recalling-ancestors
Stonehenge stone circle in Salisbury, England on Summer Solstice.

RE-CALLING OUR ANCESTORS

An exploration in ancestral recovery, truth-telling and truth-seeking, and collective repair.

Re-Calling our Ancestors launches this winter, February 2022, as a moon cycle-long pilot course for white and white-passing* people committed to dismantling the systems of oppression in ourselves and in the world around us, as well as in our communities of practice and in the bodies of work we carry.

This inaugural offering is a rigorous personal learning journey and emergent communal inquiry. Through a series of online sessions, home study and practice, and culminating in a collaborative ritual project, we will explore the earth-cherishing traditions of our ancestors, the harm our ancestors endured, the harm our ancestors caused, and the ways ancestors resisted and persisted along the way. Together, we will honor the lineages that we’ve inherited, lay down the inheritances which no longer serve, and hold space for the grief—and relief—of letting go.

We re-call our ancestors in service of reparations, repair, and re-imagining a world of flourishing. We believe convening white and white passing folx in caucus with each other and our lineages will further the efforts in our communities towards cross-cultural and multi-racial healing. When we as anti-racists strengthen our own resilience and relationships—individually and collectively—through ancestral practices and cultural reclamation, we have far more to offer multi-racial movements for justice.

Re-Calling Our Ancestors is a collaborative initiative of The Ojai Foundation, Youth Passageways, Golden Bridge & Weaving Earth, responding to People of the Global Majority** in our networks and communities.

*We honor that race is a social construct, and there are people with white skin who come from Black, Indigenous, and/or other Communities of Color who may wish to participate in this offering. If this is you, you are welcome!  And, please know your guides for the journey don’t carry this experience in their bodies so won’t be able to speak to these complexities from personal experience.

**We are using the term “People of the Global Majority” in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, and/or other People of Color kin, who wish to be acknowledged as the majority of the planet’s people. Here are some links to resources on the use of this term:

If you are a Person of the Global Majority and feel resonance with this offering and are wondering about opportunities for your own and collective explorations of these topics, please reach out to Sobey Wing, Cross-Cultural Protocols Chair of the Youth Passageways Education and Consulting Collective, at sobeyone@gmail.com. Sobey can share about opportunities for personal mentoring, the upcoming podcast series by and for People of the Global Majority called Rites of Decolonization, and other potential offerings by and for People of the Global Majority. 

ahavas-shalom-synagogue
Ahavos Shalom Synagoge in New Haven Connecticut on Momauguin Quinnipiac Land.
Over the course of our time, we will explore how we, as white and white-passing folx:
  • Build healthy anti-racist identity, in connection with our ancestors
  • Co-create vibrant, ancestrally-rooted cultures of solidarity
  • Participate in meaningful cross-cultural and cross-racial exchange
  • Call each other in to deeper transformative movement building in ways that are fun, creative, generative, and healing

CALENDAR

While we convene as a multi-cultural space of white and white passing folx, we are attending to shared earth-honoring and cosmic-rooted ways: Lunar cycles, Solar cycles, astrological cycles, and ecological seasons.  

This short-form offering will begin on the New Moon, traverse the seasonal Cross-Quarter, and complete on the following New Moon.

  • Program: January 31–March 2, 2022
  • Schedule: Weekly meetings on Thursdays, February 3, 10, 17 and 24
  • Time: 9:3011:30am PST  (5:307:30pm GMT)

Before our first virtual session, we invite participants to engage in an opening ceremony on the January 31st New Moon at home and in their own place. After our last virtual session, we will send participants off with invitations into ritual practice and closing ceremony for the New Moon on March 2nd.

PREREQUISITES

We invite you who hold:
  • A basic understanding of intersectional oppression, systems of domination, and liberatory practices
  • A demonstrated commitment to Black-wellness, Indigenous sovereignty, and the flourishing of People of the Global Majority
  • An experience engaging, conversing, and/or organizing with other white folx

COURSE FEES

Course Fees: $250500 (sliding scale)

Re-Calling Our Ancestors is a prayerful and relational offeringand it is important that our engagement with money be coherent with our deepest intentions for cultural healing and collective liberation. 

In commitment to right livelihood for guides, compensation for accountability partners, and acts of redistribution and reparations, we ask for participants to make financial contributions on a sliding scale of $250-500.

Participants are asked to invest at the highest possible level when registering for the course. This helps to eliminate barriers to access for all, covers the real costs of the course, and supports our redistribution and reparations practice. We are committed to working with needs that would enable access for all those involved. As you consider your financial contribution, we invite you to to consider the following questions:

• What ways have you been granted unearned advantage by the systems we live within?
• What ways do you have access to income, wealth, and assets?
• What ways did you and/or your family come to accrue wealth?
• What ways might your offering be a prayer and “enactment of your commitment to restoring balance and right relationship”?
• What ways might financial reciprocity be joyful?

