A Look Back at Forward Thinking Leaders

image credit: Clara Natoli

Every month transform. features outspoken, dedicated leaders. All of whom are motivated by a belief in progress, transformation and illimitable forward thinking. Here are a handful who’ve inspired us in their tenacity, love, generosity, and in their ability to hold the complexities of humanity.

Norma Wong | Stance, Energy, Awareness, and Rhythm

Ryuko (Norma) Wong Roshi, formerly an instructor at Institute of Zen Studies, currently works as a private consultant specializing in strategic planning and  organizational capacity. Her career has spanned service as a Hawaii state legislator where she worked  with public policy, planning, strategy, and native Hawaiian issues. Ms. Wong is a 1974 graduate of the  Kamehameha Schools and attended, but did not graduate from, the University of Hawaii and Wellesley  College. She was a student of the late Tenshin Tanouye Rotaishi for twenty years, ordained as a Zen  priest in 2000, and received her inka shomei (‘mind stamp’) in 2005, as an 86th generation Zen Master  of Daihonzan Chozen-ji.

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Aqeela Sherrills | Beholding: An Act of Love

Spirit-Centered Activist, Advocate and Social Entrepreneur, Aqeela  Sherrills is now Director of Transformative Change and the principal partner of The Reverence Project, a 3-fold  initiative that is working to shift the social and philosophical construct of present world culture rooted in violence, shame, guilt and fear into a more balanced world view rooted in reverence, forgiveness, compassion, and truth…

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Albino Garcia | La Cultura Cura

Chicano/Native activist, Albino Garcia is the Executive Director and Founder of the grassroots organization La Plazita Institute located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and established in 2004.  He grew up in Chicago and is no stranger to the streets; his background closely mirrors that of the populations that La Plazita Institute serves.  He has done extensive healing work with youth, veterans, and gang members.  His leadership style is grounded in traditional culture, and he is known and respected for approaching challenging situations with creativity, honesty, inclusiveness, and innovation.

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Akaya Windwood | Cultivating Beloved Community

Prior to becoming president of Rockwood in January 2008, Akaya Windwood served as Rockwood’s director of leadership development for three years. An executive leadership coach and organizational consultant, Akaya has more than 30 years of experience working for social justice. She is known nationally for her commitment to social and economic justice, and for building a compelling vision for effectiveness and collaboration in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors.

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More Featured Leaders:

Grace Lee Boggs| The Answers Are Coming from the Bottom

Ai-Jen Poo | Organizing with Love

Gihan Perera | A Declaration for a Free Arizona

Erica Grevemeyer | Commitment to Authenticity



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