We collaborate to create a just world based on peace, resilience and respect for Earth's systems.
The Neahtawanta Center The Neahtawanta Center works toward environmental sustainability and community resilience, upholding nonviolence and respect for all life. Right-sized, nimble, and responsive, the Neahtawanta Center has for more than 25 years served as a focus and facilitator of progressive Earth-centered education and activism, primarily in the Grand Traverse Region. With long experience, the Center is able to organize quickly and collaboratively around matters of concern. It also carries on long-term projects, such as its program Investigating Community Resilience.
A series of annual events, Including the Summer and Winter Solstice Gatherings, which are held at the Neahtawanta Inn and Retreat Center, the Center's home; and the August Hiroshima Candle Float on the Boardman River help strengthen the community and build support for the Center's vital aims.
Dear Supporters of NREC:Many aspects of the conditions we find ourselves in as we approach 2017 were forecasted by visionary people from various schools of thought: scientists, social scientists, psychologists and generalists. Ordinary people of all walks of life have predicted some of the outcomes due to forces such as climate change, shrinking resources, population growth and economic disparity. In the 1990's, NREC co-founder, Bob Russell, predicted growing civil unrest as a result of these converging forces.
Unfortunately we are experiencing that now. A related issue that is of great concern to the Neahtawanta Center is the pervasive lack of civility and respect for our fellow human beings. This attitude of divisiveness threatens the discourse that is vital as we seek solutions to create a just and peaceful world. The level of polarization can be seen in all sectors of society.
Because of this concern, the Center is launching a new local initiative in which we will focus on ways to create a Beloved Community. This term, Beloved Community, is based on the work of Martin Luther King, and, more recently, john a. powell (he chooses not to capitalize his name), the Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Qualities of a Beloved Community include an atmosphere of inclusiveness, tolerance, civility and respect that is necessary for a community to thrive. Every segment of society must have a voice.
For the past four years, building community resilience has been a main focus of NREC's work. Because we believe that creating Beloved Community is a foundational principle of community resilience, we will be promoting this concept in several ways.
The Center will be reaching out to collaborate with current partner organizations along with creating some new alliances with local and regional groups who are already working hard to counteract intolerance and polarization.
NREC's programming will focus our efforts on articulating and deepening our understanding of this mission.
On a personal note, as many of you know, my daughter, Hallie, passed away in early October. Deep thanks to all of you who have offered your love and support during this difficult time.
As I begin to recover and pick up the pieces of my life, the NREC board will be meeting to finalize the specific workshops, retreats and conversations that will be offered in 2017. Here are some of the topics we are considering:
- End of Life Matters (continuation from last fall)
- Diversity Work
- Restorative Justice
- Conflict Resolution
- Developing Active Hope (Joanna Macy's work)
- Yoga and Meditation
- Nonviolent, Compassionate Communication (continued)
- Biodiversity: Exploring the Nonhuman Beloved Community
Included in this mailing is our one-page brochure with a list of the workshop/retreat offerings of 2016 along with the Center's mission statement and a description of our work. Your continued monetary support, interest, and involvement in our work have been the backbone of the Neahtawanta Center. I hope we can count on you again. You can make a donation by clicking on the donation option above or by sending a check to the address below. Our goal is to increase our funding for next year by 5%. All donations are used for the operating expenses of the Center and for our programming.
Your support makes possible all that the Center is able to do. Thank you.
With gratitude and respect,
Sally Van Vleck, Director of the Neahtawanta Center
Neahtawanta Research & Education Center
1308 Neahtawanta Road
Traverse City, Michigan 49686-9716
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Bill Koucky is an inventor, entrepreneur and true renaissance man. His vision for local energy independence includes a complete circle that starts with growing non-GMO canola seed, pressing the oil, selling that product to restaurants and other culinary users who can return the used oil, where it is blended with ethanol produced from local food waste and turned into biodiesel to power tractors to plant more seed, run generators and other vehicles.