The following is not the full speakers list. Please continue to check back on the website for updates. Thank you!
Founder, Shangri-la Gyalthang Culture Conservation & Heritage Academy
Samtso Kyi is a community development professional with extensive experience in working with people of different ethnic and social backgrounds. She comes from a semi-nomadic Tibetan family in Labrang, Gannan Tibetan Prefecture in Gansu. Samtso Kyi worked for different charity groups in Tibetan areas before founding the Shangri-la Gyalthang Culture Conservation & Heritage Academy, a locally registered charity in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Diqing in Yunnan. She is a long-time advocate of women’s empowerment and a dedicated women’s health educator. Samtso Kyi has a deep attachment for her home region and nomadic culture, and knows first-hand the harsh life nomadic women are living and their many barriers to access quality health care. Her expertise, experience and inherited knowledge of Tibetan culture, combined with a strong passion for women rights and empowerment, ensure that she is a powerful social development leader in Tibetan ethnic areas.
Host, The Good Refugee Podcast
Gelek Badheytsang is a Tibetan Canadian communications professional based in Toronto. He was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, and arrived in Canada as a refugee in 2001. His writing and photography have been published in various media outlets and events. He has been involved with projects like “Engaging Black People and Power,” a publication that highlighted engagement practice and policy approaches for addressing spatialized anti-Blackness in cities across North America. He currently works as the Strategic Communications Lead for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. He also hosts and produces “A Good Refugee Podcast.”
Undergraduate Student, Barnard College
Yumtsokyi Bhum is an undergraduate student at Barnard College, where she is majoring in Urban Studies. She has also taken courses in Tibetan language and history as part of her minor in East Asian Studies. At Barnard, Yumtsokyi is a research associate working to help bridge relationships between non-profit organizations and Barnard College, as well as Columbia University. In this role, as well as in her classes, she has specialized in GIS mapping and spatial analysis. Yumtsokyi is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches at Brahman Yoga Studio in Harlem and at Barnard College.
CEO & Cofounder, Feed The Hunger Fund
Patti Chang is CEO and co-founder of Feed The Hunger Fund. She has spent her entire career fighting for social justice. Some of her previous roles were: President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California, President of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, and as Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and on the San Francisco Commission on the Environment. Patti is originally from Hawaii and has deep roots in the islands and in California.
Graduate Student, University of New Haven
Tsering Dekyi was born and raised in India. She is currently studying at the University of New Haven in Connecticut for her MSc. degree in Emergency Management. Prior to arriving in the United States, she also completed her Master of Social Work at Christ University in Bengaluru, India, and her BA degree in Geography at Miranda House, University of Delhi.
Founder, Juniper Immigration Canada
Kalsang Dolma is an award-winning Tibetan Canadian artist and professional based in Toronto, Canada. She has worked as a settlement counsellor for over a decade, helping newcomer families and immigrants navigate complex issues as they settle in Canada. A proud and passionate advocate for the community of Parkdale, Kalsang most recently served as co-chair of the Parkdale Community Legal Services, and was also on the board of Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust and Toronto Green Community. She co-founded DreBu in 2008, a non-profit that celebrated urban immigrant arts and stories. In 2014, Kalsang was awarded the Ontario Newcomer Champion Award by the province of Ontario. She ran as a municipall councillor candidate in the 2018 for the riding of Parkdale-High Park. In 2020, she received the Trailblazer award from Afro Politan Canada. Kalsang started an immigration consulting business, Juniper Immigration Canada, in 2021.
Parenting in Diaspora, Machik Weekend 2022
Phuntsok Dolma was born in Tibet and attended the TCV School in Bylakuppe in southern India and completed an associated degree in general studies at Baltimore community college. She currently resides in Maryland with her family. Phuntsok Dolma is deeply passionate about children’s education and Tibetan cultural preservation, especially in the diaspora context. She is navigating this terrain while being dedicated to raising three young children. She will welcome a discussion on these topics in her workshop at Machik Weekend.
