- Compassionate Spirituality, Diaspora, International Connections, Religion, Spirit & Struggle, Women's Wisdom
We are proud to announce the upcoming visit to the USA of Iyalorixá Valnizia de Ayrá (Mãe Val) — senior Candomblé priestess and community activist from Brazil.
Candomblé is a powerful, poetic and ancestral tradition developed by enslaved Africans and their descendants in Brazil with a focus on rites of healing, honoring the sacred in the natural world (Orishas) and resistance to oppression. We have been working since 2000 with elders in the Candomblé tradition to share their insights about environmental and racial justice with activists in the United States through exchange programs, lectures/workshops and publications.
Mãe Val is the leader of the Terreiro do Cobre Candomblé temple in Salvador, Bahia, one of Bahia’s oldest and most politically and socially engaged ritual centers; its members are deeply engaged in Afro-Brazilian human rights organizing and are consistently at the forefront of the struggle to demand respect for religions of African descent.
This fall, in honor of our 20th anniversary, we are collaborating with the Caribbean Cultural Center in NYC and Spelman College in Atlanta, to bring this esteemed Afro-Brazilian elder to the US for a series of presentations, workshops and intimate conversations about the role of indigenous spirituality and women’s wisdom in grassroots social justice organizing. We need your help.
As many of you know, the heart of the work at Veterans of Hope has been to gather and share the resources of spiritually-grounded social justice work across a range of communities, traditions and movements. In the ominousness of the current political moment, we remain convinced that the histories of struggle, and the cultural, artistic and spiritual traditions of Black and Indigenous people – in our nation and around the world – are sources of tremendous strength and wisdom for our nation as we push ourselves to become a truly healthy, just and welcoming multiracial country. We need your support!
Or, send a check to: The Veterans of Hope Project, P.O. Box 100065, Denver, CO 80250. Your donation is tax-deductible.
Your contribution will help support our fall programs and defray international and domestic airfare costs for our guests. Please join us, in whatever way you can, as we strengthen this bridge between communities working for compassionate social justice in the USA and our sisters and brothers in other parts of the world who are facing similar assaults. We learn from each other. We help each other. And together, with our ancestral resources, we make another world possible.
Mãe Val will be presenting at the TRADE/ITIONS conference of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in New York on September 23 and at Spelman College on September 28. For more information, check the Veterans of Hope Project website calendar here.
Warm regards and appreciation,
Rachel and Gloria, Co-Directors
The Veterans of Hope Project