meet the founder

Founder and Senior Fellow: Rev. angel Kyodo Williams

Called “the most vocal and most intriguing African-American Buddhist in America,” by Library Journal, Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei, is an author, maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer and founder of Center for Transformative Change. She has been bridging the worlds of personal transformation and justice since the publication of her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace. Her book was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker and “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. Ordained as a Zen priest, she recently became the second black woman recognized as a teacher in her lineage.

angel is a social visionary that sees Transformative Social Change: applying inner awareness practice to broad-based social change, as America’s next great movement. She is an early shaper and leading voice in that work and coined the name for the field. For over 15 years, she has deeply invested her time and energy to putting into practice her unwavering belief that the key to transforming society is transforming our inner lives. She has developed comprehensive systems for illuminating both practical personal change and the profoundly liberating potential of mindfulness, yoga, and somatic practices coupled with wisdom teachings. Calling for a paradigm shift that “changes the way change is done,” angel envisions the building of a presence-centered social justice movement as the foundation for personal freedom, a just society and the healing of divisions of race, class, faith and politic.

Both fierce and grounded, angel is known for her unflinching willingness to sit with and speak uncomfortable truths with love. Her work has been widely covered by such publications as New York Times, Boston Globe, Ms., Essence, Buddhadharma, Village Voice, and on the Oxygen Channel. She notes, “Love and justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” Whether in writing, teaching or speaking, her voice is unique.

More information can be found at angelkyodowilliams.com