Ralph Singh, Author, Educator, Story-teller, and Community Builder, chairs the Wisdom Thinkers Network and currently consults to develop SEL curricula and resources in poor rural, poor urban, and everywhere in between, to help children find their story and create a school climate which nurtures character, honors diversity, and deters bullying. Following the post-9-11 arson attack on his spiritual center, Gobind Sadan, USA, he delivered Baba Virsa Singh ji's powerful message of forgiveness which helped transform the lives of the youth and heal the broader community. While in prison, the young arsonist wrote, "if only we'd know your story, we never would have done this." Moved by this understanding, he committed to finding ways to overcome the hatred and ignorance by helping young people and adults share their stories.
His award winning “Stories to Light our Way, Journey to the World of Good” draws from wisdom stories from 11 different traditions, with common core aligned lesson plans, Pre-K through 8, easily implemented by teachers and internalized by students. They have proved especially effective in reaching special needs and non-verbal students, at risk populations, and others who tend to slip through the cracks. The approach brings an understanding of shared values into schools and community, using the teachings and wisdom stories from the world’s traditions and cultures. Together with his middle and high school inquiry model service learning game, “Change the Story, a game to Alter Reality,” endorsed by Harvard’s Dr. Richard Weissbourd and Dr. David Streight, and their turn-key Oral history project, Reweaving the Fabric, help foster more compassionate, engaged, pluralistic citizens and lead to a more dedicated, ethical workforce.
For over 45 years, Ralph has focused on spirituality and values in education and in public life. He helped develop the “Schools of Character” project for the Central N.Y. Education Consortium, He developed and taught “Exploring Spirituality” (Character Ed from the Inside Out) for upper school and adult education programs. As Chair of the local United Nations Association, Ralph helped establish CNYMUN, the Central New York Model United Nations Conference at Syracuse University, which now draws over 500 students from the United States and Canada, served on the National Council of UNA-USA under Fmr. U.S. Atty General Elliot Richardson’s leadership, and on the advisory board of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs’ Program on Analysis and Resolution of Conflict. Concerned about the scourge of drugs and alcohol, he developed and coordinated drug awareness programs for local schools.
Ralph has coordinated programs aimed at breaking down barriers between the disabled and able-bodied communities. He served as Chair of the City County Human Rights Commission, and, together with his wife Joginder, transformed soup-kitchens into community meals in an effort to dissolve class barriers and help develop community-based farmers’ markets. He also helped pioneer educational programs for 1st generation Sikh youth in America and championed the rights of Sikhs following the Indian government’s attack on the Akal Takhat in India in 1984.
He helped launch and served as Vice-chair of the North American Interfaith Network, where he focused on Interfaith Education. He was founding President of Gobind Sadan, USA, and currently serves as Director of Publications and Public Relations for Gobind Sadan. Ralph has authored or edited five books, including his own stories at Baba Virsa Singh Ji’s feet, A Path to Follow, A Life to Lead, which chronicles his life as Babaji’s first foreign devotee, to his involvement in the community building efforts surrounding the post 9-11 arson attack on his spiritual community Gobind Sadan, USA, North of Syracuse, NY. He speaks regularly on diverse subjects related to spirituality and values in modern society, maintains a Huffington Post blog in addition to his own Exploring Spirituality blog, and contributes commentary and articles regularly to local media outlets.
Ralph has presented at Character.org (CEP), Association for Moral Education, most recently at their joint conference with Harvard and Tisch School at Tufts on “Civic engagement: A cultural revolution?,” internationally in China, and India. and with the Club of Rome’s task force on the “Quest for Values.” His blogs and articles have been featured in Character.org, CSEE.org, Huffington Post, The Interfaith Observer, and is collaborating with William James book award winner Dr. Darcia Narvaez, and Dr. Tonia Bock, on a book chapter entitled, “Ecology for Raising a Virtuous Human Being.”
Equally at home among diverse communities and diverse thoughts, he only asks that people leave their hatred at the door.