"He has an uncanny ability to adapt his presentation and his style to the audience he is addressing. He is a master of using his larger than life persona and his words to draw an audience in and engage them in a way that they feel rejuvenated when the event is over. Jaiya is the genuine article… an amazing man with a wonderful gift!!"

- Dan Adams, President & CEO, Cal Farley's, Amarillo, Texas


Jaiya John YouTube channel
Join our literary journal & newsletter Soul Blossom

I am honored to have spoken to over half a million people worldwide, and audiences as large as several thousand at national and international conferences. I offer keynotes, talks, and healing circles, treating all as sacred community gatherings. I do not lecture or recite from script. I commune, reaching into the transformative hearts and souls of your audience—a nurturing treatment. We do wonderful laughing, crying, and feeling together. Participants consistently share that they come away feeling uplifted, renewed, clarified, hopeful, healed, and returned to themselves. I help cultivate a new relationship with your true nature, giftedness, passion, and calling; inspiring  life, work, workforce, organization, mission, and community to be renewed and re-envisioned. Together, we harvest new language: the vocabulary of wellness, wholeness, fruitfulness. I am happy to further familiarize you with what this experience looks like, feels like, and where it leads. I invite you to reach me through the form at the bottom of this page.

JAIYA JOHN BIOGRAPHY. Dr. Jaiya John was born into foster care in New Mexico, and is an internationally recognized humanitarian, author, speaker, poet, and youth mentor. Jaiya is the founder of Soul Water Rising, a global rehumanizing mission that has donated thousands of Jaiya’s books in support of social healing, and offers scholarships to displaced and vulnerable youth. Jaiya is also the founder of Harvest Project, a global initiative reviving traditional gathering and storytelling practices to fertilize social healing and liberation. He is a former professor of social psychology at Howard University, has authored numerous books, and has spoken to over half a million people worldwide and audiences as large as several thousand, including national and international conferences, schools, Indigenous reservations and communities, prisons and detention centers, shelters, and colleges. Jaiya is a National Science Foundation fellow, and holds doctorate and master’s degrees in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a focus on intergroup relations and identity development. As an undergraduate, he attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and lived in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he studied Tibetan Holistic Medicine through independent research with Tibetan doctors.


These can be combined and tailored as necessary:

YOUR CARING HEART. Healing the Healers. This message offers renewal for helping professionals and systems. It is valuable for staff appreciation and renewal, retreats, for trauma sensitivity and empowerment, and for setting the tone for events and initiatives. Learn more

THE POWER OF STORY. Not the chronological recounting of our life, but the distillation, testimony, and servitude of our personal and collective existence. Story as a communal dynamic of testifying and bearing witness. Story as spark for social change. Striking embers of kinship. Illuminating our divine distinction and sublime commonality. Story as celebration, healing tonic, remembrance, reunion, and edification. Story as noun and verb, seed and produce, method and result. Learn more

YOUTH REVOLUTION. Inspiring young people to see their true nature, purpose, giftedness, beauty, and capacity to heal and shape their lives and world. Hope building. Peace-ability. Sacredness. Particularly for youth exposed to foster care, homelessness, juvenile justice, marginalization, stigma, or trauma.

HEALING YOUR COMMUNITY. Freedom, oppression, womanhood, motherhood, fatherhood, indigenous healing, generational healing, self-determination, and more. Learn about our HARVEST PROJECT.

REHUMANIZING THE WORLD. Exploring what it means to be human, the cost of dehumanization, and paths for reclaiming our humanity.


