Non-profit & Community Activists
Cecilia Naomi Lipp
The Women's Spirituality Program, MA Alum
Cecilia Naomi Lipp is executive director at International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law. Formerly, she was the acting executive director of the Health Professionals Against Torture Coalition. She is an international human rights advocate with a background on issues related to torture and gender-based violence. Lipp has worked in the US and Asia with Amnesty International USA, the United Nations Human Settlements Program, and Survivors International. She received her BA in interdisciplinary studies, multicultural community from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MA in women's spirituality from CIIS where her research focused on peace and social justice.
"Since graduating from UC Berkeley in multicultural community, I have worked with Amnesty International USA in San Francisco, and as a gender consultant to the United Nations Human Settlements Program in Asia and the Pacific.
"As a trained acupressure practitioner, doula, and herbalist, I was looking for a way to bridge my passion for theology, holistic bodywork, and human rights while continuing to work full-time and living in my mother's hometown of Fukuoka, Japan. Since joining the women's spirituality program, I relocated to my native San Francisco to be closer to school. I am currently employed in advocacy and research for Survivors International, a Bay Area nonprofit that provides direct services to survivors of torture, war trauma, and gender-based violence.
"There I was, with my upcoming master's degree in women's studies—a womanist activist who was about to save the world once and for all—when I accidentally discovered that there was an area of study called women's spirituality. Every word describing this area on the CIIS website was a raindrop dipped in honey to my dry mouth. A thousand years of thirst! To quench my thirst, I entered the PhD program in 2003."