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OWLC in Action

OWLC Attends the UN Commission on the Status of Women

1 week 5 days ago

Omega Women's Leadership (OWLC) director, Michele Bertran, recently attended the UN Commission on the Status of Women at the UN headquarters in New York City. This was the fifty-eighth annual session and included representatives of Member States, UN entities, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from all over the world. This year's theme was "Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls."

The OWLC attended a pivotal session, "Open Dialogue on Beijing + 20," a discussion about the progress made in the almost 20 years since the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China. The session solidified a call to all duty bearers for unprecedented will and commitment to end gender inequality. It also highlighted UN Women's plan to create a "forward looking process that will galvanize diverse stakeholders: governments, parliamentarians, civil society, media, opinion leaders, the UN system, and the private sectors" around the following specific core objectives:

  • Renew political will, commitment, and concrete action by governments and all partners to accelerate implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action
  • Enhance social mobilization, awareness-raising, and revitalized public debate across all sectors of society
  • Strengthen evidence to increase knowledge and understanding of the structural causes of gender-based discrimination and inequality and of solutions and best practices
  • Invest in sufficient resources for achieving gender equality, women's rights, and women's empowerment
 
 

OWLC in Denver for Mediation Training

2 weeks 6 days ago

Omega Women's Leadership Center (OWLC) director, Michele Bertran, participated in a conflict resolution training with InAccord Justice Centers to share information about Omega and the OWLC with others working for peaceful solutions and just outcomes. Held in Denver, Colorado, the training was attended by 22 participants from the United States and Nigeria interested in honing their mediation, arbitration, and restorative justice skills. Bertran said Omega's holistic worldview "that the well-being of each is connected to the well-being of all of us" really resonated with those who are actively working for peace and justice.

InAccord Justice Centers provides services and training in mediation, arbitration, and restorative justice through a collection of centers located globally. Their procedural conflict resolution model was developed by Mediators Without Borders. An "empirically based technique," it offers empowerment, transparency, and fairness, and incorporates research in achieving solutions to conflict.

Founder of InAccord Justice and Mediators Without Borders, Shauna Ries, organized the event and led the training. She and Michele Bertran are cofaculty for the upcoming OWLC workshop, Leading with Emotional Courage: How Empathy Can Heal, Inspire & Create Breakthroughs, from May 23-26.

Learn more about the 2014 OWLC workshops

Omega Rises for Women

1 month 3 weeks ago
On February 14th, the Omega Women's Leadership Center (OWLC) participated in Hudson Valley Rising's 2nd Annual One Billion Rising event at State Universtity of New York (SUNY) New Paltz. The event was held in conjunction with V-Day's worldwide One Billion Rising, calling for the end of violence against women and girls, and provided an opportunity for local students to come together with residents of all ages in the community to stand up for a common cause.  
 
Co-organizer Mary Goggin was inspired to found Hudson Valley Rising when she heard Eve Ensler's public announcement of One Billion Rising at Omega's Women & Power Conference in 2012, where Goggin was a partipant. Co-organizer Johanna Longbotham noted that the event took root in the community this year. "There were boys and men here. I feel the impact deepening."
 
More than 250 men, women, and children of all ages were in attendance. Families, coworkers, and community activists milled and danced before Goggin enthusiastically welcomed attendees. Assistant District Attorney of Ulster County Elizabeth Culmone spoke about the predicament of women and children facing domestic violence, a One Billion Rising video was played depicting global women rising in collective survival and triumph, and a flashmob of the anthem "Break the Chain" was led by SUNY Residence Life Director Corinna Caracci. Finally, Drew's Energy Dance Company from Kingston offered dance lessons and Hudson River Playback Theatre reflected on attendees' experiences of the event through improvisational theater and music. 
 
OWLC manager Sarah Urech said that in spite of "enormous piles of snow everywhere," the event was a success. She continued, "I feel so moved to be part of it, as an OWLC representative, a dancer, a supporter, and a performer with Hudson River Playback Theatre. RISING feels different than fighting, or protesting. All of these actions are important, but there is something about framing this as RISING that makes my heart sing, lifting me out of the sorrow and rage, and letting my spirit soar." 
 
 

Omega Celebrates International Women's Day

1 month 4 weeks ago

On March 8th, the world will once again honor International Women’s Day, celebrating women's achievements while also acknowledging the challenges that women still face. 

Calling for solidarity as women continue to work for equal rights, the Omega Women’s Leadership Center is cosponsoring the 4th Annual International Women’s Day Walk at the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, New York. Organized by the Women's Leadership Alliance of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the event will begin on the Poughkeepsie side of the bridge at 9:00 a.m.

Inspiring Change is this year’s celebration theme. A theme that Mecca Santana, the newly appointed New York State Chief Diversity Officer, will address in her remarks prior to the bridge walk. We invite you to join us as we walk in solidarity with women across the globe. 

Register for the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce's event at Walkway Over the Hudson

Learn more about International Women's Day 


Women & Power Participant Develops Go Beyond Greatness Programs

2 months 1 week ago

The Kingston Times recently featured 2013 Omega Women’s Leadership Center’s (OWLC) Women & Power Retreat participant Ashley Knox and the Go Beyond Greatness educational and empowerment workshops she was inspired to develop for both children and adults. Knox credits her time at Omega with helping her move ahead, and inspiring her to help others do the same. 

Sarah Urech, OWLC Manager, met Knox during a workshop at Omega’s Women & Power Retreat. “The retreat theme this year was Find Your Own Strength, and it inspired Ashley to offer a series of workshops to stimulate personal growth and communication skills,” said Urech. “I really enjoyed her workshop—she is so full of enthusiasm for life and belief in people’s capacity to enhance their own well-being. She skillfully guided people through a series of exercises and left people wanting more. With her natural talent for community building, I’m excited to see what she does next.”

Knox explains, “The purpose of ‘Go Beyond Greatness’ is to inspire people to bring out their best qualities to achieve personal and academic goals…Our program offers skill development training for college and career readiness with an emphasis on critical thinking and good decision-making for greater results in academic achievement and life success. [The program] specializes in leadership development, effective communication, and social awareness to motivate people to place passion, pride, and commitment toward themselves and the communities they live in.”

Read the full story

Learn more about Omega Women's Leadership Center

Omega Announces Grant Opportunity: Women Serving Women Summit, May 28–30, 2014

3 months 1 day ago

Annual Retreat for Nonprofits Serving Women & Girls Now Accepting Grant Applications Online

RHINEBECK, NY – Today Omega announced its annual Women Serving Women Summit, a gathering of nonprofits working to positively impact the lives of women and girls, will take place May 28–30, 2014, on Omega’s Rhinebeck, New York campus, with the theme Nourishing Body, Mind, and Spirit. The Summit is part of Omega’s annual Service Week program, which has offered retreat grants to nonprofits for the past decade. The Women Serving Women Summit grant application is now available on Omega’s website with a deadline of February 10, 2014.

“The Women Serving Women Summit, a program offered by the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, extends support to nonprofit organizations serving women’s needs and interests. We are focusing the 2014 summit on helping organizations that rarely get a break from the front lines to pause, reflect, and nourish their staff on all levels, so that they can return to their work with renewed purpose and dedication to their organization’s mission,” said Carla Goldstein, cofounder of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center and chief external affairs officer at Omega.

Grant recipients for the Women Serving Women Summit will attend a two-day, two-night organizational retreat on Omega’s 200-acre campus in Rhinebeck, New York. The grant includes free room and board, a private meeting space, use of all the facilities at Omega, and an optional hour of consultation with Omega’s partner, the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).

Nonprofit organizations can apply to come on their own, or partner with another organization with similar objectives and apply to come together for the Multiple Organization Track. NYCON supports those on the Multiple Organization Track with an enriched program designed to enhance collaborative efforts. The grant from Omega provides a rare opportunity for organizations to take the time to plan, network, build capacity, as well as learn from each other, and develop pathways for future collaboration.

