2023 Festival of Faiths
“Sacred Hearts, Sacred Minds: Embodying Love”

The 2023 Festival of Faiths celebrated the power of love to cultivate meaningful connections, strengthen communities and transform lives. Sacred Hearts, Sacred Minds: Embodying Love explored contemporary concerns through the lens of faith and tapped into our unique capacity for love and compassion.


Anahata Bhakti is a Louisvillebased
collective of musicians
and spiritual practitioners whose
mission is to share the path
of Bhakti Yoga, also known as
the yoga of love and devotion.
Through kirtan, sacred song,
contemplation and collaboration,
their goal is to build heartcentered
community and inspire
the sacred remembrance of the
divine love that is our true nature.
Anahata Bhakti weaves together
ancient teachings and familiar
lessons with sounds old and new
to create a musical experience of
beauty, love, peace and joy.

Dustin Baldwin was born and raised in a small California town.
Beginning at age 18, he spent a decade in and out of jails and
prisons, which is where he was introduced to the Enneagram Prison
Project. He completed their in-custody course three times and
post release has continued his self-awareness work. His academic
and professional life is focused on wastewater treatment, and he
also serves as an EPP ambassador. He’s committed to sharing his
experience and looks forward to helping develop EPP programming in Canada.

Karina Barillas, a native of Guatemala, is co-founder and executive
director of La Casita Center, a nonprofit that enhances the wellbeing
of Louisville’s Latinx community through education, empowerment,
advocacy and wellness. For three years, she was the co-host of the
first Spanish TV Show in Kentucky, Amigos en Louisville, a social,
informational and educational program. In November 2020, the
Mexican Government presented Karina with the Ohtli Award, an
honor that recognizes invaluable work and assistance to the Mexican
Community living in the U.S.

Charles Booker has fought for equity and justice in every level of government, including in Kentucky’s House of Representatives, where he was the youngest Black state legislator in nearly 90 years. In 2022, he led a historic grassroots movement in a run for U.S. Senate, becoming the first Black Kentuckian to receive a major party nomination for the office. He authored From the Hood to the Holler and founded Hood to the Holler, a nonprofit focused on building coalitions across urban-rural divides. Charles is continuing his service as Kentucky’s director of Faith Based & Community Initiatives.

Baylen Campbell is director of Community Impact for Invest Appalachia, a social investment fund built by and for the people of Appalachia. Originally from Hazard, Ky., Baylen brings experience working as an economic development and social impact practitioner. He is passionate about utilizing strategic communications and storytelling to shift outdated narratives of Appalachia. Baylen is co-founder of the Lige Clarke Liberation Fund supporting LGBTQ+ advocacy in Eastern Kentucky, and he holds a BA in international affairs and an MSc in development practice.

Steven Michael Carr has told stories for The Moth, Double-Edged
Stories, USA Today’s Storytellers Project and Louisville Fringe Fest,
among other platforms. Steven produces two storytelling shows
locally, Tales from the Jukebox and Come Out Lou. By day, he’s the
Development & Operations director for IDEAS xLab and founder of
SMC Story Coaching. In the evening, you can catch him running
through Old Louisville with his beloved pit bulls, DJing for Louisville
Silent Disco, or enjoying a beverage at Old Louisville Brewery with
his husband David.

In an era of near-total male dominance in the recording industry,
Wilma Clayborn owned and ran one of Louisville’s preeminent
record labels, Grace Gospel. In this role, she ushered some of
the area’s most talented gospel groups into greater recognition. In
addition to her work as a public-school teacher and musical mentor,
Wilma has served on the governing body of the National Convention
of Gospel Choirs and Choruses for decades.

Melvin Cuff is the pastor of Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist
Church and a central figure in Louisville’s gospel music legacy.
Melvin was the founding member of the Gospel Voices of Soul, a
group that recorded records on local and national labels and toured
constantly for many years.

In addition to being the long-time president of the Louisville
NAACP and a leading force in the movement for civil rights, Raoul
Cunningham has been a church musician, choir director, and a
uniquely significant member of Louisville’s storied gospel music
community his entire life.

Kiana Del is a vocalist, radio host and educator hailing from the
valleys of Carrollton, Ky. She uses music to tell the story of our
complex humanity and to foster a safe space for others to create.
She’s Louisville Public Media’s engagement manager for music
education and 90.5 WUOL host by day and performs music with her
band Kiana & the Sun Kings at night. She sits on multiple boards
including Fund for the Arts and Louisville Jazz Initiative, and serves
as coordinator of the Hadley Creatives Program.

Robert Fleming has a varied portfolio and a wealth of artistic
leadership experience — producing, directing, choreographing,
performing and teaching. Currently the executive artistic director
of Actors Theatre of Louisville, Robert was formerly the director of
Artistic Programming at Arena Stage and served as associate artistic
director at Cleveland Play House. He’s been part of numerous world
premieres at both Actors Theatre and Arena Stage, and he directed/
choreographed the acclaimed world premiere musical Grace for
Ford’s Theatre in D.C.