We are in ongoing learning and apprenticeship of how to be in alignment with these visions and enact them in our work and lives. The manner that we are inviting you to co-create with us is inspired and guided by Youth Passageways “Way with Money” and Weaving Earth’s “prayer for balance & equity.”  We understand that not all will agree with our approach to finances and welcome dialogue to what creates access for you. At the center of our commitment is making transparent and intentional the often unspoken, and too-often silenced domain of money.

 Application Process 

The Re-Calling Our Ancestors application process involves several steps:

• Learn about the Re-Calling Our Ancestors by reading the webpage.

• If you need help completing your application, and/or have questions please reach out: contact@ojaifoundation.org.

• Submit your completed application by January 17, 2022. You will receive confirmation of receipt. 

• If requested, provide any additional information.

• If requested, participate in an in-person and/or Zoom interview(s) between January 10 and January 21st.

• Applicants will be notified of their standing by January 24, 2022.

Application Timeline
Application Period Opens: December 10, 2021
Applications Due no later than: January 17, 2022

Will you join us as we build our personal, ancestral, and collective resilience to create meaningful change for ourselves, our communities, and our world?

WHO WE ARE

Darcy-Ottey

Darcy Ottey

Core Guide: Darcy Ottey (she/her) is a cultural practitioner, facilitator, anti-racist educator, and co-director of Youth Passageways, an intergenerational and cross-cultural network supporting the regeneration of healthy passages into mature adulthood for today’s youth. A queer, white, able-bodied woman in her 40’s from a mixed middle/working class background, rites of passage have been part of Darcy’s life since her coming of age journey when she was 13. The descendant of Quaker settlers, British coalminers, and Ukrainian peasants, her early encounters with nature and ceremony instilled in her a deep sense of belonging and connection with the more-than-human world. Her formal and informal education brought understanding of the colonized and colonizing contexts of these experiences. Her work is all about synthesizing these experiences by: supporting white people and others with privilege to dismantle systems of oppression internally and externally; building resilient networks of relationships across difference; and building community capacity for meaningful acts of redistribution, reparations, and rematriation. Her work is in accountability to the intergenerational web of relationships that makes up Youth Passageways, the Methow River watershed, and her family and ancestors. Darcy loves dancing (especially under the full moon), learning to make Slavic folks dolls, and preserving food and plant medicines.

meagan-chandler

Meagan Chandler

Support Guide: Meagan Chandler (she/her) has cultivated herself as an embodied arts educator and a performance and ceremonial artist. Her ancestral pilgrimages have thus far lead her to the land in Alba, Éireann, Cymru, Briton, Western Europe and Scandinavia. Meagan comes from an educated, working class family with citizenship privilege, and now lives in the ancestral home of the Tewa people in Santa Fe, NM in the Galisteo water shed. She performs and directs a rich array of original works and cultural art forms and teaches people of all ages and walks of life across the U.S. and around the globe. Meagan grew up in Golden Bridge’s Youth Leadership Programs, and has served on the leadership team for 17 years. Through many creative mediums and with great playfulness she devotes herself to nurturing relational paradigms and cultivating the seeds of human cultural that will nurture the Holy Wild World for generations to come. She can often be found singing for all occasions, learning new hand crafts, and trying new recipes in the kitchen.

Sharon Shay Sloan

Support Guide: Sharon Shay Sloan (she/her) is a second-generation community steward committed to nurturing communities and communities of practice. She is Ulster Irish, meaning her ancestors are from where the land meets the sea in the northeastern corner where Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland meet. Since 1997, Shay has been a practitioner of rites of passage and circle practices. Alongside this work, for 10 years she worked in international conservation, first with Native Oceans and later as the founding director of the Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas program for The WILD Foundation, building bridges between the movements for wilderness conservation and Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. Shay has been a student of justice and equity for as long as she can remember and has especially learned from Indigenous Peoples, people of color and white settlers committed to healing and reimagining social fields. She is co-editor of the book Protecting Wild Nature on Native Lands and co-author of the report “Cross-Cultural Protocols in Rites of Passage: Guiding Principles, Themes and Inquiry.” She joined The Ojai Foundation as co-director in 2017. When not working, Shay can be found in the ceramics studio or working in the garden with her son, Kian.

Solace

Solace

Core Guide: Solace ( they/them ) is a community ritualist , public astrologer , and youth mentor devoted to a world where all beings live in radical sovereignty , with abundant access to pleasure , in reciprocity with their social and ecological relations . Solace lives as a white settler on Southern Pomo Land , and traces their ancestry from diasporic Ashkenazi Jewish peoples immigrating from Romania and Belarus . They are neurodivergent , working-class , chronically ill , and transgender , with citizenship and education privilege . Solace is guided by a commitment to creating resilient peer and intergenerational relationships centered on nature-connection . They are romanced with a vision of liberation that places people back in their bodies , back in relationship , and back in the landscape . In service of these prayers , Solace serves as an educator and mentor . Solace is an apprentice of bird-language , the tarot , and poppy seed babka . Solace also goes by Shulamit , Shlomo , and Salomé .

