We began with a heartbeat.
Laurie Schwartz prepared the alter with care and intention, then she sat down, took a deep breath and picked up her drum. Others picked up drums, rattles, shakers, or just moved around the room with their arms in the air.
While we were preparing ourselves for the day through this ceremonious opening, Frank Menusan Generous Bear, Muscogee Creek Elder was tending the fire, preparing the room with his smudge and prayers. Introduced by Rev. Debbra Gill, he greeted us with a stunning acknowledgement of the divine feminine rising. Then he left us to our work.
We heard Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum speak truth to power about women's heart health and how to listen to our heart. Brenda stirred us into a spiral on our feet and back to the ground and back up again.
Ann brought us back and we came together in Circle Principles to anchor our voice, "Infinite" moved us with her rap, Niti with her haunting poetry, and the Queen Mother with her deep wisdom, having just returned from the anniversary march of Bloody Sunday and her walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, in Selma, Alabama. Grandmother Nancy Andry led us in a water and tobacco ceremony, Monica Willard explained the power of the UN Commission On The Status of Women. Woven into our day were three small circle dialogues and every voice was heard. Then we reluctantly closed in circle.
We were honored with the presence of Miss Brooklyn Earth.
Then we shopped!
All voices were heard.
Here's the list of our collective waters..
We also supported women who brought their items for sale. We shopped!
Henry Street Settlement has graciously offered their hospitality for our event. We are honored to be guests of such an iconic and historic place, founded in 1893 by social work and public health pioneer Lillian Wald and based on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Henry Street Settlement delivers a wide range of social service, arts and health care programs to more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year. Here's More...
Niti Majathia reads one of her poems that she shared with us.
Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, Community Mayor of Harlem, Queen Mother of Hiphop, Queen Mama of Africa, Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, More..
Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, psychiatrist, Jungian analyst and an internationally known author and speaker. More..
Grandmother Nancy Andry, Grandmother Nancy is of Algonquin and French heritage and has followed the Red Road since childhood. More..
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum,
Cardiologist and author, director of Women's Heart Health at the Heart. More...
Niti Majethia, Award Winning Poet and Activist More..
Nicolette Templier Miss Earth Brooklyn US, More..
Ann L. Smith, Founder of Circle Connections, "Circle Evangelist",
Former Executive director at Global Education Association
Former Managing Director at The Episcopal Church Alchemy Planning Committee
Ruth Brinkley, also known as Hip Hop artist Infinite Wiz, is the Youth Advisor of the Dept. Of Global Communications Civil Society unit for NGO New Future Foundation.
Brenda Gustin, PhD, a certified Ananda Yoga and Meditation Instructor with many years of teaching experience. Co-Founder of Alchemy of Our Collective Wisdom and Power and Alchemy Planning Committee More..
Debbra Gill, United Nations Representative for the United Religions Initiative, Healer, Alchemy Planning Committee and Water Ceremony Facilitator
Sande Hart, Mother, Social Artist, Program Producer and Compassion Activist, Co-Founder of Alchemy of Our Collective Wisdom and Power, President of SARAH and Leads the Charter for Compassion Women and Girls sector, Alchemy Planning Committee More..
Elizabeth Ashley Young L.C.S.W.,
Program Director of the Henry Street Settlement Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) .