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.
Adaptation, one of the main concepts that defines resilience, is currently the order of the day at the Neahtawanta Inn and Retreat Center. As we slowly adapt to life without our co-founder, Bob Russell, and recover from a major fire at the Inn where the Center is housed, we are practicing and building resilience every day. It's not an abstraction around here! It helps us maneuver the inevitable cycles of disturbance and recovery, whether they are personal or planetary.
Resilience, however, isn't designed to address the deeper question: How do we recover from simultaneous crises? That answer doesn't really need a graph; it can be stated in one word: community. Your participation in the Neahtawanta community-from sitting with Bob at the end of his life to dropping off food to unpacking boxes to contributions to the Bob Russell Memorial Fund - has made all the difference. Your support is the reason why we can carry on.
Experiencing enormous upheaval and disintegration over the past 3 years, we are now at the phase of regeneration and renewal. While this time is still fraught with grief and loss, there is also a growing sense of opportunity and self-evaluation. As we move forward we are looking with fresh eyes and asking how the Center can be a source of inspiration and hope as the 21st century unfolds in all of its complexity, especially with regard to our community.
While we will never be able to replace Bob Russell's energy and presence we aim to discover new ways of being, to expand our work, create stronger networks of collaboration and become stronger and wiser agents of positive change.
As part of our reorganization process, the Neahtawanta's Advisory Board and Board of Directors now consists of 12 on our active board, made up of local people, and an Advisory Board, made up of 9 longtime board members who live beyond our local area. We are grateful for all of these people being involved in the work here, as we are for your ongoing involvement with and support of the Center.
As we regroup, we are looking once again to you, our community. Your monetary gift to our general fund will help us as we reorganize. The following page outlines the programs that we will launch or continue in the coming year and beyond. We also have some potential projects in development which will be announced soon. Your donation will help spark this new work.
With deep gratitude,
Sally Van Vleck
Director of the Neahtawanta Center
President of the Neahtawanta Center Board of Directors
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