Women & Power
October 2017

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An Omega Women’s Leadership Center Program: Women & Power Retreat


October 06, 2017 – October 08, 2017
Rhinebeck, NY
Anna Deavere Smith, Dolores Huerta, Elizabeth Lesser, Sharon Salzberg... See More
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SM17-5302-933Anna Deavere Smith, Dolores Huerta, Elizabeth Lesser, Sharon Salzberg, Gwendolyn Carr, Tia Oros Peters, Joan Blades, Tavneet Suri, Pamela Shifman, Judaline Cassidy, Yasmeen Hassan, Sharon Richardson, Robyn Moreno, Carla Goldstein, Sarah Peter, Diana Adams, Aja Monet, Debilyn Molineaux, Sondra Loring, Veronica Domingo, Women of the World,

Over the past decade, women from around the world have gathered at Omega’s Women & Power retreats to be inspired, informed, and motivated to Do Power Differently®.

If ever there’s a time for women across the globe to gather, share ideas, build community, and foster resilience, it is now. The world needs us to be outspoken, inventive, and brave. Now is the time to come together and redefine what it means to be a powerful leader in everything we do.

Power: it’s a charged word. It has come to mean the ability to wage control over others through domination or force. But that’s a worn-out definition that humanity can't afford to live by. So what does it mean to do power differently? That’s what we will explore at this year’s Women & Power Retreat. We’ve gathered thinkers, artists, activists, and leaders to open our minds to new definitions of power, innovative ways of working and leading, and practical steps for releasing the untapped and critical wisdom of women. Together we ask and explore answers to these questions:

  • How do we develop personal resilience and compassionate yet courageous action in the face of adversity?
  • What steps do women take now to advocate for equality, justice, and healing—not just in our own communities, but everywhere? And not just for women, but for everybody?
  • How do we move beyond our own limitations and biases?
  • How do we use the strengths we have honed, not only in the workplace, but also as sisters, mothers, and caretakers, to upend a worn-out vision of power and leadership?
  • What are some of the most innovative and inspiring changes being made by women in the arts, economics, activism, business, philanthropy, healing, education, and other arenas?


A weekend full of stimulating talks, conversations, and entertainment
Breakout workshops that offer a range of options, from leadership skills, to stress-reduction, to communication and creativity
A community of fascinating, warm, diverse, down-to-earth and involved women from around the country and the world
Wellness activities and services including our wellness center and daily yoga, meditation, and tai chi classes
Delicious, healthy meals and a dining hall where conversations happen naturally
The Omega campus with its beautiful gardens, walking paths, and lake

Scholarships are available; see Women's Leadership Women & Power Retreat application at eomega.org/scholarships.

More Information

Faculty are subject to change.


Please note this course begins Friday at 7:45 p.m. and has a special schedule:

4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Check In (Rooms available after 5:00 p.m.)
7:45 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Retreat
8:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Commuter check-in (if not checked-in the previous evening)
9:00 a.m.–Noon Retreat
2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Retreat
8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Evening Event
9:00 a.m.–Noon Retreat
Noon–1:00 p.m. Check Out

The above schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the faculty. Faculty are also subject to change.

The Children's Program is generally available during standard workshop hours only. Contact Omega registration at 877.944.2002 for details.

Dining Hall Hours (Dinner is included on arrival day):
Breakfast: 7:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m.
Lunch: Noon–2:00 p.m.
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.–7:15 p.m.

Daily Open Classes in meditation, yoga, tai chi, or movement (subject to availability):
7:00–8:00 a.m., 12:15–1:00 p.m., 5:30–6:15 p.m., 5:30–6:30 p.m.


Anna Deavere Smith is a playwright, actor, and professor whose multi-character plays on issues of community, character, and diversity in America have awarded her the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, the National Humanities Medal, a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the founder of Anna Deavere Smith Works at Harvard and on the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute. annadeaveresmith.org

Dolores Huerta is the cofounder of the National Farm Workers Association, founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and a recipient of The Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of the Omega Institute and the Omega Women's Leadership Center, is author of The Seeker’s Guide, the New York Times best seller Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, and the memoir Marrow: A Love Story. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, at the TED Women conference, and is a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide. elizabethlesser.org

Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, and NY Times bestselling author of Real Happiness and Lovingkindness. sharonsalzberg.com

Gwendolyn Carr is a mother, advocate, and community leader. As matriarch of one of Staten Island's largest African-American families, Gwendolyn Carr earned nationwide recognition as the mother Eric Garner and offers the program This Stops Today hrough the nonprofit organization “The Garnerway Foundation”, which provides support and education to victims and families who have suffered tragedy and loss through similar acts of violence.

