Two women from different religious faith will begin a series of workshops tonight in Sarasota called EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES. Mahnaz Shabbir is an accomplished entrepreneur, published author and community activist who has given more than 100 presentations throughout the world to organizations interested in knowing more about Islam and diversity. She has developed several websites to communicate her passion for peace and world understanding. For more details, visit, and Sheila Sonnenschein has been involved in education and community advocacy for the past 20 years. Sonnenschein collaborates with her friend, Mahnaz Shabbir, to bridge the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities in Kansas City and beyond. She is an award-winning freelance author who is recognized for her peace and community activism accomplishments. Both women met at a writing workshop in their hometown in Kansas and through a variety of methods (conversation, parties, religious interaction) they've formed a bond of friendship. They've also written and conducted workshops about how to overcome religious divides.

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