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The Bahá’í Faith and an Evolving Framework for Action

Apr 4, 2023
flyer for the webinar on an Evolving Framework for Action, featuring head shots of the three presenters

Tuesday April 4, 2023
4 PM Pacific / 7 PM Eastern Time

This presentation will begin with a review of basic information about the nature of the Bahá’í Faith, its founders, and its scriptures. Three Wilmette Institute staff—Robert Stockman, Justin Scoggin, and Ymasumac Marañón Davis—will explore the principles and beliefs about individual and collective development, and conclude with an overview of what Bahá’ís are learning in their efforts to serve humanity through community building, public discourse, and social action.


Robert Stockman, ThD

WI Dean, Bahá’í History, Texts and Tenets

I have had a passion for researching and teaching about the Bahá’í Faith for more than half of my life. My fascination with American Bahá’í history and with the first American Bahá’í, Thornton Chase, caused me, in 1980, to switch my academic field from planetary science to history of religion in the United States. As I was finishing my doctorate in that field at Harvard University in 1990, I drew up plans to create a Bahá’í Studies institute that would offer courses, encourage research, and publish. Instead, I was hired by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States to start a research office at our national Bahá’í headquarters in Wilmette, Illinois. Some of the responsibilities of the research office led to the creation of the Wilmette Institute, which ​focuses on most of the tasks of the institute I originally conceived. Meanwhile, I have also remained involved in academia, teaching religious studies part time at DePaul University in Chicago and currently at Indiana University South Bend, just a mile from home. I have also published four books on aspects of Bahá’í history (including a biography of Thornton Chase) and one introductory textbook on the Faith. Listen to Robert’s interview on ‘A Bahá’í Perspective’ podcastSee Faculty Bio


Justin Scoggin, PhD

As Chief Academic Officer of the Wilmette Institute Justin has helped develop learning outcomes for community and credit-bearing courses and programs and helped align them to the current set of global Plans. Justin is currently exploring pedagogical principles for online learning coherent with the learning outcomes. Justin worked with FUNDAEC as teacher and program administrator, worked as principal in K-12 schools in Ecuador. Justin has a PhD in Education from the University of Idaho. See also Justin's Personal Educational Philosophy.See Faculty Bio


Ymasumac Marañón Davis, PhD candidate

Educational Consultant/Writer/Intuitive Healing

My name is Ymasumac Marañón Davis, though people call me Yma! Ymasumac is a Quechua Indian name from Bolivia. My father is a Bolivian of Quechua descent, my mother is from New England, and her ancestors, of English and Irish ancestry, came around the same time as the pilgrims. We are a very global family and because of this, I grew up in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico among the Mayan people. I always begin with my ancestry because their choices shaped me, challenged me, and raised me up; and in correlation with the Bahá’í Revelation, shaped my life’s work.   I have a love for learning, which is why I chose education as my professional field. I taught in K12 in bilingual education and worked in the district office in Parent Involvement and at the county office of education as an administrator coordinating educational technology. My philosophy about education is that it is a basic human right. Human beings have the right to an education that will empower them to be critical thinkers and prepare them to participate effectively as members of a dynamic changing society.  Today, the backbone of what I do is explore how transformative processes can be systematized at the individual, collective and institutional levels centering on spiritual principles, informed through the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. I am learning to engage in these endeavors as a writer, educational consultant, and as a keeper of intuitive healing spaces. Currently, I am exploring how these processes can be amplified through oral storytelling and counternarratives. See also:Yma's Interview on BahaiTeachings.orgCourageous voices: how we create and participate in stressing the dominant culture (August 2017 article)Yma's blog site (on justice Series - Part 1: Curated Conversations (video, August 2020)See Faculty Bio


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