The New seneca village Big Vision
We are a retreat space and social ecosystem seeking to secure gorgeous land and a founding endowment in order to provide justice-focused leaders and healers with access to time, space, and nature within an intentional community centered on
restoration, connection, and visioning - in perpetuity.
Many of us take comfort in the thought that the moral arc
of the universe bends towards justice and yet,
the arc does not bend itself.
We are responding to an historic, ongoing and future need to more holistically resource and sustain the leaders who create, shape, steward and power our justice movements.
New Seneca Village: On Mission
New Seneca Village brings together cis, transfeminine and non-binary Black, Indigenous, and women of color leaders and healers in gorgeous nature for time and space centered around restoration, connection and visioning.
We offer complimentary residencies full of individual and group restorative practices and provide transportation and back home grants to ensure that all who attend are supported to do so.
Learn more about our Why here.
Access to Transportation grants to cover travel and related expenses to and from New Seneca Village
Access to Back Home grants (childcare, eldercare, etc.) to make certain that Villagers from all socio-economic backgrounds are able to attend
All Villagers participate in pre residency restorative vision coaching circles to to prepare for the residency and the longer-term practice of integrating restorative practices into their work and life
Villagers have the agency to determine how they spend their residency time and space
6 - 7 nights in a room of their own
Access to restorative and expressive practices offered by healers across a range of modalities
Access to gorgeous nature, and (once on land) spa, sauna, hot tub, etc.
Village wide opening and closing circles
Access to Village hosted connection and visioning circles
Seed funding via the Social Innovation Fellowship (once endowed)
Access to the Village's powerful social ecosystem for leaders and healers
Annual homecoming events for Villagers to continue to gather within our intention (once on the land)
Opportunity to sit on NSV community-led Advisory Circle (see 2023 Circle here)
Opportunity to participate in the Village Social Catalyst Fund Governance Circles here (once endowed)
Opportunity to nominate or become Vision Fellows or participate in a Social Vision Fellowship (once endowed opportunity for leaders/healers beyond the Village community)
Village Structure + Values
New Seneca Village is an intentional community designed around the collective.
We look forward to expanding this commitment as we become more sustainable and as we develop the land-based portion of this work.
Please see our Right Relationship ethos which guides our offering, structure, and decision-making.
Collective Governance: New Seneca Village is led by our community. We rely on feedback to co-create our residencies and intend to embed more community governance access points as we grow.
Meet our 2023 Advisory Circle members here.
Structure: We are currently a fiscally sponsored project led by two co-eds who work collaboratively and enjoy a flat pay structure.
Within seven years of sustained operation on the land, NSV will transition to a mission-driven land trust model. This will ensure, in perpetuity, the right stewardship of the land alongside ongoing operations of the retreat center and network, supported by the founding endowment. The structure will continue to be as flat as possible. More details here.
Staffing: We will continue to prioritize hiring BIPOC staff who will receive generous compensation and benefits packages, including all meals (and housing for some roles.)
Salaries will be competitive to the nearest metropolitan area job market, with no gaps between “white collar” and “blue collar” jobs.
Vendors: We have a commitment to sourcing BIPOC vendors for all needs, including supplies and services.
"New Seneca Village is so important because doing intense community work is absolutely draining and often times thankless which makes it incredibly difficult to sustain despite how necessary and needed it is.
The time I had at NSV, surprised me because also though I was there as a healer I also received so much healing.
Having time to connect with nature, receive community care, and rest allowed me to fully recharge my batteries in a relatively short period of time. When I returned home I felt well equipped to return to my own community work (I work primarily with unhoused/under-housed populations, Black communities struggling with mental health, and survivors of sexual violence).
Having spaces where I can rest and focus on restoration allows me to continue work that has far-reaching impacts, the ripples of which are felt not only by individuals but by whole communities."
- Kendra Coupland, Spiritual Wellness Coach, Communal Well-being/Organizer, Vancouver BC, Canada
"Space for Black and indigenous women to focus simply on their own wellness, well-being and restoration are extremely rare, and offering a space like this is unprecedented, innovative and will have a tremendous ripple effect throughout the communities and circles in which they lead, because when we are taken care of, it is paid forward in so many powerful and transformative ways.
This "life reset" came at such a critical time that I know for certain this would not have been possible to create or do on my own. I am abundantly grateful for Ain, Taina and the supporters of New Seneca Village for this transformative and powerful experience.”
— Danielle, Health quity, Wisconsin.
"As BIPOC women and non-binary nonprofit workers, we have little pay and deal with a lot of emotional trauma. There is second hand trauma we navigate in our work and many of us come from the communities we serve.
