Rickie Byars BeckwithRickie Byars Beckwith is one of the 21st century’s most revered singer-songwriters, whose transcendent music opens the heart, touches the soul, and uplifts the spirit.

Rickie’s extensive music catalogue is heard on the radio and on soundtracks for movies and television. Her songs of unconditional love and spiritual transformation are the highlight of consciousness-raising events throughout the world. She has performed in five sessions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at Green Festivals across North America, and at countless Peace Concerts that promote unity and the principles of non-violence.

“Spirit encourages me to be a voice of inspiration,” says Rickie. In being an example of change and possibility, Rickie supports numerous organizations that work tirelessly to help improve the lives of others. Several times each year, Rickie organizes benefit performances and music compilations that help gather ideas and resources that bring “Water to a Dry Land.”

In Culver City, California, Rickie is the Music and Arts Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center where she directs the 200-member Agape International Choir. Together with her husband, Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, their powerful partnership has resulted in a dynamic catalogue of songs that enable transformational healing through the power of music.

Backed by some of the most accomplished musicians from Los Angeles and beyond, the Agape International Choir is heard daily throughout North America, Europe, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, India – and all places in between. Featured guest artists who regularly perform with the Choir include John Legend, Will.I.Am, Stevie Wonder, Niki Haris, Brenda Marie Eager, and Tim McAfee-Lewis.


Jolene SmithJolene Smith has worked in the anti-trafficking and anti-slavery movement since 2000. Along with Kevin Bales and Peggy Callahan, Smith co-founded Free the Slaves, a Washington, DC-based non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to eradicating modern slavery around the world. In Spring 2011 Smith stepped down as CEO after 11 years in a leadership position at Free the Slaves.

Smith has spoken out against modern slavery at venues throughout the US and abroad including Good Morning America, 48 Hours, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, NPR’s Marketplace, BBC Radio, Univisión, and Talk Radio Johannesburg. She has presented at American University, Elon University, George Washington University, Miami University of Ohio, Queens College, Trinity College, UCLA and Yeshiva University. She was co-author of the introduction to the acclaimed photography book, Slavery, which includes the work of Lisa Kristine and Peggy Callahan, and a forward by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Before launching Free the Slaves, Smith worked at policy and philanthropy organizations in Washington, DC, and in business consulting in Houston, TX. She grew up on a family farm in Ryan, Iowa, and is a Qualified Paratrooper.


Tari WeissTari Weiss is a philanthropist, activist and fundraiser. Over the past 16 years, Tari has been an agent for social change creating strategic communications and fundraising solutions for the non-profit sector.

Tari focuses especially on anti-slavery issues, currently as a board member for VOICES4FREEDOM. She works with founders Bryn Freedman and Peggy Callahan to drive the vision and work of this organization by building innovative partnerships among businesses, NGO’s and private citizens, encouraging them to get involved and to invest in solutions to end modern day slavery. At Free the Slaves, she served as Event Chair for The Freedom Awards, an international awards ceremony which educates the public about the existence of slavery. The Freedom Awards honor best practices by anti-slavery individuals and grass roots organizations and helps them expand economic opportunities. Tari also served as the Co-Chair of the Freedom Awards Leadership Committee, which drives individual and corporate partnerships, and as a Board member of the Fund Development Committee. Prior to Free the Slaves, Tari served for six years as a Board member of the Heart Foundation of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which creates awareness and funds research to eradicate sudden cardiac death. In this role, Tari designed and implemented high-impact philanthropic campaigns including grassroots educational initiatives for women and heart disease.

Before joining the non-profit world, Tari founded Tari Weiss & Associates, a public relations consultancy, after a decade working in sales, advertising and public relations in account management and new business development, with clients such as California Pizza Kitchen, Kyocera Electronics, Universal Studios and Mattel.

Tari serves on the boards of VOICES4FREEDOM, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and as a parent mentor of Second Nature, a wilderness therapeutic program for adolescents. Tari holds a MS in Public Relations from Boston University and a BA in Mass Communications from University of Arizona.

She and her husband, Gary, and their children, Bronte and Trevor, live in Los Angeles, California.