Marvin 'Doc' Holladay

Podcast Release Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ethnomusicologist Marvin 'Doc' Holladay is a living legend in the world of jazz. His musicianship supported such jazz world luminaries as Pepper Adams, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Quincy Jones, and Dizzy Gillespie.

His autobiography, "Life on the Fence" chronicles his continued evolution in the area of music, race relations, humanitarianism and social justice from the period of World War II through today. His first solo CD is "Sweetness and Light". He's produced a recent CD called Wings for the Spirit. I play the first track on Wings for the Spirit at the end of the interview.

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Brian Aull

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015

Brian is the author of the book "The Triad: Three Civic Virtues That Could Save American Democracy". In the book, Brian offers solutions to the problems of partisan gridlock, money in politics, and growing economic inequality in the United States from a Baha'i perspective.

He advocates three civic virtues: service, learning, and community building. He calls for civic engagement based on these virtues to create a culture of collaboration. The Triad focuses on what each and every American can do to bring about a better American democracy. The proceeds from the eBook will support the work of the National Center for Race Amity.

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Robert Wilson

Podcast Release Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Robert remembers being introduced to church and God for the first time when he was 7 years old by his Aunt who had come to take care of him after his mother died. When he was 12 or 13 he decided to check out the Theosophical Society to learn about other religions.

He tells his story about the mysterious visitor who introduced him to the Baha'i Faith. Robert is an artist and you can find his work at He is also a Wilmette Institute faculty member who facilitates the course on the book "Century of Light," which explains the remarkable advancement of humankind toward unity in the 20th century. We discuss the Wilmette Institute in the interview.

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Rob Cacchioni

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rob ascribes himself has a closet philosopher and student of comparative religions. Before becoming a Baha'i he had already noticed the basic oneness of all the religions. He shares an interesting story on how this awareness lead him to the Baha'is. In the interview, Rob shares his understanding of the Baha'i teaching of the oneness of religion.

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Lea Gerlach

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lea grew up in the southern United States during the early sixties and her awareness of the racial divide awakened about the time that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated when she was a teenager. She was also introduced to the Baha'i Faith during that time and she describes how shocked she was (in a good way) when she was exposed to a very diversified Baha'i community. Lea and Paula Bidwell, together have created a website called It is a Thanksgiving project stemming from heart-to-heart work to heal the pain, anger and guilt of the past by European descendants and Native Americans. Lea is a direct descendent of a pilgrim family and Paula is Native American. We discuss this project in the interview.

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Ian Kluge

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ian describes his growing up as a precocious kid who read the World Book Encyclopedia when he was young. Ian describes in the interview that his parents were devout Marxists and when he was 12, he disavowed his parents ideology and pursued a spiritual direction. Ian has written many articles which you can find on a website called Lights of Irfan and he has written book reviews which you can find on another website called Common Ground. He has also written books on Conrad Aiken. Ian is a philosopher by nature and he explains in the interview the importance of understanding philosophical fundamentals when reading religious scripture, including the Baha'i sacred literature. He also outlines his observation on the similarities between Catholicism and the Baha'i Faith.

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Peter Adriance

Podcast Release Date: Thursday, October 15, 2015

When Peter encountered the Baha'i Faith, it stimulated his spiritual awakening and search. As a result, he traveled across the country after college and found himself entangled in a cult. He tells his story about his involvement in the cult and how he was able to extricate himself from it. Some years after Peter became a Baha'i he was offered the opportunity to work for the US Baha'i Office of Public Affairs. Most of his time there has been promoting environmental awareness, especially regarding climate change with non-governmental organizations. We talk about the Baha'i perspective on climate change in the interview.

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Richard Hollinger

Podcast Release Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Richard is an archivist and historian who has conducted research on the history of the Baha'i Faith in North America and the Middle East. His recent publications include: 1) An Iranian Enclave in Lebanon: Baha'i Students in Beirut, 1906-40; 2) Distant Relations: Iran and Lebanon in the Last 500 Years; and 3) Wonderful and True Visions: Magic, Mysticism and Millennialism in the Making of the American Baha'i Community.

