global village".

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Jen Moore

Jen Elder Moore received her MSW from University of Michigan and practiced Clinical Social Work for 10 years in Detroit, Michigan with a focus on working with Criminal Justice populations and their families. She developed two programs specifically designed to address the challenges and needs of incarcerated women and their children. Her research, focused on incarcerated women is published in Human Rights Watches book, All too Familiar: Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons. Her focus more recently has been in fundraising for non-profits and working with homeless and food insecure populations. Hobbies include writing and reading poetry, running and spending time with her family/friends

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Rameen Zahed

 

Rameen Zahed is currently pending ordination in the United Church of Christ.  Prior to his ministry, he spent nearly 22 years in the Energy Industry from back to middle to front office. His most recent position was as a risk manager/compliance officer for a natural gas hedge fund in Houston, TX.  Rameen holds a BA in Religion from Hope College and M.Div from Union Theological Seminary.  His reasons for returning to the church and ministry are to help address the suffering human condition as well as to help people articulate their spiritual pilgrimage as they seek affirmation and self-determination.

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Iiona Virgin

 

Iiona Virgin lives in the Austin, Texas area along with her husband and two youngest children. She is currently in her final term of graduate school for a Master of Social Work through Baylor University, with an emphasis on the clinical side of the work. Iiona is currently doing a clinical internship with the YWCA of Greater Austin, offering counseling sessions to teens, and those that identify as women who are survivors of some type of abuse. She is a foster parent, and has experience working with the community through public health and houseless youth/teens. In her spare time, Iiona enjoys working as a substitute teacher for K-5th grade, reading books, spending time with my family outdoors, photography, and trying new foods. 

 

If you want to contact Iiona, you can find her on her Instagram photography page.

Neda Varner

 

In 1997, I started my teaching career in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Working in the public and private school system in the last couple of decades has given me a breadth and depth of experience. Half of my working experience was with students who needed specific reading and math support (K-5). Those years forced me to think differently and deeply about the way I planned my instruction, how I engaged my students, and in what ways learning was made memorable. In the last 15-20 years, scientific research has taught us a lot about how the brain learns. In that time, I have immersed myself in the content and labored over how to make learning relevant and meaningful, thereby increasing the progress of my students.

Most of my learning has come from the professionals that have inspired me the most - charismatic, brilliant, and devoted educators who care deeply about the art of teaching and the neuroscience of learning. When I was a new educator, I largely felt alone while trying to make sense of how to do this thing called "teaching." As years passed, I found comfort in some mentors in the schools that I worked and graduate programs that inspired me. This site and podcast are for those educators who find inspiration in hearing from other teachers and experts who believe in the neuroscience of teaching and learning and want to engage in a dialogue and learn alongside other educators.