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Dawn Haney, Co-Director at a BPF environmental justice march in Richmond, CA (photo credit: aneeta mitha)

Since joining the BPF team in July 2011, Dawn Haney has upgraded BPF’s strategy and operations, strengthening Buddhist-informed activism in social movements from Occupy to environmental justice to Black Lives Matter. She was promoted to Co-Director in April 2012, and has co-led BPF’s training initiatives: The System Stinks, BPF’s 2014 National Gathering, and Dharma + Direct Action trainings.

During her previous tenure as Executive Director of Sexual Assault Services Organization, a rape crisis center in Durango, Colorado, her proudest achievements included reaching ambitious fundraising goals to expand services to survivors and build a new community organizing program focused on building power in immigrant communities to fight sexual violence.

After years of reading Buddhists like Pema Chodron and Thich Nhat Hanh, Dawn’s social justice work brought her to the meditation cushion with a desire to be stronger and more resilient in her work to heal trauma and oppression. Dawn is currently in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders training program, and a sangha member of East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California.

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Katie Loncke, Co-Director

Katie Loncke, born in Sacramento, California, and now living in Oakland, is the curly granddaughter of Negros and Jewish refugees. She believes in the possibility of enough food, water, shelter, clothing, health care, and education for everyone. She started organizing in high school as a straight ally with a Lesbian Gay Straight Alliance, and currently organizes around social and economic issues with a group led by Latin American immigrant socialists.  Following her graduation from Harvard, the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center offered Katie a warm, life-altering introduction to Buddhism. Her writing on Buddhism and politics has appeared in The Jizo Chronicles, The Buddhist Channel, make/shift magazine, Flip Flopping Joy, and Feministe, as well as here on Turning Wheel Media.

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Jessy Zapanta, Operations Manager

Jessy Kondo Zapanta is a mixed-Asian/Indigenous Pilipino Diasporic Buddhist on a quest to reclaim ancestral spiritual practices and healing arts traditions that were lost as a result of generations of trauma, imperialism, and displacement. Born into a blue-collar immigrant Catholic family and raised in some of the most diverse yet underresourced cities of the East Bay Area (Richmond, Vallejo, & Antioch), Jessy has always been sensitive to structural inequalities and has sought justice for all beings and freedom from suffering since opening a copy of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass at the age of 9.

Jessy advocates for visibility, representation, and dignity for Othered people of all kinds. Jessy finds refuge in East Bay Meditation Center’s People Of Color sangha, and practices personal sustainability by balancing movement and stillness, cooking food as medicine, communing with nature, and writing.

Living with the long-term effects of complex trauma, chronic pain and illness, Jessy brings a perspective from the margins of the margins and is trying to help build a world where everyone’s individual capacities and contributions are equally respected and championed, compassion is the norm, and self-determination is fully possible. When not holding down the BPF fort as Operations Manager, Jessy facilitates dynamic mindfulness classes for people of all ages and backgrounds including residents at supportive housing organizations, activists, and high-stress youth. Jessy has taught meditative movement and self-care at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, Qilombo in West Oakland, Berkeley Free Clinic, Mission High, and The Camelot Hotel in San Francisco.

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© 2012 Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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