After earning a Bachelor of Education from Auburn University in 1967, Justine Willis Toms, DHL, began her career as a teacher in an all-Black school in Sylacauga, Alabama. In 1973, she founded the New Dimensions Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization through which she launched New Dimensions Radio. Since then, Ms. Toms has blossomed as an executive director, creative producer and host, developing a wellspring of expertise in close listening and interview skills. Some of the most notable award-winning radio series to come out of New Dimensions include “An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in Conversation With Michael Toms,” “Deep Ecology in the 21st Century,” “Bioneers: Revolution From the Heart of Nature” and “In Her Company: Deep Dialogues With Women of Wisdom.”
Today, there are more than 8,000 interviews in the New Dimensions library, and the radio show is now available as a podcast, in addition to appearing on public radio stations across the United States. Ms. Toms’ ultimate goal is to bring about a change in both cultural and human consciousness through dialogues with skilled thought leaders. As a host and interviewer, she is constantly learning and gaining new knowledge, which she credits as the driving force behind the personal and professional growth she has seen over the years. In addition to her work in radio, Ms. Toms has also facilitated workshops and authored two books, “True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do” in 1998 and “Small Pleasures: Finding Grace in a Chaotic World” in 2008.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Ms. Toms has been active with the Millionth Circle since the 1980s, when she was the organization’s founding convener. She is also a board member of both World Prayers and Women’s Perspective, and, in 2004, she was one of 30 people invited to participate in the Synthesis Dialogues with the Dalai Lama. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Sofia University in 2009 and inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011. She has further been presented with an award from the Centers for Spiritual Living. Looking toward the future, Ms. Toms intends to continue her work with an eye on passing the reigns to someone who will treat New Dimensions with the care she does today.