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IVAC Steering Committee
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Rev. Dr. Beth Johnsen is a Unitarian Universalist minister serving a congregation in Vista California. She is president-elect of Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, recently renamed Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry. She is a graduate of Claremont School of Theology where she received her Master of Divinity and her Doctor of Ministry. Her doctoral project, titled Transforming Conversations – the Voices of Animals in the Interdependent Web uses an ecofeminst, process perspective to explore human caused suffering of individual animals. Beth is interested in how the concept of the interdependent web has functioned, in some cases, to mute the voices of individual animals.

Briannel Donaldsen is a 2nd year doctoral student in the Philosophy of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, with an emphasis on Process Studies, Animal Ethics and the Neurobiology of Empathy. She is interested in how a new paradigm for the human-animal relationship can transform power structures in Western society.  Brianne is an Associate Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and is the Southern California Outreach Coordinator for Vegan Outreach, an international non-profit farm animal welfare organization that distributes booklets about factory farming and compassionate eating at campuses and public events around the world.

Roneld Farmers is the Irvin C. and Edy Chapman Dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Chapman University. He is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Center for Process Studies, and the Process& Faith Program. In addition to numerous publications in the fields of hermeneutics and biblical studies, he has written several articles and one novel (Awakening) dealing with animal compassion. His writings focus on educating the public about factory farming. Ron’s family consists of three cats, who live with his wife, Patricia, and him, and one pig, who lives at the Farm Sanctuary.

Shelle Harrisen teaches law, logic, writing and reading. Having received a B.A. at Stanford and J.D. at UVA, he is a licensed attorney and award-winning inventor with patented work in fields such as computer hardware, internet software, and physical therapy. Shelley serves as a strategist for The Humane Party, the US's first political party whose platform includes animal rights and whose candidates must be vegan, and as an editor for Cruelty-Free, a site devoted to the defense and freedom of animals. He is a member of Bel Air Presbyterian Church.

Sandra Wagonette is the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of La Verne. She is one of the co-authors of A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion, a document composed by religious leaders from 22 different traditions and presented at the nation’s capital in 2007. In 2008, she was part of a consulting team for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary’s Animals and Religion Program. Her current research is focused on the unique relationships being forged between animal advocacy organizations and religious communities. Sandra has developed and taught a course on animals and religion, called “Between Species: Humans, Animals and Religion.” She is also an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren.

 

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