Thank you.

For your partnership. For your vision. For your co-creation of the future, we are building together.

Many of us gathered to celebrate our 2018 Lives of Commitment Honorees, but no matter where you were that morning, you helped make our space sacred.

You reminded us that it is so easy to love one another. That active love is the meaning of the word philanthropist — literally: for the love of humankind.

We heard so many powerful, fierce, and moving stories about love and generosity. I want to share with you what is at the center of MY story. His name is Abai.

Over a decade ago, I was working as a human rights lawyer on the Thailand-Burma border where I met Abai. He was a refugee, living in exile, and had been tortured by the regime — a victim of a war that still goes on today. He took me to his village where he lived with his wife and 3 adopted kids. I couldn’t believe that with so little he was still able to come from a place of abundance and opened his heart and his home to 3 young children.

What I learned from this experience is that there is nothing more profound, inspiring, moving, and powerful than generosity. It is performed by people of every age, every class, and in every context.

I was moved by the power that generosity has to save and to change lives – the act of freely giving with nothing in return.This was my road to philanthropy. This is where the seed was planted about the power of sacred giving.

Sacred philanthropy is a spiritual practice that calls us to be open, imaginative, and rise to the challenges that the world presents.

My call to action is for you to practice sacred philanthropy with Auburn. Expand our circle, introduce us to partners, and help us equip leaders and fuel movements that promise to show us the way to a world to which we ALL belong.

On behalf of Auburn, I thank you for your generosity, your imagination, and for all that you do each and every day to make the world a better place.

Click here to see more photos from the event on Facebook!

2018 Lives of Commitment Honorees

The Reverend Jennifer Bailey

“In a time when our ruptures appear greater than the bonds that tie us together, we must work to cultivate spaces of redemptive healing rooted in love.”

The Reverend Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in multifaith movement for justice. She is the Founding Executive Director of the Faith Matters Network, a new interfaith community equipping faith leaders to challenge structural inequality in their communities.

Isabel Rose

“Given the right catalyst, the untapped energy in each one of us can ignite.”

Isabel Rose is a writer, filmmaker, performer and activist. In the spring of 2017, when federal protections were rescinded for transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, Isabel penned a heartfelt letter about her transgender child that went viral. She is currently pursuing an initiative to include diversity education in all schools, in all states, beginning in kindergarten.

Susan Silbermann

“Progress is something you work on today and someone else takes forward. But you have to believe that together we can change the world.”

Susan Silbermann is the Global President of Pfizer Vaccines. She is responsible for the development of a visionary pipeline of vaccines to address unmet medical needs for serious and life-threatening conditions such as hospital acquired infections and diseases impacting newborns in the first few weeks of life.

Andrea Taylor

“As we try to form a more perfect union in this country, diversity and inclusion are to be valued, respected and acknowledged.”

Andrea L. Taylor is President & CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. An educator, community builder and philanthropist, Taylor began her career in Boston as a reporter and later taught at Harvard University before directing U.S. corporate giving at Microsoft. She founded the Ford Foundation Media Fund and is a New York Public Radio trustee.

Resistance Revival Chorus

“The greatest act of resistance is to inspire hearts and minds through art and culture and let the transformation begin with pure joy.”

The Resistance Revival Chorus is a collective of more than 50 women who join together to breathe joy and to uplift and center women’s voices. Launched out of the Women’s March, they honor the protest songs and believe that joy is an act of resistance.


Mother/daughter journalists hosted a discussion with the honorees on what it means to be women of moral courage.

Watch the video Facebook now!

Tina Brown

Tina Brown is Founder & CEO of Tina Brown Live Media and an award-winning journalist, editor, author, and founder of the Women in the World summits

Isabel Evans

Isabel “Izzy” Evans is the booking producer for VICE & HBO’s Emmy-winning nightly news program, VICE News Tonight.




Dobkin Family Foundation

Symposium Talkback Sponsor

Nicki Newman Tanner


Michael & Vivian Abram
Analisa Allen
The Rev. John Ankele
Richard Aswad
Rabbis Justus Baird & Julie Roth
Rabbi Carole Balin & Michael Gertzman
Polly & Steve Barbaro
Benjamin Baxt
Dr. Georgette Bennett & Dr. Leonard Polonsky
Ann Berdy
Dr. Jeannie Blaustein & Peter Bokor
Terry Gamble Boyer
Emily Blumenthal
Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl & Jacob Buchdahl
Carolyn Buck Luce & Rob Evans
Mary D. Byron
Catherine & Bill Carmody
Stewart Clifford
Jocelyn Cunningham
The Rev. Beverly Dempsey
Alvin & Linda Dietz
Abigail E. Disney
Katie L. Dolan
The Rev. Pam Driesell & Joseph Loveland
The Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards
Stephanie Schwartz Ferdman
Joan Taback Frankle & Andrew Frankle
Barbara Friedman
Eleanor Friedman
Dr. Gail Furman
Christopher Gates
Thomas K. & Louise Glenn
Marianne & John Golieb
Sally Gottesman

