The On Being Project

The On Being Fellowship creates kinship and cross-pollination between extraordinary leaders within the growing ecosystem of spirituality, community, and social healing. The 2017-18 Fellows are developing relationships across difference and accompanying one another through transitions, challenges, and opportunities.

Jennifer Bailey

Jennifer Bailey

Named one of “15 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in the multi-faith movement for justice. She is the founding executive director of the Faith Matters Network and a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project. Jennifer comes to this work with nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combatting intergenerational poverty.

An Ashoka and Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, Jennifer earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She writes regularly for Sojourners and The Huffington Post. Her first book, tentatively titled Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister is currently under contract with Chalice Press. Rev. Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Cesar Gonzalez

Cesar Gonzalez

Fellow

Cesar believes that for the first time in human history we have the real opportunity, the tools, and the will to build a world that works for everyone. As CEO of StartingBloc, he lives out this belief by supporting leaders of change to build the skills, the alliances, and the strength they will need to bend the arc of history.

Born in Peru and having lived in 15 cities on 4 continents, he developed a strong global perspective, mastery of 3 languages, and a deep appreciation of our world’s cultural richness. He was formerly the VP of Fellows and Alumni with the Unreasonable Institute, a social entrepreneur, a dance instructor, and a bicycle touring adventurer. Today, he devotes his attention to his work, his relationships, his local community, and an avid meditation practice. Cesar has a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, he is an Unreasonable Fellow, a StartingBloc Fellow, and has training and experience as a facilitator and speaker.

Anurag Gupta

Anurag Gupta

Anurag is a sought-after expert on unconscious bias. A licensed attorney, an academic researcher, and a mindfulness expert, Anurag is the founder & CEO of Be More America, a social enterprise that trains professionals like physicians, business executives, and attorneys in proven tools to hack bias and unleash human potential. Prior to founding Be More America, he worked with various social enterprises and research institutes in the United States, Asia, and Europe on improving health and social outcomes for neglected populations.

He is the recipient of the coveted TED Residency, Echoing Green Fellowship, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellowship, and the Points of Light Millennial Recognition Award. He has been profiled in numerous media outlets including NPR, The Huffington Post, The NY Post, and the 10% Happier podcast. Anurag was a founding member of Buddhists For Racial Justice (BRJ) and sits on the Board of Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He has a bachelor’s in International Relations and Islamic Studies from NYU, a master’s degree in Development Studies from Cambridge, and a J.D. from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.

Lucas Johnson

Lucas Johnson

Fellow

Lucas Johnson is a writer and 21st century freedom fighter who believes deeply in the need for healing and reconciliation in the world. He lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he serves as the coordinator of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), the world’s oldest interfaith peace organization. Based in Europe, he remains connected to social movements in the U.S. and travels frequently in support of nonviolent movements around the world.

Lucas earned his M.Div. from the Candler School of Theology in 2010. He was ordained as minister in the American Baptist Churches by Oakhurst Baptist Church. From 2010–2014, Lucas worked closely with the veteran civil and human rights activist, Vincent Gordon Harding. Mentored by veterans of the civil rights movement and shaped by his experiences growing up black and queer, Lucas is deeply committed to the global struggle for freedom and dignity. He believes that struggle is both material and spiritual.

Ben Katt

Ben Katt

Ben is the creator and host of RePlacing Church, a podcast exploring local spirituality, innovative community, and social change. He helps leaders start new Christian faith communities and reawakens established churches engage to their neighborhoods as the Western U.S. Regional Director with Resonate Global Mission.

Ben received an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary and has been an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church since 2007. He was the founding pastor of Awake Church along Seattle’s Aurora Avenue where resilient neighbors struggle with homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and sexual exploitation and the founding executive director of the Aurora Commons, a neighborhood living room and resource center committed to overriding fear with hope, interrupting isolation with community, and offering dignity to all. Ben was previously the co-founder of the Parish Collective.

Ben enjoys karaoke, craft beer, and spicy salsa. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Cherie and three children.

