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New Seneca Village
Year Two Update

Our continuing journey centering restoration, connection and visioning in life and leadership.

Welcome to Year Two!
 

New Seneca Village (NSV) is a human-centered intervention designed for women and non-binary leaders and healers of color whose love and labor are core to the fulfillment of our societal hopes. Our Village is an invitation for these folks to center restoration, connection and visioning as core elements to nourishing and sustaining their leadership in both life and work. 

We understand that detaching from the relentless demand for productivity and the other extractive ways that our organizations, institutions and society operate, allows us to reconnect to our Selves, our values, and our purpose. ​This is especially crucial for folks whose work creates the present and the futures that we want to live in. 

New Seneca Village is an experiment in what might be possible when we...

  • abundantly resource leaders and healers, allowing them the time and space to tap into their inner wisdom within an intentional community focused on the same. 

  • gather in/with nature to more easily honor that we are a part of nature and that periods of dormancy are consistent across, and critical to, all life.

  • access restorative practices to remind ourselves of all of the ways, paths, knowings and guidance that are within reach.

As the world grows more complex and the urgency of our societal issues grows with each moment, the time seems ripe to expand and deepen where and how we source our power. We think that where our humanity and our divinity meet is a good place to begin. 

Read on to learn more about New Seneca Village in our second year!

We Center

We Center

The New Seneca Village experience is designed to center restoration, connection and visioning
as renewable resources for presence and leadership in life and work. 

Villagers come together over a series of months to collectively engage these themes,
even as they individually create their own restorative journeys and ultimately their residency experience.

Our always emerging Village definitions are below, as well as the aligned offerings we provide.


How Do You Define Restoration, Connection and Visioning in Your Own Life?
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RESTORATION

 

 

 

 

An intentional focus on reconnecting with one’s Self, with nature, and with others

out of a desire to contribute to life, work, and community

from a resourced and sustainable place. 

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CONNECTION

 

 

 

 

 

Recognition of one’s self in relation to and relationship with others, including community, nature, ancestors, and consciousness.

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VISIONING

 

 

 

 

 

Connection to Self and purpose as a path to imagining and creating ways of Being and collective futures in a new way.

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The Village provides complementary
weeklong residencies in gorgeous nature.



The Village provides access to Travel + Back Home grants so that all Villagers can show up and be present.



The Village provides shuttle transportation between the airport + venue.
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The Village provides a three session Restorative Vision circle series for each cohort of Villagers to ground in our individual and collective restorative journey.


At residency Village healers offer group and individual restorative practices designed to support restoration of all Villagers.


The Village offers connection, visioning and other gatherings for Villagers to attend or not as they please. 
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New Seneca Village is an opportunity to practice the future now. 

We encourage Villagers
to follow their own rhythm
& flow while engaging in community with consent  and communication practices at the forefront. 

In this way, we all get a taste of the future we are working towards which further clarifies and expands our ability to vision the paths forward. 

“This experience was life-changing/saving.

It is a roadmap to freedom. Freedom from imposter syndrome, capitalism, and all the other isms that hinder Black and Brown Women. The energy of this residency will be felt by communities across the globe. The workshops, the nature, the spiritual embodiment, the tools learned, the information shared will be with all who attended this residency forever.

 

As a Mental Health Counselor and Community Advocate, it was imperative for me to take a step away to rest and rejuvenate. There are no places like this. This does not exist anywhere.

I am very grateful for my time."

 

— Ebony Dowdy, Atlanta, GA

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"The meeting of movement folks beyond preconceived containers of areas of work, titles, and seeded conversations is SO NECESSARY. In these trying times and movement work cultures, it is unreasonable to expect linear career trajectories. NSV provides a place of SOLACE, reflection, and supportive alignment for folks who are clearly deeply invested in transforming the world into a place of deeper love and justice. In this way, NSV seeds important relationships that transcend quickly crumbling movement structures and nourishes leaders to think with big vision towards sustainability and healing as a means of transformation."

 

— Raj Escondo,

Healing Justice Practitioner,

Oakland, CA

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“We NEED this. This has allowed me to show up to work and my life more energized, focused, creative, and ready to vision!

 

Without taking intentional time for rest, our health takes a hit.

We burn out and our creative fire dies out. Without rest, we cannot serve our world and our communities in the ways we envision.

We cannot bring about the change we wish to see in the world.

 

Without connection & collective visioning, we lose sight of the larger picture. We need to be learning from one another, dreaming together, building knowledge together, and sharing stories -- this is so critical to our work in this world & in creating a more just, equitable world.

 

It is spaces like this that create and empower leaders -- both experienced and new. It is spaces like this that pave the way toward the future.”

