Meet our new Board Members
Pandora Bethea is a dedicated public high school teacher, union activist, poet, world traveler and mother of two grown kids who are pursuing meaningful work. Born and raised in Athens, Greece, she spent her teenage years huddled at the American Community School, the only safe place she could listen to rock and roll during the Greek military junta of ’67 to ’74. She has been committed to peace, freedom and social justice since then.
I have been a volunteer for all my adult life. I began volunteering in my two children’s classrooms and have volunteered since then in literary guilds, youth poetry contests, art commissions, religious organizations, youth summits, graduations, after-school youth clubs, and in my union (CTA).
I have been working as an 11th/12th grade teacher of English at Deer Valley High School for the past six years and continue to do so. I also direct the Poetry Out Loud program for the Antioch Unified School District. I have a Bachelors Degree in English from Sonoma State University and a California Teaching Credential. I speak three languages: English, Greek and French. I have been trained by the organization “Facing History and Ourselves”.
My first career was as an international sales executive of digital equipment which allowed me to travel to many countries and experience many cultures. I am interested and have experience in youth art contests, alternatives to the military for youth, and political involvement for social justice. I have taught poetry workshops for youth at the Contra Costa Youth Summit. I have held phone banking at my home for the Democratic election campaign. I graduated from a multicultural, international high school, The American Community School of Athens, Greece, which trained me in diversity of race, culture and religion.
Have attended both Creating a Peaceful Schools conferences, MDPJC workshops and presentations, and had the honor of having Dr. Ian Harris (the conference initiator and Center member) come into my classroom and speak to my students about alternatives to the military.
I believe in promoting social justice, peace through dialogue instead of violence, respect and acceptance for different races, religions and cultures and would like to see the Center expand so that more community members understand and join in our goals and objectives for society.
Was born and grew up in Vancouver Canada. He studied anthropology at Simon Fraser University. Came to the US as an activist in 1976 after working in Africa. Accidentally got married and ended up staying! With kids, had to get a real job. Studied electronics at Merritt College and Cogswell Polytechnical. After 25 years working in the high tech and aerospace industries he retired to work full time on progressive causes.
I have an interest in public education and activism to promote progressive change. My skills include writing, presentations and outreach and consider myself a ‘self-starter’ able to lead and work with others. Retired from senior electronics engineering position at UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory in 2011 (NASA and satellite work).
Went to Middle East in summer 2007, part of Palestine Summer Encounter seeing the situation on the ground, meeting great Palestinian and Israeli organizations and individuals. Went to Honduras in summer 2011 as part of an international human rights delegation. We travelled around the country and met various organizations speaking about the aftermath of the 2009 coup. Returned to Honduras in November 2012 as part of human rights group monitoring the primary election.
I am interested to bring more information on Latin America and Middle East to Contra Costa. The goal is to push for substantial change in US policy and building support for progressive organizations working for change in other countries.
Was a member of the MDPJC board for a few years (approx 2006 – 2010) and currently on the board of Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas (www.mitfamericas.org/about). I’m currently active or connected to the KPFA outreach committee, Rossmoor friends of KPFA club, Rossmoor Voices for Justice in Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Network, Middle East Study Group and Richmond Progressive Alliance.
I believe the Center needs to continue promoting peace messages in schools and the community. Believe it would be useful to encourage more people from the community to travel abroad and bring back / share their experiences and observations (Latin America, Middle East and beyond). Would like to see the Center take more active positions in opposition to the war machine, oil corporations, etc. and make more connections/coordination with other peace / justice groups.
Favorite bumper sticker: “I’d rather be fighting imperialism.”
David Seaborg is a well-known leader in the environmental movement. He founded and heads the World Rainforest Fund, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to saving the earth’s tropical rainforests and biodiversity.
David wrote an article that is a summary of the scientific research on the effects of high atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide other than global warming. Unlike the climatic effects, these effects are not well known to the general public. They are very serious, and have the potential to cause high levels of extinction of species and greatly disrupt ecosystems and our food supply.
He was on the city of Lafayette’s General Plan Advisory Committee, which he guided to producing a ten-year General Plan for that city that emphasized environmental sustainability, preserving open space, combating global warming, and energy conservation.
David served on the Board of Directors of the Club of Rome of the USA, the environmental think tank that published the Limits to Growth in the 1970’s. This is a computer simulation study that showed that continued growth and consumption of resources will lead society to disaster.
He conceived, and helped secured passage by the Berkeley City Council, an ordinance banning the use of old growth rainforest and redwood in all products used by the city of Berkeley. This ordinance also required all businesses contracting with Berkeley to stop using old growth rainforest and redwood in any products or services Berkeley hires them to use or perform, or in any product they sell this city.
David conceived the idea for and was the head organizer for a press conference of Nobel Prize winners on global environmental issues that was held at the time of the 100th Nobel Prize ceremonies in Sweden, in December, 2001.
He is renowned for being especially socially skilled, excellent at working with and bringing out the best in people, and inspiring them to have an interest in biology, the earth, its animals and their habitats. He has inspired countless people to become environmentalists passionate about saving the earth. As a result of this passion, many of these people worked hard at saving the environment and achieved a considerable degree of success at it.
David has been to over 30 countries, observing various natural ecosystems and wildlife. He is listed is in Who’s Who In America. An excellent public speaker, he lectures to various scientific, environmental, civic, business, and other organizations on evolutionary biology, the philosophical implications of science, and environmental issues.
I have been to several events put on by the Peace Center, but have not been an “active” member, mostly because of work commitments. However, I am now retired (mostly) and, when I commit to something, I always follow through. I am not good at fundraising, but I am good at putting on events and am a creative thinker when it comes to attracting and keeping members and participants.
I have been working as the Education Director and then Education Specialist for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum for over 25 years, so I know the community and I know non-profits! I have served on the board of the Walnut Creek Open Space and now on the Advisory board for over 25 years.
I have lived in Walnut Creek for over 40 years and love this community (even with its many flaws). I believe that grass roots organizations can make a difference and feel that a good citizen is a participant in their community. I am a good “team builder” and have been responsible for newsletters, creating invitations, planning events, mailings, signage, group facilitation and many other parts of organizations.
Although I have never participated on a board or as an active member of a peace group, I have been in leadership positions in the following local organizations:
Lake Lakewood Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church Walnut Creek Open Space WC Parks Dept, Committee for creating natural spaces in Heather Farms Park WC Soccer Assoc. board WC Little League board 6 years on 3 different school PTA/Parents’ Clubs as President
I believe in non-violence and am especially interested in gun control. I am a good listener and hope to be supportive in many ways. I grew up in a large family in Missouri, a strong hunting state, with a father who was adamantly against using guns for anything except games such as skeet shooting. Even though many family members were decorated World War II veterans, Viet Nam was considered a mistake. I’ve always felt that violence leads to violence and know that education is an important step in stopping that cycle.
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