Ep79: Philip Kpakiwa on His Harrowing Escape from Sierra Leone

Ep79: Philip Kpakiwa on His Harrowing Escape from Sierra Leone

Philip Kpakiwa’s harrowing story of his escape from the civil war in Sierra Leone is both powerful and heartwarming. His passion for helping young children in Guinea exemplifies a truly compassionate man.

Philip is an expert in peace-building and conflict resolution, with over five years’ experience with MasterPeace. Since 2011 he has been the country coordinator of MasterPeace Guinea, working on peacebuilding, mediation, peace education, and actively training young people in creativity and leadership skills. He is a man with a deep passion for vulnerable children. He has served as the representative director of Care for Children Guinea, providing a decent life for vulnerable children and developing their talents. Founder of Conquerors for Christ Ministry Guinea, Philip holds a
diploma in Theology from the New Family Bible Training Center, a diploma in Peace and Conflict Management from IBMG University, and certificates in Communication, Leadership, Project Management, Fundraising, and Conflict Intervention from Cairo and the Netherlands. After completing the Fellowship, Philip plans to continue his work in peacebuilding, leadership, and empowering young people with creativity, social reconciliation programs, and school peace.



Ep76 Nic Tovey on His New Book – The [R]evolutionary Man

Ep76 Nic Tovey on His New Book – The [R]evolutionary Man

What it means to be a man today is a very different thing than it was for our fathers, and especially for their fathers. We are living in a monumental chapter in the human evolutionary story, where the realms of gender, sexuality and relationships are in a state of massive reinvention…

Nic Tovey is a compassionate man. His book, The [R]evolutionary Man: The modern man’s guide to life, love and enlightenment, was released this past December.


Become your own unique version of an awesome man, free from the old bullshit ideas of what that means.

“Man up”, “be a man”, “grow a pair” we’ve heard it all a million times, and we’ve probably said it too, but what does it mean? What is it to “be a man”? This is a question men have been pondering for eons, and in the process, have been setting up some imaginary, barely achievable bar that we’ve been measuring ourselves up against, and failing.


What it means to be a man today is a very different thing than it was for our fathers, and especially for their fathers. We are living in a monumental chapter in the human evolutionary story, where the realms of gender, sexuality and relationships are in a state of massive reinvention. Many of us are waking up to a new way of being, sensing that there’s more to life as a man, free from the old and outdated cage of manhood. But there are few examples of how to do what the world today is calling for and we are left trying to work it out for ourselves.

This has been a question that Nic Tovey has been deeply pondering since boyhood, chasing the elusive “manhood” in all the obvious places; sports, gangs and the military, and coming up short. Until after a life threatening assault and subsequent battle with PTSD and depression, when the man he thought he was fell apart. Nic was faced with a choice; die or rebuild himself from the ground up. This book is an expedition through Nic’s story and the discoveries he made on his journey of reinvention to becoming the man he is today.

Nic went on to become a psychotherapist and coach helping other men become their own versions of great men. With powerful and practical wisdom, this book guides you through Nic’s vision of modern manhood – The (R)Evolutionary Man.

Nic Tovey is a Relationship, Intimacy and Sexuality Coach, who wants to help people experience a rich, joyful and authentic experience of life through their relationships, their love life and their life’s work. Nic has a background in psychotherapy and has done a lot of work with youth and men to help them develop their emotional intelligence and relationship skills. He now focuses on his work as a Relationship Coach where he offers a range of programs to help individuals and couples develop and reignite the passion, intimacy and love in their relationships.

Ep63: Vanessa Valdez on the Woke Male

Ep63: Vanessa Valdez on the Woke Male

Vanessa Valdéz is the radio host for the show Transforming Consciousness on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern Cali & nationwide on kpfk.org. She holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology and is currently a PhD student in Depth Psychology with a specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing. Her interest and dissertation research is focused on transforming consciousness through the integration of the masculine and feminine in partnership. As an Intuitive Life Coach, Vanessa is known for guiding her clients at a deeper level physically, mentally and emotionally in ways that are healing.


VOYAGE MAGAZINE INTERVIEW: Meet Vanessa Valdéz, Soul-Centered Life Coach and Journalist



Ep73: Elaine Grohman on Men, Compassion and Healing

Ep73: Elaine Grohman on Men, Compassion and Healing

Elaine Grohman joins Host, Clay Boykin, and Producer, Dennis Tardan, and talks about men and compassion, and healing.

