Omega in Action | Page 13 | Omega

Omega in Action

Omega in Action highlights inspiring people and organizations making meaningful change. From protecting the environment to empowering women, healing veterans, and serving nonprofits, you'll find fresh perspectives, trending news, and the latest information on noteworthy events here at Omega and around the world.

Omega's Chief Executive Officer Speaks at the Net Positive Energy + Water Conference

3 years 2 months ago

Robert "Skip" Backus, chief executive officer of Omega Institute, spoke about the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) at the Net Positive Energy + Water Conference hosted by the Living Future Institute. The event, which took place February 4–5 in San Francisco, California, brought together leading experts from around the world to develop net-zero energy and water concepts through the restorative framework of the Living Building Challenge, the world's most rigorous green building standard.

Learn more about the Net Positive Energy + Water Conference

Learn more about the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL)

Offshore Freshwater Aquifers: Which Law Will Apply?

3 years 2 months ago

This past December, vast groundwater reserves were discovered off the coasts of China, Australia, North America, Greenland, Suriname, Nigeria, and South Africa, raising hopes that these resources could offer a solution for water-scarce regions. However, there are technical and legal issues that must be resolved before these transboundary aquifers can be used.

Renee Martin-Nagle, a visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC, and secretary/treasurer of Omega's board, addresses the pressing legal implications.

Learn more about these transboundary aquifers

Omega Announces Grant Opportunity: Women Serving Women Summit, May 28–30, 2014

3 years 3 months ago

Annual Retreat for Nonprofits Serving Women & Girls Now Accepting Grant Applications Online

RHINEBECK, NY – Today Omega announced its annual Women Serving Women Summit, a gathering of nonprofits working to positively impact the lives of women and girls, will take place May 28–30, 2014, on Omega’s Rhinebeck, New York campus, with the theme Nourishing Body, Mind, and Spirit. The Summit is part of Omega’s annual Service Week program, which has offered retreat grants to nonprofits for the past decade. The Women Serving Women Summit grant application is now available on Omega’s website with a deadline of February 10, 2014.

“The Women Serving Women Summit, a program offered by the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, extends support to nonprofit organizations serving women’s needs and interests. We are focusing the 2014 summit on helping organizations that rarely get a break from the front lines to pause, reflect, and nourish their staff on all levels, so that they can return to their work with renewed purpose and dedication to their organization’s mission,” said Carla Goldstein, cofounder of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center and chief external affairs officer at Omega.

Grant recipients for the Women Serving Women Summit will attend a two-day, two-night organizational retreat on Omega’s 200-acre campus in Rhinebeck, New York. The grant includes free room and board, a private meeting space, use of all the facilities at Omega, and an optional hour of consultation with Omega’s partner, the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).

Nonprofit organizations can apply to come on their own, or partner with another organization with similar objectives and apply to come together for the Multiple Organization Track. NYCON supports those on the Multiple Organization Track with an enriched program designed to enhance collaborative efforts. The grant from Omega provides a rare opportunity for organizations to take the time to plan, network, build capacity, as well as learn from each other, and develop pathways for future collaboration.

To apply for the Women Serving Women Summit grant, please visit us online at
For additional information, please contact Lys Swan, at 845.266.4444, ext. 414, or by email at

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation’s most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 200 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world.



Omega Joins With Family of Woodstock for Staff Food Drive

3 years 3 months ago

Omega staff participates annually in a holiday food drive and contributes to the long tradition of collecting food and goods for neighbors in need. This year, staff collected food items to deliver to Family of Woodstock's Darmstadt Homeless Shelter in Kingston. Family of Woodstock is a recipient of Omega’s Service Week (most recently at the 2013 Women Serving Women Summit) and a valued Hudson Valley organization.

One of the founding influencers of the Omega Institute, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, has said, "If you dedicate yourself to service, the doors will open." Food drives are a wonderful way to serve those in need and open the door to a new year.

Explore more about Family of Woodstock

Learn more about Service Week

Omega Receives New York State Environmental Excellence Award

3 years 4 months ago

Department of Environmental Conservation Recognizes Eight Innovators in Sustainability at the 10th Annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards

RHINEBECK, NY – Omega Institute, home of the award-winning Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), received a NYS Environmental Excellence award on Tuesday at a ceremony cohosted by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Price Chopper/The Golub Corporation. The award recognizes New York's environmental and conservation leaders, who are solving environmental challenges by using innovative and environmentally sustainable practices or creative partnerships.

“We are honored to be recognized by the state for our environmental stewardship and the development of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. Our goal is to help people better understand natural systems and how to live and work within them, so together we can build a truly regenerative future,” said Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega.

Founded four years ago, the OCSL includes the first green building in America to receive both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certifications, and has evolved into an emerging environmental leader, offering programs that teach regenerative environmental practices modeled by the building. Omega Institute is integrating similar designs into other facilities on its Rhinebeck, New York campus. A recent addition to the Omega Women’s Leadership Center is the first commercial project in the United States to meet Passive House certification standards—the building uses very little energy and the space is designed to reduce heating costs by 75%.

The DEC established the awards program in 2004 to recognize and give visibility to selected businesses, schools, municipalities, governments, and not-for-profit organizations achieving outstanding environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability. Since the program’s inception, the DEC has honored 52 award recipients. Winners have included entrepreneurs competing in global markets and schools empowering future environmental leaders. Municipalities have been awarded for investing in green infrastructure, implementing a cost-effective food waste composting program, and financing an energy efficiency retrofit program. Universities and school districts across New York State have been recognized for developing energy efficiency programs and engaging students and administrators in impressive sustainable practices. Small businesses have been honored for innovative and green technologies, such as a lighting manufacturer that demonstrated how innovative design does not necessarily translate to higher costs.

