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COSA Instructors


Council of Sustainable Activism – Instructors

CoSA instructors are all vegan activists who are dedicated to the animal rights movement. Each instructor offers their specific skills, talents, and expertise in the following workshops: Nonviolent Communication, Sustainable Activism, Mindfulness, Vegan Spirituality, Front Line Support, and Restorative Management.

For more information, please read our Sustainable Activism blog series here.

 IDA_COSA_Deb Deborah Brister has been active in animal rights for nearly 40 years. She is Executive Director of the International Vegan Collaborative (, an organization that has a community of Front Line Support for animal activists. Deborah can be reached at
 IDA_COSA_Judy Judy McCoy Carman, M.A. Author of Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul; co-author with Tina Volpe of The Missing Peace: The Hidden Power of our Kinship with Animals. Judy co-founded The Prayer Circle for Animals ( and started the Peace to All Beings website ( where you can find the Animal Prayer Flag project. Judy is Co-Chair of CoSA and can be reached at
IDA_COSA_Tera Tera Gardner is a Certified Life Coach, specializing in NVC-based Relationship Communications and Relationship Addiction re-patterning.  San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) credentialed in Communications and Personal Development, Tera taught with the SDCCD for over two decades.  Practicing NVC since 1992 and as a San Diego NVC coordinating team member since 1998, she now offers workshops and on-going classes and is available for private coaching. Tera’s services are listed on and She can be reached at
IDA_COSA_p_gorski Paul Gorski is an activist, educator, and author who teaches in the Social Justice and Human Rights program at George Mason University. His courses include Poverty, Wealth, and Inequality; Social Justice Consciousness and Personal Transformation; and Animal Rights. He is also a research fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. His writing increasingly focuses on activist burnout, and particularly the potential role of mindfulness practices in alleviating activist burnout. You can reach him at or
IDA_COSA_Marilyn Marilyn Kroplick MD, is president of In Defense of Animals (IDA). Dr. Katz handed over the torch of IDA to Dr. Kroplick, a trained child, adolescent, and board-certified adult psychiatrist. Throughout her life, she has loved traveling to exotic locales: Africa, Middle East, Asia, Cuba, and South America as a medical doctor and professional photographer. In the sixties, Dr. Kroplick photographed social movements– civil rights, anti-war, and women’s rights. Her activism was published in underground (activist) newspapers, books, and in a weekly column of the Village Voice. In 1972, The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a grant in photography. Marilyn can be reached at
IDA_COSA_Lisa Lisa Levinson has a BA in biology and MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning & Design. Lisa organizes Vegan Spirituality Meetups and Retreats to explore Veganism as a spiritual practice, She works at IDA and is Co-Chair of CoSA, providing resources to support activists. She coordinates speakers for the Healthy Hut at Worldfest,, and develops exhibits for the National Museum of Animals & Society, She enjoys hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains and leads a Veggie Hikers Meetup in Los Angeles, Lisa can be reached at
IDA_COSA_Suzanne Suzanne McAllister, PhD is a psychologist with a private practice near Philadelphia. Suzanne has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 10 years and uses mindfulness in her work with clients. She is developing a model for bringing mindfulness to organizations. She is the former program development consultant for Animals and Society Institute (2010-2012), and was an organization development consultant for many years. She is also a mosaic artist who specializes in creating images of animals. Suzanne is a co-leader of the Vegan Spirituality Group of Philadelphia and can be reached via
IDA_COSA_Hillary Hillary Rettig is the author of The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way and The 7 Secrets of the Prolific, the latter a bestseller in Amazon’s productivity category. Hillary teaches online classes, and offers discounted productivity and time management coaching to activists. For more information about Hillary and her work, along with many free articles, visit Hillary always welcomes your emails at
IDA_COSA_Dallas_Rising Dallas Rising. As a vegan and animal liberation activist for nearly two decades, Dallas Rising has sustained her personal commitment to activism over time. She ran a coaching and support company for animal activists and directed a state-wide dog rescue. She now serves as the Executive Director for the country’s oldest grass-roots animal rights non-profit, the Animal Rights Coalition. She is curious about the role trauma plays in activists’ lives and has published essays on the psychology of refusing to acknowledge systemic animal cruelty, humane farming as it relates to sexual violence, and interpersonal abuse within our movement. She lives and practices martial arts in Minneapolis with her husband and their four boys, two rescued dogs, and two rescued cats. Dallas can be reached at