Muse Presenters 2015
Each year, we feature the voices, stories and conversations of numerous women and girls who are creating positive change in their lives, in their communities, and in our world. We are honored to share their wisdom and inspiration through our salons, conference day programming, and workshop series. A few of our 2015 Muse Presenters include:
Myrlie Evers-Williams worked alongside her husband, Medgar who was a pioneering visionary for civil rights in the 1950s and early 1960s in Mississippi. As the state’s first field secretary of the NAACP, Medgar was one of the most visible leaders in the civil rights movement in America. His assassination on June 12, 1963, galvanized President John F. Kennedy to ask Congress for a comprehensive civil rights bill. In the years following his assassination, she continued the pioneering work they had begun together. An author, lecturer, and educator, she was one of the first African American women to run for Congress. In 1995, she was elected chairperson of the NAACP and helped rebuild and restore the national reputation of that organization. In 1998, she founded the Medgar Evers Institute. In 2013, she gave the inaugural invocation for President Barack Obama.
Lauren Fleshman is an accomplished track and field athlete. She was the US 5000 meters champion in 2006 and 2010, and has competed at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2003, 2005, and 20011. In the 500 meter final of the 2011 IAAF World Championships, she finished 7th place, equaling what was at the time the highest ever finish by an American woman in that event. In 2012, she joined Oiselle, a running apparel company focused on promoting and supporting female athletes. Lauren has a website where she answers questions and addresses issues such as healthy body image and modern-day feminism. She is also a regular contributor to Runner’s World and the co-founder of Picky Bars.
Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability for more than 40 years. Founder of the Soul of Money Institute, and author of the best-selling, award-winning book, “The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life,” and a co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance — a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture.
Seane Corn is an internationally recognized yoga teacher known for her impassioned activism, unique self-expression, and inspirational style of teaching. Since 2007, she spear-headed the organization Off the Mat, Into the World® (OTM), with Hala Khouri and Suzanne Sterling, training leaders and raising awareness about global humanitarian issues such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic and sex trafficking. Seane has been honored with the “Conscious Humanitarian” award, the “Global Green Millennium Award,” and in 2013 the Smithsonian Institute honored her for her ongoing commitment to yoga and activism.
Hala Khouri, M.A., E-RYT, has been teaching yoga and the movement arts for over 20 years. She is a yoga teacher and somatic counselor interested using the power of embodied practices to heal trauma both in individuals and communities. She is a co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World®. She lives in Venice, CA with her husband and two sons.
Amy Richards co-founded the Third Wave Foundation, a national organization for young feminist activists between the ages of 15 and 30. In addition to running Soapbox, Inc: Speakers Who Speak Out, the foremost feminist lecture agency and creators of Feminist Camp, Amy is most popularly known as the author of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future. She was also an advisor to PBS documentary on the women’s movement in America, MAKERS: Women Making America.
Jenn Hofmann is a filmmaker and adventurer who followed her teenage dream of “Africa” only to accomplish such goals as working with the United Nations and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. She currently runs Nomad Charities which oversees both the farm and children’s home that Hofmann built in Kenya.
Diane Luby Lane
Diane Luby Lane is Founder/Executive Director of Get Lit-Words Ignite, Southern California’s leading nonprofit presenter of literary performance, education and teen poetry programs. Lane’s LIT KIT, a standards based, in-school curriculum has been adopted by over 45 Los Angeles Country high schools and each year Lane produces one of the largest poetry festivals for teens in the nation. She has won numerous awards, and in 2012, was honored as a recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Volunteer Service Award.
Marquesha Babers is from Watts, a neighborhood in Los Angeles that has harsh conditions of its own. Babers was homeless for seven years of her childhood, and has used poetry as a way to express herself amidst a difficult reality. She has performed at the Women in the World Summit and acts as an ambassador for the groundbreaking documentary Girl Rising. Most recently Marquesha performed at a summit in DC sponsored by one.org to combat extreme poverty, where her poetry won her praise from an esteemed audience, including “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.”
