Buddhist Peace Fellowship Announces New Executive Director

The Buddhist Channel, July 28, 2007

Berkeley, CA (USA) -- This summer, the national headquarters of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) announces the selection of Dr. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel as the organization’s new executive director.  BPF’s board president Anchalee Kurutach said, “We are extremely fortunate to have Earthlyn's direction, guidance, insight, and experience in this vital position.” Dr. Manuel began as executive director in June 2007.

Of her new work, Earthlyn says, “BPF provides a context for practicing skillful means as daily work, a foundation for spiritual growth, and a community in which everyone is concerned with ending suffering. I have visions of a socially engaged organization that is responsive to systematic oppression, which results in war, ecological disasters, hunger, and pandemic diseases. I would like us to go beyond the petitions and marches, and find innovative ways to speak out and bring attention to the growing discontent in this world. These are urgent times. We do not need to rush, but we do need to respond knowing that all of our lives depend upon our social/political actions and our intentions.”

Earthlyn has been a Buddhist practitioner for nearly 20 years, initially as a student of Nichiren Buddhism and currently in the Soto Zen tradition at San Francisco Zen Center and Berkeley Zen Center. She has an M.A. in Urban Planning from U.C.L.A. and a Ph.D. in Transformation and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and has served as development director and program director for several nonprofit organizations and cultural centers, including the Women of Color Resource Center and The Women’s Foundation of California. She co-founded the Marcus Garvey Alternative School for African American children in Los Angeles in 1974.

Earthlyn is the author of Seeking Enchantment: A Spiritual Journey of Healing from Oppression (Kasai River Press), and the Black Angel Cards: A Soul Revival Guide for Black Women (Harper San Francisco). She is a contributing author to Dharma, Color, and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism (Parallax), and Spirited (Redbone Press), an anthology of Black gays and lesbians on spirituality. Her essay, “The Zen Liberation in the Art of Romare Bearden” is forthcoming in the International Review of African American Art.


The mission of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF), founded in 1978, is to serve as a catalyst for socially engaged Buddhism. BPF's programs, publications, and chapters link teachings of wisdom and compassion with progressive social change. The organization is comprised of more than 4,000 members and 35 chapters. BPF is an affiliate of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. For more info, visit: www.bpf.org.