— navi kaur, Code2040, Nonprofit, Bay Area

“A realization for me came in the form of clarity of expectations on our vision of the future. The future(s) we envision are generally a list of things, desires, conditions for thriving, that we strive to create and embody.

 

This residency has reminded me what its like to embody that vision. To create a microcosm of that experience we desire for ourselves, our loved ones, etc.

 

To me that is magic, being able to create the future in little moments of now and how we can all take part in that magical practice of bringing the future into the now when and where we can. I aspire to create environments that center what I want in the future more often.” 

 

— Ellina, Only in San José,

     civic participation,

      Muwkema Ohlone Lands

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"This residency was a gift at so many levels: it has restored my physical health, offered psychological and emotional healing and well-being, and replenished a depleted nervous and digestive system.

It has also provided a profoundly needed perspective on the work I do in the world. The experience of being deeply cared for, nourished by the kindness and solidarity of the other people here, and resting in our shared commitment to making a better world here and now, has re-energized me for justice work but in a new way. 

It has affirmed the power of coming together in joy and abundance as a radical approach to anti-oppression work, one that is more sustainable and will probably bring about more meaningful transformation than efforts focused only on structural change."

— Tina Lopes; structural change

      and leadership transformation;

      Toronto, Canada

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“In order to create change in the world, the leaders of the change need nourishment and support. They are often in jobs that focus on service rather than income and typically come from a giving philosophy.

 

Spaces like New Seneca Village foster the seeds of this very crucial part of moving forward into justice and peace globally by providing restoration and inspiration that enable participants to be able to envision new pathways to sustainable global change and their role in this vision. It also connects leaders to forge relationships and pool resources to create new forms of service and inspiration. NSV is a life-altering time-out to create

a world-altering life.” 

— Sonya, Eighth Light Yoga,Yoga,

Portland,  Jamaica, WI

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"Honestly, I was in a place of burnout and questioning my current path.

 

Just one week allowed me time to think, reflect, and plan for my future. I came back to my workspace more committed and energized than I've been in a long time and my colleagues can tell. I'm also walking and speaking my truth in a way that I wasn't previously, which has been so liberating! The sense of empowerment I gained from my time as an NSV resident has made me so much more in tune with my needs. Not to mention, a reinvigorated me is also an asset to my organization."

— Rehema Barber,

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts,

Michigan

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"Every day i have to tap into a creative, fiery, as well as loving place, to hold space for all of the experimentation, thought work and critical people work. But i run out of gas; And the lower my personal and psychic fuel the less effective i find my outcomes to be. 

 

Space and time to renew and tap back into source can purpose propels my work forward for months at a time.  Thank you so much, New Seneca Village!"

 

— Noni Session, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, Impact Investing/Community Real Estate, Oakland, CA

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New Seneca Village centers connection to (and sourcing from) intrinsically human resources; 
time, space, nature, community, restorative practices and our wise inner Selves.

Throughout our experience, Villagers engage in individual and collective conversations
and practices designed to prioritize their own sovereignty.

A sacred environment is created each time we gather, unique to the people and the place.
Translating what arises is not our role and so we ask Villagers to share their thinking 
about the New Seneca Village experience in their own words.
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Image by Boris Baldinger

Resources for All

Resources

Time

We consider this offering a time out of time experience.

An intentional container within which habits of Doing are replaced with time to center Being.

 
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"In this village experience, I got a much deeper connection to the so-what beyond "what we can see" during the residency. Building the skills for the future, making space to cultivate them in the now, through accessing rest, creativity, play, and reflection - this is what emerged for me, from listening "through a different lens." 

– Anisha Desai, AORTA, Worker-Owned Transformational Consulting and Coaching Cooperative, Bay Area CA

Anisha is also a New Seneca Village Advisory Circle member

Space

Villagers choose their level of engagement moment to moment so that they have the space to center their own rhythm and flow.

This alone is a powerful interruption of productivity culture and allows for the unearthing of Villagers' own needs, knowings and intentions.

“The beauty in collectively taking a pause together as women of Color and stepping away from all that calls us into our daily lives is immensely restorative. Many who have capital and wealth take moments like these as a luxury. For most, if not all of us during this residency, it was the first time we ever could even dream of a time away from work and our lives to pause and reflect.

 

The reason we aren't usually allowed a pause is because we've never really had the means or the time to do so,  we've all been immersed into a hustle culture of needing to build toward what's next without intentionally pausing to have a well-crafted next step. This time away for us to slow down and pause allows for us to build in different ways as the changemakers we are.” 


— Melanie Jiménez, non-profit, New York

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Nature

New Seneca Village is intentionally hosted (and grounded) in nature.

We recognize nature as a loving and expansive partner, teacher and guide in reclaiming our humanity and accessing our divinity.

