Meet the Speakers
Dr. Ndola Prata a physician and medical demographer. She began her career practicing medicine in Angola for 10 years and served as Head of the Social Statistics Department at the National Institute of Statistics of Angola. Dr Prata’s current research is based in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on family planning, abortion, and maternal and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and mortality. Her research focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of reproductive and maternal health interventions that maximize distribution and financing mechanisms to increase access to contraceptives, particularly for the underserved populations. Her projects investigate strategies for harnessing existing resources, including human capacity and health care infrastructure while also gathering evidence for setting priorities on national women’s health agendas. Dr. Prata teaches courses and has published extensively on topics related to family planning, financing and ability to pay for reproductive health programs, safe abortion, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, priorities for maternal health and the use of misoprostol in obstetrics.
Molly McGettigan Arthur is the inspiration behind EcoBirth-Women for Earth and Birth..
In realizing our unbroken connection to all life on earth , Molly works to sustain thriving, healthy, caring humans and to reclaim our relationship with all our kin and our sacred MotherEarth. She believes that we can proclaim our joyous authority to care for, protect and bless all life and regenerate our ancestral kinship of healing, nurturance and wellbeing- witnessing the relationship MotherBaby MotherEarth as our guide.
In looking for the roots of our current desperate times, Molly learned that the last six generations of her ancestors were implemental in their creation. She is working with the challenge of integrating her lineage of perpetrators of Indigenous genocide and the poisoning of earth with her authentic identity and calling. The intimate and current collusion she has with white supremacy and how embedded she is in the societal structures of racism and white privilege are foundational understandings for her. She is endeavoring to address the current effects of these parts of her lineage by launching her Waking Up to Our Own History, Lineage and Legacy initiative.
Molly is the mother of two adult children and grandmother of twin 9 year old girls. She has been married 46 years and is an Associate with the Society of the Sacred Heart and a Sister of Earth and at age 70, she tries to discover what it is to be an elder in today's culture.
Alka Arora, PhD has a doctorate in Women Studies from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Southern California. She has been teaching in the Women’s Spirituality program at CIIS since 2011. She also served as the department chair from 2012-2016, during which time she developed the MA program in Women, Gender, Spirituality, and Social Justice.
Dr. Arora’s scholarship is focused on three interrelated areas of inquiry: feminist spiritual activism, vegan ecofeminism, and transformative pedagogy and leadership. She uses what she calls an integral feminist pedagogy in her teaching, inviting students to see social justice work as a form of sacred praxis. She also advocates for nonhuman animal lives in her teaching and research, and has been a committed vegan since 2013. Her courses at CIIS include “Spiritual Activism,” “Animal Ethics,” “Conscious Leadership Among Women,” and “Teaching to Transform: Liberatory Feminist Pedagogies.”
Dr. Arora bridges academia and community engagement through her collaboration with Gender Equity and Reconciliation International (GERI), a non-profit organization that draws on the power of truth-telling and dialogue to transform gender relations. She facilitates public workshops with GERI and, in 2018, helped develop its first gender healing workshop specifically for people of color.
Francesca Gentillé has been an initiated Priestess for over 30 years leading sacred ceremonies, medicine journeys, Red Tents, and shamanic pilgrimages in Sicily, Malta, and Ireland. She is Certified Clinical Sexologist, the co-author of "The Marriage of Sex & Spirit,” the radio host of "Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra. She offers clinical “Kink Conscious Certifcation” through the International Institute of Clinical Sexology. She teaches on recovery from trauma, bridging sexual differences, Tantric flirting, relationships by design, Enchanted Dating, sacred sexuality & Therapeutic BDSM nationally and internationally. http://www.francescagentille.com/
Alan Gamage- Alan is inspired to facilitate a future of peace, love, and happiness for all. He integrates ancient Earth centered shamanic wisdom with modern consciousness and technology. He is a community organizer, educator, and urban shaman.
Steve Schaefer is a longtime automotive writer (27 years) who’s switched to covering only EVs since my Climate Reality Leadership training in August 2018. EVs are the future, and are one of many ways to fight the global warming that’s causing climate change. Steve loves his Chevrolet Bolt EV, which has proven to be a great car after two years of ownership.
Besides EV cars, he is interested in anything that will help cool down the planet, including renewable energy, sustainable farming practices, eating and food, LEED architecture, and so much more. He is also a major advocate of solar panels for those looking into changing energy systems in their home. www.stevegoesgreen.com
Rose Paratore (Founder and Organizer of Symposium) is a student on the hunt for the intersections of the climate crisis and reproductive health. Through earning her Bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology at UC Davis, combined with experience working with the Climate Reality Project and Environment CA, she will bring her interest in people and drive for climate resilience to her Master's degree in Public Health at UC Berkeley. During this time, she hopes to integrate as much research in the field of reproductive health into her Environmental Health Sciences program. She believes this intersection is crucial in creating both climate, as well as reproductive JUSTICE.
Nicole Donovan trained with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project in 2017. She has been giving presentations and helping raise awareness surrounding the issue of our climate crisis. Nicole lives in San Mateo, CA and just turned 13 years old this summer. She also realized her dream of receiving her black belt earlier this year.