2016/17 Friars Leaders

Shakti Butler

Shakti Butler, Ph.D., is a filmmaker and the Founder & President of World Trust, a non-profit social justice organization that provides deep learning, tools and resources for people interested in tackling unconscious bias and systemic racial inequity in their workplace, community and in their lives. Dr. Butler engages audiences with participatory keynotes and workshops, often using clips from her films. Known as a catalyst for change, she is hired by organizations seeking broader support for their diversity & inclusion goals.

Shakti Butler is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) whose work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over two decades. She is the producer and director of groundbreaking documentaries including The Way Home, Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible, and Light in the Shadows. Her latest film Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity uses story, theater and music to illuminate the larger frame of structural/systemic racial inequity.

Dr. Butler received her doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Transformative Learning and Change. She holds an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Bank Street College of New York and graduated magna cum laude from City College of New York.

Janaya Khan

Janaya Khan, known as Future in the Black Lives Matter movement, is a Black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, social-justice educator and boxer based in Toronto. As the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, they are committed to Black liberation, transformational justice and indigenous sovereignty and operate through a Black transfeminist lens. Janaya’s work is underpinned by understanding the transformational capacity of language, metaphor, and democratic discourse as a tool for change, gleaned from earning an English Honours degree at York University. Janaya’s dedication and bold approach to social justice work has created opportunities to contribute to academic and front line community dialogue. Having presented at multiple universities such as Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, York University throughout Canada, Janaya has also been traveling across the United States engaging audiences on the global impacts of the Black Lives Matter movement. They are the recipient of several awards such as the "2015 Bromley Armstrong Humanitarian Award." They have previously been featured in the Feminist Wire, RaceBaitR, and The Root and can be found shutting it down at an action near you.

Joyce Kulhawik

Joyce Kulhawik, best known as the Emmy Award-winning arts and entertainment critic for CBS-Boston (WBZ-TV 1981-2008), is currently lending her expertise as an arts critic/advocate, motivational speaker, and cancer crusader. Kulhawik is President of the Boston Theater Critics Association, a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics, and Boston Online Film Critics Association. Kulhawik has covered local and national events from Boston and Broadway to Hollywood, reporting live from the Oscars, the Emmys, and the Grammys. Nationally, Kulhawik has co-hosted syndicated movie-review programs with Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin. She posts her arts & entertainment reviews online at JoycesChoices.com.

A 3X cancer survivor, Kulhawik testified before congress on the 20th anniversary of the national cancer act. For over 25 years she chaired the American Cancer Society’s largest spring fundraising campaign “Daffodil Days,” serves on the ACS advisory board, and continues to help raise millions of dollars for the ACS first “Hope Lodge” in Boston. The ACS has honored Kulhawik with its national bronze medal for her work.

The recipient of countless awards, Joyce holds an honorary doctorate in communications from her alma mater Simmons College, and has an endowed scholarship in her name at the Berklee College of Music. She also earned an M.A.T. in English/Education from the University of Vermont In 2010 Kulhawik received the N.E. Emmy’s Governor’s Award for her distinguished career, and in 2007 was an inaugural inductee into the Mass Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant is the bestselling author of the novels The Boston Girl, The Red Tent, Good Harbor, The Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night, and the collection of essays, Pitching My Tent. An award-winning journalist whose work appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting, she is the author of six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in comparative literature and earned a Master’s in American literature from Binghamton University in upstate New York.

In 1975, she moved to Boston and began a career in journalism, writing for local magazines and newspapers, including the Boston Phoenix, the Boston Globe, and Boston Magazine. She branched out into regional and national media: New England Monthly, Yankee, Self, Parenting, Parents, McCall’s, and Ms. Her feature stories and columns covered a wide variety of topics, from profiles of prominent people and stories about medical ethics, to first-person essays about everything from politics to popular culture to pet ownership to food.

In 1997, Diamant published her first work of fiction. Inspired by a few lines from Genesis, The Red Tent tells the story an obscure and overlooked character named Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob and Leah. The Red Tent became a word-of-mouth bestseller thanks to reader recommendations, book groups, and support from independent bookstores. In 2001, the Independent Booksellers Alliance honored The Red Tent as the “Booksense Best Fiction” of the year. The Red Tent has been published in more than 25 countries world wide, including Australia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. In 2014, the novel was adapted as a two-part, four-hour miniseries by Lifetime TV.

Her new work of fiction is The Boston Girl. Addie Baum is that Boston girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine—a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women; a world where women finish high school, go to college, have a career, and find true love. The Boston Girl begins when Addie’s twenty-two year old granddaughter asks, “How did you get to be the woman you are today?”

Anita Diamant is the founding president Mayyim Hayyim, Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center in Newton Massachusetts — a reinvention of the ancient Jewish tradition of mikveh, ritual immersion in water.

Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer, physician and anthropologist, is chief strategist and co-founder of Partners In Health, Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He also serves as U.N. Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti. Dr. Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. His most recent books are In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez, Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction, and To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation. He is known as "the man who would cure the world," as described in the book, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

Callie Crossley

Callie Crossley is the host of Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, on WGBH. Her weekly commentaries air Mondays during Morning Edition. Crossley is also a public speaker and television and radio commentator for national and local programs, including CNN’s Reliable Sources, the PBS NewsHour and PRI’s The Takeaway. She also appears weekly on WGBH­TV’s Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage, Basic Black, focusing on current events concerning communities of color, and Fox 25 Boston’s Morning Show. A former producer for ABC News 20/20, Ms. Crossley is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, guest­ lecturing at colleges and universities about media literacy, media and politics and the intersection of race, gender and media. She has two Harvard Fellowships­­ from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Crossley was a producer for Blackside Inc.’s “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years,”which earned her an Oscar nomination, a National Emmy, and the Alfred I. DuPont­Columbia Award (Gold Baton). For Boston Public Radio, Crossley has earned the AP, Edward R. Murrow and Clarion awards.