Myrna Cabán Lezcano is a queer Boricua yerbera (herbalist), certified yoga instructor, educator and former DJ. When she was two years old, she was healed by a curandera. She grew up eating mangos and being doused in Agua Florida. Her elders inspired her by connecting to Spirit and Healing in their own ways: growing gandules (pigeon peas), raising chickens, making dream-based predictions, and singing spontaneous songs. Myrna graduated from Sacred Vibes Apothecary apprentice program and has completed a year-long yoga & healer training through Shambhala Yoga & Dance as well as the Brooklyn Urban Gardener program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. When she’s not creating herbal potions and listening to records, she is dreaming up the future.
Padmini has been practicing yoga for over a decade. She is the author of "Social Sutra: Yoga, Health and Identity in New York's Changing Neighborhoods" (Health, Culture and Society Vol. 3 No. 1, 2012) and is working on a book about yoga, gentrification, and social change.
Melinda González is a Brooklyn original, born and raised in East Flatbush. She is a community artist who promotes healing and self-expression through Afro Puerto Rican Bomba, a synergy of elements drumming, singing and dance. Melinda is co-founder of BombaYo, an intergenerational bomba ensemble. Melinda’s healing journey includes explorations in holistic skincare, plant/herb based remedies, massage therapy and gardening. She is currently training in Meridian Touch Yoga and has received Reiki training.
Jennifer Lopez - “So let us be tender with one another. Let us foster a spirit of vulnerability that cultivates the willingness to risk imagining otherwise, that values the resilience needed to carry the burden of our collective longings.” Jennifer read those words by Juana Maria Rodriguez a few years ago and she’s still thinking about it, yo. She knows our bodies be knowin and so she’s continuing to learn how to listen to her intuition. The daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, Jennifer grew up in the South Bronx where platanos, salsa, and bachata taught her some of her first lessons about love, family, home, and history. She believes in the power of storytelling and writing to flesh out how our experiences shape our bodies and the ways we want to love and be loved.
Gerard Miller is a Black nonbinary/agender queer native of Baltimore with roots in rural Maryland and North Carolina. They grew up surrounded by the Elders: both grandmothers and their siblings, 2 great- grandmothers, and a great-great grandmother, Mothers of the Church, and others in their wider community. Service of others, investment in self, and connection to Spirit through Nature and people have been foundational principles in their development. Gerard is interested in honoring and sustaining Ancestral legacies through movement, stories, crafts, and earthways; believing that our modes of survival can guide us to a prosperous future. Central to their vision is amplifying the voices and experiences of the most marginalized folx in society, reflecting their own African and Indigenous heritage and their queer identity. Working with performance, plant medicine, and storykeeping/-telling, they hope to integrate the parts of the 7-pointed star: the World Above, the World Beneath, the World Around Us, and the World Within.
Claudia Navas es Nicaragüense and calls Miami Beach home. She believes in the powers of the moon, sun, salt, and herbs. As an educator, farmer/gardener, and composter, she feels most grounded and empowered with her hands in the soil. She pours her heart into growing and preserving vegetables, fruit, roots, and flowers. A lover of all things food, she is pursuing a master's degree in foodsystems particularly as it relates to migrant & immigrant labor. Her hope is to be in healing community with those that call for social and environmental justice and an end to oppression.
supporters + former core members:
Gabriela Alvarez, Dionne Lee, Natalie Peart, Natalie Sablon, Adaku Utah, Jane LiZhen Wang