A. Karim Ahmed
A. Karim Ahmed, Ph.D., is President of the Global Children’s Health and Environment Fund (GCHEF), a non-profit international organization based in Washington, DC. In addition, Dr Ahmed is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), where he serves as its Secretary/Treasurer and Senior Staff Advisor.
Previously, Dr. Ahmed was Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Program on Health, Environment and Development at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, DC. Dr. Ahmed has served on a number of high level advisory committees and technical panels of national and international government agencies and scientific institutions, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development, World Health Organization, World Bank, etc.
Pam believes in strength in numbers, and the urgent need for effective communication, advocacy and action on behalf of Creation in the face of our rapidly changing climate. She serves as the Sustainability Director at the United Church of Christ’s Northeast Center for Environmental Justice at Silver Lake Conference Center, which is a summer camp and year-round retreat center operated by the Connecticut Conference of the UCC. Her work is centered on education, advocacy and leadership development on environmental issues, with a focus on climate change, sustainable food systems, and environmental justice, and rooted in our faith tradition. In this role, she directly teaches hundreds of young people per year, serve as staff liaison to the CTUCC Environmental Ministries Team, and participate with local, regional and national environmental projects and groups (both secular and faith-based) to advance their stewardship efforts.
Imam Sami Aziz
Imam Sami AZIZ is the Muslim Chaplain at Wesleyan University. Sami has studied various classical Islamic sciences in his studies within the United States and abroad and holds a Masters degree in Islamic Studies & Muslim-Christian Relations from Hartford Seminary. In addition to his work at Wesleyan, Sami serves as the Muslim Chaplain at Quinnipiac University and as the President of Common Ground Instiute & Services www.CommonGroundServices.org.
Sami has worked with and in over a dozen educational and service-based organizations in the American Muslim Community over the last decade. Sami is a public lecturer on Islam, Interfaith work, Muslim culture, and various other topics. He travels regularly to different communities across the New England to speak and organize events. Sami spends his free time commenting on popular culture, playing basketball, reading news, and adventuring his way through nature.
Reverend Tom Carr
Reverend Tom Carr is co-chair of IREJN’;s board and co-founder. Reverend Tom Carr was a co-founder of IREJN and continues to serve on the board. Tom is the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Suffield. He is engaged in every aspect of church life and his environmental concerns wrap around them all. Tom sees our misuse of the natural world as a sign of our disconnection from the grace and abundance of God – as expressed in the natural order. He has a chapter in a book called Claiming Earth as Common Ground called “How Big Is Your God?” on how his theology led him to interfaith activism.
Fr. Sam Fuller, OFM Cap
Father Sam was born and raised in Connecticut. After working as a welder, boat builder and sculptor, he joined the Capuchin Franciscans in 2000, completed his studies in Boston in 2007 and a year later was ordained a Catholic priest. Since then, he has served as the associate pastor at St Pius X Church, Middletown, CT. Inspired by Franciscan spirituality, he became involved with environmental work through Franciscan Action Network and is instrumental in organizing the IREJN’s annual Riverfront Earth Day in Hartford.
Lynn Fulkerson is co-chair of IREJN’s board and a co-founder. She began her ministry of caring for the environment while working on her MA at Hartford Seminary. She is the co-founder of IREJN and a leading activist in her home town of Litchfield. For ten years she served as Chair of the Episcopal Diocesan Committee on the Environment. Lynn is co-founder of the Litchfield Energy Task Force whose mission is to reduce energy consumption and increase the use of clean renewable energy for the town, its residences and businesses. She also brought IREJN’s This Old House of Worship to five congregations in Litchfield. Lynn is currently working to introduce her town to the Transition Town Movement which builds awareness about the long term health of a community through inclusive conversations about energy conservation and local resilience. She continues to co-chair the Board of Directors for IREJN.
Lynn Johnson is a creative arts therapist and pastoral counselor. She has been the Director of Center for Serenity, providing counseling and education with a spiritual base, for the past twenty years. Twelve of those years she co-lead “Earth Prayers” gatherings with Rev. Tom Carr. She is a Quaker religious educator, teaching Earth Care Witness to children for the past decade. She is a member of the Hartford Religious Society of Friends, and a Board Member of IREJN.
Letitia Naigles, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Her avocation has involved environmental activism for over 25 years; she is especially interested in community-centered organic vegetable gardening and facilitating the ‘greening’ of congregations of all faiths. She is an active member of both Jewish (Beth El congregation of Storrs-Mansfield) and Christian (St. John’s Episcopal Church, Vernon) faith communities. She has led the Environmental Ministry at St. John’s for over 10 years, and was one of the founding members of the Tolland Energy Task Force.
Bernie is program director for Critical Connections, an organization dedicated to healing the Muslim non-Muslim divide and building resilient communities. He is also project manager for the PACE 100PercentCT project, which is forging a pathway for Connecticut to move to 100 Percent renewable energy. Bernie is a member of St. Timothy’s Catholic church in West Hartford. Bernie works with IREJN’s Green Houses of Worship program and serves on the IRJEN Membership Committee. He is especially interested in projects that bring the energy of faith communities to bear on environmental and justice topics. In his “previous life” Bernie was an actuary and still loves working with numbers.
Rich Walseris an IT Support Specialist for Yale University’s division of Information Technology Services (ITS). He is a member of the Planning Committee of Climate Stewardship Summit. He is a co-author (with Terri Eickel) of a recent opinion editorial, “Climate Change is the Greatest Moral Crisis of Our Time”, which was published in New Haven Register (October 27, 2013). Rich lives in Hamden and is a member of Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven. He attended Southern Connecticut State University.
Mike Winterfield has worked for many years in the insurance industry as a Vice President, Actuary, and Product Developer. His innovative variable annuity product designs helped annuities to more effectively compete with mutual funds. Since his retirement, Mike has immersed himself into a wide range of Social Justice activities. He worked closely with the interfaith community and with the non-profit agencies to make the CT tax system more progressive. Mike is currently a member of First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) and the Unitarian Society of Hartford (USH). He is a Board member and Advocacy Committee head of the Tree of Life Educational Fund (which seeks equal justice for Israelis and Palestinians). He is also a member of the IREJN’s Climate Stewardship Summit Steering Committee. Mike previously served as a Social Justice Chair at USH.