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September 21, 2012 / soularpowersystem

THE SOULAR PANEL: a regenerative dialogue


(What is a healthy, sustainable community…and how do we get one?)

The Soular Panel is a key feature of Local Earth’s Equinox Festival at the World Beat Center on Saturday, September 22nd.  It’s a working example of how sustainable community develops: with on-going dialogue!

What compelled these great hearts and able minds to gather together? Language. I asked nicely. And, they each speak out on behalf of love, freedom, equality, and community on a daily basis. For The Soular Panel, I asked them to throw caution to the wind-turbines and come straight from the core with their deepest concerns, questions, convictions, and contemplations. What is a healthy, sustainable community…and how do we get one?


Ken Druck, Ph.D., is one of the nation’s pioneers in personal transformation, breaking fresh ground in male psychology, executive coaching, organizational consulting, parent effectiveness, healing after loss, and, most recently, the art of turning adversity into opportunity. Druck Enterprises, Inc. (DEI), is a leading coaching, consulting, and teambuilding firm with a broad base of clients including Microsoft, IBM, U-T San Diego, and the YMCA. In 1996 Ken lost his eldest daughter, Jenna, in a tragic bus accident in India. He founded the Jenna Druck Center in San Diego to help grieving families and to honor his daughters’ path of empowering teen girls through the Spirit of Leadership. Ken has become a lifeline for thousands of families who have suffered a loss. He is often called upon to assist in healing after tragic events such as 9/11, the shootings at Columbine High School, and Hurricane Katrina. Ken is the author of The Secrets Men Keep: Breaking the Silence Barrier, How to Talk to Your Kids…, a spoken word CD Healing Your Life after the Loss of a Loved One, and most recently, The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life’s Terms with Your Own.


In 2001 Danielle LoPresti founded Say It Records, an independent activist record and production company, out of a 7 year journey making her living writing and recording for The Nutty Professor, Sony Jazz, VH1, Lifetime, Clear Channel, and a long list of Independent Film, TV and recording projects in the mainstream music industry in Los Angeles.  Say It Records has provided a platform from which Danielle has been able to defy the myth that popular music must avoid or “water down” socially conscious themes in order to be entertaining.You can’t help being pulled in by this dynamic musician who’s used her vast artistic arsenal to assault our biggest issues:  identity, autonomy, domestic abuse, homophobia, sexism, racism, and political corruption. Her powerful live performances are not the only reason she’s earned a growing buzz in Southern California; Danielle is also founder and producer of the revolutionary and history-making, San Diego IndieFest – the nation’s first and only exclusively independent music and arts festival.


J Emanuel Hodge, HHP, has been studying the human body for over 25 years. With a background in dance, fitness training, and martial arts, J moved on to receive his holistic health practitioner certification at Mueller College, and is currently working toward a Master’s in acupuncture. He offers strong breath and bodywork therapy for athletes and others with a total commitment to peak physical performance. J also teaches Nei-Kung, a martial art that strengthens the body from the inside out, and gives lectures and workshops on health and healing. In addition to hands-on assistance, he lends his life experience toward mentoring youth, teaching personal awareness and responsibility, and encouraging those with hardships. His intention is to create spaces of healing, balance, and continuity—bringing about wholeness without delay, and helping people stand taller every day. His guiding philosophy is simple: breath and movement.


Amy Saloner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, teacher, social entrepreneur, visionary leader, and most importantly the mother of two beautiful spirits.  She is the co-founder of both Natural Baby Pros ( and Emerald Village Organization ( . She is passionate about educating and supporting families in living life holistically and from a place of empowered choice. Her work with Natural Baby Pros bridges conventional and holistic approaches to fertility, birth and baby care via an international website and local community events.  The Emerald Village Organization (EVO) is the culmination of years of experience and desire between 5 families seeking a community experience to support sustainable living, holistic health, creative endeavors and conscious parenting. In addition to her work in the world, Amy is also a creative soul with 35 years of training as a dancer, choreographer and performer. Her path includes co-creating and facilitating ceremonies for rites of passage; honoring the cycles of life and the wheel of the year.


Josh Alvord has spent the last two years developing the vision for Local Earth as a nonprofit organization that supports the sharing of community resources and sustainable use of natural resources.  His intention is to inspire, support and foster collaboration within our communities that leads to a healthy, happy and sustainable planet. Josh finds joy in seeing people work together toward a shared common goal. His professional background and education is based in Architecture (Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo).  About two years ago, he developed a deep interest in sustainable community development and natural building.  His interest shifted from aesthetic design to a priority of ecologic design that is fully integrated within the context of environment and community. Last year, Josh spent time training to become a certified superadobe builder (an earth-friendly method of design and natural construction that utilizes the soil on-site to build the structure). Josh also spent time in Haiti studying permaculture design and researching how superadobe building technology could help the country of Haiti rebuild after the 2010 earthquake. He is passionate about sharing experiences to empower individuals around the world with the necessary tools to create healthy and well-balanced local communities.

Veronica Geretz is passionate and determined to foster peace throughout her life, beginning with the most fundamental type – inner peace.  She grew up in Norwalk, Ohio.  In 2009 she graduated from Westminster College (PA) summa cum laude with All College Honors, obtaining her B.A. in both Psychology and Philosophy.  While there, she began a youth empowerment initiative working with local teenage girls through a photographic narrative camp.  In 2010, she graduated from the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace and Justice Studies at the University of San Diego as a Gandhi Fellow to earn her M.A.  Veronica has been fortunate enough to travel to Sierra Leone, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Canada, and Mexico.  Most recently, while in Sierra Leone in the summer of 2010, she had the opportunity to facilitate yoga with at-risk youth in Freetown. Building from a meditative practice, Tich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat-Zinn and John Paul Lederach have taught Veronica how to nourish inner, interpersonal and international peace through their writings. It is her ambition to offer yoga to at-risk youth, refugees and other vulnerable populations both in San Diego and abroad.  She recently became a mother to a magical and lovable baby boy in May of 2011 and is striving to synthesize her passion for yoga and cultivating peace with nurturing her child and doing what she can to raise a compassionate, emotionally intelligent young being, a synthesis she is thrilled to be working towards.


As for me: I spent years writing about community, alone. But then I realized I wasn’t. Every day, a sign or comment or glance would remind me that there is community happening NOW. There are living, breathing human-beings within arm’s reach.

I spent the last three years helping to develop and launch The Zone at UCSD, while simultaneously studying Soular Power levels on campus. I have never been so concerned for the future of this nation. If we continue to dis-empower and ignore the real needs of the youth, we sweep the rug from under our very feet. I believe in the power of context to create content, to inspire frameworks of thought and behavior, and to promote active engagement and creative production.  My mission is to translate this Soular impulse into as many ‘languages’ as possible: words (written and spoken), events, recipes, videos, codes, applications, visual & performing arts, movements, etc.  As a language artist, Soular Power is a metaphor of choice.  I take my work very seriously…. which is to say, I keep it as light as possible.

What about YOU?

The Soular Panel is scientifically engineered to promote creative engagement.We want to cultivate these conversations, and keep them going and growing! Your voice is America’s most wanted.


One Comment

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  1. Tatiana / Nov 21 2012 8:10 pm

    Gina what you’re trying to do really inspires me. I recently attended Victor Villasenor’s anual potluck for the second time and was dissappointed to not see you there. Last time you and the other girls were there I felt a different vibe. There was so much dancing and so much laughter. But this time I was dissapointed at the small amount of people that showed up compared to last year. Even though it was sunny this year the mood was different. Last year I met and talked to so many people there. This time in my oppinion it seems as if everyone just kept to themselves.

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