Tia Oros Peters (Shiwi) has been engaged in community organizing and national policy work for social, cultural, and environmental justice for nearly three decades and serves as the Executive Director of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. She is one of the founding mothers of the Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus for which she has often served as co-chair.

Joan Blades is a cofounder and board member of MoveOn.org, which has an online membership of more than 3 million, and on Mother’s Day 2006, she cofounded MomsRising.org. She is coauthor of The Motherhood Manifesto.

Tavneet Suri is an Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management specialized in development economics in sub-Saharan Africa. She is Scientific Director of Africa for J-PAL, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and an affiliate of BREAD and CEPR. She holds a BA in economics from Cambridge University, UK, and PhD in economics from Yale University.

Pamela Shifman is the executive director of the NoVo Foundation. She has also served as NoVo's director of Initiatives for Girls and Women, co-executive director of Equality Now, legal advisor to the ANC Parliamentary Women’s Caucus in South Africa, and led UNICEF's efforts to end gender-based violence in conflict-affected settings. novofoundation.org

Judaline Cassidy has been a plumber for more than twenty years. As a proud member of Plumbers Local Union Number One, she is the first woman to be elected to the Examining Board. Currently, she serves on the advisory board for the Women's Building.

Yasmeen Hassan is the global executive director of Equality Now and has served on the Council on Foreign Relations’ advisory board on Child Marriage, the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, and made appearances in media outlets including CNN, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. equalitynow.org

Sharon Richardson is founder and executive director of Reentry Rocks, founding reentry specialist at STEPS to End Family Violence, and CEO and founder of Just Soul Catering, a social justice enterprise. She presents on issues of domestic violence at Columbia Law School, Criminal Justice Action Network, CUNY Law School, and as a guest on WBAI radio. reentryrocks.org

Robyn Moreno is the Editorial Director of Latina as well as an author, editor, and well-known lifestyle expert. An Emmy-nominated TV host, she appears regularly on The Today Show, Wendy Williams, CBS Early Morning Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, and CNBC. Her work has appeared in InStyleGlamourCosmo for LatinasWoman's DayUSA TODAY, and the New York Daily News and she has presented at SXSW Interactive and Yale University. robynmoreno.com

Carla Goldstein, JD, is Omega Institute’s chief external affairs officer and cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center. An attorney with 25 years of experience in public interest advocacy, she has contributed to more than 100 city, state, and federal laws, and has worked extensively on issues related to women’s rights, poverty, public health, and social justice. eOmega.org/owlc

Sarah Peter

Sarah Peter is an artist who lives in New York City. She has given generous and visionary support to the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, the Modern Women’s Fund at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Odwar Fund in Uganda. At the heart of Sarah Peter’s philanthropic giving is the goal of acknowledging individual women’s contributions and helping to improve the lives of women. estateofmind.com

Diana Adams, Esq., has been a social justice activist on feminist, LGBTQ, environmental, and anti-poverty issues for decades. She is director of the Euro LGBT Family Law Institute and owner of Diana Adams Law & Mediation, PLLC and speaks internationally to media such as The New York Times and The Atlantic, on subjects from evolving family structures to mediation. www.DianaAdamsLaw.net

Aja Monet is an internationally established award-winning poet, performer, singer and songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate. The youngest individual to win the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, she works to organize artist delegations, cultural, and political exchanges with disenfranchised communities at home and abroad.

Debilyn Molineaux is a transformation partner. Debilyn is a collaborator with Living Room Conversations, president of the national grassroots organization promoting civic engagement Coffee Party USA, and co-director for Bridge Alliance, a group of organizations promoting solutions-oriented attitudes that lead to action.

Sondra Loring, E-RYT, is founder of Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation in Hudson, New York and co-owner of Satya Yoga Center in Rhinebeck, New York. She blends astanga, vinyasa, and Iyengar Yoga methods in her teaching. sadhanayogahudson.com

Veronica Domingo is a licensed member of the Zumba Instructor Network and teaches part-time at a dance studio in Catskill, New York, and at the Greene County YMCA. In addition to Zumba, she offers weekly PiYo Live, Turbo Kick Live, and Country Heat Live classes. She is also the senior program curriculum developer at Omega. veronicadomingo.zumba.com


Women of the World—Ayumi Ueda, Annette Philip, Débo Ray, Giorgia Renosto, and Patrick Simard on percussion—brings women musicians from across the globe and honors numerous global folk traditions in 31 languages in celebratation of the beauty of diversity and friendship, singing for not just tolerance, but wisdom, respect, and joy. They have performanced at Carnegie Hall, Blue Note Jazz Club, Boston Symphony Hall, and The Kennedy Center.