Reconnecting with Purpose

Project Leads: Violet Stone

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As farm and food system educators or change agents working alongside rural and urban farm communities, we face enormous challenges to our efforts to support improved livelihoods of those we serve. While we may design focused educational programs or convene groups to work towards change, our work can become daunting. Over time, we may find our energy, commitment and spirit depleted.

Are you seeking a space to step away from day-to-day work to pause, reflect, replenish and connect with a larger community of others doing similar work?

The "Reconnecting with Purpose – A Renewal Experience for NY Farm and Food System Educators and Change Makers" is a 5-month program designed for those working across the New York farm and food system. The program aims to create a welcoming and trustworthy space for farm and food system educators to explore challenges, to re-engage with personal strengths and capacities to address them, and to renew a sense of inspiration and purpose in their work and lives.

The application period for the Year 2 Cohort (2021-22) closed on August 31st, 2021.  We will be offering the program again in  2022-23.

Reflections from Previous Participants...

"This is a really important program for helping our food system stay sustainable because so many educators and farmers are burned out and it's because of more than all the work we got to do. A lot of times it's because we have forgotten to keep the things that give us life in our lives and work."

"I'm passionate about the work I do and the folks I get to work with, but this program has really supported my journey in taking a look at myself outside of productivity and external expectations."

"The Reconnecting with Purpose program gave me incredible insight into the passion and strength of individuals in the food systems field.  It also inspired me to become a productive member of this community to support and advocate for local food producers."

"I feel less alone with many of the burdens I encounter in my job and I feel as if I have the tools to help alleviate some of those burdens." Read More....

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Reconnecting with Purpose Project Team

Marcia Eames-Sheavly is an ICF Certified Integral Professional Coach and Circle of Trust® Facilitator prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal.  In these roles and as a university teacher and outreach educator, reflective practice and community development are cornerstones of her work, whether she is facilitating a circle, spending time with students in the classroom, online learners around the world, or community members from New York to Belize.  Marcia has developed and led numerous retreats and programs informed by the principles and practices of Circles® of Trust; she created and implements the Inner Life of Teaching & Leadership cohort-based experience at Cornell University. She is the recipient of numerous teaching and writing awards.

Kimerly (Kim) Cornish, is a social justice advocate and accessible yoga instructor. She's been a student of the Center for Courage & Renewal's programming since 2017. Kim grew up in rural Dorchester, Maryland with farming in her extended family. She regularly presents on her ancestor, Harriet Tubman, and contemporary visual culture.  She also facilitates reading and discussion groups on works by authors Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and Ibram X. Kendi.

Violet Stone is the Reconnecting with Purpose Project Coordinator and the NY State NESARE Professional Development Coordinator.  Violet has a passion for creating welcoming spaces that invite authentic reflection and warm connection.  Her first encounter with work of the Center for Courage & Renewal in 2018 was transformative in giving her the courage to co-create a development opportunity that invited and honored the whole self.  She co-facilitates this project with Marcia and Kim with gratitude and humility! She has been working in the field of sustainable and regenerative agriculture for 20 years and has led projects for the Cornell Small Farms Program since 2007.

Jamillah El Bey is a Peer Learning Circle facilitator, alongside Marcia, Kimerly and Violet.  Jamillah is a gardener, earth worker, integrated healer and wellness educator.  After completing the Reconnecting with Purpose Cohort in 2020-21 she has been facilitating Peer Learning Circles for other Cohort members and NESARE networks.  You’ll meet her in the Retreats, listening and learning alongside us and you might be lucky enough to be in the Peer Learning Circle she facilitates!

Anu Rangarajan is an Advisor and Leadership Team member with the Reconnecting with Purpose Program.  She is the Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program and the Manager of the Equitable Farm Futures Project.  She has a special gift for speaking poetry!  You’ll meet her in the Retreats, listening and learning alongside us.

Sponsored by Northeast SARE

This project is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number SNE20-010-NY

News and Updates

Reconnecting with Purpose Program Welcomes Applicants

By Violet Stone | August 9, 2021

As farm and food system educators or change makers working alongside rural and urban farm communities, we face enormous challenges to our efforts to support improved livelihoods of those we…

Read More

You’re Invited: Reconnecting with Purpose

By Violet Stone | August 10, 2020

As farm and food system educators or change makers working alongside rural and urban farm communities, we face enormous challenges to our efforts to support improved livelihoods of those we…

Read More

See the full archive from Reconnecting with Purpose

About Violet Stone

Violet is the coordinator of the Reconnecting with Purpose project, which offers farm and food system educators and change makers a retreat space to explore challenges and renew a sense of inspiration and purpose in their work and lives. She is also a collaborator on the Be Well Farming Project. This project creates reflective spaces for farmers and food producers to connect meaningfully and explore strategies that can ameliorate challenges and bolster quality of life. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.

Read Articles by Violet Stone

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