Merchandise Coordinator, Machik Weekend 2022
Alex Foote first volunteered with Machik’s Summer Enrichment Program and Tibet Governance and Practice Forum. This experience inspired her passion for sustainable development, and now she works for a supply chain technology company, helping corporations create more transparent supply chains.
DR. YANGBUM GYAL
Doctor of Tibetan Medicine & Licensed Acupuncturist
Yangbum Gyal, TMD, MSOM, is a translator, interpreter, and trainer at Cultural Linguistic Services department, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Gyal received his Bachelor in Tibetan Medical Science (BTMS) from Malho Medical School in Qinghai Province (Eastern Tibet), his Menrampa (Doctor of Tibetan Medicine) from Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute) in India, and his Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Racine, WI. He served as a resident doctor, research fellow, and professor at Men-Tsee-Khang, India and its branch clinics in Nepal. He also served as a resident doctor at Hargay Health Center, Qinghai Province (Eastern Tibet) and taught Tibetan language and topics on Tibetan medicine at Indiana University-Bloomington, IN. He authored the Tibetan Medical Dietary Book: Vol. I, The Potency and Preparation of Vegetables (Men- Tsee-Khang, 2004) and translated One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn into Tibetan, which was published by Gansu Nationality Publishing House (2013), China. Furthermore, he has published and presented various papers on Tibetan medicine and general health topics. Dr. Gyal also works as a practitioner of traditional Tibetan medicine and licensed acupuncturist in Madison WI, Chicago IL, Bloomington IN, and Vancouver BC.
DR. LAURAN HARTLEY
Director of Modern Tibetan Studies Program, Columbia University
Lauran Hartley is Director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program and an Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She also teaches regularly as Adjunct Lecturer in Tibetan Literature for the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and has taught courses on Tibetan literature and religion at Indiana and Rutgers universities. In addition to co-editing the book Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change (Duke University Press, 2008) and serving as Inner Asian Book Review Editor for the Journal of Asian Studies, she has also published several literary translations and articles on Tibetan intellectual history. Previously, from 2007 to October 2021, Dr. Hartley served as Tibetan Studies Librarian for the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University. Her current research interests are in literary production and discourse from the eighteenth century to present, as well as contemporary Tibetan cultural production. Lauran serves on the board of directors for the Buddhist Digital Resource Center, and on the advisory board of the International Association for Tibetan Studies.
Sophomore, German International School
Born and raised in Washington D.C., Sophie grew up hearing stories about Machik from her parents, who visited the Chungba School. Now she is a Sophomore at the German International School in Washington D.C. In the summer of 2022, she volunteered with Machik in their office at the vibrant Eaton Hotel.
Yoga & Stress Management Instructor, Stress Burner Yoga
Unyong has had a lifelong love of Tibetan culture, especially after learning Buddhist Dharma and meditation at Naropa University in the early 1980’s in Boulder, CO. After moving back east, she got involved in volunteering at the International Campaign for Tibet, and made many wonderful friends through that, including Losang and then Tashi Rabgey. The entire Rabgey family, including Pa-la and Ama-la, Pencho and Tsering, their parents, have been a heartfelt connection for her, and since meeting them, her family and some friends have come to love and support them also.
Seeing Machik unfold over the years has been a blessing, and she has enjoyed supporting them along the way. Her three daughters and their friend did a lemonade and cookie sale fundraiser for Chungba School years ago when they were small, some customers happily paying a bonus $5-$20 for a cup. Tashi dubbed them “the Lemonade Warriors”! As a yoga and stress management instructor with Stress Burner Yoga, Unyong organized a fundraiser yoga class for Machik, introducing some new enthusiastic supporters to their work. She was invited to offer stress management leadership skills to young Tibetan leaders at a retreat Machik convened. She has offered a few other yoga and stress management sessions in the past, at a Gender Equity seminar, and at a Machik Weekend in New York City. She has also helped to facilitate a discussion group with Chupal Sangpo, who was a Machik Weekend keynote speaker that year.