Melanie Klein, M.A., is a writer, speaker and Associate Faculty member at Santa Monica College teaching Sociology and Women’s Studies. She is a contributing author in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice and is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body, and co-founder of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition.
Rolf Gates is the author of the highly acclaimed book on yogic philosophy, Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflection on the Path of Yoga. Rolf conducts 200/500hr Vinyasa Teacher Trainings and Retreats throughout the US and abroad and is honored to be a co-founder of the Yoga, Meditation + Recovery Conferences and an Advisory Board Member for the Veterans Yoga Project. A former social worker and US Airborne Ranger who has practiced meditation for over twenty years.
Sarah Max, like a lot of our muses, wears many hats: financial journalist, small business owner, mother and athlete. A regular contributor to Barron’s, Entrepreneur and The New York Times, Sarah covers all facets of finance and business. She also lives it. In 2009, Sarah helped found 1859 Oregon’s Magazine, where she is now an editor at large.
Melody Moore, Ph.D., co-founded Embody Love Movement to create a revolution where all girls and women radically embrace their bodies and themselves. Following undergraduate study in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Pepperdine University in 1999, Dr. Moore earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 2005. Dr. Moore is a contributor to the upcoming anthology, Yoga and Body Image, and on the faculty at the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical School and Off the Mat, Into the World.
Suzanne Sterling is an ecstatic vocalist, innovative composer, teacher and invoker of the sacred. Both as a performing and recording artist, as well as a facilitator of transformational workshops and intensives for many years, Suzanne has received critical acclaim. She is one of the co-founders of Off The Mat Into The World and a featured artist and teacher at Yoga Journal Conferences, Wanderlust Festivals, The Esalen Institute, The Omega Institute, The Global Sound Conference, and Exhale Center for Sacred Movement.
Kerri Kelly is the founder of CTZNWELL, an emerging movement to mobilize people into a powerful force for wellbeing for all. She spent seven years as Executive Director of the non-profit Off the Mat, Into the World and is currently board chair. She is relentless in her commitment to elevating leaders, groups and projects to next-level social change makers through her work with The Catalyst Collective.
Lisa Rueff is a Bay Area yoga teacher and international service trip leader. She started Yoga Ventures in order to take her life’s mission of community service to the next level. Lisa provides the opportunity to visit a foreign country, practice yoga on and off your mat, with meaningful, service-oriented yoga retreats. She has been featured and published in Yoga Journal, Yoga International, Origin Magazine, Mantra Magazine, The Examiner, Marin Magazine, Ode and more.
Ruth Williamson, PCC is principal of Ruth Williamson Consulting, and delivers the Culture in Action process as a partner in We, Inc. For over 15 years, Ruth has worked closely with local government agencies and contributed to a broad spectrum of community and non-profit organizations. Her passion for community building has led to several high-profile efforts and a reputation as an effective citizen activist.
MOsley WOtta is a performer, painter and poet. His confrontational works explore what lies beyond the surface. 2015 marks the start of MOsley WOtta’s “Markets Flooded Tour” which is currently touring both schools and festivals.
Bella Wiener is a senior at Bend High am perusing the International Baccalaureate Diploma. She would like to pursue a career in global health. After participating in a Leadership in Global Health summer program at Brown University, Bella developed a plan for a Kilimanjaro SHE Climb and will be climbing the highest freestanding mountain in the world to support SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises) as they build a business in Rwanda.
Lindsey Voreis, founder of the Liv Ladies AllRide Tour is passionate about her mission to bring inspirational mountain bike clinics to the women of the world. Lindsey is a certified skills instructor through PMBI (Professional Mountain Bike Instruction), and IMBA’s ICP (Instructor Certification Program). Lindsey “barely survived” the TV show Survivor: Africa in 2001.