Ethics in American Buddhism ~ Webinar Series 2015

May 5th webinar ~ Creating a Strong, Safe Sangha
with An Olive Branch founding members Rev. Kyoki Roberts and Ktheryn Wiedman, Ph.D.


On May 5, 2015, the series on Ethics in American Buddhist Groups concluded with a final webinar featuring presenters Rev. Kyoki Roberts: Founder of An Olive Branch and former Head Priest at the Zen Center of Pittsburgh and Katheryn Wiedman, Ph.D., co-director of An Olive Branch and BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer.

In this webinar, Kyoki and Katheryn present and discuss a framework for good governance practices that reduce the incidence and severity of conflict and a method of handling conflict effectively when it arises. This session ties together the themes developed in previous sessions. Watch the webinar in its entirety here:



March 24th webinar with Amber Kruk of the Institute for Global Ethics:

Our third webinar featured Amber Kruk, trainer and senior project manager at the Institute for Global Ethics an independent, nonsectarian, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, whose purpose is to promote ethical action in a global context.

In her presentation, “Leading with Values,” participants examined the connection between the Buddhist precepts and the Institute for Global Ethics’ research on shared ethical values. Participants explored common types of ethical dilemmas and learned the Institute’s approach to resolving dilemmas using streamlined versions of some of the oldest, most influential concepts in ethical philosophy.


February 24th with featured presenter Ellis M. Carter, J.D., LL.M,
founder of the Carter Law Group, P.C.:


The second webinar (February 24) featured Ellis Carter, J.D., LL.M, founder of the Carter Law Group, P.C. Ellis presented on Governing a Spiritual Community: An Attorney's Advice. Participants learned about the top ten keys to nonprofit governance including the board's fiduciary duties, effective oversight, conflict management, and more.

A comment following the webinar was, "I'm a member and treasurer of a small Zen group [in Canada]. Even with the legal differences between our two countries, this topic was timely and relevant. I didn't expect to find policy and governance interesting, but I was riveted."



January 27th interview with Shinge Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Studies Society:

Our first webinar (January 27) featured Shinge Sherry Chayat Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Studies Society and the Zen Center of Syracuse. In an interview with Kyoki Roberts, Head Priest at the Zen Center of Pittsburgh and Founder of An Olive Branch, Shinge Roshi shared her first-hand experience living through a sangha's pain and confusion caused by misconduct and then leading the re-building of that sangha and its board.

One of the participant comments following the webinar was, "The discussion around how to ensure transparency and the role of students/practitioners who were board members [was most useful]. I also very much appreciated how candid and honest the discussion was, it's very challenging for organizations to openly face their blind spots, but so essential."