It is so important that we are building an ecosystem of care and abundance for:
1) Visioning for a liberatory and just future-- it's hard to do this in the day-to-day when we are constantly working through emergencies and fires,
2) time to rest and heal with others who are doing similar work, and
3) developing a long-term plan to own land for restoration. land is at a core of harm and wealth that was stolen from BIPOC communities and is central towards our healing and liberation. This is taking into account developing a healing relationship with the land that will eventually be owned by NSV."
- Faizah Barlas, Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust, Affordable Housing & the Decommodification of Land, Los Angeles, CA
New Seneca Village Big Vision
The New Seneca Village Big Vision is a $150M vision.
In 2023 our Village Capital Invitation is for $50M (or more) to begin to realize the permanent retreat center portion of our overall vision.
New Seneca Village is committed to generosity and abundance in all that we do, so we have developed a funding plan for the $50M that allows us to acquire and build out the retreat center space while providing both organizational sustainability throughout the land and build phase and operating costs for the first three years of on land operation.
We want you to be grounded in what is possible for the Villagers and beyond.
We invite you to read on to learn more about the plans and details of our overall vision, followed by the goals of our 2023 capital campaign.
Expanding upon the legacy of artist retreats,
our Big Vision will allow us to provide restorative time and space for over 300 justice-engaged leaders and healers annually on the land within a nature-based space that is designed for, centered on, and led by women of color.
New Seneca Village will be a consistent port in the storm for BIWOC leaders across issue areas, offering time, space, restorative practices and relationship to/with nature within an intentional and ongoing community centered around
restoration, connection, and visioning.
See above + Year One Update for more details.
Land + Design / Build
Design / Build (or Re-design)
Transition to Community governed Mission - Driven Land Trust
social innovation funds
Land, Design, and Build
a legacy of connection + care
New Seneca Village is to be a legacy institution providing nature based space for BIWOC leaders and healers, designed to enable restoration, connection, and visioning in the spirit of abundance.
The land and structures and the overall stewardship of the center will generously support Villagers intentions for themselves and their communities.
We are researching land and existing properties with the following.
100+ acres to support bounded development, a garden and accessible trails, preferably with access/proximity to water
1.5 hrs or less from an international airport
Municipal ability to develop/redevelop the property
We are open to gifts of land in climate resilient locations.
We will lightly develop the property with the following structures.
Accommodations for 20 guests (with flexibility to 40 guests)
3-5 structures for healing, art, movement
Communal structure- commercial kitchen, dining room, laundry
Spa- pool, hot tub, sauna, private rooms
Campground with at least 6 stand alone bathrooms
Housing for specific staff positions
We intend to invite and support a group of 7 BIWOC design professionals (conservationist, site planner, accessibility designer, architect, landscape designer, and interior designer) to a two-year design process incorporating Villager feedback into the build and design (or rehabilitation) of the New Seneca Village retreat center space.
We will host a Design Challenge to build this team with the goal to call in BIWOC professionals and will feature all who are interested in a vendor guidebook to share with the public.
A Note on Our Founding Endowment
We seek to secure a founding endowment of $117M* in order to actualize the right to sovereignty and self-determination for our community.
We deem this financial foundation critical for sustaining a sacred space committed to restoration, connection, and visioning for women of color. Especially as we recognize that supporting social justice leaders is a multi-generational commitment.
An endowment will ensure that the mission and future of New Seneca Village
is guided and determined solely by its Villagers and that this legacy resource will exist in perpetuity.
We will be able to support over 300 leaders and healers annually, providing complimentary and flexible lengths of stays to match the needs of Villagers.
Our endowment will be invested in socially responsible and sustainable investments by women-led investment firms.
Each year we will activate more than 5% of our endowment through our Social Catalyst Funds, Vision Fellows, and other endeavors as identified by Villagers. Read on for more details about endowment-enabled offerings.
*A founding land reserve of $17M will be raised as part of this Capital Invitation. The remaining $100M will be the focus of a capital campaign once we are on the land. Details here.
In addition to allowing us to maintain our mission, property, and structures and provide better than living wage salaries to our staff, realizing our full $100M endowment will allow us to host the following offerings for leaders and healers in and beyond the Village.
Social Visioning Fellowship
Each year, New Seneca Village will invite 3-5 strategic cohorts of up to 20 leaders to come together for 10-day invitational residencies offering enhanced restoration and vision-focused programming in support of connecting and resourcing leaders' exploration and work on and across issues.
Seed funding of at least $30K will be provided to support potential projects arising from these Fellowships.
Fellowships will be open to all invited leaders
regardless of race and gender.
