Complete final list of speakers, panelists and workshop leaders is in the conference program.
is the Director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. He served over 20 years as director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and also served as Executive Director of the White House Conference on Families.
is a faith-based activist. Compassion and justice have been at the core of his 16+ years in grassroots community engagement with government, pastors, residents, business owners and police. His work is to reduce recidivism, violence, racism, and unemployment; and to bring racial reconciliation to Chicago’s South and West Sides. He also serves as Worship Leader at Urban Village Church – South Loop.
is the Founder and President of Secular Pro-Life and a member of Equal Rights Institute’s Board of Advisors. An attorney in private practice, she is an eloquent voice of reason in the service of life in both mainstream and pro-life media. After law school, Kelsey was selected for a Robert F. Kennedy Public Service Fellowship, which she used to devote a year to public interest work with Americans United for Life.
is one of the founders of the Seamless Garment Network–which became the Consistent Life Network– and has been the executive director of Prolifers for Survival (PS), the Seamless Garment Network (SGN) and Consistent Life, as well as a Board Member of Consistent Life. A social worker and a Consistent Life Catholic, Mary lives in the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker in Garner, N.C. with her family. She and her husband, Patrick O’Neill, have eight children. Mary has been arrested nonviolently protesting abortion, the death penalty and war and has spent time in jail for several of these arrests.
is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author who founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia, an organization in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. He has advocated for the homeless, for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for ending the death penalty. He co-founded (with Tony Campolo) Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living “as if Jesus meant the things he said.” His eight books include his classic Irresistible Revolution, Jesus for President, and his latest, Executing Grace, on the death penalty.
is pastor of Covenant Freedom Church in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, and an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She supports the Consistent Life Ethic and her stand for human dignity is expressed in her involvement with issues of mental health, hunger, homelessness, and racism.
is President Emeritus and Board Chair of Evangelicals for Social Action and Senior Distinguished Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry and Public Policy at Palmer Theological Seminary. Sider has spoken on six continents and published more than thirty books on poverty, abortion, war, the death penalty and nonviolence. In 1982, The Christian Century named him one of the twelve “most influential persons in the field of religion in the U.S.”
is the Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America. She’s worked for the Democratic Co-Chair of the Bipartisan House Pro-life Caucus to pass pro-life and pro-family legislation.Day’s articles have been published in the Harvard Crimson, the National Review and other publications. She has been a guest on both national TV and radio news shows and has been quoted in USA Today, The Washington Times, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune.
DAVID T. LINK
is a chaplain at six Indiana state prisons, a former dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Law School, and a Catholic priest with four doctorates. This lawyer who entered seminary after the death of his wife of 45 years created a Crime Peace Plan, which works to restore justice to crime victims, their families, society, as well as those who are accused and convicted.
AKISHA TOWNSEND EASTON
is World Animal Net’s senior policy and legal resource advisor. She previously served as assistant legislative counsel at the Humane Society of the United States. In addition to her role at World Animal Net, Akisha is a legislative consultant, Associate Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and a member of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee. She received her B.A. from Stanford University and her law from Georgetown University.
JOYCE ANN MCCAULEY-BENNER
is a national speaker for Feminists For Life who, while working her way through college at the age of 20, was raped and chose not to abort. She graduated from college and graduate school while raising her son and has worked with low-income and vulnerable populations, including sex trafficking and domestic violence victims. Today, she writes for The American Feminist and gives her speech, Victory over Violence, at college campuses, international conferences, and Capitol Hill briefings.
is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist. Since 2001, over 400 of his columns have been published based on the Church’s consistent ethic of life and Catholic social teaching. Tony’s columns regularly appear in various diocesan papers as well as in the National Catholic Reporter, Catholic Online, the Catholic News Agency, Pax Christi USA, Pax Christi International, and more. He’s worked in various ministries, organized many pro-life prayer vigils, and was honorably discharged from Army as a conscientious objector.
RACHEL LEIGH PELLER is a board member and former Director of Outreach for Feminists for Nonviolent Choices with a Master’s of Public Administration. She consulted for an anti-trafficking coalition, a refugee association, an anti-war network, and a film festival on the experiences of immigrants. She served on the executive board of the Gender Equity club and organized a Gender in the Workplace Symposium. Most recently, she worked to address and prevent intimate partner violence in marginalized communities. She has facilitated workshops on nonviolent communication, human trafficking, LGBTQIA inclusion, & nonviolent feminism.