To apply for the Women Serving Women Summit grant, please visit us online at eOmega.org/owlc.
For additional information, please contact Lys Swan, at 845.266.4444, ext. 414, or by email at Lyss@eomega.org.

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation’s most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 200 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world. eOmega.org

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Omega Hosts #femfuture Retreat

4 months 3 weeks ago

This October, Jamia Wilson, member of Omega's board of directors, and Vanessa Valenti, Omega faculty and cofounder of #femfuture, organized the #femfuture retreat at Omega's Rhinebeck, New York campus. #femfuture is "an experiment in movement-building that develops solutions for sustainability and impact in 21st century feminism." They commonly convene feminist bloggers, online organizers, writers, educators, and activists to collaborate and explore the present reality and future potential of the current feminist movement. 

The retreat at Omega was focused on self-care, reflection, and connection for feminist activists. More than 20 women from around the country were selected to attend, encompassing mothers, poets, journalists, and teachers. 

In attendance was Catherine Okafor, who has been looking for a way to continue her activism and connect with other feminists after the grassroots organizing she did in college. She wrote about her experience saying, "This was a blessing that fell from the sky as I'm no longer a college student but now a young professional trying to navigate through 'the real world.'"

Read Catherine Okafor's full story.

Learn more about #femfuture.

Learn more about the Omega Women’s Leadership Center.

Gloria Steinem Awarded Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal

5 months 2 weeks ago

On October 13th Gloria Steinem, an Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC) Advisory Council member, was one of six recipients of the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal. Recipients were celebrated for their work promoting social justice and human rights by the Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center in Hyde Park, New York, where the Roosevelts lived for many years. 

Michele Bertran, OWLC Director, attended in support as Gloria was recognized as an “extraordinary social justice activist.” Gloria joyfully shared her plan to live a long life in continuation of her work as well as upholding the Eleanor Roosevelt legacy. Since its inception, 111 individuals and organizations have been honored, “who through their service and contributions to their communities and the world exemplify Mrs. Roosevelt’s commitment to human dignity, social justice, enlightened leadership, and human rights for all.” 

Learn more about the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Ceremony

Learn more about the Omega Women's Leadership Center

Women Working for The World Invites Carla Goldstein to Speak at Upcoming Forum in Bogota, Colombia

6 months 2 days ago

Carla Goldstein, Omega’s chief external affairs officer and cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center (OWLC), has been invited to join an international delegation of influential women speaking at the first Women Working for the World forum. The forum was organized by Catalina Escobar Restrepo, president of the Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation, and Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, and a member of the OWLC advisory council.

In addition to Carla, some of the confirmed speakers include U.S. Ambassador Nancy Rubin, Princess of Greece Tatiana Blatnik, Former First Lady of Panama Vivian de Torrijos, and many more.

The forum was designed to explore gender issues such as poverty; the impact of women in the global economy; social inclusion for sustainable social development; leadership and empowerment; as well as key issues on reproductive health and the effectiveness and sustainability of interventions to communities that are at-risk and require focused and immediate attention. 

Approximately 400 opinion leaders will attend, ranging from government and corporations to NGOs and media from Colombia, Panamá, Venezuela, and the United States.

Learn more about the Women Working for the World forum.

Carla Goldstein to Speak at Womensphere Global Summit

6 months 3 weeks ago

Carla Goldstein, cofounder of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center and chief external affairs officer at Omega will speak at Columbia University in New York City on Monday, September 30th at the 6th annual Global Summit & Awards. The theme of this year’s event is “Creating the Future: Evolution + Revolution,” and brings together international leaders in education, business, policy, foundations and NGOs, entrepreneurship, and social innovation.  The speakers and delegates at the Summit are divided into nine councils, according to their topics of expertise. Carla Goldstein will be speaking about “The Future of Women & Girls.”

The Womensphere Foundation seeks to advance women’s leadership on a global level. During the Summit, speakers will address questions that are crucial to the progression of women as innovators, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and key creators of the world’s future. Among the many ideas discussed, the Summit hopes to answer important questions about how participants can collaborate to create enlightened leadership and how global stakeholders can unite to create a world that is inclusive and sustainable, in which women play an active part.

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