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Speaking Matters

Zainab Al-Suwaij

Al-Suwaij, Co founder and Executive Director of the American Islamic Congress, is currently working on a number of programs, including how to combat violent extremism, Muslim's concerns after the election, the Middle East after ISIS, and women's rights. The AIC's principles include: American Muslims must champion pluralism and condemn all forms of intolerance, must be ambassadors to the Muslim world, must recognize and celebrate their own diversity, encourage social and economic prosperity, and protect the rights of minorities in the Muslims world.
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Speaking Matters

Paula Allen

Allen is presently working on a project in Northern Iraq photographing the Yazidi women and girls as they return from captivity as ISIS sex slaves. She is also interviewing them and simultaneously fund raising to build them a complex of cabins in an IDP camp on the Syrian border. These cabins will be organized and run by the Yazidi women and will provide medical and emotional care, safety and space to heal and thrive.

In November, Allen will participate in the special month of photography in Havana, Cuba, exhibiting her images of Isolina, a tarot card reader in Old Havana.
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Speaking Matters

Marc Ian Barasch

Barasch is known for his bold concept of "The Regenerative Society," a compassionate "people-and-planet" approach that goes far beyond sustainability. A regenerative model is evolving, he believes, across all sectors from environment to industry and finance to education, justice, technology, and culture, and is our only hope to get through the "evolutionary bottleneck" of our current civilization.

Barasch has also been an advocate of "eco-spirituality," recently presenting his Green World Charter in a keynote at the Parliament of the World's Religions to an audience of 10,000 delegates from 80 countries and 50 faith traditions.

He founded Green World Ventures to start a transformative "regenerative food industry" in Nigeria to cultivate "superfood" moringa trees to provide protein to Africa and the world while restoring degraded land and alleviating poverty and hunger. 
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Speaking Matters

Tal Ben-Shahar

Ben-Shahar's latest book, The Joy of Leadership: How Positive Psychology Can Maximize Your Impact (and Make You Happier) in a Challenging World, reveals the core behaviors, habits, and cognitive styles of today's most successful shapers and movers — the "10X Leaders." It introduces readers to the SHARP (Strengths, Health, Absorption, Relationships, and Purpose) framework for becoming a 10X leader. The book was co-written with Angus Ridgway, Ben-Shahar's partner in the leadership development program Potentialife.

Ben-Shahar's Happier.TV is a multi-media platform that brings happiness to life through videos and practical content. The site was recently redesigned and relauched.
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Speaking Matters

Jimmie Briggs

In his latest project, Briggs turns to the people of Ferguson, Missouri to explore what made their community such a flash point for the conversation around civil rights, racial justice, and equality following the death of Michael Brown in 2014. These collected oral histories will appear in a Voice of Witness book, Ferguson Voices, slated for release in 2018.
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Speaking Matters

Beatrice Fernando

Fernando describes her heartbreaking experience as a victim of human trafficking in her memoir, In Contempt of Fate. She recounts being tricked into becoming a domestic slave in Lebanon, being held prisoner, and her decision to choose freedom by risking her life in a dramatic escape.
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Speaking Matters

Ellen Langer

Langer is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and founder of The Langer Mindfulness Institute which provides consulting, workshops and lectures. She is the recipient of four Distinguished Scientist Awards and, most recently, the Liberty Science Genius Award. Known as the "Mother of Mindfulness," she has written 12 books, including the best-seller, Mindfulness, and over 200 research papers. Langer is also a gallery exhibiting artist.
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Speaking Matters

Sonja Lyubomirsky

World-renowned happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky's current research findings include:

  • Kind acts influence the body: California community members who were asked to do acts of kindness over the course of 4 weeks not only felt more connected to other people but showed changes in their gene expression profiles associated with stronger immune function.
  • Make someone else happy: Young people were prompted to choose a person in their life to make happier over the course of 4 weeks. Those who did not only made the other person happier, but became happier themselves, in part because the exercise made them feel more connected, grateful, competent, and in control.
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Mark Matousek

Mark Matousek

Matousek continues to expand his personal transformation writing program through online offerings and personal appearances around the world.

His much anticipated book Writing To Awaken: A Journey of Truth, Transformation, and Self-Discovery was published by New Harbinger in July, 2017. Writing to Awaken is an inspirational investigation of the self through expressive writing, guiding the reader along the path of awakening through radical truth-telling and self-inquiry.

His four-part teaching series on the transformative power of story for Mindvalley was also released in Spring, 2017. Matousek's new book, Mother of the Unseen World, is due out in November.
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Public Speaker Sara Mednick, Ph.D. with Speaking Matters, a speakers bureau

Sara Mednick

Sara Mednick, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, and a sleep expert, wants to help you sleep better – and is offering a free online course: How to Sleep Better and The Secret Power of Naps through AARP's Life Reimagined program to help you do so. In a number of short videos over 1.5 hours, Dr. Mednick explains how sleep works and, with a specific emphasis on the secret power of napping, guides you in developing practices for getting more and better sleep.
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Speaking Matters

Kim Rosen

Rosen's The Safe House Education College Fund, (SHE Fund), helps Maasai girls escaping the tribal traditions of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early childhood marriage, and provides them with primary and secondary education, a right denied women in the Maasai tradition. Every year, 6-10 girls from the Safe House graduate secondary school and transform their families and communities by becoming the first females in their villages to go beyond primary school. The SHE Fund is the next step, offering support for two years of college to those students who choose to continue with their education.
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Speaking Matters

Deborah Siegel

Siegel has been performing essays from The Pink & Blue Diaries project on Live Lit on stages across Chicago and has published, most recently, in TriQuarterly. She recently led a workshop on The Art of Authenticity in personal narrative and will be teaching The OpEd Project's "Write to Change the World" seminar in Chicago this fall.
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Speaking Matters

MoniCa Singh

Singh's story of resilience is featured in the new comic book PRIYA'S MIRROR, which focuses on acid attacks and tackles the problem of sexual violence in India and around the world. Singh shares her story of surviving a brutal acid attack to become a fashion designer and UN Women's Global Youth Champion. She is joined in the comic by acid attack survivors from New York City, Bogota, and New Delhi. "As one of the characters in Priya's Mirror, and through my own endeavors; I hope to inspire other women who have gone through similar violent attacks to find courage and confidence," says Singh.
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Maria Sirois

Maria Sirois

Courses based on Sirois' new book, A Short Course in Happiness After Loss (and Other Dark, Difficult Times) will be offered throughout 2017 in the U.S. and abroad as she deepens her exploration of resilience and the science of Positive Psychology.

Sirois was interviewed by ABCAustralia's Lynne Malcolm for her show All In the Mind: A Meaningful Life. Michael Steger from Colorado State University, Center for Meaning and Purpose, was interviewed in the same episode.
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Speaking Matters

Alison Wright

Wright's story "Himalayan Heart," which she photographed from Nepal, was recently published in National Geographic Traveler magazine. She has returned from covering the refugee crisis in Bangladesh and a recent update on the earthquake recovery in Haiti. Her latest book, Human Tribe, due out in the fall of 2017, is a collection of global portraits from 150 countries that celebrates our diversity and the visual tapestry of humanity in all its splendor. She will be covering various photo assignments in Asia and Africa this upcoming fall.
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