Deborah L. Johnson on Polarization and LGBT Spirituality (#68)
Rev. Deborah L. Johnson is the founding minister and president of Inner Light Ministries, an Omnifaith outreach ministry dedicated to teaching the practical application of Universal Spiritual Principles to all of life’s circumstances. She is also the founder and president of The Motivational Institute, an organizational development consulting firm specializing in cultural diversity serving the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Her clients range from Fortune 500 companies to community based organizations. She is a dynamic public speaker, known for her ability to bring clarity to complex and emotionally charged issues.
A life-long social justice activist, Rev. Deborah is the successful co-litigant in two landmark cases in California – one set precedent for the inclusion of sexual orientation in the state’s Civil Rights Bill, the other defeated the challenge to legalizing domestic partnerships. A voice for compassion, equality, and reconciliation, her primary focus has been on coalition building, conflict resolution, public policy development, and cultural sensitivity awareness. She holds a vision of Oneness, beyond creed and doctrine, and feels particularly called to heal the sense of separation between those adhering to conservative and progressive ideologies.
Her groundbreaking work has been featured in numerous books, magazines, radio, and television programs including Conversations with Neale (Neale Donald Walsch) radio show, Shambhala Sun magazine, Showtime TV’s Black Filmmaker Showcase production Jumpin’ the Broom, the film God and Gays: Bridging the Gap, and ABC Nightline. Rev. Deborah is the author of the The Sacred Yes and Your Deepest Intent of the Letters from the Infinite series, as well as Living the Sacred Yes: Affirmations for Action. She is co-writer of several songs on Singing the Sacred Yes by Valerie Joi. Wherever she goes, her message is always one of possibility, inclusion, empowerment and transformation.
Rev. Deborah is an inductee into the Board of Preachers of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College which honors clergy for their lifetime work in social justice. She is a leadership development trainer for the Network of Spiritual Progressives, founded by Rabbi Michael Lerner and the Tikkun Community, Cornel West, and Sister Joan Chittister. Rev. Deborah is a member of the Advisory Council of the Association for Global New Thought. She is also an original vision core member of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles founded by her spiritual mentor, Michael Beckwith.
As an advocate for continual and lifelong learning, Rev. Deborah is a faculty member at several institutes of higher learning: UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business Executive Leadership Diversity Training Institute; Pacific School of Religion; Holmes Institute of Consciousness Studies; and the Agape University of Transformational Studies and Leadership. She is also an Advisory Council member in the Women’s Studies Department at Brandeis University. She holds a BA in economics from USC, an MBA from UCLA, and a ministerial degree from the Holmes Institute.