Laurie Schwartz prepared the altar with care and intention, then she sat down, took a deep breath and picked up her drum. Others picked up drums, rattles, shakers, or just moved around the room with their arms in the air.
While we were preparing ourselves for the day through this ceremonious opening, Frank Menusan Generous Bear, Muscogee Creek Elder was tending the fire, preparing the room with his smudge and prayers. Introduced by Rev. Debbra Gill, he greeted us with a stunning acknowledgement of the divine feminine rising. Then he left us to our work.
We heard Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum speak truth to power about women's heart health and how to listen to our heart. Brenda stirred us into a spiral on our feet and back to the ground and back up again.
Ann brought us back and we came together in Circle Principles to anchor our voice, "Infinite" moved us with her rap, Niti with her haunting poetry, and the Queen Mother with her deep wisdom, having just returned from the anniversary march of Bloody Sunday and her walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, in Selma, Alabama. Grandmother Nancy Andry led us in a water and tobacco ceremony, Monica Willard explained the power of the UN Commission On The Status of Women. Woven into our day were three small circle dialogues and every voice was heard. Then we reluctantly closed in circle.
We were honored with the presence of Miss Brooklyn Earth. Then we shopped the goods brought to us by local and attending women. All voices were heard.
We also supported women who brought their items for sale. We shopped items brought by some of our attendees!