New Seneca Village will sustain a minimum of 5 Vision Leaders annually, providing them with a stipend of $200K.
The goal of the Vision Fellows program is to acknowledge the work of social justice leaders while providing them with the resources to access time, space, creativity, and purpose.
Vision Fellows will be nominated and chosen by
New Seneca Villagers.
Social Catalyst Funds
New Seneca Village is committed to utilizing our mission and land endowment, beyond 5%.
Through community-governed models, New Seneca Village will provide learning, research, and implementation support to an investment board made up of Villagers and folks native to the region where NSV is located.
These leaders will invest in local, national and international social catalyst projects - as they define them.
Local Community Fund
50% Indigenous leadership
Focus: NSV Home County
Leader Community Fund
50% Black American leadership
Focus: National / International
New Seneca Village
2023 Capital Invitation
New Seneca Village is committed to generosity and abundance
in all that we do.
Our $50M funding plan is designed so that this project intentionally unfolds in alignment with with our Village values.
This funding allows us to acquire land and build out a fully functioning retreat center space while providing holistic support for our team and mission.
This includes organizational sustainability throughout the land and build phase while ensuring operating costs for the first three years of on land operation.
Interested funders can learn much more by reaching out to us here.
Acquisition, Design + Build
INTENTION: New Seneca Village will be designed to invite, nurture and heal its multi-generational, multi-abled and multi-cultural Villagers.
LAND: 100+ acre property, in climate resilient location. More details.
Spacious structures for rest and restorative practices will enable connection to Self and others.
INTENTION: This funding will allow us to continue to care for and grow our small team so that we have the capacity necessary to be on mission while stewarding our vision through completion and launch of our retreat center space.
Operations on the Land
INTENTION: The founding reserve allows our team (including an all new retreat center staff) to have three years to completely focus on launching the New Seneca Village offering on the land.
We are certain that it will require our full attention and intention to implement the radical care that we intend for this space.
After 1-2 years of retreat center operations, we will invite funders to contribute to our Founding Endowment.
INTENTION: Our endowment will enable New Seneca Village to stay on mission as governed by the community, independent from philanthropic trends.
We will fundraise for this once on the land for 1-2 years, unless connected to donors willing to fund sooner.
New Seneca Village
$150M Big Vision
The New Seneca Village Big Vision is a $150M vision.
In 2023 we are seeking to raise $50M (or more) to begin to realize the permanent retreat center portion of the overall vision.
Please see below for a high-level overview of how Village Capital Invitation funds will be aportioned to make sure that all Village needs are met.
We are happy to share more detailed budgets and proposals with intentionally engaged funders upon request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect or click here.
New Seneca Village Big Vision
The New Seneca Village Big Vision is for $150M
In 2023 our Village Capital Invitation is for $50M
This funding allows our organization to continue hosting residencies while also providing additional staffing to support the land acquisition and design + build process.
This funding is estimated to cover a three year period.
This funding allows for the following;
land acquisition and holding costs, infrastructure and structure (re)development, conservation planning and implementation and staffing up for retreat center operations.
This funding is estimated to cover a three year period until the founding endowment takes over costs once the retreat center is operational.
Retreat Center Land + Build
"We need spaces to restore the vital energy that is constantly taxed and pulled from us in the process of *survival* in the dominant culture of cis-heteronormative, white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist, ableist world that by design enacts and relies upon the systemic extraction, harm, and violence upon Black and Brown bodies.
The waters of the dominant culture and systems we swim in is toxic and in order to breathe we need retreat and respite from the toxicity.
How will we vision and design our way beyond what we see now? We need full access to our creativity and our sense of trusted connection. We must feel enough safety and regulation in our bodies, our nervous systems, in order to get out of "fight, flight, freeze mode" and truly rest, heal, and access our most creative, full, and possible Selves. And yet for many of us living in the world as we know it is disregulating and doesn't create the conditions for our systems to find the rest and regulation we need to truly recharge. Many of us are burnt out or soon to burn out.
We know that nature is a central element for healing, restoration, and vitality, and yet sadly there are too few intentional spaces where Black and Brown bodies get to feel truly safe, in Belonging, and protected from racism while in nature, at least in America. It is critical that we have safe spaces to truly embody restoration, healing, ease, creativity, possibility, and spaciousness, so that we can dream, create, and vision a future from that place.
From the retreat I experienced, NSV is and knows how to create that space, making their work, vision, and necessary legacy a KEY to sustaining the transformative change that we know is generational and long range work."
Taraneh Sarrafzadeh, Healer, Artist, & Embodiment Guide, CA