Arun Narayan Toke’ is the founder and executive editor of Skipping Stones magazine.
Arun, born and raised in India, came to the United States to work on his graduate studies in engineering. He attended UWM, Notre Dame and UVM and worked as a design engineer in South Carolina and taught at a state college in Vermont before founding the multicultural magazine in Oregon. He has published two books, including a co-authored text-book: Energy, Economics and the Environment. His articles have appeared in several newspapers and magazines. Before publishing Skipping Stones, he was the editor and publisher of CookStove News at The Aprovecho Institute in Cottage Grove, Oregon.
As the editor of Skipping Stones for the last three decades, Arun has attended numerous conferences and spoken at various venues. He is active in the local interfaith community for the last two decades. Arun is one of the founding members and current co-presidents of the Interfaith Prayer Services International (IPSI) based in Eugene, Oregon. IPSI has offered almost 20 years of continuous monthly prayer services held on the 11th of each month in Eugene, Oregon. He also helped organize the Eugene Multicultural Storytelling Festival for a number of years. Arun has previously served on the board of the National Association for Multicultural Education, NAME, as a Regional director.
Under Arun’s guidance, the annual Skipping Stones Honor Awards promote both multicultural and nature writings by young people, as well as multicultural and nature books for young people. During the past 27 years, the annual awards have recognized over 700 outstanding books, and published hundreds of exemplary writings and art by countless youth.
Arun has traveled extensively in Europe, North America, Central America and Mexico as well as in his homeland of India. An avid nature lover, Arun has hiked and camped in dozens of national parks, climbed many peaks over 10,000 feet high in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America. Arun has bicycled over 3,000 kilometers in Northern Europe and walked over 500 kilometers as a part of a peace walk in Central America. He speaks four languages, including Spanish. He tries to live by his multicultural, ecological and spiritual values.
Arun has been honored with the EDPRESS, NAME and the WRITER Awards. He was the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Leadership Award of the City of Eugene. He has also served on the Human Rights Commission of the city of Eugene for a couple of years.
Children in Kota, Rajasthan (India). Photo by Arun Toké