Sara Jolena Sequoia Wolcott, M.Div., M.A., C.M.T.
The name "Sequoia Samanvaya" integrates East and West, people and place, the past and the future we seek to live into.
"Sequoia" comes from our founders' connection with some of the most ancient and the largest trees in the world: the Sequoia trees of California. To walk amongst them is to dwell in the presence of the sacred, and we strive to bring that to all that we do.
"Samanvaya" means "harmony" in Sanskrit. Our use of the term has been explicitly blessed by spiritual leaders in India.
Sara Jolena Sequoia Wolcott, M.Div., M.A.
"Sara Jolena is an industry leader - one of those rare people who sets the tune that others follow. You may not see it yet, but look closely at her work and you will find a trend-setter."
- Andy T. , business coach for over 500 entrepreneurs
Descendent of some of the Founding Fathers in America, she is now reMembering her national and our global story to activate the deep wisdom that is possible when people and place come to live in harmony. As the founding director, she is the primary guide in our journeys of ReMembering and ReEnchanting.
She started Sequoia Samanvaya because her extensive research continually demonstrated the necessity of deep spiritual-cultural change for humanity to survive climate change. Born and raised on the historical Ohlone lands in the California Bay Area, her quest to understand how we might navigate through the current social and ecological crises took her to live and work in Kenya, England, India, and Indonesia. When she supports people in integrating the history into their lives and anticipating the future, she draws from her breadth of experiencing, including: co-leading the 33-country multi-disciplinary ReImagining Development Program at the Institute of Development at the University of Sussex, living as a traveling singer in India, serving as a community minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City and working as a prison chaplain.
Deep change requires getting to the roots. Sara Jolena pursued the roots of both the problem and the possibilities to theology/religion/spirituality: she obtained her Masters of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary. There, relationships with indigenous peoples in the Onondaga Nation led her to question the story she was given as to the origin of climate change. Knowing the value of indigenous wisdom, she followed their lead, and changed her own story, which she did through writing her highly acclaimed thesis on ReMembering for the Anthropocene Age: Papal Bulls, Family Histories and Relationships Evil in Design.
Knowing that good ideas should never stay on paper, she tested the "new story" through a dialogical, pilot online course. Upon seeing its deep impact on her students, she knew Sequoia Samanvaya would make a significant contribution. She brings to her work nearly 20 years as a 1-1 healer: these stories and spiritual experiences live in our bodies. She loves public speaking, and has spoken in over 9 countries.
She currently lives on Lenape lands in the South Bronx in the House of Friendship, where she hosts regular dinner parties. She enjoys cloud-gazing.
Our Community: Ebbing, Flowing, Supporting
Sequoia Samanvaya LLC is a spiritual enterprise. Community is integral to our programming.
"Learning community" here refers to a loose and expanding group of people spread around the world who are actively learning from one another, supporting one another and reaching out to each other for help and opportunities without the direct involvement of Sara Jolena. We recognize our non-human (plants, animals, elements, Spirit) friends who are integral beings in our community.
We are a small organization existing within and actively cultivating a rich network of other practitioners who share our values and expand our capacity. Thus when we need to work with a large organization we can quickly do so.
Some students and clients come and learn what they have to learn and return to whatever communities they came from richer for engaging with Sequoia Samanvaya. Others make close friends, see new opportunities for themselves, and seek to become more involved. Some co-create new events and rituals, others co-design new programs with us, and some become co-visionaries.
The flow is grounded by a deep love and commitment to the overarching cause of decolonization, co-learning, mutual support and truth-telling, and the very real possibility of co-creating a life-giving world.
Below are images of some of the people in our community. Which is a little bit like a web. Or a beehive.
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Samanvaya Social Ventures, LLC
Key Partner Organization
Samanvaya Social Ventures LLC is a a consulting company based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. For 19 years, Samanvaya has been working towards sustainable change in the Indian context.
Together, we work to inspire and enable deeper cross-cultural dialogues, research, and forming new knowledge institutions for sustainability in the South Asian region and, increasingly, in the global context.
This picture was taken by Sara Jolena during Pongal, the harvest festival in South India. Many pictured here are change agents in Tamil Nadu and active in Samanvaya Social Ventures. They are creating ecosystems for sustainable livelihoods grounded in spiritual practices.
Quaker Institute for the Future
QIF and Sequoia Samanvaya have an ongoing partnership. We bring researchers and curious participants in our community to QIF's annual Summer Research Seminar, collaborate on events and work together towards creating better economies. We also enjoy cooking and eating together!
Values we practice
(as in, come back to continuously)
Honoring the Promises