Celebrate “Faith in Diversity” & Build Interfaith Bridges with Women Leaders on Oct. 10


The American Conference on Diversity (ACOD) in collaboration with the tri-state area South Asian Business Alliance Network (SABAN) invite you to “Defining Moments in Diversity: The Power Among Us to Create Lasting Change,” a spectacular evening of fellowship to explore the role faith has in empowering women throughout New Jersey. This is building on the richness of SABAN’s annual Loving Light Interfaith celebration.

On Thursday, October 10, you will have the opportunity to network with several of the state’s most powerful women leaders representing many different faiths and hear their remarkable defining moments, while enjoying cultural entertainment, ethnic foods, and more!

“The American Conference on Diversity was founded in building bridging across religious, racial, gender, and cultural communities. So it only seems fitting, as we celebrate our 65th anniversary, that we kick off a new annual event and  join our state’s diverse communities together for an evening of networking and interfaith learning,” says ACOD’s President and CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley.

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Confirmed guest speakers representing several different faiths include:

►Atiya Aftab, the first woman Chairperson of the board of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey

Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, spiritual care coordinator for the Sheila Ruskay Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and UJA/Federation of New York, started rabbinical schooling at the Jewish Theological Seminary where she was part of the second class ever to include women

Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi, one of our 2012 Greater Bergen Chapter Humanitarian Award honorees, a published author and Fairleigh Dickinson University Associate Professor of Education, whose work intersects racial, religious, and all other dimensions of diversity and inclusion

►Cassandra Martin, MHS, training and organizational development specialist at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and a Priestess of the Lucumi faith

►Sheryl Olitzky, owner of a pharmaceutical marketing company and an advocate for Jewish/Muslim interfaith relations among women

►Camelia M. Valdes, Esq., a Christian, is the first Latina County Prosecutor in New Jersey, the first woman prosecutor in Passaic County, and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States

Dr. Nuray Yurt, Central Jersey Director of Peace Islands Institute, a Newark, NJ-based human equality organization that promotes mutual respect and acceptance among all people and religions.

“This Loving Light Interfaith celebration reflects joy, peace, and love around the world,” says Pam H. Kwatra, a member of the American Conference on Diversity Board of Trustees, the event chair, and President of Kripari Marketing. Ms. Kwatra is also one of SABAN’s founders and a past president.

Where: Royal Albert’s Palace in Edison, NJ, centrally located within the state and only five minutes from NJ Turnpike & the Garden State Parkway.

When: Thursday, October 10. Grand reception begins at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $65 (non-refundable); advance purchase is required.

To register: Visit http://FaithInDiversity2013.kintera.org.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, please contact Damica Williams at damica@americanconferenceondiversity.org or call 732-745-9330.

Planning committee members include: Holy Name Medical Center, Islamic Society of Central Jersey, Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ, Kripari Marketing, Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Peace Island Institute, and South Asian Business Alliance Network.


The South Asian Business Alliance Network is a pro-business nonprofit organization with 12 chapters nationwide. It was created in 1998 to promote and develop a pro-business and networking environment by organizing business events and activities for South Asian-owned and -represented small to large businesses throughout the United States.

About the American Conference on Diversity

The programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity, which has been serving schools, organizations, workplaces, and communities in New Jersey since 1948, builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates eight chapters to help us to educate and empower leaders and bring our messages of inclusion and respect to communities throughout New Jersey: Atlantic County Chapter, Bayonne Chapter, Central Jersey Chapter, Essex County Chapter, Greater Bergen Chapter, Hudson County Chapter, Jersey Shore Chapter, and Mercer County Chapter. Visit www.AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org to learn more.



Gail Zoppo

Media Relations Consultant

109 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901



 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

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