"My personal purpose in my life is to help others be their best selves. This residency supported me to be my best self by providing the space for me to connect with my intuition more.

 

It has helped with the reinforcement and development of practices that nurture my soul and allows me to continue to work from a deep reservoir of love for humanity.

 

It has reignited my love of nature and understanding how therapeutic quiet time in nature can be. I am now thinking about how I can integrate nature into my work with organizations and individuals.

 

How can I work to combat nature deprivation and support myself and the people I work with to attune to all of our senses.”

 

– Kemarah Sika, Sika Consulting, Organizational Development, Boston, MA

Community

New Seneca Village is an intentional community experience.

We are clear that the interplay of personal and community intention and care are crucial to our healing and our leadership.

“ The residency for me came at the exact time I needed it to really center my healing and pour more of my energy and creativity toward it (vs. work).

I came out the residency feeling a deepened commitment to my healing, understanding how much of it is beyond writing in my journal or going to therapy-- but that its in community with others trying to shape new ways of being, that I am resourced to dig into my sadness, and that I can shift the ways I offer to movement that is supportive of this process.”

— Kandace Montgomery, Movement Strategist

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Restorative Practices

Village healers provide group and individual Restorative Practice offerings so that all are able to acces, explore, re-engage and embed sustainable practices into our lives beyond the residency.

"I absolutely enjoyed and was delighted by all the group sessions led by each healer as well. Just an overall amazing experience.

 

The healers were so essential to the magic, the deep healing and to establishing a healthy community vibe at the residency.  Can't thank them enough for the way they shaped our capacity to gather.

— Tina Lopes; structural change and leadership transformation; Toronto, Canada 

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Higher Consciousness

We are clear that we are not alone as we choose our actions in the world. 

Our life force is precious and it is sustained  through our connection with our wise inner Self (including our guides; ancestors, Spirit, nature, practices, etc.)
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This residency experience has validated so much for me in my pursuit of centering rest in my life. For a long time now I have been fighting against a current of hustle and this experience has given me much more than permission to center rest first as I build spaces for transformation in my community.

 

I now know that I do not have to sacrifice service and wellness, and the downloads I received from spirit are confirmation that there is no urgency except the urgency of wellness of my body, mind and spirit.

 

— Nafasi Ferrell, Narratives Unbound LLC, Transformative Wealth Advocate, Kirkland, WA

Villager Details
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2023 Villagers...

Advance Justice in...

Academia
Conservation
Child Advocacy
Civic Participation
Climate Change
Criminal Justice
Economic Justice
Education
Housing
Human Rights
LGBTQ issues
Maternity Health
Leadership Development
Organizing
Policy
Philanthropy
Racial Justice
Social Impact

Social Work
Youth Engagement

Live + Work in...

California
Georgia
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Oregon
Toronto
Washington
West Indies
Wisconsin
Vancouver

Are...

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Identify as...

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Village HEalers
provide group and individual restorative offerings while at residency

Learn more about 
2023 Village Healers below. 
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Angela : Bay Area

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Berenice : Bay Area

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DejaJoelle : Minnesota

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Marla : Atlanta

Choosing to integrate into our village is an opportunity to say yes to an experience that will open breath and space for you to be. To dream. To integrate into your cells deep rest and nourishment.

 

— Berenice, Herbalist and Founder of Hood Herbalism

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Prajna : Bay Area

Because the residency was so full of intent, it really helped me to think about my rest time and how intentional it should be whenever I have it scheduled.

 

It also helped me to think about what kind of healing might be needed instead of going to typical healing modalities. 

 

— Marla Renee Stewart, Velvet Lips Sex Ed, Atlanta, GA

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Raj : Bay Area

Women of color often carry the weight and bear the brunt of movement work as well as of families and communities, and it shows in the early mortality of many of our beloved leaders.

 

To give women of color doing change work time to rest and be is revolutionary community care. 

— Prajna Choudhury, Energy Matters Acupuncture & Qi Gong, Oakland

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Sonya : Jamaica, W.I.

Learn more about Village Healer's,
their modalities, philosophy's and contact info.
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sister sadada : Massachusetts

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Rashmi : Bay Area

Village Inquiry

Life - despite our efforts to control it or 'expertise' our way through it - is an experiment.

 

We are all new here and we are all just trying to figure it out (and hopefully leave things better than we found them.)

 

Honoring this experimentation, New Seneca Village

centers and celebrates inquiry.

We encourage the individual and collective questions that bring us closer to purpose and knowings of our wise inner selves and the practices, approaches and strategies that are ours to do to cause the future we want to see in the world. 

See below for some of the inquiries arising

from the Village this year, along with pictures

of Villagers at residency.

We invite funders in particular to notice the themes in the inquiries and to wonder about how to be responsive.