OneLife Institute is blessed by the servant-leadership of some amazing individuals. Their profiles, below, offer only a hint of the gifts of heart and experience they bring to all that they do...
Liza J. Rankow(Board Chair; Co-Spiritual Director) is an interfaith minister, educator and activist, and is the founding director of OneLife Institute. She holds a B.A. in Human Development from Hampshire College, Bachelors and Masters degrees in Health Sciences from Duke University School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Transformation from Union Institute & University.
Liza practiced as a PA in pediatric hematology-oncology at Duke Hospital before receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society to address health care access issues for marginalized populations of NC women. She worked as a trainer and consultant for medical professionals, Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) agencies, and community based organizations in the provision of culturally competent care to diverse populations, and developed extensive resources for community and professional education.
Liza has provided spiritual counseling and offered classes and workshops in spiritual development for over 25 years. She is a popular speaker and teacher known for bringing compassion, creativity, and insight to the process of individual and cultural healing and transformation. As a scholar and activist, her main interest is exploring the powerful synergy between mysticism and social change. She maintains a special emphasis in the life and work of Dr. Howard Thurman, teaching a variety of classes on Thurman in both academic and community settings. Liza is producer and co-editor of the six-CD audio collection, "The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman" (Sounds True, 2010). Currently she is working on a book examining the theological and paradigmatic context of "mystic-activism" from an interfaith perspective, and offering practical applications of this wisdom for the critical issues of the present day.
Jakada Imani (Board Member; Interim Treasurer) is a spiritually-rooted consultant and coach with more than 20 years experience working in social and economic justice movements. He is currently a partner with the The Management Center, a national firm helping social justice leaders learn how to build and run more effective organizations.
Over the last two decades, Jakada has worked on a range of issues, including racial and economic justice, workers' rights, tenant organizing, and green jobs. In 2013, he received a ChangeMaker Fellowship from Pacific School of Religion, where he served for two years leading a center for spiritual and social transformation.
Previously Jakada served for six years as executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC), taking over from the center's founder, Van Jones. In his 13 years there, he served as the lead strategist for some of the organization's most high-profile campaigns and was a lead team member in the successful efforts to stop the construction of one of the nation's largest juvenile halls -- an enormous "Super Jail for Kids." He also led two successful statewide ballot measure campaigns (No on Prop 6 in 2008 and No on Prop 23 in 2010).
Jakada is on the board of the Comption Foundation and is a member of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples. Born and raised in Oakland, California, he is father to four powerful and creative daughters. You can read his articles on Ella’s Voice as well as on the Huffington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @jakada_imani.
Kamal Hassan(Board Member; Co-Spiritual Director) is a spiritual leader, educator, and community servant. He currently serves as Pastor/Teaching Elder at the Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond California, a position he has held since 2008. Before this call Reverend Hassan spent more than three decades as both a public and private school educator, community organizer and religious worker. He holds an AA degree in Radio Broadcasting from Los Angeles City College, a BA in History from California State University Los Angeles, and a Master of Divinity degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Kamal is a founding member of both the New Afrikan People’s Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. He has worked for social justice and Human Rights locally, nationally, and internationally. He was also a volunteer programmer of a regular liberation focused program on radio station KPFK the Pacifica affiliate in Los Angeles for 10 years.
He firmly believes that, "Spiritual Communities must be critically engaged in the effort to mend the tear in our social fabric that has allowed so many of us to focus on our individual needs and ignore the sufferings of others. To be true to our prophetic calling, we must act locally for justice, freedom, and peace while considering the global implications of our commitments. At the same time we must each pursue our inner and outer journeys of faith."
Rev. Hassan considers it a great honor have been invited to serve on the Board of OneLife Institute.
Leah Kimble-Price(Board Member) is a community healer from Oakland. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over a decade of experience as a psychotherapist and clinician in community mental health. Leah is the owner and operator of Lotus Liberation Clinical Services, providing mental health counseling to children and families. She also serves the community as a Clinical Supervisor of Therapeutic Behavioral Services Lincoln. For more information about her clinical work, check out lotusliberation.com and follow her on social media @lotusliberationoakland
Leah holds a BA in Psychology and an MS in Clincial Psychology, both from San Francisco State University and studied under the strong influences of Dr. Wade Nobles, Dr. Oba T'Shaka, Dr. Dorothy Tsuruta, and Dr. Johnetta Richards.
She is the community liaison/media coordinator for the Therapists of Color (TOC) Bay Area support community and has enthusiastically served as facilitator of TOC's monthly Consultation Group in 2013, 2014, and currently, for 2016. You can learn more at therapistsofcolor.org.
Leah strongly believes in fostering mental emancipation within communities of color and other oppressed groups. She considers it her life's work to aid in the emotional liberation of children of color and those who love them.
As a third generation daughter of Oakland, Leah stands on the shoulders of giants, specifically her parents Wanda Jean Price (iba e) and Hillard Stewart (iba e), her vibrant and effusive grandmother, Electra Kimble Price, and her great grandmother, Clyde Hill Kimble (iba e).
Ms. Kimble-Price is humbled and inspired to be invited to serve the community in this new role on the Board of OneLife Institute.
Ashlee George (Board Member) is a healer, dancer, restorative justice practitioner, youth development specialist and Oakland, California native. She is deeply committed to social justice with an emphasis on healing.
Ashlee has amassed a range of experience in restorative justice philosophy and practices in pre-adjudication diversion and school-based restorative justice and is currently a Senior Program Associate with Impact Justice, The Restorative Justice Project. One of her projects is working with local community based organizations and city leaders to create a restorative Oakland. This would be place where communities lean into one another for healing, safety and connection. Prior to her criminal justice work, she worked in Oakland Unified School District for over 12 years with multiple roles, as a Restorative Justice Facilitator, a Conflict Resolution Coordinator, and as an After-School Director
Healing and connecting through community have been common themes throughout Ashlee’s life. One of these intersections occurred while volunteering for over 4 years as lay healthcare medic at the Berkeley Free Clinic, which provides free healthcare services to the East Bay community. Part of the care was providing equal access to quality healthcare and well-being regardless of one’s socio-economic status. While working at the clinic she took pride in building strong rapports with clients and supporting them as they navigated through the convoluted healthcare system. Each appointment was an invitation to feel welcomed, safe, and empowered in their decisions concerning their health.
Ashlee also creates spaces of well-being as a professional dancer and teacher. For Ashlee, dance allows her to connect with her most inner and sacred self, thus, activating her innate ability to heal and recognize her own internal medicine. She has excelled in dance becoming the 2012 San Francisco Queen of Carnaval. Her philosophy is: Let your LIGHT shine on the DANCE FLOOR and in LIFE.
Through all of this, she has learned this: healing allows us to reconnect with parts, people, and emotions that we have been separated from, thus, making us whole by transforming our pain into relief and suffering into serenity. Let’s GO Forth and Be Whole.
Our Wonderful Volunteersare vital members of the OneLife Institute team! You can find photos and profiles of many of our core volunteers in a special album on our Facebook page,linked here.
And to learn more about how YOU can volunteer,click here.