Oren Slozberg joined Commonweal in November 2013 as the chief strategies officer and the director of the EDGE program. Prior to Commonweal, he was the national executive director of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). He started at VTS in May 2006, bringing more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and the arts to the organization. Oren is an expert trainer in VTS, and he has trained hundreds of educators in the process, working in a variety of setting ranging from teachers in elementary schools to college faculty.
Amber Faur came to California in 2006 and has since studied Non Profit Administration at the University of San Francisco and worked for several social service and environmental organizations throughout the Bay Area. She earned a BS in International Agriculture and Rural Sociology at UW Madison and has written thesis on both land distribution inequality in Brazil and the racial wealth divide in the US. Aside from her skills in operations and finance, she farms poultry in Sebastopol with her teenage son.
Thomas Arndt is a performer, musician, teaching artist and creative arts facilitator based in Berkeley, CA. Thomas works with groups of children, youth and adults to bring out inner creativity, encounter interpersonal connection, and explore personal connection to the world. With a background in diversity work and a B.A. in Human Rights, Thomas is adept in creating community, engaging discussion about difference, and examining equality. He works with Destiny Arts Center, The Mosaic Project, Youth in Arts and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. For the past 8 years, he has worked as a Facilitator with Power of Hope summer camps and helped to spearhead and lead the Power of Hope Bay Area Camp in Bolinas in July 2015.
Samara has been well-versed in hip hop for the last 15 years gaining training and learning from hip hop heavyweights around the country includeing Kory "Kato" Watkins (Housin' Authority), Carla Service (Dance-A-Vision), Corey Action & Teela Shine (New Style Motherlode), Capitol Movement (LUAM) and Diane Naa Dodua Green (Saint Mary's Dance Ensemble). She has picked up influences from the Bay, Atlanta, DC, Philly, and New York making a style that is bringin' a little bit of everything to the table. Samara choreographs for local artists and currently teaches in the OUSD through Destiny Arts Center. She has danced for LUAM, Busta Rhymes, Nelly Furtado, and Rhianna. Samara is the Artistic Director of Mix'd Ingrdnts, an all female performance collective in Oakland that exists to empower women to express themselves.
Dia Penning is a connector, of ideas, people, feelings, and thoughts. As a coach, she works with individuals and teams to assuage their fear of change through strategic questioning, interactive exercises, guided refection and tool-box development. Dia has designed curriculum for all ages, and uses a number of modalities to get at the heart of assumptions and habitual behavior. In government, non profit, health and education, she integrates creative thinking, analysis, social justice, and mindfulness practices to explore equity, strong community, and effective communication.
Dia is an expert facilitator with 15+ years in the field, an open heart and a very sharp wit.
Kerry Brady, MA, SEP, is a deep ecologist whose focus is to support the shift in consciousness needed to create a truly regenerative culture, for people and the planet. She is the co-founder and director of Ecology of Awakening with more than 25 years of experience in transformational modalities including non-dual wisdom approaches, psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing trauma work, deep ecology, permaculture, nature-based retreats and vision quests. For over a decade Kerry has co-taught with mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme on living in participatory engagement with a living universe. She created and teaches Living Resiliency workshops, integrating biologically based trauma work with permaculture principles and practices in order to increase our adaptive capacity as we navigate this extraordinary time of cultural and ecological transformation.