Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir is amongst the most respected and influential Muslim scholars in the West. Born in Berkeley, California, the second of seven children he accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force. He then obtained a BA with honors in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University, where he emerged as an active leader in campus activities, helping to revive the Muslim Student Association, co-leading a successful South Africa divestment campaign, and co-founding a local Islamic center, Masjid al-Huda. After a year in Cairo, Egypt, studying Arabic, he settled in New Haven, Connecticut and continued his tireless community activism, co-founding Masjid al-Islam, the Tri-State Muslim Education Initiative, and the Connecticut Muslim Coordinating Committee. As Imam of Masjid al-Islam from 1988 to 1994 he speared-headed a community renewal and grassroots anti-drug effort in the local neighborhood, and taught as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Arabic at Southern Connecticut State University until his departure for Syria to further his studies in the traditional Islamic Sciences. For seven years in Syria and briefly in Morocco he immersed himself in an intense study of Arabic, Islamic law, Quranic studies, and Islamic spirituality with some of the top Muslim scholars of our age. In 2001, he graduated from Syria’s prestigious Abu Noor University and returned to Connecticut to continue his work with the Muslim community in America. Teaching regularly as the Imam of Masjid al-Islam, writing numerous articles for various magazines, journals, and newspapers, and lecturing frequently at many of America’s largest Muslim conferences and conventions, he soon emerged as one of the most popular and sought after American Muslim leaders. In 2003, he moved to Hayward, California with his family to serve as a scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute where he now teaches regular courses on Arabic, Islamic Law, History, and Islamic Spirituality. He has since lectured at many of the Bay Area’s top universities, including Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and is a frequent speaker at local and national Muslim events. Amongst several works that he has translated from Arabic into English, his translation of “The Heirs of the Prophets” was published by Starlatch Press in 2001. In 2005, he released “Scattered Pictures,” an anthology of diverse essays, through Zaytuna Institute. He is widely regarded as an articulate voice on Islam and African-American issues and as a visionary leader in the emergence of an Islamic community and tradition and that is indigenous to America.

Lynne Twist

Lynne Twist — a global activist, fundraiser, speaker, consultant, and author — has dedicated her life to global initiatives that serve the best instincts in all of us. She has raised hundreds of millions of dollars and trained thousands of fundraisers to be more effective in their work.

Lynne has spent more than three decades working in positions of leadership with many global initiatives including: ending world hunger, protecting the world’s rainforests, empowering indigenous peoples, improving health, economic, and political conditions for women and children, advancing the scientific understanding of human consciousness, creating a sustainable future for all life.

An original staff member of The Hunger Project, an organization started in 1977 to end world hunger, Lynne served as a leader of this global initiative for 20 years. During those years she created and managed the worldwide fundraising operation. As she traveled the world learning how to work in a multitude of different cultures, Lynne developed profound wisdom about our relationship to money and the way it governs, dominates, and stresses our lives.

The compelling stories and insights gained from her experiences inspire Lynne’s keynotes and workshops, and are the foundation for her best selling, award winning book The Soul of Money.

Lynne founded the Soul of Money Institute to express her commitment to supporting and empowering people in finding peace and sufficiency in their relationship with money and the money culture.

Lynne and her husband have three adult children and three grandchildren and live in San Francisco, California.


  • “Woman of Distinction” at the United Nations by the International Health Awareness Network for her work to end hunger
  • 2005 Humanitarian of the Year Award from Youth at Risk
  • Katalysis Foundation’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Nautilus Book Award: 2004 Grand Prize for The Soul of Money
  • New Dimension Broadcaster Award


  • Lynne Twist and her husband are co-founders of The Pachamama Alliance, an organization with the two-fold mission of:
  • Preserving the Earth’s tropical rainforests by empowering the indigenous people who are its natural custodians.
  • Contributing to the creation of a new global vision of equity and sustainability for all.
  • Lynne is a trustee for the Fetzer Institute, a foundation whose mission is to foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the emerging global community.

Lynne is a board member for:

  • The Institute of Noetic Sciences
  • Educate Girls Globally
  • Lynne is an advisory board member for:
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
  • Center for Partnership Studies
  • Challenge Day
  • Global Youth Action Network
  • The Hartley Film Foundation
  • The International Museum of Women
  • K.I.N.D. – Kudirat Institute for Democracy
  • The Sophia Institute
  • Youth for Environmental Sanity
  • Lynne is also currently a member of:
  • The Social Venture Network
  • The National Society of Fundraising Executives
  • The Transformational Leadership Council
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