Registered Nurse & Education Access Advocate
Kadija Konteh is originally from Sierra Leone, on the West Coast of Africa. Currently she is a nurse who, like so many in her field, serves on the frontlines of the pandemic. Her parents Sulaiman and Adama Konteh lived in the capital city of Freetown where she was born. She grew up knowing the importance of education and the meaning of working hard to make one’s dream a reality. She was fortunate to have parents who ensured she had a better education than they did. As a result, Kadija and her father are working to give back to their community by offering free eduction to students with fewer opportunities. They have built two Makamoi Islamic primary schools in her grand parents’ villages in Sierra Leone and they plan to build many more in other villages. With the help of more supporters, Kadija and her team are determined to grow this dream. If you wish to support their work, contact Kadija at: Kkonteh52@gmail.com
TENZIN TSEDUB LODOE
Undergraduate Student, University of Virginia
Tenzin Tsedub Lodoe is a co-founder of Bodja Newsletter and a proud recent graduate of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). At NOVA, as the Student Body President and a College Board Member, Tsedub worked diligently to represent the needs of 80,000 constituents. He recently transferred to the University of Virginia to study Global Development and Social Entrepreneurship. In the summer of 2022, he was privileged to serve in the first cohort of interns at the White House under the current administration. Tsedub has also volunteered at his local Tibetan Sunday language school teaching Tibetan language culture history and 'Social Emotional Learning’ to elementary school children. Tsedub has also interned at the World Bank and the IMF and is a two-time winner of Tibet Fund's "Let's Talk in Tibetan" competition. He believes that "being smart is not enough; we also need a warm heart.”
Founder, Sakina Halal Grill
Kazi Mannan, a first-generation Pakistani immigrant, grew up in a village where his mother taught him about giving through food. He later moved to the USA and in 2013 he opened Sakina Halal Grill in Washington DC. He became aware of homelessness in his area and was inspired by his mother to give back. Since then, he has been offering thousands of meals each year, inside and beyond the restaurant, to thousands of people experiencing homelessness. With his policy of receiving all customers equally, he quickly grew a loyal following of customers. With the pressures of the pandemic, the restaurant was threatened, like thousands of other eateries, putting staff and people experiencing homelessness at risk, too. He outreached to his community through crowdfunding and in a short time about 6500 donors gave over $250,000 to support his social enterprise. Kazi’s restaurant now remains open and he continues his commitment to the community.
Food Justice Advocate & Farmer
Rebecca Parry (they/them) is a food justice advocate and new farmer based out of
British Columbia, Canada. They recently graduated from McGill University with a
Bachelor of Arts in History and South Asian Studies focusing on critical development
and food sovereignty in Tibet and the Himalayan region. They first became involved
with Machik as a program intern in 2020 and they are thrilled to be returning as a
member of the core organizing team for MW 16. They are always happy to exchange
favourite recipes, enthuse about wild edible foods, or tell you about their latest knitting
PENCHO RABGEY, MSC
Pencho Rabgey, MSC, is Machik's visionary cofounder and a true driving force behind Machik's work in Tibet. Pencho spent the first thirty years of his life as a scholar monk, studying with great masters in Tibet and India. He spent the next thirty years working in a factory in Canada building caskets. As one of the first Tibetan families in Canada, the Rabgeys set up the Potala Tibetan Dance Troupe in 1975, and, in the 1990s, Pencho founded the Chompa Tibetan Cultural Foundation. Pencho returned to Chungba in the 1980s with his family and subsequently dedicated himself to building a school for the local community. He withdrew his retirement funds as the seed money to begin Machik and to build the Chungba Schools. For his lifelong dedication to community service and citizenship, Pencho received the 'Special Achievement Award' from the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce, at its annual Evening of Excellence in 2014. In 2018, Pencho and family received the Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General of Canada.
TSERING RABGEY, MSC
Tsering Rabgey, MSC has worked tirelessly to provide quality education for children and youth in rural Tibet. She continues to invest extraordinary time and energy to projects supporting the Chungba Valley community. She received the 'Special Achievement Award' from the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce at its annual Evening of Excellence in 2014 for her lifelong dedication to community service and citizenship. In 2018, Tsering and family received the Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General of Canada.