KRISANNE VAILLANCOURT MURPHY
is the incoming Managing Director of Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN)which prepares Catholics to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice. She has over twenty years of national-level faith-based social justice advocacy leadership with groups such as Bread for the World, Latin America Working Group, and Witness for Peace. The co-author of Advocating for Justice: An Evangelical Vision for Transforming Systems and Structures is on the adjunct teaching faculty at Eastern University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Development.
AIMEE MURPHY is the Executive Director and founder of Rehumanize International. The recipient of the 2014 Susan B. Anthony List Young Leader Award, Aimee reaches people (especially youth) with a human rights message to bring an end to all aggressive violence against human beings and leads a team creating and engaging in effective dialogue to change hearts and minds.
is an editor at Plough, an independent book publisher dedicated to serving people who are eager to put their faith into practice which also puts out a quarterly magazine. Maureen lives at the Fox Hill Bruderhof in Walden, New York, with her husband Jason and their three children.
WITLEE ETHAN is an inspirational speaker and advocate for suicide prevention, violence against women, sanctity of life, and women’s issues who herself survived thirty years of violence. By sharing her personal experience and message of defying the odds, she hopes to give others the encouragement to find their own voice. To date, her story has garnered coverage by the media, being featured by Life Site News, Silent No More, Abort73, Live Action News, the Charlotte Observer, and more
writes for the pro-life group Live Action and is a board member of both the Consistent Life Network and the Pro-LIfe Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL). She is the creator of the pro-life website Clinicquotes.com. She also writes fiction and poetry and has been published in a number of magazines and journals.
JAMES R. KELLY received his Ph.D. from Harvard and taught at Fordham University from 1971 until 2010, became emeritus, and still teaches as an adjunct. His chief areas of research are sociology of religion and civic conflict. He has been published by America, Commonweal, Christianity Today, the United States Catholic Conference, the Lilly Foundation, and the National Office of Ecumenical Officers and served as the first executive secretary of the Cardinal Bernardin Common Ground Catholic Initiative.
PAIGE KUBENKA is a rising sophomore at The University of Texas at (UT) at Austin. She is the incoming vice president of Texas Students for Life, the Consistent Life Ethic chapter of Students for Life of America at UT. Paige is a Dr. Joseph Graham Fellow with Texas Right to Life, where she has been through two intensive, week-long trainings on pro-life information and apologetics. This summer, Paige is working as an intern with Rehumanize International, expanding her knowledge of and experience working with the Consistent Life Ethic.
is originally from Harlem, New York, and received a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2014 and her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College. After some time in public interest law firms, she is embarking on a career in pro-life advocacy. She is especially interested in addressing the abortion industry’s aggressive targeting of black women in the United States and increasingly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where her family is from.
is Director of the Office of Life and Family for the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served as an editor, writer, and media contact for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Pro Life Activities and has written on bioethics and post-abortive trauma. Steven has a doctorate from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome and teaches moral theology at both Catholic Distance University and also at Immaculata University where he is an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Moral Theology.
MARY LISTON LEIPOLD
is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, editor, peace & justice activist, and a Secular Franciscan. She has worked in publications and fund development for many nonprofits. She currently chairs the Metro DC –Baltimore Region of Pax Christi USA and serves on the board of Little Friends for Peace—a low-budget, high-impact peace education nonprofit. She earned a doctorate in American Literature and Linguistics from the Catholic University of America in 1984.
is the New Media Coordinator for Rehumanize International, a Consistent Life Network member group, and a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh. As a politically independent, queer, pro-life atheist, Rosemary is able to open up lines of dialogue that otherwise may be closed. Rosemary and the whole Rehumanize International team are excited to attend, speak, and share on the many ways our movement can be more inclusive, productive, and effective.
RACHEL MACNAIR is a social psychologist focused on peace psychology. She is vice president of Consistent Life Network, director of the Institute for Integrated Social Analysis, and has led in many peace, life, and academic groups. Books she authored, co-authored and edited include: ProLife Feminism: Yesterday and Today, Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing, Religions and Nonviolence: The Rise of Effective Advocacy for Peace, and Peace Psychology Perspectives on Abortion
JOHN WHITEHEAD is a freelance writer and an Advisory Board member for the Consistent Life Network. He also serves a deputy editor of Life Matters Journal, the magazine of Rehumanize International. A long-time student of peace, war, and international relations, he received his M.A. from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. John maintains a website on the cause of international peace at http://www.peacemakinglife.com.
