Humanists of MN welcomes Vanessa Gomez-Brake, Co-president of Bay Area Humanists for a special presentation and discussion on becoming a move diverse humanist movement. After the program, we will host a causal reception to provide an opportunity to greet Vanessa and to socialize with fellow humanists.
What does it mean to be a welcoming and inclusive community? How can humanist communities engage, appeal to and build up the secular movement in a way that draws on and celebrates the rich diversity of our world? What is it about the institutionalized culture of our movement that creates barriers?
Vanessa’s presentation will draw on her personal and professional experience. By weaving in her personal narrative, she hopes to illustrate some possible answers to the above questions. Additionally, she will speak about her work in the interfaith field, and the lessons learned from collaborating with Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindu, Sikh, Spiritual-But-Not-Religious and others. Attendees will be invited to further engage with the topic through discussion and small group activity.
Vanessa holds a M.S. from the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution at George Mason University, and bachelor degrees in Psychology and Religious Studies from Arizona State University. Since 2008, she has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area as a community educator, peacemaker and interfaith activist. She is a Board Member of the North American Interfaith Network and Director of Operations & Outreach at The Chaplaincy Institute, An Interfaith Seminary & Community. Currently she is continuing her studies at The Humanist Institute.
Vanessa is a second generation Filipina American. She was born and raised in Arizona, and spent significant time living in the Philippines and Guam while growing up. She now calls Oakland, California home.