  • Foster Care

  • Homelessness

  • Social Justice

  • Juvenile Justice

  • Restorative Justice

  • Child Abuse Prevention

  • Child Welfare

  • Staff Appreciation

  • Organizational Change

  • Trauma Sensitivity and Responsiveness

  • Inner Peace

  • Soulful Wellness

  • *Book Readings

  • Speaker Request Form

  • Jaiya BiOgraphy

  • Clients


"Your powerful presentations, genuine kindness, and compassion to our students and staff resonated throughout. Personally, it lifted my spirits and energy to continue the quest. I have listened to many presentations in the 20+ years of my educational experience and believe the presentation you gave to our students during the Hunger Banquet exceeded all of them in power, inspiration, and wisdom. I felt I was in the presence of some of the great figures of our global history, and as I reflected on the evening I imagined it must have been similar to hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. or Nelson Mandela. I genuinely mean every word." — Trent Derrick, Administrator, Lakeland High School, Rathdrum, Idaho

"Jaiya John speaks from his heart (which is a deep and boundless well) and then fills in the background and spaces in between with shades and colors of his soul. His ability to reach out and touch individuals both young and old, professionals and seekers, the wounded and the healers is a testament to the gifts that he shares so easily but have been developed over time and nurtured by experience. Every time I have had the pleasure to hear him speak to large audiences or read his words and poetry in solitary moments, I am thankful for the existence of Jaiya John in my universe." - Thomas M. Sodergren, Co-Chair, Third Annual International Child and Youth Care Network World Conference

I heard Jaiya John speak at a Foster Care Conference in Orlando,  Florida.  Jaiya spoke in a dynamic way that captured the attention of his audience. After hearing him speak, I was determined to bring him to Bermuda to talk to and inspire our dedicated foster parents.  Jaiya was a motivator and inspired our foster parents!  Many stood in line afterwards to meet him, talk to him and purchase his book.  Jaiya dialogued with many, patiently listened  to several foster parents' experiences.  I would recommend him for any keynote address. - Selena M. Simons, Bermuda Dept. of Child and Family Services

"Dr. Jaiya John moved our conference attendees to tears and belly laughs, inspired deep conversation about the spirit of our work and the precious human connection restorative justice practices afford us. His generosity of time and soul continue to weave into reflections of our conference well after the event. Our gratitude for his presence is endless." — Deb Witzel, Supervisor, Probation & Restorative Justice Practices, State of Colorado

"Excitement permeates the atmosphere whenever the community hears that Jaiya John is returning to San Bernardino! This is because we know that Jaiya is not just coming to do a “keynote.” Jaiya’s messages provide validation, inspiration, encouragement, and most of all hope to all who listen. He has the gift of being able to touch the hearts and heal the souls of young and old. Our vast network of educators and human service professionals makes sure that Jaiya John is scheduled to speak at least once per year in San Bernardino, California." — Bernadette "Bunny" Pinchback, Manager, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

"Jaiya is a truly peaceful presence who brought a breath of fresh air to our managers' retreat. His talk was not only inspirational and heartening, but deeply empathic. Our group had a sense that he was talking with each of us one on one and I heard conversations pop up all around the office in the weeks following our retreat revealing that his words resonated with many who were present. Personally, I came away from the session rejuvenated, and I'm so grateful our group had a chance to experience this energizing soul share some of his insight!" - Aleta Lynch, Arizona Dept. of Child Safety

"Your natural gift of connecting through empathy was very reassuring to me. I wept as I listened to you recite your poem "I Call You Legendary." - Orlinda Douglas, Dine (Navajo) Nation Division of Social Services

"I really do not have words to thank you for sharing your amazing loving energy with us at the conference.  I can imagine that you have this experience often that people just want to be in your presence, as it is full of loving spirit." - Holli Sanger, Arizona Dept. of Economic Security, DCYF

"It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday and feel the depth of your presence. You are a powerful spirit with an amazing message to share. I sat beside 2 young clinicians on my plane ride back, and they stated how reinvigorated they were in their practice from your presentation alone." - Julie Barr, MFT, Lincoln Child Center, Oakland, California

"You so beautifully, artfully and wonderfully expressed why I, and so many of my colleagues over the years, do this work!  I was nearly in tears, you were so moving." - Celeste D. Thompson, MFT and Social Worker, New Mexico

"I absolutely love coming to your seminars and feel that my soul has been nourished when I leave." - Carolyn Cicotte, Clinical Supervisor, Children and Family Services, Contra Costa County

