Campus Community Dialogue:
Succession and the Legacy of Leadership in the Midst of Change


April 12, 2010 at 07:00 PM 
April 12, 2010 at 09:00 PM 

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Auditorium, room 1670 
Litton Reaves Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Driving Directions 


James Dubinsky 
Virginia Tech 
540 2317935 

Five world renouned nonprofit/social justice leaders from around the world will be visiting Virginia Tech on the week of April 11th for the Global Dialgue at Virginia Tech.  On Monday, April 12th from 7-9 pm, these leaders will sit for a panel discussion on the theme of leadership succession and the legacy of leadership in the midst of change.  The event is free and open the the university/community!

Below is information on the Global Leaders who will sit on the panel.



 2009 Global Dialogue


Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, Founder, Sarvodaya (Sri Lanka)

Bhavana Dee, Auroville/ Village Action (India)

Dr. Larry Emerson, Dine’ Leader/Kettering Foundation Scholar (Diné Nation)

Elisa Sabatini, Executive Director, Via International (USA)

Andrew Morikawa, Exec Director, New River Community Foundation (USA)


  • Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, Founder, Sarvodaya (Sri Lanka)

Dr. A


Sarvodaya - This village development movement is active in more than 10,000 villages throughout Sri Lanka (2/3 of all the villages in the nation) and provides villages with a development process that is based on Buddhist spirituality.  Founded 50 years ago by Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, a recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize, Sarvodaya was built on the vision of welfare for all through a process of “we build the road and the road builds us”.† Visits to the movement in the mid-90’s resulted in involvement in Sarvodaya USA, a network of US-based individuals, linked by a list-serve, who support the premises of community action through participation and seek to develop similar activities in US communities.† 

Dr. Ariyaratne, Sri Lankabhimanya Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne, is the founder and President of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka. Born November 5, 1931, he was a high school teacher at Nalanda College and is a devoted Buddhist. He received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1969, the Gandhi Peace Prize from the government of India in 1996, the Niwano Peace Prize in 1992, the King Beaudoin Award and other international honors for his work in peace making and village development. In 2006, he received the Acharya Sushil Kumar International Peace Award for 2005, among first recipients of this award were Joan Tolengy and in 2004, his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. In 2007 he received the Sri Lankabhimanya, the highest National Honour of Sri Lanka.  Ariyaratne, a strong believer in Gandhian principles of non-violence, rural development and self-sacrifice, has shaped the Sarvodaya Movement in ways that forged a significant link between secular principles of development and Buddhist ideals of selflessness and compassion. As a devoted Buddhist, he has led tens of thousands of “family gatherings” and meditations with millions of people throughout Sri Lanka and other parts of the world. 


  • Bhavana Dee, Auroville/ Village Action (India)









Auroville is an international community located in southeast India and founded in 1968 to be “the city the earth needs”. A protectorate of UNESCO people from nearly 40 nations reside in Auroville and demonstrate a new form of community focused on achieving human unity.† Created from the philosophy and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Auroville has settlements working with appropriate and alternative technologies as well as sustainable food production.† A natural resources miracle, Auroville has succeeded to plant over two million trees and create a forest out of a desert wasteland.† One of the activities of Aurovillians is their relationship with the surrounding Tamil villages.† An initiative called Village Action addresses poverty, empowering communities and expanding consciousness and equity. Auroville is to be a major vehicle of this evolutionary thrust and, eventually, a platform for transformation.

Bhavana Dee – Bhavana Dee DeCew was born in New York. She studied at Northwestern University and New York University, but prefers to say she studied at "the university of the road," traveling in Europe and overland to India. Bhavana Dee, an American woman who joined Auroville in 1971, has been working in the field of Auroville’s relation to the villages and in village development since 1983. She supports the Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG), which she founded in 1983. AVAG carries out development work in 76 villages in and around the Auroville area. She has also served on Auroville's Working Committee and the Entry Group, and helps coordinate the Integral Learning Centre at Verite Community within Auroville. She is the founding trustee of Auroville Village Action Trust, and will draw on both her own and her colleagues’ experiences to show and explain their rural development work, especially in education, community organization, women’s empowerment and microfinance, and recently tsunami relief and rehabilitation. She is also a resident-participant of the VeritÈ Integral Learning Campus and a Vipassana meditator.


  • Dr. Larry Emerson, Dine’ Leader/Kettering Foundation Scholar (Diné Nation)

Dr. A

Tse’ da Ka’an is a Diné (Navajo) community where people work to recover sustainable agricultural practices by restoring Indigenous knowledge, including cultural restoration and language revitalization.

Dr. Larry Emerson lives in Tsedaak’aan, Navajo Nation, New Mexico. Dr. Emerson has been an active lecturer, artist, farmer, educator, and community activist. He provides consulting services to Indigenous Nations groups and organizations. Dr. Emerson's dissertation work, entitled “‘Hozho Nahazdlii’: Towards a Practice of Diné Decolonization,” sought to understand “the dialectical nature of colonialism and decolonization.”  Dr. Emerson also facilitates gatherings called “Hoghan Dialogues” involving Indigenous ways of knowing and being and is presently a mentor in a First Nations Counseling program, Victoria, British Columbia. Dr. Emerson also mentors Native American scholars and collaborators at San Diego State University, San Diego, California and several Indigenous doctoral students at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Champaign, Illinois.



  • Elisa Sabatini, Executive Director, Via International (USA)





Via International is a community development organization and institute engaged in organizing communities and training “agents of change”.† The programs include VolunTours™, offering U.S. students an opportunity to have transformative experiences through partnerships in Mexico, Guatemala and the Navajo Nation.† Founded 35 years ago, the organization has a rich history of institutional development including a historical path where traditional charitable give-away activities were transformed into actions focused on empowering people to achieve their potential.††Community Development program areas include family health, nutrition, micro-finance, sustainable agriculture, community organizing and development education.

Elisa Sabatini serves as the Executive Director for Via International (formerly Los Niños). She served many years with World SHARE, working extensively in Mexico and Guatemala.  At World SHARE Elisa was the Regional Director for Latin America and coordinated participatory processes to create an autonomous SHARE organization in Guatemala as well as develop self-funding food distribution in Mexico and a loan program that became Compartamos.  Elisa joined Los Niños in 1998.



  • Andrew Morikawa, Exec Director, New River Community Foundation (USA)






New River Community Foundation – To enhance the quality of life in the New River Valley of Virginia by: 1) Serving the charitable interests of donors, and providing safe, secure, professional management of their charitable dollars; 2) Making creative, visionary, and sensitive grants to worthy individuals and organizations; especially those that address new, evolving needs in the community; 3) Devoting special emphasis to programs that enrich the spirit and life of our community in the fields of social services, education, community and civic affairs, arts and culture, health, libraries and museums, religion, the conservation and preservation of natural, historical and cultural resources; 4) Acting as a catalyst and convenor for leadership and community development.

Andy Morikawa – serves as executive director for the New River Community Foundation developing assets for a rural, small town, river valley in Virginia's Appalachian region. He has served in the nonprofit sector for thirty years as a staff member and trustee including as President of World SHARE. He is aspiring to share current, lived experiences that have in common their orientation to nonprofit governance, grassroots community building, and the leadership of networked trustees. He serves as a trustee on several national and local boards. He sees working with nonprofit boards that seek to undertake governance revitalization through board self -assessment and development.