Meet The Team
Meet our team of core collaborators.
Some are full-time, some are part-time, and some are some-time.
But all are 100% dedicated to our message and movement!
Dr. Kurt Johnson
Dr. Kurt Johnson has worked in professional science and comparative religion over 40 years. A prominent figure on international committees, particularly at the United Nations, he is author of the influential book The Coming Interspiritual Age (2013) and two award-winning books in science: Nabokov’s Blues (2000) and Fine Lines (2015).
Kurt has served on the faculty of New York’s Interfaith Seminary for 12 years and, for 25 years was associated there with the American Museum of Natural History. In 2016 he became host for Unity.Earth’s Convergence radio series at VoiceAmerica, a series featuring global change-makers.
Kurt has a PhD in Evolution and Ecology and is author of over 200 scientific articles and seven books, along with further articles at Kosmos Journal, The Contemplative Journal, Evolution Institute, Integral Life with Ken Wilber and peace studies with Philip Hellmich of the SHIFT Network.
Kurt, a former monastic, is a member or founder of The Evolutionary Leaders, the international Contemplative Alliance, the Gaiafield and Subtle Activism Networks, the Self Care to Earth Care network, the UN NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, the NGO Forum 21 Institute, and the UN Committee for International Yoga Day, and is President of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
Ben Bowler is a serial entrepreneur with a background in sales and marketing. In 2006 he and his wife Jildou moved to Thailand to volunteer along the Thai-Burma border. In 2008 they founded Blood Foundation together, a NGO focusing on education projects. In 2008 Ben founded Monk for a Month in Chiang Mai offering men and women the opportunity to experience Thai temple life and temporary ordination.
In 2010 Ben launched Muslim for a Month in Turkey offering guests a first-hand experience of Turkish Islam and Sufism, underneath the spiritually inclusive banner of Rumi.
In 2011 Ben launched World Weavers, offering spiritual immersion programs in Tibetan India, Nepal, Cambodia and Ethiopia.
In October 2015 at the Parliament of World’ Religions Ben launched 1GOD.com, an online platform aimed at countering religious fundamentalism, relativism and western materialism.
Ben is a Social-Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the prestigious INSEAD Business School and a blogger for the Huffington Post.
Chief Operating Officer
Shannon Marie Winters is our Chief Operating Officer. Her work is currently focused on The Road to 2020 USA “Caravan of Harmony” and as Managing Editor of The Convergence Magazine. With inspiration and joy, Shannon honors the interconnected truths of all paths and faiths, serving to uplift humanity fully into the era of unity consciousness.
Originally from California, Shannon has worked in the corporate sector in the NYC area for more than 13 years, leading strategy and planning of publications and communications and is author of numerous scientific publications and presentations. She is also a lifelong explorer of theologies, interspirituality, and mindfulness studies. With the confidence that anything is possible, she enthusiastically dares to dream beyond boundaries, navigating with the compass within her heart.
She is also managing editor of Light on Light Magazine focused on spiritual practices and inspired lifestyle, Certified Intrinsic Coach, Reiki Jin Kei Do practitioner, and is completing the interfaith/interspiritual seminary program at One Spirit in NYC. She recently founded Inner Light Spiritual Center and resides in New Jersey with her family and joyful menagerie of rescued dogs and cats.
Lakshmi Menon Bhatia
Director of Operations – India
Lakshmi M Bhatia is the Director of Operations for the UNITY EARTH Team in India.
She has been working in the space of Interfaith Harmony and Oneness for many years. After a decade and a half in an International Corporate career with GAP Inc., she went on to become their Global Director for CSR & Human Rights. She now works on various projects in the space of Oneness, Harmony & Peace as well as in the area of Ethical Trade, Business & Human Rights.
Her other passions include music, gardening & natural farming, working on animal rights and environmental conservation, and preserving the traditional arts & crafts of India.
She also hosted a monthly radio show for 2 years on Spirituality and Consciousness on a UK internet radio network.
Her articles on Spirituality have been featured in various magazines such as The Life Positive.
Derek builds, coordinates, and runs a majority of the technical components throughout the several organisations that comprise the UNITY EARTH network.
As with many of UNITY EARTH’s core team members, Derek is a man with many hats. He also runs a website and marketing automation business and divides his spare time between family, teaching and practicing Aikido, and serving as co-founder of the Perth Urantia Book Study Group. He is also dedicated to ridding the world of the porcine menace, one delicious rack of ribs at a time.
Derek is particularly attracted to UNITY EARTH’s mission of helping every single member of our human family recognise that we are, indeed, one interconnected, interdependent family. For him, there is no greater work, and no greater way to serve.
Highlights of Derek’s career include serving with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, and participating in the 2001 World Games for Aikido. He has a website at DerekGrimm.com
Communications and Social Media Manager
Irina spent over 15 years in fast-paced roles such as Rehabilitation Officer, Corporate Counsellor and Executive Assistant, and has two years of private practice counselling experience with a focus on couples counselling and women suffering abuse trauma.
In 2014, Irina hung her designer suits in the back of her wardrobe and replaced them with Yoga Pants! Her passion for yoga became her career. As well as running her own classes, she collaborates with physiotherapists, chiropractors, wellness and fitness centres. Implementing her skills of counselling and business management alongside yoga, she successfully runs yoga retreats for relaxation and rejuvenation of both, body and mind.
