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2013 Speakers

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John Robbins

Diet for New America

thumb_color_robbinsThe only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, John Robbins was groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, but chose to walk away from Baskin-Robbins and the immense wealth it represented to “…pursue the deeper American Dream…the dream of a society at peace with its conscience because it respects and lives in harmony with all life forms. A dream of a society that is truly healthy, practicing a wise and compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem.”

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Gene Baur

Farm Sanctuary

thumb_color_baurGene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine. For 25 years, he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system.

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Charles Horton

President of the Firewalking Institute of Education and Research

thumb_color_hortonCharles is one of only 6 Certified Master Firewalk Instructors in the world. He regularly conducts firewalk seminars to people from all over the globe. “It’s about breaking through limitations and getting to the level in life. That has been the cornerstone of my personal philosophy for many years. Identify what’s holding you back and moving through it. It almost always boils down to fear on some level.”

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Linda Fondren

Top 10 CNN Hero 2010 Shape Up Vicksburg

thumb_color_fondrenLinda Fondren initiated Shape Up Vicksburg in October 2009 to help residents of Vicksburg, MS lose weight after Mississippi was deemed the “fattest state” in the nation for the 6th consecutive year. Her vision is to end the obesity epidemic and help citizens transform their lives by becoming fit and healthy. Shape Up Vicksburg is a non-profit organization that provides tools and resources to members of the community who want to change their lives but lack the financial means to do so.

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Jake Ducey

Into the Wind

thumb_color_duceyAt nineteen, Jake Ducey left behind a drug-filled life and a college basketball scholarship to wander the world in search of meaning. What he found was that by following our hearts, we find and can fulfill our dreams; that everything he was seeking was within him the whole time; that our destiny is in reach if we look within ourselves first.

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Chelsea and Danielle

Balloons Blow

thumb_color_balloonsGrowing up on the East Coast of Florida, we’ve been enjoying the beautiful beaches since we were very little. Our parents taught us at a young age to respect & care for nature; we would always cleanup on our regular weekend outings. When we were young, there was very little marine debris washing ashore & we would never find balloons. Now, both in our early 20’s, we continue our weekly beach cleanups & the increase in plastic pollution is staggering. The amount of balloons we are finding has also skyrocketed. The global obsession with single-use plastic is atrocious, but the disturbing thing about balloon pollution is that people are purposely littering with balloons to celebrate, to honor the dead, or to just mindlessly watch it float away.

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Mozhdah Jamalzadah

Afghanistan’s Oprah

thumb_color_mozhadahMozhdah Jamalzadah is a young Afghan female artist. Her family fled Afghanistan when she was only 5 years of age, but she says she left her heart behind. While growing up in Vancouver, Canada, she witnessed all that was going on in her homeland and was very determined to do anything she could to help. After graduating secondary school, Mozhdah thought of ways to contribute in her homeland. She thought the best way to try and make a difference and get her message across would be through music. “Everyone listens to music, so why not get my message across with meaningful lyrics,” she thought, so she started taking vocal lessons beside her other studies.

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Gabriel Angelo

The Master Blaster

thumb_color_gabrielGabriel Angelo MasterBlaster G is a 13 year old trumpeteer and entertainer, tap dancing as he plays his tunes. His musical career began with drum lessons at Shiloh Conservatory in Oakland. He went on to begin piano lessons at 6 years old, but on the first day came back to his mother with a trumpet, having fallen in love with as he explains. Always having the desire to perform for an audience with more frequency than his recitals, he found a niche in San Francisco’s welcoming arts culture and ultimately developed his public career there, starting with his first performance the day before his tenth birthday.

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Homero Oryace

Doctors Tour in Peru

thumb_color_homeroHomero Oyarce, poet, actor, writer and Peruvian singer, was born in the village of Chilingote, in the Leymebamba district, province of Chachapoyas, Amazonas department, Peru. His parents, bright peasants, were inspired to give him a poet’s name and not the name of an almanac saint, as was customary at the time. He spent his childhood in the fields, mixing work and play, talking to the mountains, rivers and the wind. He attended school in the cities of Leymebamba and Chachapoyas, and then continued his studies in Sociology at the University Pedro Ruiz Gallo in the city of Chiclayo.

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Danny Keith

Grind Out Hunger

thumb_color_keithDanny Keith founded the cause Grind Out Hunger www.GrindOutHunger.org in 2003. The cause’s mission statement is “Empowering the youth by utilizing the passion of skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding and music to recognize the importance of community and food literacy.” He spent seven years mobilizing the youth of Santa Cruz County to collect over 2 million pounds of food for Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County.

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Dr. Wallace J Nichols

Your Brain on Nature

thumb_color_nicholsDr. Wallace “J.” Nichols is a scientist, activist, community organizer, author and dad. He works to inspire a deeper connection with nature, sometimes simply by walking and talking, other times through writing or images. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves.

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Rajiv Shah

Tell Your Story

thumb_color_shawRajiv Shah is the unique mixture of an American born of Indian, Filipino, Spanish and Chinese ancestry. The product of a love affair between pen pals that spanned 13 years and two wildly different countries – India and the Philippines. Rajiv was born to a wealthy Indian father who ran away from home to seek his fortune in what is now the technological capital of the world, Silicon Valley. His mother left her family in Manila’s bustling Chinatown district to be with him. It was from this unique perspective (and rebellious spirit) that Rajiv was raised and influences his work as a filmmaker/actor/writer.

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