As host of her show, Earth Wisdom Circles on Empower Radio, Elaine M. Grohman has been working in the field of Energy Medicine for nearly 20 years. The experiences of her own Life brought her to delve into the Mystery of our Spirit, Body, Emotions and Mind, and through that search she has sought to help others appreciate their own Life in a greater way. She works with people in the medical fields, as well as having a private practice.

She is the author of two books, “The Angels and Me – Experiences of Receiving and Sharing Divine Communication,” and “Spirit Awakening – Wisdom for Life and Living.”

As an Intuitive, Elaine helps others to look beyond the wounds they use to define themselves, so that new and perhaps greater understanding can become known. Through this, we can begin to Heal our World – And Ourselves.


Ep71: Gray Henry on Interfaith and the Ghazali Childrens School

Ep71: Gray Henry on Interfaith and the Ghazali Childrens School

Gray Henry-Blakemore is the founder and director of the interfaith publishing houses, Fons Vitae and Quinta Essentia, in Louisville, Kentucky, devoted to world spirituality. She is a writer and film producer under contract with the Book Foundation, and co-founder and trustee of the Islamic Texts Society of Cambridge, England. She has served as a contributing editor for Parabola magazine for over a decade. Besides having taught filmmaking at Dalton and Fordham University and world religions and art history at the Cairo American College, Cambridge University, Centre College and the Abbey of Gethsemane, she regularly lectures at such noteworthy venues as the 1995 Conference of World Spiritual Art in Tehran and most recently the September 2006 Congress on Islamic Spirituality in Singapore. In 1994 she arranged for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to speak in Louisville, and has in April 2006 organized the Dalai Lama interfaith congress in San Francisco in which the his main focus was to meet with Muslim dignitaries from the world over. Fons Vitae is now helping to arrange His Holiness’s visit December 2006 to Senegal and Ghana, which will continue the Buddhist-Muslim dialogue begun in San Francisco.

Gray is a founding member of the Thomas Merton Center Foundation and has organized a number of conferences focused on the work of Thomas Merton at Bellarmine University. She worked in Bosnian refugee camps in 1993, and subsequently published texts for their school system. Fons Vitae plays a key role in the annual interfaith festivals and programs sponsored by the Center for Interfaith Relations and Interfaith Paths to Peace Institute.


As a filmmaker, she produced Beads of Faith: The Universal Use of the Rosary, which is available both as a book and a video, Islam: A Pictorial Essay; Cairo: 1,001 Years of Art and Architecture; Ornaments of Lhasa: Islam in Tibet; and The Sacred Unconscious (Huston Smith). As an author she has written the classic, Understanding Islam and the Muslims, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, articles for the “Fons Vitae Thomas Merton Series” (Merton & Sufism, Merton & Hesychasm, and Merton & Buddhism), as well as for Parabola and other journals.

Mrs. Henry received her B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College (Joseph Campbell was her don 1965, studied at the American and al-Azhar University in Cairo (1969-79), earned her M.A. in Education at the University of Michigan, was a research fellow at Cambridge University from 1983-1990, and is scheduled to receive her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Divinity at Canterbury, Kent in 2008.



Ep67: Budd Friend-Jones On  Religion In Our Changing World

Ep67: Budd Friend-Jones On Religion In Our Changing World

“Budd’s commitment to, and work on behalf of interfaith understanding is remarkable. There may be no greater challenge in our world than that of building bridges between religions and religious cultures, and I know no Christian who works harder at this or is more effective. From the interfaith pilgrimages to the courses he’s developed to his own writing and service, he’s a leader in this important and challenging  work. And what Budd teaches us is that the more we learn about the faith and religion of others, the more articulate we become about our own, to others and to ourselves. He helps us let go of the threat and embrace the challenge.”  – Rev. Dr. Sally Purvis Colleague and Author




Rev. Dr. Gilbert (Budd) Friend-Jones has led Jews, Muslims, and Christians on interfaith pilgrimages in Spain, Morocco, Gibraltar, and Turkey, and has preached and taught seminars in Russia, South India, Turkey, and the UK. – A native of West Virginia, Budd earned his doctorate at Howard University Divinity School in Washington, D.C., his M. Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Frostburg State University. He has published two books and numerous articles. Dr. Friend-Jones is the Board Vice-Chair and Chair Elect of the North American Interfaith Network. He lives in Sarasota where he also serves as a Minister in the local Unitarian Universalist Church. Before moving to Florida in 2017, he served Congregational and UCC churches in Maine, Minnesota, Virginia, Georgia, and Illinois.

Rev. Dr. Gilbert (Budd) Friend-Jones
North American Interfaith Network
Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota
First Congregational United Church of Christ

Subscribe for Periodic LIFE SKILLS tips and latest PODCAST: In Search of the New Compassionate Male