MARY MEEHAN is a free-lance writer and senior editor of the Human Life Review who has written and spoken widely on issues of life and death. She has won awards for investigative reporting on eugenics and population control. Mary challenged the Vietnam War, and in other antiwar campaigns. Her work has appeared in such publications as America, the Baltimore Sun, Commonweal, the Human Life Review, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Progressive, and the Washington Post.
is the executive director of Wakota- A Guiding Star Center in the Twin Cities area which provides medical services, material assistance, and educational programs without condition to women and families. Wakota offers free pregnancy tests, free limited ultrasounds, referrals for legal issues, adoption, as well as help for those victimized by domestic violence or sex trafficking.
HUGH ORGAN intended to use his Criminal Justice degree from Alvernia University to become a police officer and found another way to protect & serve. As the associate director at Covenant House PA, he oversees street outreach and testifies at government hearings on sex trafficking. Covenant House is the largest provider of services to runaway and homeless youth in Philadelphia. Covenant House also leads the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition.
KRISTINE KRUSZELNICKI, the “Pro-Life Atheist,” is a leader of Pro-Life Humanists, a pro-life home for the irreligious, atheist, humanist and non-theist. Kristine is pro-life for the same reason she’s an atheist: she trusts science and follows logic and reason where it leads, and scientific evidence tells her that the preborn are simply the youngest, the most vulnerable, and the most dependent members of the human species. Look for her on social media and at conference and events around the nation.
is the associate director of Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. For 25 years he was the Nebraska Catholic Conference’s voice on abortion and end-of-life issues. Known as a coalition-builder, he received the University of Notre Dame’s first Evangelium Vitae medal in 2011 and is a public policy fellow at Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics & Culture and also at the National Catholic Bioethics Center.
KRISTYN KOMARNICKI is director of dialogue and convening at Evangelicals for Social Action(ESA)/Sider Center. She facilitates retreats to help Christians of different sexual/gender orientations and theological convictions get to know, understand, and love each other, won the Biblical Equality’s Micah Award, and volunteers at a drop-in center for prostituted women. One of her talks is called “Crossing the Divide: How to Have–and Survive–Difficult Conversations with Those Who Disagree with Us,” a great skill for consistent life ethicists.
now Catholic lay chaplain on Florida’s death row and solitary confinement, was once a Wall Street finance lawyer. Now he is a spiritual advisor to the condemned. Dale and his wife, Susan, both minister to families and loved ones of both the condemned and the murder victims. He has written books on the death penalty, speaks for the Catholic Mobilizing Network, and appears frequently on worldwide Vatican Radio and extensively addresses audiences nationally and in Europe.
is Consistent Life Network’s National Program Coordinator and an Army veteran who became a peace, justice and eco activist with groups such as Pax Christi, Veterans for Peace, and the Religion & Labor Network of Austin. He became a pro-life activist in 2014 and led a Catholic parish Respect Life Ministry for two years where he persuaded pro-lifers & peace activists to collaborate on war, racism, and the death penalty.
is Assistant Professor of Church and Society at Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Blue Bell, PA, as well as the author of Consistently Pro-Life: The Ethics of Ancient Christianity. Rob’s approach to the consistent life ethic is principally formed by the personalism and incarnational spirituality of Dorothy Day that sees persons as the most important physical and metaphysical reality. He enjoys flying his (unarmed) drone, playing with his three small kids, and watching The Walking Dead.
is the Senior Adviser and Special Assistant to the Archbishop at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and served as the Chancellor and Special Assistant to the Archbishop of Denver. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts in film and television production, is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America West and for 15 years he was Editor in Chief of the National Catholic Register.
EVELYN BRUSH is a board member of the Consistent Life Network and a cradle Catholic who recently completed a Master’s degree in Justice Ministry from Catholic Theological Union. She focused her studies on “the moveable middle,” those practicing Catholics who don’t see the connection between faith and justice. She’s been a Secular Franciscan for nearly 40 years and serves as the Minister of St. Clare Fraternity in Portland. Evelyn lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her daughter and is employed as a parish Director of Religious Education.
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