FOUNDER & ARTISTIC/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SAFFRON CARAVAN AND SOUNDS OF HEALING, GENESIS AT THE CROSSROADS: WENDY STERNBERG, MD

As the founder and creative engine behind Genesis at the Crossroads, Wendy designed all programs to date and continues to oversee production and implementation of performance/artistic programs, education and humanitarian initiatives worldwide.  She forged national/international partnerships with over 45 institutions and founded Saffron Caravan, Genesis’ professional world music ensemble uniting artists from Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, Morocco, Israel, India, Brazil, Venezuela and the US for cross-cultural collaborative performance and educational programs.

Since 2011, Sternberg has created and produced a body of inquiry-based salon programs on the intersection of human rights, human development and the role of the arts to help shape and inform a humanistic society and transform conflict.  One annual salon series focuses on women’s leadership.  She masterminds the creative development/management of the current Genesis Academy Summer Institutes for international youth leaders from areas of conflict as well as the future Genesis Academy for Global Leadership and its surrounding Peace Hub.  (Due to the pandemic, the Peace Hub’s Social Entrepreneurship Center will begin virtually in 2020 until the physical place-making of its Chicago’s South side campus comes to fruition.)

Affectionately called a Doctor without a Border, her prior 20+ year career as a primary care internal medicine physician informs the healing aspects at the heart of Genesis at the Crossroads.  Under her leadership, Genesis boasts over 150 award-winning programs, internationally acclaimed by the UN, The Kennedy Center, Rotary, The King of Morocco, the British Council, the US Institute of Peace and the US Department of State.  A Rotary Peace Fellow and a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine featured her as a Woman to Watch.  She was named one of the 10 Jewish Chicagoans of the Year and was a 2011 Charles Bronfman Prize Nominee.  Sternberg is a member of the Chicago Chapter of the Woods Fund – Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing, Transformation Task Force. On the celebratory occasion of the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, Sternberg was deeply honored to be chosen as the closing speaker, following the remarks of Gandhi’s Granddaughter, Nelson Mandela’s Daughter and Cesar Chavez’s Grandson at the Gandhi 150:  A Legacy of Peace 2019 program in Chicago.  She recently gave a keynote for the Gandhi King Foundation’s August 2020 virtual peace program in India at the University of Hyderabad.

In the face of the pandemic, she retooled Genesis’ 2006 Art of Healing initiative into a cross-cultural collaborative health and wellness program with a focus on arts, trauma and healing.  It features multiple virtual and in-person programs over the next few years (Sounds of Healing).  Among other written work, publications include:  For the Sake of Humanity; Research on Cross-Cultural Collaborative Arts for Public Health, Chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship, Oxford Press (2018).

Sternberg graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in French Literature.  She received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine with field work in public health in Chennai, India.  She completed her Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Chicago.

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