Awakening the human potential for inspiring sustainable, impactful, solutions.

October 27th-29th 2017

Omni Charlottesville Hotel, Charlottesville, Virginia

Spiritual Activism Action Focus Track

Civic Engagement from the Heart

Presented by: Ami Chen Mills-Naim
with Mara Gleason
(virtual), Eirik Grunde Olsen (virtual), Freddy Jackson, Sharon Strimling, and Dajohn White

The Spiritual Activism track is geared toward helping participants create a better society, more peaceful communities, and a more representative politics for us all, based on activism that is grounded in wisdom and compassion.

Sessions will include:
Foundational Principles Behind Belief and Ideology, Cross-Divide Dialogue and the Non-Violent State of Mind, Grounding and Self-Care, as well as a Free Discussion and “Insight-Storming” period.

Join this Track

Ami Chen Mills-Naim

Ami Chen Mills-Naim is a global speaker, coach, trainer, editor and author of State of Mind in the Classroom: Thought, Consciousness and the Essential Curriculum for Healthy Learning, and The Spark Inside: A Special Book for Youth.

With her late father, the social scientist Dr. Roger Mills (considered a pioneer of “Three Principles” work globally) she co-founded the non-profit Center for Sustainable Change, and served as its Executive Director and Education Director for a decade. In this role, she raised nearly one million dollars in funding for Principles-based/innate resiliency programs across the U.S.

She has been an international speaker on innate wellness and resiliency, and a trainer of the “Three Principles” for 20 years, as well as a “trainer of trainers.”

Ami spent part of her childhood on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, where her father became a student of philosopher Mr. Sydney Banks. Besides the Principles, Ami’s spiritual studies from a young age have spanned a wide range of teachers, authors and traditions.

Ami has worked with children, youth, families and communities for more than 25 years. Through relationships with major foundations, Ami developed large-scale community resiliency projects involving schools, community agencies, parent groups and private partnership. Through her writing, teaching and project leadership, Ami has made a significant impact on spiritual consciousness, globally, and has been instrumental in producing literature and video programs on applications of the Principles with youth, families and in communities across the USA. She is former Director of the National Community Resiliency Project, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation–bringing the Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought to communities, groups and organizations in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Mississippi Delta, Des Moines, Iowa and the San Francisco Bay Area.

In addition, Ami is an award-winning writer and journalist, who hosted her own radio show and podcast, “On the Front Porch with Ami Chen: Spiritual Dialogues for the 21st Century.”

Ami’s current focus is on helping families, educators and children through sharing and expanding an understanding of the Principles, of innate wisdom and what she calls the “the living, breathing, formless Truth” … both within, and separate from any movement or organization. Moreover, Ami shares the profound potential of our true nature, and the simple power of Love to help end needless suffering.

Ami has helped coordinate three major marches and educational events in the San Francisco Bay Area since the election in 2016–with mixed results, great success and also near violence, as happened in Charlottesville … This was a real learning opportunity for her. She also led several groups on ‘Spiritual Activism,’ helping people to decrease their fears and find wisdom and peace of mind to move forward. Her desire is to help people on both and all “sides” of the current issues we face to come into alignment around shared goals for our country and its people, and how to live together peaceably while working toward those goals. Love at the heart of activism is the key for Ami.

Ami Chen Mills-Naim / The Awesome EventAmi Chen Mills-Naim / The Awesome Event

Mara Gleason (virtual)

Mara Gleason is the co-founder of One Solution, an international non profit dedicated to solving large-scale global issues by illuminating a new understanding of the mind. She is the #1 bestselling author of One Thought Changes Everything. Throughout her career, Mara has worked with all walks of life, including MIT-trained physicists, UN directors, US Marines, NHL players, Microsoft managers, prison inmates, the Chicago PD and youth from South Side Chicago. She formerly founded and co-directed One Thought, a New York/London-based company that trained thousands of organizational leaders and professionals from around the world. Mara is un upcoming speaker at Emerge 2017, at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. “Emerge is all about ‘what’s next’: the big ideas disrupting and challenging unjust systems and practices.” Mara graduated with a Master’s degree from Columbia University in 2006 and currently lives between Chicago, New York and Oslo, Norway. Yes, she has a lot of frequent flier miles.

Mara Gleason / The Awesome Event

Eirik Grunde Olsen (virtual)

Eirik became fascinated by the relationship between the mind and human capability after his experience in the Norwegian military and deployment in the Middle East. After several years studying various mental practices and techniques, he came across a simpler understanding of the mind that proved to be the death of all tools, practices and techniques, and the birth of true transformation and insight.

After 4 years of working from this new understanding, he found that this approach could be applied to people and performance across all fields, from individual, to business to global. Eirik is the founder of NorthMind, the largest Scandinavian company based in these principles of the mind.

Eirik invited some of his most trusted colleagues from around the world to collaborate with him in the creation of One Solution, to see if it’s possible to bring a single answer to many of the world’s most complex problems.

