Defend the Sacred: International Gathering in Tamera

By The Grace Foundation America

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Defend the Sacred

International Gathering on Sacred Activism

August 7-16, 2017 – Tamera, Portugal

There are two worlds. The world that we create with its reality of war, social injustice, climate change, ecological destruction, and humanitarian crises. And there is the world that has created us, a universal matrix of life that turns a seed into a full-size tree, a caterpillar into a butterfly, and an embryo into an adult. Humans, animals, and plants can live in healthy relation, given that we realign our societies with this sacred matrix.

To truly defend the sacred, we need to know what is sacred to us.

The gathering

We want to empower an emerging worldwide network of activists and pioneers working for global system change, by providing the space to calmly reflect, envision, exchange ideas, and concretely plan our next steps.

We’re calling in the planetary community for this international gathering to:

  • study communitarian ways of life that support a paradigm shift from a world of war and fear to solidarity and trust
  • collectively envision and listen to the call of a post-capitalist global culture that honors all life
  • lay the foundations for a network of centers to model this new global culture.

The invited activists

Many of our invited guests are on the frontline of movements in their countries and fields, and we want to support them attending by covering their costs.  

The activists we want to fund through this campaign are:

  • LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of Sacred Stone Camp at Standing Rock, USA
  • Tokata Iron Eyes, Standing Rock Sioux youth leader, USA
  • Tiokasin Ghosthorse, writer, radio host, activist & elder of the Lakota Nation, USA
  • Pat McCabe, artist, activist, elder of Dine (Navajo) Nation, USA
  • Vasamalli Kurtaz, tribal leader of the Toda people, India
  • Ati Quigua, Native environmental activist & spokeswoman of the Arhuaco people, Colombia
  • John Dear, Jesuit priest & peace activist, USA
  • Sami Awad, trainer for nonviolence & founder of the Holy Land Trust, Palestine
  • Gabriel Meyer Halevy, musician & peace activist, Israel
  • Philip Munyasia, permaculture teacher & founder of OTEPIC, Kenya
  • Gildardo Tuberquia, leader of the Peace Community San José de Apartadó, Colombia
  • Ruby Arteaga, leader of the Peace Community San José de Apartadó, Colombia
  • Claudio Miranda, musician, peace-worker & founder of "Favela da Paz" project, Brazil
  • Hellem Fernandes, musician & peace-worker at the “Favela da Paz” project, Brazil
  • Maria Eduarda Souza, environmental activist, Brazil
  • Geraldine Ovando, media-maker & activist, Bolivia
  • Andrea Toro, community builder & environmentalist, Bolivia

Among the other activists attending and self-funding are:

  • Scilla Elworthy, peace ambassador, speaker & writer, UK
  • Monique Wilson, theater artist & global coordinator of One Billion Rising, Philippines
  • John Quigley, aerial art activist of Spectral Q, USA
  • Lawrence Bloom, Secretary General of Be Earth Foundation, UK
  • Saad Dagher, permaculture teacher & peace activist, Palestine

Read the full biographies of all attendees on our website.


The costs

This is the approximate average of how much it will cost to bring and host one person:

Flights, visas & other travel costs: $1400

Accommodation: $400                                              

Food: $230                                                                         

Community running costs: $440                         

Grace Foundation processing fees: $130          

Total: $2600 per person                                               

18 people x $2600 each = $47,000

Why we're hosting Defend the Sacred

Tamera is a peace education and research community. As an emerging Healing Biotope, we choose to live with the sacred alliance of life establishing a social, ecological, and economic framework based on cooperation and trust. Our vision is:

“To birth Terra Nova – a world beyond war – by building Healing Biotopes, as futuristic centers to research and model a new planetary culture.”

With our 40 years of knowledge, we know the importance and balance of inner and outer peace work. As one of the longest-running intentional communities in the world, we have tried and tested processes for creating communities of trust. For over a decade, we’ve supported partners on the frontline in the Global South to defend the sacred by building models for autonomous communities. And in the region we live in, we’re campaigning with local activists to protect the coastline against oil drilling and make the Alentejo an example for decentralized solar energy.

“In its actions and words, Tamera has demonstrated an impressive dedication to an inspiring vision that seeks to address urgent problems of the day, ranging from dilemmas of ordinary life to awesome questions of decent survival. Daunting tasks, but unless seriously undertaken the future may be grim.”

                                                                 --Noam Chomsky

Who we are

We are hosting "Defend the Sacred"

Sabine Lichtenfels, theologian, spiritual teacher, co-founder of Tamera and its Global Love School, author of several books including Temple of Love and Grace: Pilgrimage for a Future without War.

Benjamin von Mendelssohn, speaker, global networker, director of The Grace Foundation, co-founder of Tamera's Global Love School.

Martin Winiecki, leader of Tamera's Institute for Global Peace Work (IGP), writer, and networker.

Vera Kleinhammes, Community-builder in service of the Global Campus, speaker, and responsible for internal coordination in Tamera.

Join us!

Space is still available for you to join us in Tamera this August to Defend the Sacred! See a more detailed program for the gathering on our website if you’re interested in attending. To register write to office [at]

We're looking forward to your participation!


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Team Members

The Grace Foundation America

Aida Shibli

Dara Silverman

Rui Braga