Irina holds a Yoga Teacher Diploma (HH Dip. Y.T.), Diploma in Professional Counselling and Cert IV in Training and Assessment.
She joins UNITY EARTH’s team with an open heart, to assist in bringing a vision of Oneness into reality.
Rev. Deborah Moldow
Rev. Deborah Moldow is an ordained interfaith minister committed to assisting in the transformation of human consciousness to a culture of peace through her ministry, international peace work, interfaith efforts, speaking, writing and singing, all part of the movement of awakening humanity.
Deborah is the founder of the Garden of Light, an online platform for the emerging global spirituality. The purpose of the Garden of Light is to provide a virtual home for a new community rooted in shared spirituality that transcends differences of culture so that it can become visible as a powerful force in uplifting the human spirit.
She is Co-Director with Diane Williams of the Evolutionary Leaders circle, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation that brings together visionaries committed to the acceleration of the conscious evolution of humanity in these critical times.
Deborah served for more than 20 years as the Representative to the United Nations of the World Peace Prayer Society, which promotes the universal prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” and has traveled the globe to conduct Peace Pole dedications and World Peace Flag Ceremonies sending peace to every nation. At the United Nations, she co-chaired the International Day of Peace NGO Committee and the Values Caucus, and founded the United Religions Initiative multi-faith cooperation circle.
Rev. Deborah leads monthly Interfaith Sundays at the Chapel at Croton Falls, facilitates a local Spirit Salon, and has a practice in spiritual counselling.
Yanni Maniates is the Global Projects Coordinator of UNITY EARTH and is part of UNITY EARTH’s Core Team. His work is primarily focused on the U Day India Festival 2019; The Road to 2020 USA “Caravan of Harmony;” and the UNITY EARTH Center’s Inner Awakening Program.
Yanni was the Director of a large, international, interfaith, ecumenical conference organization in the 80’s; Director of a medium sized book publishing house in NYC for 5 years; and built an interfaith seminary library of 100,000 volumes from scratch.
As well, Yanni has been teaching Meditation, Intuitive Development, Healing, Hermetic Wisdom, Ancient Mystery School and Metaphysical subjects for 30 years. His intention is to translate ancient wisdom teachings into modern, real-day, life skills.
The primary focus of his work is to help people experience the “still, small voice within” or as he prefers to call it, “The Embrace.”
He is the author of six Kindle books on Meditation and Intuition, three Meditation CDs and a myriad of courses. His personal website is: www.InsideOutJourneys.com
Dr. Darrol Bryant
M. Darrol Bryant is the Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Spirituality in the World Religions. Educated at Concordia College, Harvard Divinity School and the University of St. Michael’s College (Toronto), he has edited/authored more than 25 volumes including Religion in a New Key and Muslim Christian Dialogue.
He has been involved in interfaith dialogue since the mid-1970s. A sabbatical with his family in India transformed his approach to the religious pathways of Hinduism, Islam, Tibetan Buddhism, and the Sikh traditions, and travels in China changed his approach to Confucian, Daoist and Chinese Buddhist Ways. The dialogue of the intercultural and interreligious world remains his passion. He received the Huston Smith Interfaith Educator of the Year Award in 2011 and is looking forward to being part of UNITY EARTH and the UNITY EARTH Center.
Marketing & Public Relations
Antoinette “Rootsdawtah” Hall is a skillful marketing and public relations expert. As a world-renowned Musical Minister in Pato Banton’s Spiritual Family and a social-spiritual activist she travels the globe promoting world peace and unity.
Antoinette has become very proactive in Global Outreach Ministry, which includes The Urantia Movement, U-Day Thailand, Parliament of the World’s Religions, 1GOD.com, Harvard Divinity School and recently, a presentation for the Convergence Gathering at the United Nations Chapel in New York. Antoinette’s Facebook spiritual communities also include, Minister Pato Banton, Urantia Aspirations, Ministers For Christ Michael, Urantia 101 for New Readers, and COEXIST! Her current musical works include “Thoughts of Paradise” Meditation CD, “The Words Of Christ”, “Words of Rastafari” and “Joyful and Happy”, the soundtrack featured in the spiritually motivated documentary “Return to Happiness”.
Her guest appearances include the Desmond Tutu’s Foundation celebrating his 85th birthday, LA Talk radio, Spiritual Unity and Diversity, International Women’s Day in Canada, and various worldwide Urantian gatherings and conferences.
Her most recently launched virtual community is Daughters of The Divine Mother, a rapidly growing group of international women united to share experiences, resources, information and sisterhood. Antoinette is an inspirational public speaker focused on uplifting women and enhancing their relationship to our Divine Mother throughout all cultures and religions.
Jeff Vander Clute
Consciousness-Based Strategy & Facilitation
Jeff Vander Clute is a facilitator of awakening to the direct experience of Unity and the ultimate foundation of one’s essential nature. He supports individuals, businesses, and whole organizational ecosystems on their journeys of development and transformation, helping each uniquely to operate from a place of inspired AWAKENESS.
Jeff has founded and worked with a range of organizations, from technology startups to social enterprises and nonprofits building movements for Compassion and Peace. In 2013, he co-founded Sourcing The Way, a coaching and consulting company from the awakened future.
Jeff is also an inventor of consciousness-based technologies for inspired decision making and an Evolutionary Leader committed to realizing global enlightenment and a healed Earth in this lifetime.
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