Artist & Global Head of Purpose, Eaton Workshop
Born and raised in Pawley’s Island in the Gullah/Geechee Lowcountry of South Carolina, Sheldon Scott now lives and works in Washington, DC. His fine-art practices plays in the intersection of Race, Sexuality and Economics, while impugning mythologies of Black Male supernaturality. His works includes Performance, Sculpture, Installation, Photography, Spoken word, Creative Nonfiction, Objects, Video and Ephemera. Scott has exhibited at
Delaware State University, Art Miami, Untitled Art Fair, Katzen Art Museum, David C. Driskell Center, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and has been acquired by esteemed collections including the National Museum of African-American History and
Culture, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Harvey B Gantt Center and The Kemper Art Museum at Washington University. He has been recognized as by Americans for the Arts’ Best Public Art Program and as a Finalist for the National Portrait Gallery’s 2019 Outwin-Boochever Portrait Competition. Scott has been a featured presenter at TEDx Mid-Atlantic, ArtTable, CreativeTime Festival, Washington Ideas Festival, and the Smithsonian Long
Conversation. He is currently a fellow in The Threshold Fellowship at The Headlands. He currently serves on the boards of Teaching for Change, Transformer, and Woolly Mammoth
Theatre. Scott is represented by ConnerSmith Gallery and Ross and Yoon Literary Agency. He currently serves as the Global Head of Purpose at Eaton Workshop.
CEO & Founder, Busboys and Poets
Andy Shallal is an artist, social entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Busboys and Poets, a restaurant group in the Washington DC area where art, culture and politics intentionally collide over mindfully sourced food, drinks, books and event programming. Busboys and Poets has become a home for progressives, artists, creatives and intellectuals, including such notables as Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Angela Davis and the late Howard Zinn. As a business on the forefront of environmental stewardship, Busboys locations are 100% wind-powered with local sourcing, including many plant-based and gluten-free friendly options. As a leader in the sustainable food movement, Busboys has been recognized locally and nationally for its innovative, conscious cuisine. Under Shallal’s leadership, Busboys has received numerous awards including the Mayor’s Arts Award, Employer of the Year from the Employment Justice Center and the Mayor’s Environmental Award. Shallal is a 2018 Frederick Douglass 200 award winner for those who best embody Douglass’s spirit, TedX speaker, founder of several peace and justice organizations and serves on many boards. He ran for Mayor of Washington, DC in 2014 and continues to strive to make his hometown of Washington, DC a more livable community. Shallal studied at Catholic University of American, Howard Medical School and Robert Smith’s University of Maryland School of Business. He is a husband and father of four.
Founder, Sweet Momo Studios
Rigzin Taring is an illustrator, designer, and small business owner residing in Virginia. She was born in New Delhi, India and came to the US with her family at the age of nine. After her trip to Tibet in 2019, she felt a strong responsibility to preserve her Tibetan culture. In the summer of 2020, Sweet Momo Studios was born, an online art and stationery shop inspired by her love for Japanese kawaii art, stationery, and Tibetan roots. Rigzin's hope is that her art and products will generate some joy and be a sweet reminder of her unique and beautiful heritage.
Thank you to our moderators and discussants for this Machik Weekend 2022!
Shaokyi Amdo, Tenzin Choden, Tsering Choedron, Tashi Chogyal, Norpu Droma, Kim Kaston, Tenzin Khaying, Chemi Dolkar Lama, Martha Miller, Kalden Namgyal, Tenzin Nordon, Tenzin Yangkey
Shaokyi Amdo, Tenzin Choden, Tsering Choedron, Tashi Chogyal, Norpu Droma, Kim Kaston, Tenzin Khaying, Chemi Dolkar Lama, Martha Miller, Kalden Namgyal, Tenzin Nordon, Tenzin Yangkey