2020 Speakers

YeYe Luisah Teish

Yeye Luisah Teish

Yeye Luisah Teish is a teacher, dancer, storyteller, and high priestess. She also is an author, most notably of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, her father was an African Methodist Episcopal and her mother was a Catholic, of Haitian, French, and Choctaw heritage.

Yeye Teish is an Iyanifa and Oshun chief in Yoruba tradition.
Yeye Teish is one of the most well known Yoruba priestesses worldwide, who is celebrated internationally in Goddess circles as a writer and ritual-maker. She quite literally a legendary woman of great character and exceeding positive impact for this generation and all time.

www.yeyeluisahteish.com

Queen Mother Osunnike Scott-Manna

Queen Mother Osunnike is a natural healer, spiritual midwife, seeress, Iyanifa and priestess of Osun, goddess of love, beauty, sensuality, and fertility, and a Reiki Master teacher. Iya Osunnike is the paramount Queen Mother and co-founder and president of the Institute of Whole Life Healing, (www.manypaths1truth.org ) an organization designed to assist individuals and groups in rebirthing their divinity. She is also the founder of One Million Wombs United (OMWU) and the chief priestess of the Sacred Feminine Mysteries Initiation – Passage into the Great Mother (SFM).

The mission of OMWU is intended to ignite the luminous light within the wombs of women across the world. The SFM initiation is uniquely designed to guide women who are called to the priesthood to restore their sacred feminine convenient with the Great Mother. Queen Mother Osunnike’s additional training and talent is in psycho-spiritual therapy, drama therapy and the creative and performing arts; all of which she creatively weaves into her Sacred Sexual Healing, Liberation and Wholeness retreats for women. This sacred work is designed to assist women in healing sexual wounding derived from trauma and armoring so they can begin reclaiming their sacred sexual womb wisdom and power.

Queen Mother Osunnike traverses the universe from Peru to Africa, healing hearts and wombs from all walks of life. She is affectionately known to so many as the “healer’s healer”. She encircles people in her magically woven tapestry of healing, love, grace and spiritual truth. Her spiritual work is truly a radiant reflection of her diverse life’s journey.

www.manypaths1truth.org

Emily Gunter

Emily D. Gunter

Emily Diane Gunter, Founder of the Rites of Passage Youth Empowerment Foundation, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives with the Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award for dedication, achievements, and leadership in communications and education.

With nearly 50 years of professional experience, Ms. Gunter has been the president of Gunter Developmental Enterprises since 1998, the founder of the Rites of Passage Youth Empowerment Foundation since 1996, and a training manager with Urgent, Inc., since 2007. As someone whose entire essence is one of love and positivity, Ms. Gunter has made it her life’s work to empower others. She has a natural affinity for inspiring, spreading her wisdom as a spiritual life coach and motivational speaker since 1992. Ms. Gunter’s roles in the field have been vast, having been the founder of the Heart Africa Holding Company, where she currently served as chairman and chief executive officer, from 2000 to 2015, vice president of Black Americans of Achievement, Inc., from 1994 to 1995, and an account executive and Telecommunication Engineer with Pacific Bell from 1987 to 1993. Prior to these roles, she was an adjunct faculty member of mathematics at Grossmont College, San Diego Community College, and American University, as well as an outside plant engineer for New Jersey Bell, and traffic engineer for C&P Bell beginning in 1970.

Ms. Gunter has been an author throughout her career as well, authoring numerous books regarding self-actualization, education and healing, including “Superlearning 2000: The New Technologies of Self-Empowerment” in 1993, “Achieve Goals 2000: A Personal Handbook for the Lifelong Learner” in 1995, “Living, Learning & Healing Through the Right Use of Your Mind” in 1996, and “Superlearning 3000: Learning Made Simple” in 2011, among others. A bulk of her work has been illustrated by her son, Kadir Nelson, a world-renowned artist, author and illustrator who has painted album covers and murals for such prominent artists as Michael Jackson and Drake.

As a testament to her professional success, Ms. Gunter has accrued several accolades throughout her impressive career. The recipient of a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in 1997, she also received the California State 79th Assembly Certificate of Recognition and the Atlantic County Commissioner on Women to Women’s and Girls’ Award for Rites of Passage in 1998. In 1999, she received The Children’s Trust Champion for Children Award 2012, she has been selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in the World, Who’s Who in Science and Mathematics, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of American Women.

