As an experienced leader, I was grateful for the challenge issued by one of our leaders that went beyond the surface place from which I was comfortably operating. 
--Rev. DeNeice Welch

The name "Ntosake" comes from South Africa and means "She who walks with lions; she who carries her own things." 

Ntosake 2017

The next gathering is scheduled for September 14-16, 2017 in Kansas City, MO. 

Rev. DeNeice Welch, chair of the Clergy Leaders Caucus of Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, PIIN, is serving this year as National Chair for the Ntosake table. 

Register for the training 
Download the 2017 flyer

Have you been to Ntosake? Join other past participants on Facebook.

What happens at Ntosake?

After our October 2015 training, Louisa Pacheco offered this reflection on its importance as a place to replenish her energy as a woman organizer:

I am a 15-year organizer, and the former Executive Director of Gamaliel Western New York and VOICE-Buffalo. Today I am the Regional Political Organizer of New York State United Teachers.

I just returned to Buffalo after spending 3 days in California for the Gamaliel National women’s leadership training Ntosake 2015. I returned focused and energized after a decade and a half of grueling and heartbreaking work in my community. 

Ntosake was a boost of serotonin for me.

I often say that organizing is completely inefficient, because it requires both a democratic process and a leadership development plan, and these 2 things together make it a s-l-o-w and often painful process.  

We are in the trenches everyday with people of color, unions, poor women and men who are consistently attacked by the well-financed corporate machine that says if you do not make enough money to live, well then you are just lazy.  If your child is not learning then you are a lazy parent and your child is lazy too, (where do you think they learned it!) 

If you are in a union such as NYSUT, then you are greedy, you don’t deserve to have job security, or a decent wage, because well, what did you do to deserve these things, after all you are just a teacher!  These vicious attacks have lead to America’s greatest depression, this time both economic and mental.

Some days it is hard getting out of bed to face the negative stories and images of our community.  Couple that with the killings of young Black men and women by systemic approach to policing and militarization in the transitioning parts of our country and you have a serious societal mental illness. But at Ntosake I found an antidote.

I met young women ready to direct their anger at the right target, and graduate from high school.

I met young women who are leading in their own community and raising money for youth ministry, the area of our country we should and must invest in.

I met older women who during training said their lives were over, but heard from the youth who said “WE NEED YOU!” from the top of their lungs. 

I met Latina, African-American, and Asian-American women who refuse to be defined by someday else. I met strong White women who were bold and ready to share their power with their sisters of color. 

This is the network led by a Dominican-born, American immi
grant woman, Ana Garcia-Ashley. This is what is possible when we lead from the margins! Ana, thank you for your spirit, your chutzpah, your triumph in building a multi-racial, multi-generational, multi-sexuality, multi-gender movement. You and your leadership have created a team that invites everybody to sit at the table of power. 

I thank you and Gamaliel for investing in me and providing this space for me and all my sisters to build our community. I am a woman who walks with the lions and carries her own things. 

Ntosake Participant Criteria

Criteria for Ntosake Track 1:
1) Must be invited by a leader or an organizer
2) Must have attended Weeklong National training or be committed to attend within the next 12 months.
3) Must be pursuing a leadership position or in a leadership position.

Criteria for Ntosake Track 2:

1) Must be invited by a leader or an organizer.
2) Must have attended Weeklong National training.
3) Must be in a significant leadership position.
4) May have attended a previous Ntosake event.

Training is designed for those who are or who want to become Ntosake women. We require that women who attend should have attended or plan to attend the Gamaliel Foundation's National Weeklong Leadership Training.