will-scott

Will Scott

Support Guide: Will Scott (he/him) is a co-founder and lead facilitator at the Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education (www.weavingearth.org), based on Southern Pomo Territory (Sonoma County CA). Weaving Earth works at the crossroads of social and environmental systems change through restoring, remembering and cultivating an embodied awareness of our interrelationship with people and planet. Will's lineage comes primarily out of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Great Britain, Italy, Germany and France, and carries the complex weaving of both persecutors and the persecuted. As a person carrying an array of unearned privileges, reckoning with this heritage in service to transforming legacies of dominance, oppression and disconnection is part of his daily life, work, and prayer. Will has been a student of the natural world and the human-nature relationship for over 25 years, and has guided people through life transitions via nature-based rites of passages for nearly two decades. He is indebted and accountable to a rich tapestry of teachers, teachings, and places -- many of which survived despite facing unrelenting oppressive forces. Will is a wildlife tracker, naturalist, bird lover, facilitator, mentor, artist, rebel, uncle, brother, and community member. Along with so many others, he has dedicated his life to co-creating a more just and resilient future for the generations to come. In all aspects of his work, Will focuses on strengthening relationships as an essential praxis for our times. He loves pomegranates, and makes a mean cup of coffee.

ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER BIOS

brontë velez (they/elle), Weaving Earth: brontë’s work and rest is guided by the call that “black wellness is the antithesis to state violence” (Mark Anthony Johnson). as a black-latinx transdisciplinary artist, designer, trickster, educator and wakeworker, their eco-social art praxis lives at the intersections of black feminist placemaking & abolitionist theologies, environmental regeneration and death doulaship. 

they embody this commitment of attending to black health/imagination, commemorative justice (Free Egunfemi) and hospicing systems of oppression through serving as creative director for Lead to Life design collective and ecological educator for ancestral arts skills and nature-connection school Weaving Earth. they are currently co-conjuring a mockumentary with musician esperanza spalding in collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony and stewarding land with their partner in unceded Kashia Pomo territory in northern California.

mostly, brontë is up to the sweet tender rhythm of quotidian black queer-lifemaking, ever-committed to humor & liberation, ever-marked by grief at the distance made between us and all of life —

DORCUS-ODERA

Dorcus Odera (she/her), Golden Bridge: I am a Counseling Psychologist with four years of experience in diverse roles including working with children with intellectual disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders, refugee children, and children living in informal settings in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana.  I am currently training as a Somasource Practitioner with Golden Bridge where I serve on the Golden Bridge Social Justice Advisory Team and a mentor on the \Golden Bridge Support Team. I am trained in Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice through HarvardX. I currently work as a school counsellor at Multikids Inclusive Academy, in Accra Ghana where I support children with neurodevelopmental challenges.

Since 2008, I have founded and helped to develop several organisations serving youth in Western Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Uganda. My projects have offered training and programs to youth in the fields of literacy, social entrepreneurship, anti-violence, and youth leadership and mobilisation. In 2014, through the impact of my work with A Million Faces-Renaissance, an organisation I founded to increase access to education for children in the informal setups of Kayole in Nairobi, I was selected by A World at School to represent my country as a Global Youth Ambassador. In early 2018, I was selected as one of the Emerging African Leaders and trained in “Leading in Public Life” by the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

sobey-wing

Sobey Wing (he/him), Youth Passageways: Sobey currently holds the role of President of Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Society based in the Unceded Coast Salish Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. The goals of the society are to continue to support reindigenizing and decolonizing as pilipino diaspora living away from our homelands. This includes with it a focus on rites of passage. We consult with indigenous people both in the Philippines and with the First Nations people of Turtle Island in doing our work and partner with many organizations. We also strive to be in solidarity with both the indigenous peoples of the Philippines especially those in Mindinao as well as on Turtle Island. Sobey serves as an Advisor to Youth Passageway which seeks to unite local and international rites of passage practitioners, wilderness guides and youth mentors to integrate services, create a clearing house for best practices, and help awaken mainstream educators to the elemental language of ritual.

Since 2008, I have founded and helped to develop several organisations serving youth in Western Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Uganda. My projects have offered training and programs to youth in the fields of literacy, social entrepreneurship, anti-violence, and youth leadership and mobilisation. In 2014, through the impact of my work with A Million Faces-Renaissance, an organisation I founded to increase access to education for children in the informal setups of Kayole in Nairobi, I was selected by A World at School to represent my country as a Global Youth Ambassador. In early 2018, I was selected as one of the Emerging African Leaders and trained in “Leading in Public Life” by the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

j-nyla

mx. j. nyla “ink”  mcneill (they/them), Trans CARE Collaborative, School for the Ecocene:  is a nonbinary, Nigerian-Visayan-Hispanic+ american diasporic polymath: a liberation psychology researcher and writer invested in contributing to a more affirming Black and brown, Two-Spirit, trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive mental healthcare; an artist; youth educator, facilitator; musician; poet; skater; practical magician; model; organizer. mx. j. owns a consulting and coaching biz, Mx. Lifestyling, that aids individuals, organizations, and institutions though major life and systems changes.

In this page you see beautiful photos by Solace Pesach, Darcy Ottey and David Moskowitz.