Linda Gottlieb
David Grain
Warner & Barbara Henderson
Barbara Henderson
James L. Henderson, III
The Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson & Rev. Chuck Henderson
The Rev. Mark Hostetter & Alex Habib
Edith Hunt
Monica Issar
Deborah & Al Jackson
Sarah Johnston
Betty C. Jones
Wadih Jordan
Mamie Kanfer Stewart & Justin Stewart
The Rev. Frances Kieschnick
& Michael Kieschnick
Harvey Krueger †
Salvatore LaRosa
Rosaline May Lee
William Longbrake
Nathan & Mary Mahrer
Iqbal G. & Shelby M. Mamdani
Joanne B. Matthews
The Rev. Dr. Derrick W. McQueen
Ruth Messinger
Nancy Meyer & Marc Weiss
Zulma Miranda, Esq.
Barbara Moss
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
Bettye Musham
Jennifer B. Nelson
Lisa Opoku
Joyce Crowell Palevitz
Deborah Peel
The Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters
Rebecca Todd Peters
Abigail Pogrebin

Anne B. Popkin
Sharon Prince
Heath Rada
Joan Rall
The Rev. Paul B. Raushenbush
Susan K. Reed
Sandra Landau Rippe & Richard Rippe
Carolyn Risoli
Kurt & Shyanne Roeloffs
Keith Rook
Elihu Rose
Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein
& Kerry Rubinstein
Fiona Rudin
Joan L. & Reade H. Ryan, Jr.
Jeannette & Alex Sanger
Mark Segall
Janet Prindle Seidler
Susan Silbermann
Narinder Singh & Supreet Kaur
Dr. Prabhjot Singh
Jeffrey Small
Susie Stern
Nicki Newman Tanner & Harold Tanner
Lynn O’Connor Vos
Margo Walter
Marian Warden
Ellen Wingard
Serita Winthrop
The Rev. Melinda Weekes-Laidlow, Esq.
Melinda Wolfe & Kenneth Inadomi
The Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Yorty
Patricia Miller Zollar
Jan Rock Zubrow

*Gifts of $1,000 and above, July 2017 – April 17, 2018 

† Deceased


Amalgamated Bank
Arcus Foundation
Barry K. Schwartz Family Foundation
Central Synagogue
Collegiate Church Corporation
Common Counsel Foundation
Compton Foundation
Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Connemara Fund
Dobkin Family Foundation
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
E. Rhodes and Leona B.
Carpenter Foundation
Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Fellowship in Prayer
Focal Point Capital Advisors
Frances Fund
Friedman Family Foundation
George Family Foundation
Gray Foundation
Hartley Film Foundation
Human Rights Campaign Foundation

J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Jack & Tricia Ryan Family Foundation
John R. McCune Charitable Trust
Lancaster Theological Seminary
May and Samuel Rudin
Family Foundation, Inc.
Middle Collegiate Church
Newman Tanner Foundation
New Visions Foundation
One World Fund
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Pillars Fund
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Righteous Persons Foundation
Scheidel Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silvestri Family Foundation
Starry Night Fund
The Angell Foundation
The Brick Presbyterian Church
The Duke Endowment
The G & A Foundation Inc.

The Ford Foundation
The Francis Asbury Palmer Fund
The Henry Luce Foundation
The Jeannie Blaustein and Peter Bokor Fund
The Katzenberger Foundation
The Louisville Institute
The Mamdani Foundation, Inc.
The Nathan Cummings Foundation
The Peace Studio and Aevitas
Creative Management
The Sholar Foundation
The Sister Fund & Relationships First
The Southern Company
The Weiler-Arnow Investment Company
The Wilbur and Hilda
Glenn Family Foundation
Union Theological Seminary
Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning
Walter and Elise Haas Fund

Together, we will strengthen communities and inspire hope.

Auburn Lives of Commitment Committee

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl
Carolyn Buck Luce
Mary D. Byron
Katie L. Dolan
Monica Issar
Carolyn Risoli
Susie Stern

Joan Taback Frankle
Joyce Crowell Palevitz
Nicki N. Tanner
Ellen Wingard
Melinda Weekes-Laidlow
Melinda Wolfe

Auburn Board of Directors

The Rev. Mark Hostetter (Chair)
Rabbi Angela Buchdahl
Carolyn Buck Luce
Mary D. Byron (Chair-Elect)
Jocelyn Cunningham
The Rev. Beverly Dempsey
Abigail Disney
The Rev. Janet Edwards, PhD
John A. Golieb
James Henderson, III
William Longbrake
Nate Mahrer

The Rev. Dr. Derrick W. McQueen
Iqbal G. Mamdani
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
Dr. Heath Rada
Kurt William Roeloffs Jr.
Dr. Prabhjot Singh
Nicki N. Tanner
Ellen Wingard
Melinda Wolfe
The Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Yorty
The Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson (Ex Officio)

Auburn is a leadership development and research institute, working to build the field of the multifaith movement for justice. From local to global, Auburn equips leaders of faith and moral courage and brings together unlikely partners to address today’s seemingly intractable challenges, strengthen communities and inspire hope.

Proceeds from this event benefit the research and programs that equip leaders on the frontlines of the multifaith movement for justice.