Omega’s commitment to sustainability also includes recycling, composting, and conservation, powering 100% of campus electricity through the purchase of wind and solar power, supporting sustainable agriculture and local business, and reducing greenhouse gases through shuttle services, ride sharing, and LiveNeutral™ options.

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 200  acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world.

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Omega Participants Take the Experience Home

3 years 4 months ago

For more than 20 years, Omega has offered hope and healing to veterans and family members dealing with issues of post-traumatic stress, re-integration into society, and resilience in the face of unique challenges. Recently, Omega held two separate programs aimed at helping veterans heal from the wounds of war during the same autumn week.

The first was a 5-day certification program for yoga teachers, taught by Warriors At Ease cofounder, Robin Carnes, and Exalted Warrior Foundation founder, Annie Okerlin. Seventeen certified yoga teachers gathered at Omega to receive hands-on training based on the acclaimed Warriors At Ease training course. They addressed combat-related issues through yoga, and the art and science of teaching yoga in a military setting.

The second was a woman-only retreat for active duty military and veterans healing from military trauma. It was taught by Warriors At Ease cofounder, Col. (ret.) Pat Lillis, and veterans advocates—Maj. Susan Lynch and Col. Alison Ward. Twenty-two women attended to explore ways to face and release traumatic stress, and increase resilience.

During the course of the week, participants from both programs formed bonds through shared meals and quiet conversations outside the classroom. Program teachers and participants conspired on ways to stay in touch and support each other. The yoga teachers were eager to put into practice the new skills they had acquired, but in need of students to practice teaching with.

The women military and veterans were looking for ways to continue the healing process and take their Omega experience home with them. So they decided to pair up wherever it was geographically possible. Several matches were made, allowing the yoga teachers to offer a few free sessions in exchange for the opportunity to practice teaching—with the possibility of the students electing to hire the teachers long term if desired. In the instances where it was not geographically easy to pair people, the group turned to the Warriors at Ease network of trained teachers for assistance in facilitating matches. It has been a win-win situation.  

For more information visit Warriors At Ease

Learn more about Omega's work with veterans and other key initiatives

Bob Woodruff Foundation Helps Fund Programs for Women Veterans at Omega

3 years 5 months ago

We are proud to announce that Omega has received a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to support an Omega retreat for women veterans dealing with combat stress and trauma. BWF works to ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving long after they return home. Across the country, they find, fund, and shape innovative programs in communities where veterans, their families, and caregivers live and work. 

Receiving a grant from BWF is an honor that recognizes the dedication, focus, and effectiveness of Omega’s staff, volunteers, and supporters. As a grant recipient, Omega joins the Bob Woodruff Foundation grantee network, a collaboration of top-tier programs and advocates working to help our heroes on the home front. 

Learn more about the Bob Woodruff Foundation

Learn more about Omega's Veterans Initiatives

Omega Hosts #femfuture Retreat

3 years 5 months ago

This October, Jamia Wilson, member of Omega's board of directors, and Vanessa Valenti, Omega faculty and cofounder of #femfuture, organized the #femfuture retreat at Omega's Rhinebeck, New York campus. #femfuture is "an experiment in movement-building that develops solutions for sustainability and impact in 21st century feminism." They commonly convene feminist bloggers, online organizers, writers, educators, and activists to collaborate and explore the present reality and future potential of the current feminist movement. 

The retreat at Omega was focused on self-care, reflection, and connection for feminist activists. More than 20 women from around the country were selected to attend, encompassing mothers, poets, journalists, and teachers. 

In attendance was Catherine Okafor, who has been looking for a way to continue her activism and connect with other feminists after the grassroots organizing she did in college. She wrote about her experience saying, "This was a blessing that fell from the sky as I'm no longer a college student but now a young professional trying to navigate through 'the real world.'"

Read Catherine Okafor's full story.

Learn more about #femfuture.

Learn more about the Omega Women’s Leadership Center.

Gloria Steinem Awarded Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal

3 years 6 months ago

On October 13th Gloria Steinem, an Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC) Advisory Council member, was one of six recipients of the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal. Recipients were celebrated for their work promoting social justice and human rights by the Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center in Hyde Park, New York, where the Roosevelts lived for many years. 

Michele Bertran, OWLC Director, attended in support as Gloria was recognized as an “extraordinary social justice activist.” Gloria joyfully shared her plan to live a long life in continuation of her work as well as upholding the Eleanor Roosevelt legacy. Since its inception, 111 individuals and organizations have been honored, “who through their service and contributions to their communities and the world exemplify Mrs. Roosevelt’s commitment to human dignity, social justice, enlightened leadership, and human rights for all.” 

Learn more about the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Ceremony

Learn more about the Omega Women's Leadership Center

New Musical, Broadway or Bust, Dedicated to Omega

3 years 6 months ago

Omega Arts Week faculty, Rosary O'Neill, has written a new musical, Broadway or Bust, that will debut at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College on November 13 and 14, 2013.

O'Neill developed the musical in collaboration with director Deborah Temple, and composer and concert guitarist David Temple. The husband and wife team met O'Neill when she was seeking a director to assist her in teaching Script Writing during Omega's annual Arts Week. The musical, written by Rosary O'Neill, will be directed by Deborah Temple, and features music and lyrics by David Temple. O'Neill has dedicated the musical to Omega. 

Broadway or Bust is about two lovestruck actors who audition for a musical and are confronted with questions they are afraid to answer and routines that lead them into questioning their lives. For tickets and more information please visit the box office.


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