We Have Everything We Need
"One of the favorite lines that I kept saying and repeating to the group with the most resonance was 'we have everything we need,'" noted Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, then-director of the organization. "With such a mighty group of profoundly talented cultural workers, this is true. They are very gifted creative leaders and visionaries, and every obstacle they faced could be collectively solved."
Direct Effects: A Grant & An Installation
Beyond that realization, there were direct ripple effects of the group's summit experience. Youth Media Project Advisory member Yolanda Wisher was honored with a Pew Center grant and member Karina Puente had her temporary mural installed at the Javits Convention Center.
"Those are only two of the beautifully rich individual and community-based seeds that got tended to during our summit time," said Tho-Biaz.
Those seeds also positively impacted the day-to-day business of being an artist.
"Attending the summit gave me the practical tools to not only survive as a full time artist; my group taught me how to thrive. I met two mentors who continue to empower my business and creative trajectory to this day. I learned how to write client contracts, bill for my art services, and I landed a New York City job that turned into another opportunity in Minneapolis," said Puente.
Tho-Biaz, Wisher, and Puente were inspired at the summit to submit a workshop panel that was accepted for the fall 2015 feminist writer and media conference BinderCon. And, Tho-Biaz credits her time at summit for the momentum that led her to become the Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University's Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics.
"Our summit time was phenomenal. It was my first time leading a residential retreat and we are all still flying high! I'm hooked, for sure. Everyone's creative practice is positively expanding, and the Youth Media Project community is far better for it," said Tho-Biaz.
Learn More About the Summit
The Women Serving Women Summit, part of Omega's Nonprofit Retreats hosted by the Omega Women's Leadership Center, is a grant retreat program for organizations that support women and girls. They are invited to bring their teams of staff and board members to Omega to work and rest so they can return to their efforts replenished and invigorated. Organizations use their retreat time to develop strategies, cultivate leadership, and deepen connections to discuss challenges, ideas, and solutions.
© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies