Reverend Margaret Anne Ernst

Reverend Margaret Anne Ernst

Reverend Margaret Ernst

Reverend Margaret Anne Ernst is pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. A passionate writer, community builder and organizer, she has worked alongside faith communities to fight for racial, economic and immigrant justice since 2013. Organizations she has worked with include Faith in Action and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Since 2016, Rev. Margaret has contributed to the anti-racist podcast The Word is Resistance, a project of SURJ Faith. She is currently a program manager with Faith Matters Network, where she leads learning journeys for changemakers and guides internal organizational reflection. She loves to sign and to laugh.

Storyteller, Inspiring Stories: Moving Toward Anti-racism

Donald Quick

Donald Quick

Donald Quick, storyteller, Inspiring Stories: How Do We Stop Perpetuating Racism?

Donald Quick is a science educator at Rosemead High School and a parishioner at All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena. He has participated in and co-facilitated My Work To Do online affinity spaces, fostering anti-racist understandings and stamina building for social justice work. Don is especially interested in anti-racism work in the education system. There, he has worked to bolster participation in the local teachers union and public school district meetings. “I am inspired every day by my wife, my son, and my daughter,” he says. Don earned BA degrees in English and biology at UC Santa Barbara. He also holds a teaching credential from Cal State Los Angeles and a master’s degree from Cal State Fullerton.

Storyteller, Inspiring Stories: How Do We Stop Perpetuating Racism?

Samia Bano

Samia Bano

Samia Bano, Interfaith Coordinator for IslamiCity and member, The Guibord Center Advisory Council

Samia Bano is the Interfaith Coordinator for IslamiCity and a member of The Guibord Center Advisory Council. She serves as co-host of the Inspiring Stories online series, a collaboration between the two organizations.

Known as the Happiness Expert, Samia is author of the book Make Change Fun And Easy: How to Create Inner Peace to World Peace In 3 Simple Steps. Her expertise is grounded in her academic training and hard-won life wisdom. A childhood sexual abuse survivor, Samia began her quest for inner peace and positive change at just 8 years old. After more than 20 years of struggle, she successfully eliminated suffering from her life and learned how to take control of her happiness. Now she is on a mission to help others do the same.

As someone who is recognizably Muslim, Samia deals with Islamophobia on an ongoing basis. After 9/11, this issue motivated her to become engaged in interfaith dialogue and community building. She participates in several interfaith organizations, including NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change. There, she also served as a Muslim dialogue facilitator for several years.

In 2020, Samia began serving on the Culver City Equity and Human Relations Advisory Committee (EHRAC). In this role, she recommends programs and policies that promote positive relations and equitable outcomes and opportunities in community life.

Storyteller, Inspiring Stories: How Do We Stop Perpetuating Racism?

Ally Hawkins

Ally Hawkins

Ally Hawkins, Co-facilitator, My Work To Do

Ally Hawkins was born and raised in the American South. There, she spent the majority of her life in what she considers radical evangelical fundamentalist religious spaces, steeped in both white supremacy and Christian Nationalism. She homeschooled her four children for 10 years while teaching fundamentalist classical, religious and Bible classes.

In 2020, Ally began a journey to deconstruct her faith and the deep indoctrination of white supremacy and patriarchal culture. She currently participates in and co-facilitates My Work To Do, an anti-racism affinity group founded by Suzanne Edwards-Acton. Ally is also a Denver area leader for the Colorado Poor People’s Campaign and serves the Denver Public Schools, as well as the local unhoused community. Ally considers herself an open-hearted wanderer, learning to pay attention, tell the truth, and reimagine flourishing for all.

Storyteller, Inspiring Stories: How Do We Stop Perpetuating Racism?

Suzanne Edwards-Acton

Suzanne Edwards-Acton

Suzanne Edwards-Acton, Founder, My Work To Do

Suzanne Edwards-Acton is the founder of MyWorkToDo.com, a program designed as a space for white people to build stamina for conversations on race. Co-chair of the Program Group on Black Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, she is the immediate past Vice President of the H. Belfield Hannibal Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Suzanne holds a BA from the University of California, San Diego and a master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University. She has spent the greater part of her career in education, having been a teacher and principal. Currently, she is Director of Equity Initiatives for the Center for Collaborative Education’s Community Partnerships for Teacher Pipeline. From 2011-2017, Suzanne served as Director of the Jubilee Consortium Episcopal Urban Intern Program (now Jubilee Year Los Angeles). This role combined nonprofit management with her skills in facilitating spiritual formation, which she developed while acquiring a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from Seminary of the Southwest.

Suzanne hosts the podcast #WeekByWeekBeads::Anglican Prayer Beads. She also facilitates #TwoFriendsTalking::Conversations on race, a Facebook community. Her program #InCreaseTheFold hosts folding (origami) events as a contemplative practice. Suzanne is passionate about racial equity and loves walking the labyrinth and collaging. She avidly follows the re-established North Star publication (originally begun by Frederick Douglass) and the Breakdown Podcast. A clergy spouse, she is mother to two young adult sons.

Guest Moderator, Inspiring Stories: How Do We Stop Perpetuating Racism?