Ben Freed, rabbi at Keneseth Israel in Louisville, was ordained at
the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York where he also earned
an MA in Jewish Thought. Through the Gladstein Fellowship in
Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership, Ben served as student rabbi
of Congregation Agudath Achim in Arkansas, and he was a rabbinic
intern at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, N.Y.,
and at Kehilat Ramot Zion in Jerusalem. He completed extensive
training in pastoral care, and earned degrees in journalism and
Middle Eastern studies.

Stephen George is president and CEO of Louisville Public Media.
A Louisville native, he has spent most of his career in journalism.
He previously served as executive editor of LPM, where he led a
growing, multiplatform and collaborative newsroom. Stephen has
also been editor-in-chief of the Nashville City Paper and LEO Weekly.
His writing has appeared in a variety of local, state and national
media. He is also active in the nonprofit community, serving on the
boards of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and the Young Authors

Thupten Jinpa trained as a monk and obtained the Geshe Lharam
degree from Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University, South
India. He holds a BA in philosophy and a Ph.D. in religious studies
from Cambridge. As English translator to His Holiness the Dalai
Lama, he’s edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama, in addition
to publishing his own works. Thupten is an adjunct professor in
religious studies at McGill University and a committee member
at Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and

Carly Johnson is a mainstay in Louisville’s music scene, having
performed and recorded with greats such as Bonnie “Prince” Billy,
My Morning Jacket, Houndmouth and Norah Jones. In 2012, she
joined the jazz-folk fusion band Liberation Prophecy, then went on
to make her own music. releasing a long-awaited self-titled album in
2020. Carly received a bachelor’s degree in music from University of
the Arts in Philadelphia and has performed original music with the
Louisville Orchestra and at music festivals and venues worldwide.

Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar and community
organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and
European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has
engaged audiences across the globe toward personal, collective and
ecological healing. Lyla June blends studies in human ecology at
Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous pedagogy and the traditional
worldview she grew up with to inform her music and perspectives.
She’s pursuing a doctoral degree, focusing on Indigenous food
systems revitalization.

Elliott Kelly Jr. is the Fund for the Arts’ manager of Development
and Community Investment, and a mentor, speaker and artist. His
work outside his full-time job revolves around youth engagement
and community building, and he strives to help young people learn
to love themselves and the world around them. He uses poetry to
communicate overlooked stories and to reprioritize healing for the
disempowered. He’s a collaborator with Sowing Seeds with Faith, an
academic enrichment organization, and wrestling coach at his alma
mater, Central High School.

Renee Lopez is an activist, leading member of his church and
Enneagram Prison Project ambassador who found personal freedom
while incarcerated. He is a loving son, committed partner and
compassionate champion for those struggling to survive beneath
generations of trauma. After 26 years of being stuck in addiction,
including 18 years in and out of jail and prison, Renee re-connected
with his true nature and began his journey of healing. He lives in
Oakland, Calif. and is pursuing Enneagram teacher and EPP guide training.

Bishop Dennis Lyons is the pastor at Gospel Missionary Baptist
Church, a community organizer, and a weekday host and DJ
on Louisville’s gospel radio station, WLOU. Dennis is also one of
the city’s most prodigious gospel organists and pianists who has
supported generations of gospel talent.

Rhonda Magee is a law professor and director of the Center for
Contemplative Law and Ethics at the University of San Francisco
School of Law. She is a mindfulness teacher and prolific author
who has spent more than 20 years exploring the intersections of
anti-racist education, social justice and contemplative practices,
garnering international acclaim for her work. She is the author of the
award-winning The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves
and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness

Joe Manning helped establish the Louisville Story Program and worked as an instructor and editor before becoming deputy director in 2016. He was a Jackson Fellow of Creative Writing at Hollins University’s MFA program, where he focused on nonfiction. He’s published award-winning columns and features for LEO Weekly and The Louisville Paper. Joe’s first collection of single-topic essays, Certain Relevant Passages, was published in 2017. In 2018, he received the Kentucky Arts Council’s Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship.

Josh Moss has served as editor of Louisville Magazine since 2014, and he began working at the publication upon graduating from Ohio University in 2006. He’s written about Pappy Van Winkle mania, the city’s oldest Black-owned funeral home, Louisville’s last abortion clinic, the divide between east and west Louisville, and how the city has changed since March 2020. He spent a year working on a profile of rapper Jack Harlow. In 2013, he ate 38 burgers in 31 days on a quest to find the city’s best. In 2020, the magazine won a General Excellence award from the City and Regional Magazine Association.

