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Recap: Our Conscious City Track

To kick off our 2023 FUTURE FORWARD Conference, on Wednesday, April 19, more than 150 participants gathered in the CODE Building, Common House, yoga studios and public parks to discuss individual and collective healing. It was a moment to learn and experience together through interactive conference panels and experiential workshops.

Topics included individual modalities for healing, community access to healing, psychedelics, sacred ceremonies, faith communities, and conscious dying. Participants were also able to explore their own consciousness with an interactive Tai Chi workshop led by Tai Chi Master, Hiromi Johnson on the lawn of the McGuffy Arts Center.The Tom Tom Foundation will be supporting individual and community implementation of these practices in the coming year.

The day began with a meditation and drum call featuring Yolonda Coles Jones & Darrell Rose.

Patrick Belisle, Dr. Kim Penberthy, and Monica Rao discussed ways individuals can increase their awareness and happiness during the “Healing The Individual” panel.

Tai Chi Master, Hiromi Johnson lead participants throughout the “6 Steps to Compassion” session on the lawn of the McGuffy Arts Center.

Healing The Community | Access, Knowledge, and Empathy” featured Greg Gelburd, Claude Atcho, Yolonda Jones, and Claude Atcho as they examined the role that community plays in our individual journeys toward healing.

Christopher Murray, Stephanie Bonney, Beth Eck, and Ron Cottrell facilitated conversations with community members surrounding end-of-life planning and care throughout the “Conscious Dying | Cremation, Natural Burials, and Death Doulas” session.

Polina Mischenko led “Showing Love: Gratitude and the Gift of Presence for Caregivers. Participants engaged in meditation, mindful listening with a partner, and gratitude writing practices.

Psychedelics & Community Integration” brought together Andrew Chomer, Kwasi Adusei, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Neil Markey, and David Fife to discuss the current state of the psychedelic movement in addressing transformational new mental health solutions.

Christian leaders, Eddie Howard, Mary Coleman, Sam Heath, and Gregory Thompson looked at how their faith plays out in ways they live in and love in Charlottesville during the “Faith in Action: The Role of the Church in Community Flourishing.

The conference finished with “Sacred Ceremonies | The Effective Usage of Plant Medicine” led by Alex Patterson, Kristin Gorenflo, and David Fife.


Special Thanks to our Sponsors

Special Thanks to our Steering Committee

The steering committee are individuals who will help facilitate and host events during the week of Tom Tom. Each of these people are actively working in the consciousness and healing space in Charlottesville and beyond, and are helping promote a year-round conversation about a more connected community.

  • Pat Belisle, UVA Division of Perceptual Studies

  • Erin Burt, Director of Admissions, Union Presbyterian Seminary

  • Kate Byrne, Chief Growth Officer, Goodlight Capital

  • David Fife, Managing Partner, Integrated VC

  • Ginger Graham, Tom Tom Advisory Board

  • Adam Healey, CEO, Novela

  • Sam Heath, Evangelical Network - Equal Justice USA

  • Alicia Henry, Writer, Tea Poet

  • Freddy Jackson, Founder, The Love No Ego Foundation

  • Stein Kretsinger, Data Scientist & Business Advisor

  • Karolyn Kinane, UVA Contemplative Sciences

  • Alicia Lenahan, Executive Director, Common Ground

  • Alex Patterson, CEO of Ambiwasi

  • Martize Tolbert, The Fountain Fund, Peace in the Streets

  • Rissa Tutia, Program Manager, Common Ground

  • Lindsay Westra, SAP

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