Your NameAlex Epstein
Cohort AssignmentAmericas with In-Person Intensive in Santa Fe, Fall-Winter 2023
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

I have spent the past 13 years dedicated creating 'spaces of reconnection' - specifically to working with communities in Philadelphia and New York City to activate envision and create urban farms, gardens, public parks, and safe spaces that nurture deeper relationships with our bodies, communities, and environments.

I really enjoy working with my hands and my heart.

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

I spent much of my 'career' as a co-founder/co-director of a non-profit/urban farm in Philadelphia (the Urban Creators).

Now, having transitioned out of that role just under a year ago, I am trying to redefine my role in the deeper work of "reconnection". I am currently really called towards facilitating community design processes, working with my hands to build and cultivate gardens, and consulting/mentoring small organizations and emerging leaders.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

At this point I am trying to refine my design facilitation process, as well as the way I approach the design and implementation of gardens and community spaces.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

Having spent so much time with one organization, I am honestly in a space of trying to reflect on and learn from the "medecines of my mistakes". I have a lot to learn and grow from the impact of my past work (both positive and negative), and hope to be more open and transparent about learnings, lessons, and medecines with those around me.

5. And for professional growth?

I feel excited to learn from the Regenesis facilitators and other practitioners, as I am currently redefining the ways I approach my own work in this next stage of my life and career. Specifically I am looking to refine my design facilitation practice, and the ways I approach working with land. I also am really interested in learning about using more sustainable materials and implementing more earth-centric designs.

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

I have a BA from Temple University, and have gone through various leadership development programs.

Honestly though, the relationships i've nurtured over the years are what have really helped me to get where I am today. I have been incredibly fortunate to have lots of great comrades, collaborators, and mentors throughout my journey.

Other than that, I have invested in a website, some tools, and basic marketing materials this year to support my work going forward.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

I am honestly relatively knew to thinking in terms of 'fields of learning'. But some authors, mentors, organizations, and philosophies that have influenced me include

Kinship. Tiokasin Ghosthorse. The Global Peace Initiative of Women. The work that reconnects, Joanna Macey. Spiritual Ecology. Permaculture. Restorative Justice. Human Centered Design principles.

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

This is honestly something I am still feeling through for myself, and redefining in this year of transition.

Overall, I believe that everything comes down to balance. Humans are a part of a global (and cosmic) web of inter-connection and inter-dependance, but have fallen out of balance as a species due to greed, extraction, over consumption, violence, and colonization of our own minds, bodies, and spirits. As a result, we have by-and-large, caused immense harm to the sacred bond that we innately share with the earth and all that is around us - and are therefore trapped in a self-deprecating cycle of disharmony.

My hope is the play a small roll in the process of restoring balance(inc) by designing and creating spaces where people of all ages can develop more intimate relationships with their food, their bodies, their communities, and the earth. As a city kid, I have approached this work as a community organizer and urban farmer. Now, I hope to further these efforts as more of a designer/facilitator of collaborative projects that foster the work of re-connection and re-harmonization.

Date CreatedNovember 4, 2023