Susan Olesek is an unapologetic idealist, a Human Potentialist in pursuit of what is possible for people. Born outside Boston, raised in Hong Kong and Japan, and educated in England and California, she earned a BA in sociology. During 15 years of developing self- awareness training for Fortune 500 executives, corporate teams, schools and those experiencing incarceration, she became known for her compassionate approach to the Enneagram. She founded the Enneagram Prison Project, a nonprofit dedicated to the self-awareness education of incarcerated people.

Troy is an ambassador with the Enneagram Prison Project, a
program that taught him he can seek safety and security while also
addressing issues by acknowledging his thoughts and feelings. In his
own words, he has “learned to respond and not react when he is
triggered.” According to Troy, “This is an ongoing process, and I am
still learning. I also know that I have caring people around me [who
are] full of support.” These days, Troy lives in Bakersfield, Calif., where he’s learning to remodel and build homes.

The Pimpleton Singers is one of Louisville’s foremost gospel quartets. Organized in 1987,
it is a family group that has toured extensively and recorded two albums. Bishop Marvin
Pimpleton and Frances Pimpleton are the pastor and first lady of Love Fellowship Baptist

The Rev. Della Porter’s participation in Louisville’s gospel music
community extends back to the 1950s when her incredible talent
as a vocalist paved a path for her to join a group called the Traveling
Notes, one of Louisville’s most recognizable gospel exports from the
vinyl era. Della is senior pastor at First Congregational Methodist

Brother Paul Quenon has lived the monastic life for 65 years at the
Abbey of Gethsemani. He had his initial formation with Thomas
Merton as his Novice Master. He received a master’s degree in
Systematic Theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
In addition, Paul is a poet, photographer and author. His memoir,
In Praise of the Useless Life, received a Catholic Press Award for
memoirs, and he’s published 10 poetry books. Brother Paul’s main job at Gethsemani is to cook for the community and guests.

Formed in 1937, the Religious Five is the oldest active gospel quartet in Louisville. Guitarist
C.W. Sharpe managed the group until 1985, and today the group is co-managed by his
daughter Linda Sharpe and James Hudson. Over the years, the Religious Five has produced
some of the city’s greatest quartet singers, preachers, and musicians.

Omid Safi is a scholar of Rumi and the Sufi path of Radical Love. He
is a professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University who has been
nominated for professor of the year 10 times. His Memories of
Muhammad is a biography of the Prophet Muhammad. His most
recent book is Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical
Tradition, and two new books are forthcoming. He hosts a podcast,
Sufi Heart, and his Illuminated Tours have taken 1,200 friends from
over 20 countries to Turkey, Morocco and Umrah.

Nathan Salsburg is a guitarist, composer and archival curator. He’s
made seven solo albums and is a frequent collaborator of songwriter-singer
Joan Shelley and a contributor to recordings by Shirley Collins,
Bonnie “Prince” Billy, the Weather Station and others. He works for
the Association for Cultural Equity and its Lomax Digital Archive,
preserving recordings made by renowned folklorists Alan Lomax and
his father John. Nathan has been nominated for Grammy Awards in
the Best Historical Reissue and Best Liner Notes categories.

Alex Senegal’s story is one that consisted of pain, loss and
dysfunction, which led him to make choices that were neither
healthy for him, nor those around him. Alex spent 26 years in and
out of the California correctional system. In 2014, while serving
his last term, he was introduced to the Enneagram, which—as he
says—“introduced Alex to Alex.” Today, he’s a father, grandfather,
minister, addiction counselor, court liaison, mental health specialist
and Enneagram Prison Project’s reentry director.

Darcy Thompson has led the Louisville Story Program since its
inception in 2013. Previously, he was a Teach for America staffer,
conducting research on teacher effectiveness in urban and rural
schools, refining the organization’s framework for effective teaching,
leading national STEM recruitment, and helping found Teach for
America—Appalachia. Darcy has lived in Louisville since 2003 and
is thrilled to combine his enthusiasm for stories and books with his
commitment to education as an engine for social justice.

Teresa White is an Army veteran, parent and chef. She was a
healthcare chef for more than 15 years before becoming executive
chef at Dare to Care Food Bank’s Community Kitchen. She oversees
production for the Kids Café, Silver Suppers, RX meals and the new
freeze-dried meals program. These programs fill the gap for many
Kentuckiana families by preparing meals for distribution, and by
preparing and preserving seasonal produce. Teresa holds an associate
degree in culinary arts and a bachelor’s in hospitality management.

Poet Teresa Willis began melding writing and performing in the ’90s,
making her mark in the vibrant LA poetry scene, garnering a Pushcart
nomination and a chapbook. Her spoken-word work evolved into a
one-person show, Eenie Meanie, an unflinching look at conditioned
racism in the well-meaning heart. Teresa has performed her critically
acclaimed show in NYC, LA, Edinburgh, Cincinnati and Louisville,
and has appeared in many live theatre productions. She also has a
thriving Pilates and wellness practice in Louisville, where she lives
with her wife, Laura Shine.