Edina Lekovic

Edina Lekovic

Fellow

For 15 years, Edina Lekovic has served as a leading voice on American Muslims and an inter-community builder between diverse faith traditions. Edina is a strategist, storyteller, and trainer who works in multi-faith spaces throughout the country.

Through her work with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), she has advocated on behalf of American Muslims in news media, interfaith, community, and pop culture spaces and has appeared on leading media outlets, including CNN, FOX News, The Huffington Post, NPR, and Buzzfeed.

She is a co-founder and board member of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, a board member of multifaith house of worship The Pico-Union Project, and a member of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Interfaith Leaders Collaborative.

In 2015, she was named one of L.A.’s 10 most inspiring women gamechangers by Los Angeles Magazine. She was also named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Georgetown University and the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

Elena Mariscal

Elena Mariscal

Elena Mariscal currently works as a Project Manager for Latin America for the first Google Impact Challenge held in 5 countries simultaneously. Previously, Elena worked with Crea to promote gender equality by teaching hard & soft skills to female entrepreneurs from vulnerable and marginalized areas in Mexico. She developed the training program in digital skills funded by Google. Her main source of inspiration and motivation are Crea’s women that everyday overcome many barriers for being women and owning a business. Elena was previously co-anchor for El Financiero, Bloomberg’s morning TV show, where she reported on live TV about local and international markets, economic data, and finances.

While she graduated from her double major in Economics and Political Science at ITAM, she was research assistant at Colmex and at Mexico’s National Public Health Institute. She is the Vice Curator of Mexico City’s Hub for the Global Shapers Community. Her hobbies include running, actively participating in local advocacy groups regarding female rights and gender equality, and reading novels. When she’s not creating community or protesting about something, she loves to spend quality time with her family.

Timothy Shriver

Timothy Shriver

Timothy Shriver serves as the president of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, one of the nation’s largest full-time Catholic volunteer organizations and a pioneer in the service landscape for over 60 years. JVC engages passionate young people in vital service within marginalized communities while fostering their growth as leaders committed to faith in action. Shriver came to JVC from The Future Project, where he spearheaded the development and growth of The Future Project’s transformative school programs in 50 schools in seven cities — from youth leadership training and teacher engagement to its innovative recruitment and marketing strategies.

While a student at Yale University, he co-founded “Spread the Word to End the Word,” a global youth-led campaign to end the casual and pejorative use of the word “retard(ed)” aimed at people with disabilities. Since the effort’s 2009 launch, half-a-million people have pledged support for the cause and 2,500 student-led events are held annually across the world. Shriver spent 2014–2015 as a lecturer at the Stanford Design School with a focus on leadership, creativity, and organizational design.

Danya Shults

Danya Shults

Fellow

Danya Shults is the founder of Arq, a media company and community that helps anyone connect with Judaism in a relevant, inclusive, and convenient way. Arq offers aesthetically elevated and inviting content, products, and experiences that give people a meaningful and easy way to connect to all things Jewish.

Previously, Danya created the marketing and community functions at Spark Capital, was a founding employee and leader of culture and community at Skillshare, and fought for educational equality as a director of recruitment at Teach For America.

Danya is a connector who aims to build and strengthen communities, create greater access for more people, communicate with transparency, and promote learning through sharing.

Victoria Stoyanova

Victoria Stoyanova

Victoria Stoyanova is a community architect and founder of Glint — a practice focused on designing collaborative and interdisciplinary communities and ecosystems.

Victoria works at the intersection of industries, ideas, and people. Her work is focused on magnifying the impact companies and individuals can have by designing new ways for them to interact and collaborate. She believes that in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, we need to actively participate in and design the broader systems we are part of.

In her free time, Victoria runs the London chapter of CreativeMornings— a monthly event for the creative community taking place in 180+ cities globally. She also hosts The Work We Do — a podcast about people redefining the meaning and purpose of work.

Victoria is a proud member of forward-thinking communities such as SandboxThe Point PeopleThe Royal Society of Arts, and On Being.