I’m proud to announce that the Network of Spiritual Progressives has a new co- chair, Rev. J. Alfred Smith Sr., and a new executive director, Cat J. Zavis.

J. Alfred Smith Sr. was the force behind making Allen Temple Baptist Church (located in a high- poverty African American neighborhood in Oakland, California) one of the most successful and impactful churches on the West Coast. I highly recommend his new book, Sound the Trumpet: How Churches Can Answer God’s Call to Justice, in which he and a new minister, Rev. Bendt, discuss how to raise consciousness at a time when so many people want to avoid thinking about our societal crises.

Cat J. Zavis — a lawyer with a long history of social justice work who has most recently worked as a collaborative divorce attorney and mediator who trains other lawyers in mediation and empathic communication — was the founder of the Bellingham, Washington, chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. She is now moving to Berkeley, where she takes on the formidable task of being executive director of our international Network of Spiritual Progressives. She will be working to help reconstitute some of the NSP chapters that fell apart due to the financial crisis and onset of disillusionment with President Obama, which sadly translated into widespread despair about the possibility of ever achieving significant change in this society. Cat will help rebuild these chapters, provide support to chapter leaders, and help create task forces in every profession (e.g., law, medicine, psychotherapy, teaching, tech, science, etc.) that can bring the values and principles of our New Bottom Line into these fields. If you have ways you’d like to volunteer your time and energy, or if you want to start a local chapter, create a Tikkun reading group, or engage with a professional task force, please contact her at cat@spiritualprogressives.org — she’d appreciate your support and engagement!