Karen M. Rose

Trained in Eastern and Western Herbal Medicine, Master Herbalist, Karen Rose created an outlet for her teachings and healing modalities with the opening of Brooklyn-based Sacred Vibes Healing and Sacred Vibes Apothecary in 2009. Her inspiration for this work began as a child in her native home of Guyana, where she was exposed to how African, Caribbean, and Latin American traditions profoundly influenced plant medicine and community healing. The legacy of these lands is the foundation of Karen’s spiritual and healing practice. She has developed authentic and enlightening materials as well as an extensive line of herbal products, all of which are available through the apothecary, apprenticeship classes and mentoring programs.

Karen and her work have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including on The FEED, featuring culinary celebrity Marcus Samuelsson, the New York Times, Black Enterprise Magazine, Organic Life, Allure Magazine, and the New York Daily News.

www.sacredvibeshealing.com

Help us to empower women to become proactive participants in their lives.

Amikaeyla Gaston

Amikaeyla, a Palera and Priestess of Oshun, is the Founder and Executive Director of ICAHSI, the International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute. She travels the world serving as a Cultural Ambassador for the State Department doing expansive work with political refugees, war survivors, and at-risk populations worldwide “…opening paralyzed voices and transforming wounded spirits through the miracle of her music”. - Laura R., President, Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Appearing internationally on Television, Radio, and Film with appearances on PBS, HBO and in the Sundance Film Festival, Amikaeyla is a nuanced thought-leader, author, public speaker, and performer, and is the proud recipient of the United Nations Global Woman Award; the Voss Foundation Emerging Women Leaders Award; the Pioneer Award for Exemplary Leadership and Outstanding Service in Social Justice and Advocacy; and the International Hero for Peace and Forgiveness award. She has been proclaimed as “a force for change as one of the purest contemporary voices” by National Public Radio (NPR), and is the winner of twelve WAMMY Awards for Best Jazz, World, and Urban Contemporary Vocalist. MTV says “her sultry sound is like listening to velvet waterfalls, and her soulful flavor captures the listener with dynamic passion and sincerity”.

Often called into difficult scenarios to offer inter-cultural literacy and deep restorative justice work in support of transformative and peaceful solutions, Amikaeyla is a highly sought-after public speaker and performer who shares her thoughts, songs, and music from the stage.

Workshop: Of Water & Honey - Songs, Stories & Spiritual Practices to honor Oshun

Description: Come and Celebrate the Divine Feminine Orisha (Deity) who is the mother of the sweet fresh waters, and is especially important to women West African cultures and descendants of the Diaspora. Oshun ~ lovingly known as the Goddess of Love and Goddess of the River combined ~ embodies the energies of fresh water and the essence of all things “honey” such as health, wealth, bounty, fertility, love, family, and sensuality.

Elaina Bright

Elaina Bright

Elaina is an indigenous herbalist, healer and product designer for Juices & Berries Apothecary. Using knowledge passed down from generations of healers in her family, she focuses on using plant spirit to create balance in her clients life. Working with Elaina is always a personal exploration in how your body responds to your lifestyle. Creating balance allows your body to perform its healing functions with a gentle nudge from the plants that support us. Elaina received a Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2019. She enjoys spending time traveling around the world and learning medicine from indigenous healers from many cultures. Her travels include The Afro Caribbeans of Costa Rica, The Mayans of Yucatan, Mexico and The Bedoins of Saudi Arabia. Specializing in the health of Women, Elaina strives to bring wellness back to her community.

Workshop: Discovering your Healing Narrative

We all have a message inside us that will transform our healing into something tangible and real. Something we can release. Journey with me into the land of indigenous storytelling for healing. Allow me to set the circle and hold space for you to create and explore your healing narrative. Write and speak your truths or sing and shout your truths, whatever feels right for you. We will pass the bundled herbs and share our stories, however true or false they may seem. We will bare our souls and heal amongst our tribe. We will journey together towards healing.

I have a story to share.
We welcome you.
I have a story to share.
And we hear you.
I have a story to share.
And we heal you.

