These Luminaries Are Joining the 2021 Parliament

The Parliament welcomes Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, Naeem Mohammad Baig, Ann SmithPaul Knitter, Rev. Charline E. Manuel, Rev. Dr. Shanta D. Premawardhana, Galaikai Patjaljinuk, Rev. Stephen AvinoAwakeneers, and David Hales to the diverse list of featured luminaries at the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions.

With less than 24 hours before the 2021 Parliament goes LIVE, we invite you to register today and take advantage of the last few hours of the general registration rate. At door pricing increases to $110 on October 16th at 12:00 AM.

Sheikh Moafaq Tarif

Sheikh Mowafaq Tarīf is the current spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel. Tarif was born in 1963 in the city of Julis. Since 1753, his family has been leading the Druze community in Mandatory Palestine and then Israel. In 1993, he inherited the position of spiritual leader from his grandfather, Shaykh Amin Tarif. 

Naeem Mohammad Baig

Naeem Mohammad Baig, is former President of Islamic Circle of North America, ICNA, and currently he is Director of Interfaith Alliances and member of the National Board of the Islamic Circle. He serves as Director/Imam of Outreach and Interfaith Programs at Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center. Mr. Baig serves as the co-chair of the 'National Muslim-Christian Initiative'. He also serves as the Muslim Coordinator for the ‘Catholic-Muslim Mid-Atlantic Dialogue’.

Ann Smith

Ann Smith, Former Director of Women’s Ministries National Episcopal Church, is the co-producer of creative programs and resources that empower people to be their highest selves. Co-Convener of The General Congress of Women, co-author of Stories from the Circle: Women’s Leadership in Community, co-creator of solar lunar round calendar and The Goddess Files.

Paul Knitter

Paul Knitter is a member of the Board of Directors at OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership. He is the emeritus professor at Union Theological Seminary, where he has served as the Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture. He is also Emeritus Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he taught for 28 years. Dr. Knitter is well-known for his work on religious superiority, pluralism and multiple religious belonging.

Rev. Charline E. Manuel

Charline Manuel is an inspirational Author, Speaker and Board Consultant. In her work she has encouraged small and large audiences nationally and internationally through her writings, keynote messages, workshops, seminars, and retreats. Charline serves on the Board of Directors of Unity World Headquarters and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of World’s Religions headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. She is on the faculty of the Unity Urban Ministerial School helping to develop spiritual leaders since 2012. 

Rev. Dr. Shanta D. Premawardhana

Shanta Premawardhana is president of OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership. Prior to OMNIA, he served as the Director for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. He was also the Associate General Secretary for Interfaith Relations at the National Council of Churches, USA. While serving as pastor of Ellis Avenue Church in Chicago, he engaged in community organizing in the Southside of Chicago. He is an emeritus trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, National Council of Churches, USA, and Common Cause Illinois.

Galaikai Patjaljinuk

Galaikai Patjaljinuk is a Puringau (Sorcerer) of Paiwan, an Indigenous Taiwanese and member of the Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee.​​​​​​​

Rev. Stephen Avino

Rev. Stephen Avino serves as the Chief Operating Officer & Acting Executive Director of the Parliament of the World's Religions, the world's premier interfaith convening non-profit organization. Rev. Avino became a member of the Staff at the Parliament in 2012 and has remained deeply committed to the success of the global interfaith movement, serving as a key organizer for the 2015 Parliament in Salt Lake City, the 2018 Parliament in Toronto, and the upcoming 2021 Parliament.


Awakeneers’ music centres around honest vocals sweetened with multi-part harmonies and supported by rich acoustic instrumentation. The nomadic band of nine multi-instrumentalist songwriters — most of whom are siblings — segues seamlessly from a foot-stomping fiddle tune to a hip-hop guide to mindfulness; from hilarious satire to heart-wrenching and conscience-raising eco-ballads; to soaring inspirational harmonies of love and hope. These seasoned minstrels weave a genre-bending blend of acoustic positivity that orbits elliptically around the idea of folk music.

David Hales

David Hales served as President of the College of the Atlantic, Chair and President of Second Nature, the managing organization of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, and as Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He led environmental policy and sustainability programs for the US Agency for International Development. As a diplomat, he has represented the USA in numerous negotiations on climate change, urban affairs and policy, and biodiversity. He served in the Carter administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior. He was the first American to serve as Chair of the World Heritage Convention.

This 8th global Convening offers attendees some of the great highlights from previous convenings: inspiring plenaries, diverse global programming, and a deep commitment to the global interfaith movement.

But the 2021 Parliament is also a Parliament unlike any other. Limitless opportunities to connect and 30 days of access to program recordings are just some of the few things that make this Parliament unique.

Don't miss it, register today!