Onilaja Waters (Speaker). Onilaja Waters began her study of Aesthetic Realism in 1983 in individual consultations, based on this principle stated by Eli Siegel: “The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites.” And she attends many classes at the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation, including the Visual Arts and the Opposites, Education Workshop, Drawing: Surface and Depth, Music, and Anthropology. These classes, she says, “have added so much to my understanding of the world, myself, and people of all races.” Ms. Waters is a technical designer for the fashion industry with a wide interest in African and African American history. A subject close to her heart is the village of Weeksville, established in Brooklyn in the 19th century by free men and women, which she has studied in relation to the history of African Americans in Brooklyn. Weeksville became a self-sufficient village of laborers, laundresses, craftsmen, doctors, entrepreneurs and professionals. They were active in anti-slavery, and worked and thrived until the early 20th century, during which time they established schools, an orphanage, elderly home, churches, benevolent associations, newspapers. Ms. Waters is proud that her paternal grandparents were born in Plymouth and in Washington, North Carolina.

Dr. Jaime R. Torres (Speaker). Jaime Torres is an Aesthetic Realism Associate, founder and president of the national coalition Latinos for National Health Insurance, and a frequent speaker on health matters affecting the Latino community. He is a 1999 graduate of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Leadership Fellowship, a recipient of the 2006 NHMA Health Leadership Award, and the Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trias National Latino Leadership Award. Hispanic Business magazine selected Dr. Torres as one of “The 100 Most Influential Hispanics in 2009.” He is co-author of Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism (Orange Angle Press, 2004) and a frequent speaker on racism, including its effect on healthcare. His articles in newspapers and professional journals appear nationally in Spanish and English, and address questions of men about love, economics, depression, and racism.

Eve Lustig (Outreach/Administrator), an Aesthetic Realism Associate, was privileged to study in classes taught by Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism, and to study today with Chairman of Education Ellen Reiss. She says, “I want people to know that what I richly learned from this education: the relation of ethics and beauty has a practicality for our lives every day.” Her education includes art and window and interior design studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has worked for a travel agency as a rail travel coordinator, where she enjoyed meeting people of great diversity. Her career in the transportation field continued with working onsite for the reconstruction of the Prospect Expressway, one of the largest and most complicated highway reconstruction projects in New York City. Her articles, have been published in newspapers and professional journals across the United States and abroad: including, “Health Care is a Right,” “A Just and Kind Economy,” “How Our Highways Can Be Safe at Last!” and “How Can We Feel Independent and Secure at Once? Art Shows Us How.” She has encouraged children and parents to love reading, have a greater interest in the world and fairness to all people, by discussing chapters from Eli Siegel’s book, “Children’s Guide to Parents and Other Matters,” both in the public school she attended, as well as on her travels in cruise ships to Canada and the Caribbean

Steve Weiner  (Project Manager).  Steve Weiner earned a BS degree from Hunter College with a major in Communications. He was a Computer Specialist for 30 years with the NYC Department of Education. There he represented workers in disputes with management and was on the Executive Board of Local 2627, part of District Council-37 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He has hosted scores of international travelers visiting New York, and delights in sharing the cultural riches of this diverse city.  An Aesthetic Realism Associate, Mr. Weiner takes part in public seminars at the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation, discussing the questions of men. Some papers are: “A Man’s Imagination: What Kind is Good?” about the Mexican painter Diego Rivera; “We’re Determined but Are We Right?--The Criteria for Good Determination,” about the Italian artist Alberto Giacometti; “What Do Fathers and Sons Really Want from Each Other?” with a discussion of Rembrandt; and papers on the attorney Clarence Darrow; the novelist Henry James; the sculptor Louise Nevelson.  His art talk on Roy Lichtenstein’s painting, “Stepping Out”, was presented in the Terrain Gallery series, “Art Answers the Questions of Your Life,” and his paper on the “Flower Due,” from the French opera Lakmé was part of the seminar, "We Want to Be Like Music!" In 2009, Mr. Weiner became a coordinator of the international periodical, The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.

Miriam Weiss (Project Coordinator). Miriam Weiss is an Aesthetic Realism associate, writer, editor, and translator. She graduated from C.C.N.Y. with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She has an extensive background in Japanese language and culture, having studied at The New School, Middlebury College, and The Japan American Language Foundation. She began her study of Aesthetic Realism with its founder, Eli Siegel, in 1975 and currently attends professional classes taught by Chairman of Education, Ellen Reiss. Ms. Weiss participates in public seminars and dramatic presentations at the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation. Her papers on the abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, the writer and educator Kate Douglas Wiggin and such noted American women as the diarist Alice James and Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, demonstrate the unquenchable need in every person to be just. She has discussed current authors as well as works by Dorothy Parker, Arnold Bennett, Anthony Trollope. In "Despite Cell Phones and Email, Why Can't People Really Communicate?" her critique of the popular film set in Tokyo, “Lost in Translation,” made clear the necessity for honest cross-cultural communication. In her talk, “I Learned about Sincerity from Utamaro,” she discusses a wood block print by the 18th century artist Utamaro Kitagawa. She is married to Joseph Spetly, data systems manager and sound engineer, and they often collaborate on articles showing how Aesthetic Realism explains the cause and solution to economic injustice and what is necessary for world peace. These articles have appeared in newspapers across America. Subjects include the organizing efforts of apple workers in Washington state, the effect of income on life expectancy, the inhuman working conditions at DeCoster Egg Farms in Turner, Maine; and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the means to nuclear disarmament.

Jeffrey Williams (Performer – Rev. DeLaine). Jeffrey Williams is an award-winning teacher and lifelong union activist. He taught middle school in the NYC public school system for over 25 years, during which time he used the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method with great success. He represented UFT members in schools and was on the UFT Executive Committee for NYC contract negotiations. At CCNY, he was an All-Star Varsity ice hockey player, and at that time was the only African American player in the league. Currently he is pursuing a professional acting career, and has studied in the "Acting, Life, and the Opposites" class taught by Anne Fielding, the director of the of the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company. A proud member of SAGAFTRA, he made his TV debut in 2016 year on the Investigation Discovery channel. In 2013 he joined the cast of "The People of Clarendon County" in Somerset, New Jersey’s Civic Center.