Bhakti Tirtha Swami
Bhakti Tirtha Swami (February 25, 1950 – June 27, 2005) (previously known as John Favors and Toshombe Abdul) , also known as Swami Krishnapada, was a leading guru and governing body commissioner of theInternational Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas or ISKCON). He was the highest-ranking African American in ISKCON. Bhakti Tirtha Swami met with prominent world figures such asNelson Mandela and Zambia's president Kenneth Kaunda, was frequently interviewed in the media, wrote 17 books on religious topics and led community development projects in the United States and other countries.
He was the founder and director of the Institute for Applied Spiritual Technology in Washington, DC, "a nonprofit, nondenominational organization whose membership represents a variety of spiritual paths and professional backgrounds". He traveled the world constantly and served as a spiritual consultant. He also served as chairman of the Third World Coalition. On February 7, 2006 the Council of the District of Columbia recognized "His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami Krishnapada for dedication to social change that has impacted civil and human rights for residents in the District of Columbia".