Flora Deminis

Flora Domenis

is a Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Therapist, specialized in Lifestyle, Nutrition & Vedic Psychology with over 27 years of experience infused by Earth traditions from around the globe.

Workshop: Ayurveda's Millenary tools for modern guidance


Lydia Koltai

Lydia Koltai

Lydia Koltai is an herbalist, permaculture practitioner, community activist and homeschooling mother of four amazing children. She began her herbal studies in 2003, after learning about indigenous cultures and their medicinal plant practices in an Ethnoecology class in college. In 2007, while pregnant with her first child, Lydia completed a 13-week shamanic apprenticeship with Susan Weed. Since that time, she has continued to practice and study, providing herbal remedies and advice to her family and community and attending herbal classes to continue her own learning. Currently, she is enrolled as a student in the Chestnut School for Herbal Medicine. For the past two years, Lydia has been leading herbal education workshops in her community and is passionate about sharing the wisdom of the plants with anyone who shares a love for the green world.

Workshop: Wild Medicine: A Walk in the Woods with Plants that Heal.

Description: This workshop will consist of a 1.5-2-hour plant walk and a plant spirit meditation exercise. I will lead participants on a walk around the grounds and forest, identifying medicinal plants that grow on the land, discussing their uses, and sharing samples of medicine I have made with those plants. We will discuss various ways to connect with and learn from plants as well as how to identify plants safely. We will conclude the class with a plant spirit meditation designed to help participants connect more deeply with a plant and begin to build their own relationships with healing plants.

Stephanie Rose Bird

Stephanie Rose Bird

Stephanie Rose Bird, is the author of eight nonfiction books, including: The Big Book of Soul: the Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit: Legends and Lore, Music and Mysticism and Recipes and Rituals, (2010, Hampton Road Publishers), A Healing Grove: African Tree Medicine, Remedies and Rituals (2010, Chicago Review Press), Light, Bright, Damn Near White: Biracial and Triracial Culture in America and Beyond (2009, Praeger Press) Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs (June 2004, Llewellyn Worldwide Publishers) and “Four Seasons of Mojo: an Herbal Guide to Natural Living” (Llewellyn Worldwide Publishers, 2006),“Mama Nature’s Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss,” (Green Magic Publishing, 2018). Her most recent book, “365 Days of Hoodoo” was released last winter and is a top 50-100 amazon special category bestseller.

Bird works as a magickal herbalist, aromatherapist and is sole proprietor of Almost Edible Natural Products. Her products include organic herbal soap, incense, potpourri, bath salts, sachets and dream pillows. Bird writes regularly for www.naturallycurly.com as the resident herbalist and expert on natural ingredients. She has been a professional member of the Handcrafted Soap Maker’s Guild, for whom she wrote a column “Soap Worts: Useful Herbs for Soap Makers.” Bird’s professional memberships include: the American Botanical Council’s, Herb Research Society; the National Association for Holistic Health and Aromatherapy and Black Midwives and Healers: International Center for Traditional Childrearing. Her writing on , Hoodoo, green witchcraft, shamanism, holistic health, herbalism, complimentary therapies and herbal lore, focused around African diasporic healing ways, is featured in “Sage Woman,” “The Beltane Papers,” “International Journal of Aromatherapy,” “Aromatherapy Today,” “The Oracle,” “Herb Quarterly,” “Herb Companion,” “The Llewellyn Magical Almanac,” “The Llewellyn Herbal Almanac” “Enlightened Practice,” e-pregnancy and “Natural Home and Garden.”

Workshop: Making & Using Herbal Incense in Rituals for Body & Spirit

Theeda Murphy

Theeda Murphy

Theeda Murphy is a dreamer, an empath, a healer. Her desire to heal herself and others has taken her to interesting places in the world but most importantly within herself. Theeda has worked as a counselor specializing in trauma and grief for almost twenty years. She is a practitioner of Ifa, a traditional African religion and has spent most of her adult life studying astrology and tarot. Although she has an advanced degree, her real education has been through real life experiences and the unique ways in which life unfolds.

Workshp: Basic Astrology for Magical Women

Description: Every magical woman should have a basic working knowledge of astrology. Knowing the astrological cycles allows you to create rituals and workings that are in tune with the natural cycles of the Universe. This course is designed to give you a brief introduction to the ancient art and science of astrology.