Who we are:
We are a collective of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people rooted in healing and in service of land based community living. We have been operating as a partner of the School of Living Land Trust since 2018. One of our visions is of a global village with a home base. We all are creating stories and community in different places and they all link back to this refuge. We are reclaiming a model of living and (re)generating that values people for their inherent contributions without falling into the trap of quantifying personal value. We are currently building capacity to house our core collective members, and we continually seek to expand our capacity to include a broader community. Together our gifts range from singing, cooking, practical techniques for healing space, seed saving, gardening practices, fashion and style, and embodied sexiness (for the culture).
Why are we doing this?
We, along with the support of friends and family, have an opportunity to serve. In our lives, we dedicate time and energy to achieving sovereignty in this lifetime for ourselves and others: creatively healing trauma, attaining food sovereignty, building unity and collective determination and LOVE.
What’s happened so far:
We have purchased a house in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of rural central Virginia. We've been cleaning, painting, and working to renovate said house, upgrading the electricity, making electricity and gas payments (kept on as low as possible just so the pipes wouldn’t freeze), upgrading a ground well, erecting a 1 acre garden, and completing other miscellaneous things! There have been many hours of labor and love and research and networking put into this refuge space.
There’s still a lot of work to do on the house, the garden, and on building new structures we’ll need to make it a true healing village.
Here’s a link to our wishlist!
In Solidarity with Nature:
Our operation is small, and we intend to keep it under four acres, efficient, and sustainable to the earth and existing life forms in this region. We produce vegetables, herbs, and flowers and care for area trees and a creek. We pay special attention to native and heirloom plants and using organic permaculture growing practices. We planted 18 fruit and nut trees last year, and we plan to start caring for a few egg-laying chickens and maybe a brush-eating billy goat (or two) soon. We frequently incorporate services from our neighbors who are land and animal caretakers. They provide us with sound advice, equipment rental/borrow, manure and mulch deliveries, completion of large jobs requiring a tractor, and referrals for other services.
We value resourcefulness, patience, building community connections, and incorporating Black and Indigenous people as leaders. Together, we are learning how to build and maintain housing structures, live in closer relationships with our community members, and care for the waterways, roadways, and forests around us.
We would like to thank you for your kind wishes and affirmative thoughts as we continue to learn, grow, and build community refuge space. We are inspired and guided by our ancestors, teachers, authors, community leaders, activists, artists, farmers, justice seekers, healers, and ourselves. We thank them for their assistance. We would also like to thank the School of Living for their continued support and interest in uplifting Black & Indigenous land stewards.
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- Stefan Russell
- Sophia Maravell
- Sarah Sohn
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