His most recent research has been on Baha'i history in regards to the promotion of race unity in America. He is also on the faculty for the Wilmette Institute. We discuss his new research in the interview and the Willmette Institute.

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Carole Flood

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, August 30, 2015

Carole has an MS in Environmental Management and Policy from RPI in Troy, NY. She has taught sustainability and environmental science at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD and was a team member designing and implementing a new environmental policy and science program there.

She has worked for The Nature Conservancy mapping endangered species and ecological communities; and has built cob and strawbale structures. She holds a permaculture design certificate and has spent several years using permaculture and edible landscaping to design her yard. She started a Northwest Earth Institute discussion circle in Carroll County, MD, which has evolved into the Sustainable Carroll County Community. She helped facilitate the first Wilmette Institute course on sustainable development and the prosperity of humankind. We talk about her work with the Wilmette Institute and the Baha'i perspective on the environment in the interview.

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Gary Colliver

Podcast Release Date: Monday, August 10, 2015

During Gary's 45 years of working life, he did biological research; worked for the US National Park Service in the areas of lawenforcement, search and rescue, and emergency medicine. He was also involved in biological/resource management planning in central California, mostly in Yosemite National Park and other areas of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

He holds a bachelor's degree in Field Biology and a masters degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Human Ecology. Gary's now retired. Starting soon after retirement, Gary began focusing on climate change by organizing community meetings and interfaith study groups on the issue. Gary is a faculty member of the Wilmette Institute; teaching classes on the relationship between spirituality and the issue of climate change. We talk about the Wilmette Institute and the classes he teaches during the interview.

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Hussein Ahdieh

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hussein, in collaboration with Hillary Chapman, is the author of Awakening: A History of the Bábi and Bahá'í Faiths in Nayriz, an inspiring chronicle of the bloody birth of the Bábi movement in Nayriz Persia and its trying evolution into that city's Bahá'í community—a community that has grown to be the world's second most widespread religion.

Hussein is also working on publishing two other books. One on Tahireh, a renowned 19th century Persian poetess that became a force to be reckoned with for the Bábi Faith. She was ultimately killed for her outspoken proclamation of the Bábi Faith. And finally, Hussein is working on publishing a book on 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of the prophet founder of the Bahá'í Faith, Bahá'u'lláh. The book will focus on 'Abdu'l-Bahá's time in America, especially when he was in New York City. Check out his websites: Awakening and

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Hoda Kemp

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hoda is the president of Leading Edge Training Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is a subject matter expert in the areas of leadership training, strategic planning, technology training, team building, curriculum development, and diversity.

Her interest in marriage and families has allowed her to discuss these issues on various platforms. Hoda has been facilitating marriage courses at various permanent and seasonal schools and communities in United States for over fifteen years. Through her efforts a "preparing for marriage" course has been approved by the state for a Minnesota marriage license discount. Hoda has a degree in Training and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota, and has completed graduate level course work at the University of St. Thomas executive program.

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Sandra Hutchison

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sandra is the author of two books, Chinese Brushstrokes, a memoir of her time in China in the prelude to and aftermath of the Tiananmen Incident; and The Art of Nesting, a book of poems.

Sandra holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto and has taught at universities around the world, including in mainland China and Hong Kong. She currently lives in Maine with her husband and her twelve year old daughter. In addition to writing books, she teaches at the University of Maine and holds the position of Maine Studies Research Associate. For the past three years, she has served as poetry editor of a Maine literary journal.

Her research and writing on the Baha'i scriptures date back to her tenure in the English section of the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa in the 1990s, when she worked closely for three years with the English writings of Shoghi Effendi about whose work she has written in journals such as the Baha'i journal, World Order.

We talk about her literary work and her work with the Wilmette Institute.

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