Interviews with practitioners of religious and non-religious traditions conducted by Professor Dana Trent, for Introduction to World Religions, Wake Tech Community College, Raleigh, NC.
New Religious Movements Guest Practitioner, Barbara Jessie-Black
Born 57 years ago in Berlin, West Germany, Barbara lived overseas until the age of 16, when her father’s last military tour brought the family to Ft. Gordon, GA. Barbara received her BBA from Augusta University in Augusta, GA, before moving to North Carolina where she has lived since. During her 15-year career as a retail manager with a national retail chain, Barbara received her MBA from Meredith College, in Raleigh, NC and became co-founder of a not for profit organization whose mission it is to search for innovative ways to achieve socio-economic equalities in communities through holistic and entrepreneurship based education, to include education in “21 st Century Jobs” technology and the STEM Model. Currently, Barbara is the President/CEO of CommunityWorx (formerly the PTA Thrift Shop, Inc.), a 68- year old organization, whose mission it is to enrich lives by building collaborative partnerships and transforming charitable donations into educational and community investments. She is also active in both the communities in which she lives and works, by serving on several boards and volunteering her time to causes close to her heart, which include workforce and economic development; access to health care; issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as other issues in the social justice space. Barbara considers herself a “life-long student” of all things holistic and spiritual, with emphasis on how those concepts influence one’s activism. She is fluent in German, a yoga enthusiast, and includes in her spiritual practice daily meditation and annual silent retreats.
Muslim Guest Practitioner, Sajdah Nubee
Sajdah Nubee is a practitioner of the Islamic tradition and was born and raised into the faith. She was raised in Durham, NC and belongs to the local Muslim community there, but now currently serves as a Board Member of a Mosque and Islamic Outreach Center in east Raleigh, NC called INK Institute. She is currently completing her last year at Hartford Seminary as a candidate for a Masters in Islamic Studies and Christian/Muslim relations. She holds an MBA from North Carolina State University and a BA in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in pharmaceutical research for the past 14 years and currently works in clinical operations management at a biotech company.
Christian Guest Practitioner, Rev. Lisa Yebuah
The Rev. Lisa Yebuah is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and Wofford College. A South Carolina native, Rev. Yebuah is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and the Lead Pastor of Southeast Raleigh Table, a campus of Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Rev. Yebuah is a Lululemon Ambassador and self-described “spiritual ninja.” Rev. Yebuah invites you to follow her on Instagram.
Jewish Guest Practitioner, Dr. Charles Bretan
Dr. Charles Bretan a life-long practitioner and student of Judaism and the co-founder and co-host of the A Jew and a Gentile podcast. He holds a doctoral degree in education from Nova Southeastern University and is a professor at Guilford Tech Community College. Dr. Bretan has taught across curricula for decades, including courses on English composition, business, education, scuba diving, and life-saving. A teacher of middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Bretan’s brings his love of education to his spirituality and his classroom.
Buddhist Guest Practitioner, Dr. Heather Sanderson
Dr. Heather Sanderson has been a practicing Buddhist for over a decade. She is a member of the Kadampa Center sanga in Raleigh, N.C., and holds a doctor degree in kinesiology from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. An assistant professor of Exercise & Sports Science in the Department of Nutrition, Health and Human Performance at Meredith College, Dr. Sanderson took her Buddhist refuge vows in 2017 and became Dejune Llamo.
Hindu Guest Practitioner, Gauravani dasa
A former monastic and practicing Hindu for over 20 years, Gauravani dasa is a member of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, a branch of Hinduism that practices bhakti-yoga. One of the primary scriptures studied in the tradition is the Bhagavad-gītā (Song of God). Gauravani has a BS in Information Systems from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a MA in Liberal Studies from NC State University, with an emphasis on Gandhian Social Ethics.
Customer ReviewsSee All
What a calming voice, I enjoyed listening. I also enjoyed the glimpse into Hinduism. Thanks for sharing your insight.
Array of Faith
Dana has been an inspiration to me over several years of in-person programs and now this podcast. I just finished listening to the episodes on Hinduism and Buddhism and find them helpful in exploring in my personal spiritual path, particularly now in the midst of a pandemic with.all of its challenges. Thanks!
J. Dana Trent is thoughtful and empathetic on the topic of religion, and I can’t wait to listen to every episode! ❤️