Spiritual Practice and Social Consciousness

Moderated by Gail Straub

In these complex and troubling days many of us yearn for a stronger connection between our social consciousness and our spirituality. Knowing that real sustainable change is ultimately up to each of us, what then are the spiritual practices that can inspire and sustain us, empowering us to have lasting impact during this turbulent era? Luminary teachers, activists, and writers, Rha Goddess and David Gershon bring their knowledge, heart, and soul to shed light on the intrinsic connection between spirituality and social change. How are these demanding times the perfect catalyst for deepening both our practice and our social impact? And why is this deepening so essential now? Join us for what promises to be an evocative and vividly hopeful conversation.


Gail-Straub-Woodstock-Bookfest-2018Gail Straub is the author of six books, including the best-selling Empowerment, which has been translated into over fourteen languages; and the award-winning feminist memoir, Returning to My Mother’s House. Winner of multiple Indy awards, her latest book The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path into Consciousness is a love letter to Woodstock and its mountain valley. A passionate activist and pioneer in the field of empowerment, Gail Straub co-founded the Empowerment Institute, a school for transformative social change where over the last four decades she has offered her work to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. In addition she co-founded IMAGINE: A Global Initiative for the Empowerment of Women which has impacted over half a million lives in Africa, Afghanistan, India, and the Middle East. Gail lives just outside Woodstock on the Ashokan Reservoir.


David-Gershon-woodstock-bookfest-2020David Gershon, co-founder and CEO of Empowerment Institute has been called “the number one expert on social change.” He applies his visionary leadership and social change expertise to designing second order change solutions for cities, countries, and the planet that enable the seemingly impossible to become possible. Over the past four decades his initiatives have won myriad awards and impacted millions of lives. David is author of thirteen books, including the award-winning Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World, the best-selling Empowerment, as well as his critically acclaimed contributions in the field of climate change and sustainability, Low Carbon DietGreen Living Handbook, and The Cool Block Program. He has lectured at Harvard, MIT, and Johns Hopkins as well as serving as an advisor on second order change for the Clinton White House and the United Nations.


rha-goddess-spirituality-panel-woodstock-bookfest-2020Rha Goddess is the entrepreneurial soul coach behind hundreds of breakthrough changemakers, cultural visionaries and social entrepreneurs. Rha’s latest book is The Calling, 3 Fundamental Shifts to Stay True, Get Paid, and Do Good, a game-changing book offering a six-step approach on how to find and follow your true calling and redefine success.

Rha’s unique methodology has empowered a new generation of conscious entrepreneurs around the world. From the onset of her more than 30-year career as a cultural innovator, social impact strategist and creative change agent, Rha has drawn on the power of creativity, culture and community to move hearts, minds and policy. Rha’s work has focused on issues of racial justice and equality, electoral politics, offender aid and restoration, mental health and youth, and women’s empowerment. Rha’s first book was We Got Issues, and her work has been featured in Time Magazine, Ms Magazine, Variety, Essence, the Source, Redbook, Forbes, Fast Company and the Chicago Tribune.


Get a Full Festival pass and you’ll get to take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, breakfast, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.

Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:

All of the above PLUS the One Day Intensive of your choice.

Kleinert/James Center
34 Tinker Street
Woodstock
Saturday March 28, 2020
9:30AM