Anna Deavere Smith, Dolores Huerta, and Loung Ung Among Speakers That Will Share How to Build Inner Resilience & Take Meaningful Action

RHINEBECK, NY – The Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC) today announced its biennial Women & Power Retreat—to be held October 6–8, 2017 on Omega Institute’s Rhinebeck, New York campus—will focus on helping women #DoPowerDifferently. This year’s retreat brings together a diverse group of change leaders to explore themes such as turning pain into power, cultivating personal resilience, taking action in the face of adversity, and advocating for equality, justice, and healing.

“Over the past decade, women from around the world have gathered at Omega’s Women & Power retreats to be inspired, informed, and motivated to #DoPowerDifferently,” said Carla Goldstein, chief external affairs officer at Omega and cofounder of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center. “We convene to build resilience among women, and redefine the way power is used in the world. What would it look like to have power with, instead of power over?”

Omega has gathered thinkers, artists, and activists to explore innovative ways of working and leading, and to identify practical steps for making change. Select highlights of the weekend include:

  • Loung Ung, activist and author, in conversation with Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of Omega Institute and the Omega Women's Leadership Center. Ung, a survivor of the killing fields of Cambodia, together with Angelina Jolie, released the film version of her memoir, First They Killed My Father, this month on Netflix and in select theaters.

  • Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner and advocate against police violence, will participate in a panel discussion on turning pain into power.

  • Playwright, professor, and actor Anna Deavere Smith will perform a dynamic keynote.

  • Dolores Huerta will share her experience being a woman leader and the lasting legacy she's had on farm workers, immigrants, and the labor movement. She'll be joined by Latina Magazine's Robyn Moreno for a discussion on the new documentary of her life, Dolores, which sets out to correct her erasure from history.

  • World-renowned meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg will lead meditation practice. 

The weekend retreat begins at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, October 6th, and concludes Sunday, October 8th, at noon. The schedule includes keynote talks by esteemed teachers, discussions, and breakout workshops in movement, contemplation, and creativity. Scheduled breaks will allow time for guests to enjoy Omega’s facilities, be in nature, and take part in optional yoga and meditation classes.

For 40 years, Omega has provided interdisciplinary opportunities for human development across the lifespan with an integrated approach to personal growth and social change. An outgrowth of this work, the Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC), supported by a highly esteemed and international advisory council, offers a variety of opportunities for women to strengthen their leadership at home, at work, and in the world.

Since 2002, Omega has received generous scholarship funding to bring more than 900 leaders of diverse backgrounds to conferences, workshops, and events. This year, nearly 60 scholarships have been given for the Women & Power Retreat. Omega is also offering tiered pricing for the retreat, allowing guests to choose one of four prices based upon financial circumstance.

To learn more, visit, or call 800.944.1001. A limited number of media passes are available. To apply for a media pass, visit our online Media Center.

Join the conversation on and on Twitter @omega_institute #OWLC, #DoPowerDifferently.

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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 250 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.

Press Contact

Chrissa J. Santoro, External Communications Director
150 Lake Drive Rhinebeck, NY 12572
845.266.4444, ext. 404