Elena Chvany – Executive Director, Co-founder
After graduating with honors from Radcliffe College, Elena had a successful career of more than 20 years in philanthropy, raising money for major institutions – among them, Dartmouth College and Harvard University.
She also offered independent – and often free — consultation for non-profits throughout the U.S. serving many sectors of society – children and youth, the arts, women’s issues, healthcare and wellness, nature and the environment, human development, and peace. This service brought Elena citations in “Who’s Who of American Women” (12th Edition) and “Who’s Who in the West” (Silver Edition).
Through her work, Elena was moved by observing and working with hundreds of people who contributed their talents and time, as well as money, to support the common good. “Kids Create Peace” invokes that generous spirit again. The program is unique in giving young people the understanding and skills required to create lives free of conflict. Continuing her service, Elena has recently been appointed to a seat on the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission.
Elena was fortunate also in raising three talented and well-balanced sons.
Isaiah Landers, Co-founder, Program Developer
Isaiah’s major in psychology, his early career as a business owner, success in sales and marketing and as National Director of Supervision and Training for a restaurant chain, provided a lab course in how to navigate in the “real world” without struggle and fear.
The next 30-plus years, he studied with many awakened teachers sourced in various cultures and traditions. Isaiah has served as a child, family and spiritual counselor for over 45 years. For five years he led a SYDA meditation center and guided a successful spiritual community In Ojai California for 12 years. Also 12 years as director of Solar Winds Enterprises, including a large natural food market, restaurant, fresh food manufacturing & distribution, Gateway Books & Boutique and Ojai Valley Taxi Service,
Isaiah was Founder and Director of Youth Express, a Youth Video Production, Santa Fe, NM, and a Youth Leadership Program also in NM. He acted as director of Earthome Foundation for Sustainable Community, also in NM.
Since 1986 he has offered Personal Transformation Seminars and retreats in Canada and the U.S., Hawai’i, and Switzerland.
Elena Chvany and Isaiah conceived the idea for One Voice of Peace in 1999 while living in Hawai’i, leading to the formation of a non-profit to support and expand its work. IRS approval as a 501-C3 was granted in June of 2009. Its first initiative is the after school program Kids Create Peace.
Christine Dura – Senior Lead Facilitator, Program Developer
Christine Dura brings unique styles of music to “Kids Create Peace”. It is her passion for music that brought her to One Voice of Peace in its pilot year (2012-13). From that she’s moved to become a facilitator of the weekly KCP Sessions.
A published singer/song-writer, Christine is also an experienced teacher. She has worked with pre-school children at the McCarthy Center, where she was known as “The Music Lady”. Here, she brought free dance, drums, free-style art, dramatic play, song-writing, journaling, and much more.
Christine has worked with children in one-on-one sessions, helping them discover their true selves, through music.
She’s also taught teachers of children how to bring music into the classrooms through varied learning and self-discovery techniques, such as drama play, dance, voice, drums, mirror work, and free-style painting
Christine’s approach to music encourages learning, promotes self-help skills and understanding of the power of words, and helps all who are involved recognize the connection between oneself and others.
Kim Chasen, Co-Facilitator