The role of the Program Committee is to cultivate programming, classes, series, daylongs, and other curricula to realize EBMC’s mission and promote safety and inclusion to create the refuge of the Buddha Dharma Sangha. The Programming Committee works with the greater center’s Sangha, composed of the Teacher Sangha, many Practice Groups, Deep Refuge Groups, and Leadership Sangha (Board). We strive for engagement with the Dharma through a social justice lens that not only guides but holds refuge in Sangha.
Program Committee Guidelines
Allison has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2003. A graduate of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training Practicum at El Camino Hospital, she also trained at the Sati Chaplaincy Training Program, and is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock. Allison has taught in a variety of academic, clinical, and community settings, and volunteers at a local hospital as an interfaith chaplain. Part of the Every Body Every Mind teaching team since 2016, and the Program Committee since 2017, she is passionate about social justice, and making dharma communities accessible for everyone.
Anjali Sawhney, is a Certified Integral Life Coach from New Ventures West in San Francisco (2005) and a trained international Leadership Embodiment Teacher (LE: based on Aikido and Mindfulness, 2010). She is currently a facilitator in training for Strozzi Institute, a world leader in somatics and embodiment. Anjali has coached and led workshops for hundreds of individuals and teams including many at the California Endowment in Oakland as well as UCSF's School of Dentistry. In the recent past, she worked with Van Jones and his team on many of the Dream Corps' initiatives. As Director of Product Development at Charles Schwab & Company, Anjali lead a cross-functional team of hundreds for new services including marketing and sales training. Anjali received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco in 1996. Anjali loves nature, live music, dancing and working with untapped populations; she is sometimes allowed to dance with her teenagers, Aanika and Jai.
Born and raised in the Yay Area (Karkin, Bay Miwok, and Chochenyo territories), Jessy Zapanta is a community builder, cultural worker, and healing justice facilitator experienced in various forms of movement, trauma-informed counseling modalities, and bodywork. Jessy originally came to EBMC through the POC Sangha, is a co-founder of Dharma in Motion, and has taken on roles as part of the Family Sangha teaching team and EBMC Program Committee. Jessy has led or co-taught daylong workshops centering the experiences of queer, trans, gender-diverse, disabled, and neurodivergent practitioners. As a queer/pan nonbinary mixed POC with invisible illnesses and disabilities, Jessy is passionate about accessibility and facilitates a circle-based form of radically-inclusive movement meditation called Kapwa Flow which holds space for the collective needs of participants and draws from the Pilipinx concept of interconnectedness. A strong advocate for youth empowerment for more than a decade, Jessy’s path includes reclaiming diverse ancestral teachings, trusting intuition, and building intersectional, intergenerational communities of care.
Lisa Moore began practicing in 1998, with the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. She joined the EBMC community by participating in the first Commit2Dharma study series where she began to deepen her practice of sangha. She is currently working with the programming committee of the Center and in Dharmacharya training with the Ven. Pannavati. She teaches at San Francisco State University where she supports the next generation of public health, harm reduction and social justice advocates.
René Rivera is a leader and bridge-builder, working and learning in all the spaces in-between race, gender, and other perceived binaries, as a queer, mixed-race, trans man. René has been a student of the Dharma since 2004 and has been a part of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) Alphabet Sangha since 2008. He has participated in the Commit to Dharma and Practice in Action programs at EBMC and the Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock. He currently serves on the EBMC Program Committee and Midday Sangha coordinating committee.
Sierra Pickett has a passion for accessible Sangha building. At the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) — a gift economy based, social-justice Buddhist center that Jack Kornfield has called “the most diverse Sangha on the planet” — she has been serving as a long-time Coordinating Committee member of the People Of Color Sangha, a weekly sitting group offering safe(r) space for POC practitioners, and currently sits on the Programming Committee for EBMC at large. An addition to Buddhist Peace Fellowship's board of directors, Sierra is a web weaver who sees networking as an intentional act of love connecting us together in reciprocal support and interdependence. Volunteering with East Point Peace Academy for 3+ years, she values Kingian Nonviolence as a true avenue in transformation and is honored to have witnessed and experienced it first hand. An American Sign Language interpreter, Sierra loves expanding linguistic and cultural accessibility within a social justice framework. Easily spotted in bright colors, she will greet you with an infectious smile.