Dara Ackerman


Big-Hearted Facilitator

Dara grew up performing in music, theater and dance. She also played the role of peacemaker quite a bit between friends and family members but had trouble speaking up for herself. All of this informs her theatrical facilitation style and why she loves to help cultivate empathy, ally-ship and communication skills in young people.

“I love this work. The incredibly insightful content, the amazingly fun yet surprisingly deep facilitation style we are trained in… As I empower students to become leaders in caring and love for each other, I become increasingly empowered in my own life.”

In her mid-20s, Dara moved to India to study meditation and do service work in the Tibetan exile community. While studying with the Dalai Lama, her heart caught fire with a desire for peace in the world.

When she moved back to the Bay and discovered Soul Shoppe, she learned she could channel this fire into training thousands of young people to be Peacemakers in their own schools, at home and beyond.

“I feel so lucky to have found my way here. Honestly, this is the work of my heart and fills me with happiness beyond description every day. I like to write songs about it all too… and I can be found performing in a wild art-nerd-rock band on the weekends.”