Due to the increasing spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 and the high community spread in southern Illinois, Gamaliel has made the difficult decision to postpone our in-person gathering for Ntosake 2021 until further notice. Please know we do not make this decision lightly. Our first priority is the safety of Gamaliel staff, leaders and organizers. While we do not know when we can next hold Ntosake, we look forward to the day we can be together again in person.

However, we have planned several online trainings this autumn and winter to keep us all together in power, even if we can't be physically together. The first of these, The Ntosake Teaser, will be held via Zoom from 6-8 p.m. CT (7-9 p.m. ET/4-6 p.m. PT) Thursday, September 23 and 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. CT (11 a.m.-4 p.m. ET/8 a.m.-1 p.m. PT) Friday, September 24.

Registration for The Ntosake Trailer will open soon. Registration fees are $50/person.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact [email protected] or [email protected].

Not a member of a Gamaliel affiliate? Contact your local affiliate or Sr. Cheryl Liske, National Training Director, at [email protected]

The History of Ntosake—Women Who Walk with Lions and Carry Their Own Things

In 1993, in response to deep, historical systems of patriarchy, a group of women organizers and leaders from across the Gamaliel Network created the “Women’s Weekend.” This weekend was conceived as an opportunity for women to freely explore building a life as a leader in their communities and congregations.

We found that women hungered to find new and powerful ways to transform their lives. Knowing that women often do not find spaces that are bold, life-giving and affirming, the planners were mindful that they should also honor the spirituality of women.

The centerpiece of a closing sermon given by Rev. Dr. Brenda Hayes of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was a word, “Ntosake.” Ntosake originates from several indigenous languages from the southern part of Africa and means, “She who comes with her own things.”

Upon hearing the word and its definition, an awakening swept through the room and 75 women declared “We are Ntosake.”

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Want to know more about Ntosake? Listen to Sara Meyer (Quad Cities Interfaith) as she discusses her experience at Ntosake 2019: