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In this issue ...

  • Webinar February 8: Therapist Heal Thyself: Racial Equity, Justice, & Clinical Practice
  • PACE Connect @ Foxfire Ranch March 12-16, 2023 in Waterford, MS!
  • Register for the winter 2023 offering of DEI Essentials!
  • Annual Spring Summit: Loretta Ross comes to VISIONS, Inc.!

A Celebration of Life


With great sadness, we share news of the passing of Mrs. Mae Neal Batts, Dr. Val’s mother, who transitioned on December 26, 2022 at 96 years of life.

For more information about the celebration of her life, and how you can join (virtually) at the link below

Please keep the Capitman Batts Family in your thoughts and prayers.

From the VP of Administration

Nikki Glass

nikki glass

Thank you for your support in 2022! We know you value the work and efforts of VISIONS.

As you will read, we have a lot in store for 2023 to bring awareness to this important work of appreciating and incorporating differences for the betterment of all. If you can, please consider a donation to support our youth, scholarships for workshops like PACE, DEI Essentials and Liberation Generation, VISIONS’ newest youth training program.

This month, Lawrence Alexander adds to his VISIONS duties by supporting and teaming with Lisa Fagerstrom in our outreach efforts to bring awareness to the VISIONS model and its impact. Many of you may know Lawrence as a host for many of our webinars. He and Lisa are passionate about the work of VISIONS and the transformation that the tools can have on those who have the opportunity to work with VISIONS.

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If you know of a community that can benefit from the VISIONS tools reach out to us. Email and see how we can assist.

From the Director of Programs

Dr. Leena Akhtar 

Leena Akhtar (she/her), VISIONS Director of Programs & Consultant, Northampton, MA

Happy New Year! We’ve been busy developing an exciting slate of programming for 2023!


DEI Insights Webinar - Therapist, Heal Thyself: Racial Equity, Justice, & Clinical Practice

February 8, 2023

What does it mean to embody humility and self-awareness while working against oppression in clinical practice? How do clinicians who are deeply impacted by racism and marginalization sustain their work? Join four VISIONS consultants whose clinical experience informs their DEI work with organizations, groups, and individuals for a reflective and exploratory webinar on topics including:

  • how power and privilege have historically operated in the field of mental health
  • why a deep awareness of equity and racial justice are integral to effective clinical practice
  • how an understanding of human behavior is key to engaging in effective DEI and organizational culture-change work
  • the importance of rest, collective healing, and reimagining clinical competency in promoting racial equity and justice.

DEI Essentials

late January-February 2023

Thanks to everyone who registered so far! Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve opened additional seats.

Join us for an introduction to key VISIONS tools and frameworks in a small group setting. The winter offering of DEI Essentials will take place on January 31, February 7, February 21, and February 28, 2023. Register to attend here!

Can’t make it this time? The next offering will occur in May 2023– stay tuned for dates!

Honoring the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King & Coretta Scott King

More than 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. led 20,000 people on a freedom march through Boston Common, hundreds of community leaders and residents gathered there Friday for the unveiling of The Embrace, a 22-foot-high bronze sculpture memorializing his and Coretta Scott King’s legacy and their lasting imprint on Boston.

Click below to read the full article on

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Mark your calendars! VISIONS SPRING SUMMIT

MAY 11-12, 2023

We are excited to announce that public intellectual, reproductive and human rights activist, and 2022 MacArthur Fellow Professor Loretta J. Ross will be the keynote speaker at the 2023 VISIONS Spring Summit!

Ross Photo

Our theme this year is a cultural-level exploration of alternatives to shame-based call-out culture. The VISIONS model offers dynamic tools and interventions for communication, growth, accountability, and deepening of relationships across difference that have powerful implications for movement and coalition-building. The summit will offer attendees an opportunity to come together, exchange ideas, and learn practical interventions for cultivating and deepening connections to support positive change in the world.

The summit will take place on May 11 and May 12, 2023. Professor Ross will be delivering the keynote address followed by a Q&A at 1pm ET/10am PT on May 12.

Save the date and stay tuned for announcements, including registration and calls for speakers!

PACE Connect @ Foxfire Ranch

March 12-16, 2023

VISIONS is pleased to announce a new offering: a retreat experience that combines VISIONS' time-tested model for developing cross-cultural communication skills within an immersive natural environment. Through intentional engagement with this powerful process in nature, participants have the opportunity to engage in a broader process of transformation, healing, and connection.

PACE Connect will take place at Foxfire Ranch in Hill Country, Mississippi. Register below to secure your spot!


VISIONS on the Civil Rights Trail

April 25-30, 2023

Join VISIONS for a learning experience and tour of key sites along the historic Civil Rights Trail in Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, Alabama. The tour will take place over 5 days. Participants will learn foundational elements of the VISIONS model in addition to visiting key sites including the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the Equal Justice Initiative Memorial and Museum.

Itinerary, transportation information, and registration links will be posted shortly. Please follow us on social media or stay tuned to our mailing list announcements and emails to learn when registration is open!



VISIONS Youth Programming

VISIONS will be running Legacy programs in summer 2023–first up: Fresno, CA! Stay tuned for news about other youth programming, and follow @legacyprojectfresno to keep up with some of the great work VISIONS' youth are doing!

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From the Executive Director

Elika Dadsetan-Foley

Happy 2023 to those on the Gregorian calendar! For those who may have ever wondered how we came to celebrate January 1 as our first day of the year, I invite you to read on. 🙂

The Gregorian calendar was developed by Pope Gregory XIII and the Catholic Church in 1582 - it was a calendar based in mathematics and convenience to his community. It was met across the world with resistance because it was the first of its kind to wholly separate the existing clocks from the natural world - which was a very important part of how we’d lived–in sync with nature since the beginning of time. All over the world, until then, we were people who lived moon to moon and season to season. The old calendars measured the passage of time by noticing observable events, and that very interconnectedness with nature and one another was a critical piece of who we were. Instead, there was a forced transition to an artificially created mapping of time where humans were separated from nature and each other, and nature –her rhythms, her significance– was diminished and moved to the periphery. We moved further and further from knowing self as part of a larger system, away from nature and community being our primary contexts as we moved through our days. Other cultures began to frame their own calendars around religion and ethos, and the separations deepened. The drifting apart continued.

“...we begrudgingly adhere to the calendar of the church to make our appointments... But we can still return our feet to the earth and our eyes to the sky in rebellion and in remembrance of our ancestral alignment."

- Harty T. Kelley

So to honor our natural world, I want to acknowledge we are still in a winter season - a time where we historically conserve our energy from now until spring. Like everything else in the universe, our energy ebbs and flows, and this is the season where we tend to our slow-burning embers as we move toward the rebirth of spring and the blazing fires of summer. This slowing down allows us to turn our focus inward. Even as those of us in the northern hemisphere are missing the sun, I invite us all to embrace the darkness and stillness of this season. As nature rests and restores, so do we.

(A quick sidenote: As I purpose to move with intentions this winter season, I also look forward to the “new year” my family and culture has historically celebrated: “Norooz,” which falls on the first moment it turns “spring” every year so it can be at a different time of day each “year” and usually falls on either March 20 or 21). 😊

This work we do can be isolating, discouraging, and depleting. Within our VISIONS community, we try to ensure others feel affirmed, appreciated, reassured, and renewed. We do work that, in the words of Jaiya John, “dares to help birth a new world of human dignity, a world that dissolves the old structures, systems, ideologies, and spirit that incarcerate and traumatize generation after generation.”

Whether you track your days in Gregorian units, lunar cycles, or another calendar, the VISIONS team has been working hard to get to where we are today. We have an incredible foundation, and we continue to build on that legacy with new programming and opportunities to share our tools and approaches. We are working on not being the world’s “best kept secret,” and we are excited to keep expanding our impact while staying connected with (and hearing more from!) all of you.

Wishing everyone a season of abundance and meaningful connection!

In Community,


Out Doing the Work

Join our very own senior consultant, Dr. Jim Turner on January 18, 2023, who will be a guest speaker at Trauma Informed LA's National Day of Racial Healing Event. You can register at the link below!

Jim Turner, PHD

In other news...

The VISIONS administrative office will be closed on the following dates this quarter:

  • Presidents Day - Feb. 20, 2023
  • VISIONS Office closed - March 13 - 17, 2023

Please connect with VISIONS' social media - follow, like, share!

Shares are strokes - All your boosts are deeply appreciated!!!

Visit our website for more info and updates!

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