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Fri, Aug 19


Junipers Garden

Diasporic Roots- A Healing Retreat

Join Junipers Garden and Gwiza Om for Diasporic Roots, a healing retreat for people of African descent who want to reconnect to their ancestral healing traditions and the earth.

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Diasporic Roots- A Healing Retreat
Diasporic Roots- A Healing Retreat

Time & Location

Aug 19, 2022, 10:00 AM EDT – Aug 21, 2022, 2:00 PM EDT

Junipers Garden, Brandywine, MD

About the event

Join Junipers Garden and Gwiza Om for Diasporic Roots, a healing retreat for people of African descent who want to reconnect to their ancestral healing traditions and the earth. The retreat will take place at Junipers Garden in Brandywine, MD, a medicinal herb farm and nature preserve located near the Patuxent river.

The roots of western herbalism lie within the traditions of African, African American and Indigenous ways of healing. We will explore these roots by looking at the history, plants, medicines and spiritual traditions of the diaspora.

During this retreat you will

  • Learn the basics of how to grow, care for and identify both cultivated , wild and/or native plants
  • Learn how to make herbal medicines like teas, poultices, tinctures, glycerites, flower essences and more
  • Explore the elements of fire, water, earth, mineral and nature through ritual and meditation
  • Develop a basic understanding of herbal actions, energetics and body systems
  • Learn about the herbal uses of african and native plants
  • Participate in daily yoga and mediation sessions with Gwiza Om.
  • Connect with the vulnerable parts of your mind through stillness and mindful movement- to release tension in the body either from physical harm or trauma
  • Learn to feel safe and relax within your body by opening your heart with more self-compassion, patience and presence.
  • Use mediation not just to silence your mind, but to observe your thoughts, slow down breath and activate your parasympathetic nervous system
  • Connect with the surrounding sounds of nature and internal noise of the mind and listen to traditional Rawandan music to feel the rhythm of East African Spirituality.

Cost: $375 per person

Registration covers access to camping, 3 meals per day and snacks, daily workshops, ancestral plants materia medica, herbal products ( to take home) and recipes, and daily yoga and meditation classes. 

Register by August 12th to reserve your spot. Contact for more information. 

About the Facilitators: 

Samaria Marley - Junipers Garden 

Samaria is a farmer, herbalist and co-owner of Junipers Garden. She has been working in the field of agriculture and food justice in the DC metro region for over 10 years. Her innovative and visionary approach has helped to usher in accessible models of food access and community centered care. She developed the first low cost CSA model, C.R.I.S.P. in DC in 2016, managed The Farm at Kelly Miller in NE DC for 4 years and is the co-founder of the DC Mutual Aid Apothecary, a mutual aid organization that works to connect people to herbal medicine, education and community. 

Samaria began her herbalism journey in 2015 and has studied with Wild Ginger Herbal Center, Well of Indigenous Wisdom and the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. She is also a 2022 Braiding Seeds Fellow. Samaria and her partner Blain recently opened Junipers Garden, a small scale vegetable and medicinal herb farm in Brandywine MD whose mission is to provide a space for black and brown people to be on land, reclaim their ancestral healing and farming practices, traditions and seeds and gain access to valuable knowledge and resources. The farm hosts seasonal events, herbalism workshops and retreats and natural building workshops.

Jalila Williams- Gwiza Om 

Gwiza Om discovers the spectrum of creative wellness and culture in communities of black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC).  It is the story of Jalila Williams, an African-American woman and traveling artist with Rwandan ancestry.  Gwiza, which means “abundant”, is part of her late mother’s name.  Jalila began her Yoga journey in June 2018 and six months later moved abroad to Thailand where she lived for three years.  She maintained a consistent home-based practice which also helped her gain insight of the new world she was immersed in.  There is something very empowering about a black woman creating space for herself living in an Eastern societal and homogenous community.  Yoga helped Jalila develop a greater sense of self-awareness and opened her mind to the impactful experience she was having.  After one year in Thailand, she enrolled in Yoga teacher training and earned her 200 hour certification in the style of Hatha-Vinyasa.  She also includes Restorative and Yin in her discipline.

Jalila considers herself a lifelong student in this transformative process of self-discovery and upholds the representation of black women in Yoga.  After the pandemic struck in 2020, it became very necessary to advocate for the mental and emotional health of African-American people as the political climate became more oppressive and volatile.  Gwiza Om shares subjective knowledge to those who want to find balance within themselves through conscious movement and meditation.  It studies the personal dialogue between mind and body.  It is the driving force that reroutes everyone to their internal truth and passion.  Jalila offers space to those willing to join her on this beautiful journey of growth and healing.

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