Eirik Grunde Olsen / The Awesome Event

Dajohn White

Dajohn White is a 17 year-old resident of South Side Chicago and the founder of Rebels for Peace, a youth led organization to heal the violence in Chicago by rebelling against the reactive, violent mentality that pervades the community. Rebels for Peace partners with One Solution to recruit youth and educate them about the “superpower” that is their freedom of mind. Every human being has access to new thinking, regardless of past behaviors or cultural pressures. Helping youth discover that superpower is how Dajohn is helping to heal his community, from the inside-out.

Dajohn has a vision to not only help his hometown of Chicago, but to ultimately help change the world.

He is a lover of basketball, pancakes, and most recently, cucumbers.

Dajohn White / The Awesome Event

Freddy Jackson

Freddy has touched the hearts, minds, and souls of thousands of people nationally. By producing creative, inspirational and thought provoking content, Freddy has accumulated over 250,000 (and counting) views on the Facebook and YouTube platforms alone. Born and raised in Buckingham Virginia, Freddy graduated from an athletic scholarship at Point Park University (Pittsburgh, PA) attaining his Bachelors of Arts in Journalism/Radio Broadcasting. He has also earned two Master of Arts Degrees from the University of Rockies in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Master of Arts in Psychology and a second Master of Arts in Organizational Development and Leadership.

Youth and people of all ages gravitate to Freddy and his outgoing personality. His topics of self­-development, watching one’s own ego, finding and living your passion, and the importance of being motivated and conscious in life are right on!

Freddy Jackson / The Awesome Event

Sharon Strimling

Sharon is a Three Principles practitioner and wellness professional from Martha’s Vineyard. Sharon has immersed herself in holistic health for 27 years, from the physical to the psychological and spiritual. Her quest for knowledge brought her early on and gratefully, to the teachings of Mr. Sydney Banks.

Having experienced life as the “full contact sport,” that Syd spoke of, emerging from PTSD, depression and anxiety into a life of hope, inspiration and joy, Sharon knows unquestionably the resilience that lies within all of humanity, and the power of touching truth.

Sharon’s work has always been influenced by the Principles. However, at the time of the recent US election, this understanding became front and center in her life and work. She started a free community group immediately after the election called “Creative Response Ability” to help others understand life as an inside-out experience, full of creativity, resilience, and a deep capacity for sustainable action and activism.

An activist on and off throughout her life, Sharon had seen the ups and downs of her own capacity for action, seemingly dependent on her psychological experience from moment to moment. She saw how she found her own energy for action rise and fall with feelings of hopefulness or hopelessness depending on how she read the external world. With more awareness, and a deep understanding of the brilliance and creativity that powers us all, she learned to trust that she can have greater impact, coming from psychological wellness and even joy, from energy that can not be depleted.

Sharon Strimling / The Awesome Event

Judith Sedgeman, Ed.D

Judith A. Sedgeman, EdD, has been dedicated to sharing the Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought professionally for more than 30 years, throughout the US and around the world. She served for 13 years on the Faculty of the West Virginia University School of Medicine, teaching the Principles through a number of graduate courses in Public Health and working within the University and throughout West Virginia and beyond to bring the Principles to life for thousands of people.

She currently works with the 12th Judicial Court Veterans Court and TYLA Court (established to serve young women rescued from Prostitution) clients, maintains a private practice, and offers webinars and mentors clients across the globe. She is a Consultant in Program Development to the Center for Sustainable Change. Visit Dr. Sedgeman’s website at or contact her at

Sharon Strimling / The Awesome Event

Mahima Shrestha

Mahima Shrestha has a background in media and crisis communications. She is obsessed with bringing bright people together to find solutions to complex problems. Over the years she has worked with government, multilateral, private and non-profit organizations in a wide range of sectors including aviation, hydropower, tourism, investment climate reform, automobiles, finance, education, telecommunications and healthcare.

This diversity in her work portfolio has given her unique insight into what it takes for people to put aside differences, overcome traumatic history and find a way to move forward individually and collectively. She works with entrepreneurs, think tanks, innovators, social businesses as well as young people with the desire and potential to be change makers within their families, communities, organizations and countries. Mahima received an Iconic Women Creating a Better World for All award from Women’s Economic Forum in 2017 for her work. Visit Mahima’s website at or contact her at

Sharon Strimling / The Awesome Event
Spiritual Activism: Civic Engagement from the Heart
The Awesome Event - October 2017

Share these images on your social media, newsletters and emails to help us spread the word!

More Action Focus Tracks

Engaging Youth
Bringing the SPARK Back!

The Cypress Initiative Team
James Hird
Jaime and Brock Sellers
Risa Ramji

Learn More

Spiritual Activism
Civic Engagement from the Heart

Ami Chen Mills-Naim
Mara Gleason (virtual)
Eirik Grunde Olsen (virtual)
Dajohn White
Freddy Jackson
Sharon Strimling

Learn More

Resiliency for Real People

Rohini Ross
Jeanne Catherine-Gray
Jacqueline Hollows
Dorothy Martin
Michael Neill (virtual)

Learn More

Beyond the Ego

Dicken Bettinger (virtual)
Amy Leo

Learn More

Trauma / Violence
Relieving the Suffering

Dave Nichols
Judith Sedgeman, Ed.D
Mahima Shrestha

Learn More

Recovery From Addiction

Debbie Trent
Barnett Gilmer

Learn More