Donna Bollinger comes to Religions for Peace USA with more than two decades of nonprofit leadership and development including faith based work in 36 countries. Born in rural western North Carolina, Donna has lived on the East Coast from Miami to Boston, as well as in Mexico, Morocco, and Switzerland. Working and living with those of diverse faith and cultures created a passion for religious liberty that welcomes those from all faiths and traditions to engage in dialogue and grow in mutual respect, understanding, and common vision. From grassroots community organizing to participating in White House consultations, Donna is comfortable in and understands the need for action and involvement from the local to the national level. Her demonstrated commitment to interfaith understanding and cooperation combined with a Master of Divinity and experience in financial management and grant acquisition has prepared her to fulfill the mission and needs of Religions for Peace USA.
Early in her career Donna served as a staff member for the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and then the Ecumenical Gathering of Youth and Young Adults based in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of the World Council of Churches. Here in the United
States, Donna has worked extensively with Haitian, Hispanic, and Hmong communities. She has used her background in education and community development to address the challenges
of public health, immigration, and economic development. Donna served as the executive director of a faith-based community organizing nonprofit, then created and built Native Grace, a fair trade resource and retail center promoting just wages, the rights of women and children, and care for the environment. Most recently Donna worked with Legacy International and their Global Youth Village where teens from across the United States and the MENA region come together to engage in dialogue and peacemaking.
Donna has successfully written grants and procured funds from public, private, and governmental agencies to advance social justice and interfaith goals including economic development, faith based community organizing, and multi-cultural understanding. Donna not
only understands but enjoys the challenge of creating diversified funding structures. She is excited to begin her role with Religions for Peace USA.
Donna is a graduate and merit scholar of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors in education from East Carolina
Emily Farthing is an intern for RFPUSA and is based out of Oregon and Brazil, until Fall of 2018 when she will be attending Union Theological Seminary. She received her BA in Religious Studies and a minor in Public Policy Planning and Management from the University of Oregon, and has worked three years for the City of Eugene organizing events focused on equtiy, active transportation and community building. She consults in communications and partnership building, and is now focused on fostering relationships between co-working and co-living spaces in Brazil and digital nomad experience providers world-wide. She has organized monthly interfaith prayer servies and interfaith panels while serving as President of the Interfaith Prayer Service International, and now sits on the North American Interfaith Network’s Board as communications chair. Emily enjoys creating- art, networks, partnerships and teams. Art is a large part of her spiritual journey and running and cycling meditation.