"The first time I heard Jaiya John was at a seminar regarding foster youth. I was at the ready to take notes in my seat but soon put down my pen and listened....captured by the depth of what I was hearing. I was transported to forty years earlier. Thoughts, feelings and emotions racing through me that I had not considered since adolescence. Jaiya John can reach our foster youth like no other. Jaiya John is a healer of the soul. He not only relates with the youth during his presentation, but, sincerely and truly interacts with them after on a personal level. I have personally observed him signing books and talking with the youth three hours after an event. When Jaiya sees them again he knows them. They follow his word...and they know him. Over the last decade we have engaged Jaiya as a keynote speaker every year and the message and reaction is always nourishing. In my business career I was blessed to hear top speakers that changed the trajectory of peoples lives. Jaiya John does this with a new refreshed message each time. We are fortunate to have his commitment and inspiration available to all. We are the better for it." - Lynda D. Bowman, Foster Youth Advocate

"This was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.  I have heard lectures, and teachings.  But what is so amazing is to see it with my own eyes, someone who came from a deep abyss of experiences and now is full of peace, Love, goodness and so much gratitude. Nothing like seeing a living example of healing and growth. This was by far the most amazing spiritual experience of my life." - Omnia Banoub, County of Napa Social Services Agency

"What an amazing gift you gave to everyone and such a refreshing way to start a brand new calendar year! The hustle and bustle of people finding their seats and greeting coworkers faded away as you began your greetings to us. The “workplace” kind of energy was replaced with peace. I felt myself breathing deeper and relaxing as you continued your talk. I realized that you were cultivating the very same loving kindness and compassion I had experienced before. Your talk was so very reminiscent of when Tibetan monks graced the Napa Valley with a visit in 2003. In the presence of the monks, as well as when you spoke, the meeting room was transformed from a work place to a gathering of people, a tribe if you will, with one goal in mind. Peace for everyone, compassion for all. You are such a sincere individual, a charismatic leader, and despite incredible hardships in your life, someone who has achieved iconic status in his commitment to spreading love and understanding around the world. It was like a soft, warm blanket had been gently placed around my shoulders. Clearly you are moved by spirit; I can hear that in your words and feel the loving kindness that emanates from your heart. I believe one of the most powerful and wonderful ways that you communicated was with humor. Your humor brought everyone together in laughter. I am sure that wherever you go, you bring spontaneity and joy. I believe we all left with a lighter heart. Thank you, Jaiya, for reminding me to start every day with a grateful heart and to include love, compassion and joy in each breath." - Joanie Freethy, Napa County HHSA

"I had heard Jaiya speak only once before, in Austin, Texas, at a seminar for professionals working with troubled and troubling children. His words were inspirational and true, deftly tapping into the core of who we all are as human beings in spite of our age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or political persuasion. I made the decision then, that if I ever had an opportunity to engage a speaker for another event, it would be Jaiya John!
That opportunity came when Cal Farley’s was celebrating its 70th anniversary of caring for children at Boys Ranch, Texas. There was no doubt in my mind who I would be asking to speak, and Jaiya accepted the invitation. Prior to the evening event with major contributors to our non-profit organization, Jaiya took the opportunity to join me for a trip to Boys Ranch so he could address the youth directly… it mattered to him to immerse himself in our culture, in our values, in our mission.
Youth do not live at Boys Ranch because of something they did wrong, but because of life circumstances that don’t allow them to live with their own families… this can often times leave them troubled or troubling. Jaiya, was able to create an immediate connection with these youngsters, using examples from his own life to them where they were in their lives, in a manner in which hurting children could hear. And, he was able to inspire the same passion with an audience of sponsors and donors that evening, with an equally compelling message conveyed in a manner that adults could hear.
Therein resides the gift of Jaiya John. He has an uncanny ability to adapt his presentation and his style to the audience he is addressing, never compromising on the values that underpin his message. He is a master of using his larger than life persona and his words to draw an audience in and engage them in a way that they feel rejuvenated when the event is over. Jaiya is the genuine article… an amazing man with a wonderful gift!!" - Dan Adams, President & CEO, Cal Farley's, Amarillo, Texas



Please use the form for any questions. When you are ready, you can email us a speaker request form. Please take wonderful care!

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