NDSG meets in Detroit in 2013



Healing for Sustainability in Our Schools:
Stories of Imagining, Becoming, and Resisting

February 17 – 19, 2023

St. Dorothy’s Rest, Camp Meeker, CA

NDSG will gather again in 2023, and we hope to see you in lovely Northern California! Please consider buying tickets soon. We recommend traveling on Thursday, 2/16 if possible, and returning Sunday, 2/19, or Monday, 2/20 (a holiday in most of the country). Secure online registration is now available!


Founded in 1972, NDSG is a diverse collective of students, progressive educators, artists, activists, historians, authors, and scholars who organize an ongoing seminar on democratic possibilities in the U.S. and world education. NDSG focuses on education for racial and social justice and is as informed by local community organizing as by principles of student-centered, place-based teaching and learning.

In a rapidly changing and often harmful education landscape, NDSG’s work is to be an anti-racist community where teaching and learning are rooted in love. The meeting creates a space for educators and students to develop nurturing, respectful, and liberatory practices that will support teacher retention, student engagement, and community health. We ground ourselves and support one another in action on behalf of the children and youth entrusted to us, especially Black and Brown students in our public schools.

The meeting planning is guided by these beliefs:

  • The most important thing we can do to change our schools and our society is to begin with building relationships. The NDSG meeting provides time for formal and informal conversations about education, race, teaching and change —- but there is also time for connecting. There are opportunities to sing together, to play games, to share our talents and our gifts, to dance together and to get to know one another deeply.
  • Intergenerational spaces and conversations are essential to our growth. Many young people are involved in the planning and activities of the group, and we also call on the wisdom of the elders; the age span at our meetings is typically over 60 years. We all have things to teach and to learn. We disrupt hierarchies of age and schooling in order to foster collective growth and learning.
  • Our current educational landscape demands spaces for healing. Teachers and students have experienced physical violence, racial tension and assaults on academic freedom. Many folks are discouraged and want places and support for talking about their experiences, spaces for healing, and the cultivation of resilience. In this shared space, we will learn restorative practices for our classrooms and communities, while replenishing, to keep going and to organize for change. We will name and mourn those that we have lost and gather up tools (and people) for the journey forward.

NDSG 2023 will be held Friday, February 17 (8AM) – Sunday, February 19 (12PM) at St. Dorothy’s Rest, Camp Meeker, California. Young people, educators, and community members are invited to be part of this space for dialogue, reflection, and action. NDSG participants are encouraged to bring topics that are in their hearts and minds; some ongoing concerns from year to year include restorative and liberatory practices, authentic assessment, and culturally sustaining pedagogy.


Location and Arrival

The meeting will be held at St. Dorothy’s Rest, 160 St Dorothy Ave, Camp Meeker, CA 95419, Phone: (707) 874-3319. This facility is dedicated to support for the type of meeting to which we aspire: intimate, nurturing, interactive, comfortable, and beautiful. Pictures of the space are available at St. Dorothy’s Rest website.

St. Dorothy’s Rest is a 90-minute drive from Oakland or San Francisco and is rurally situated. A shuttle from and to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will be offered Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon, at the cost of $25 each way. Alternatively, renting a car from the airport is a good option.

You are encouraged to arrive during the late afternoon or evening on Thursday, February 16, 2023, and be ready to participate bright and early Friday morning, February 17, at 8 AM. Dinner Thursday evening is on your own — we welcome you to organize your own dinner plans as part of your journey or nearby. Meals from Friday to Sunday morning will be provided. The meeting will end at 12PM on Sunday, February 19, 2023.

You are encouraged to plan sight any seeing activities before Thursday evening or Sunday afternoon and beyond (Monday is a national holiday). An excursion to the ocean and/or other local sights will be offered during the weekend.


Most participants will stay at the meeting location, St. Dorothy’s Rest. Quarters at St. Dorothy’s are cottage-style, with multiple sleeping rooms. Sleeping rooms provide standard or bunk-style beds, storage space, and shared restrooms.

If you prefer to stay nearby, you are welcome to book space at a local hotel. Please note that hotels nearby are limited because St. Dorothy’s Rest is a rural location. A limited number of local residents may attend as day participants with meals and full participation in the meeting. Parking is available at St. Dorothy’s.


Registration Rates for NDSG 2023:

  • Full Meeting, Double/Shared Occupancy Lodging: $250*
  • Full Meeting, Single Occupancy Lodging: $500
  • Full Meeting with Meals, but No Lodging: $175

*Quarters at St. Dorothy’s are cottage-style. Sleeping rooms provide standard or bunk-style beds, storage space, and shared restrooms.

Registration fees include all meeting events, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and evening parties. Registration is available for the full meeting only, from Thursday evening to noon on Sunday. Secure online registration is now available!
St. Dorothy’s Rest is located approximately 90 minutes by car from San Francisco Airport (SFO). A shuttle from and to the San Francisco airport will be offered Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon for $25.00 each way. The shuttle schedule will be coordinated with those who select this option at registration.

Financial Aid

NDSG Financial Aid is solicited and awarded to ensure the participation of teachers and students who otherwise would not be able to attend This year, the Financial Aid Committee will award scholarships as reductions to registration fees. We will make awards as long as funding is available. To request financial aid, please send the amount of your request and information about it to Dr. Carol Redfield-Mims at carolredfield.mims@gmail.com.

An opportunity to contribute to the Financial Aid Fund for the 2023 meeting is part of the registration process. If you are able, please help others to attend NDSG Annual Meetings. Your contributions are vital to sustaining this event. No contribution is too small.

A cabin amidst the trees at St. Dorothy's Rest


*Please note that programming is subject to change. A detailed agenda will be provided to registrants.

Thursday Afternoon – Evening 2/16/23

Arrive between 1-8 pm, register, settle in.
Outings to local hiking, ocean, arts centers
Improvised/DiY dinner (local restaurant list)
Games, music, rest!

Friday 2/17/23

8:00 am-10:00 am Breakfast, opening activities
10:00 am-11:00 am Home Groups
11:00 am-12:30 pm Culturally Sustaining Teaching and Learning
1:30 pm-3:00 pm Youth Forum on Mental Health in Schools
3:30-5:00 pm Black Women Thriving
3:30 pm-6:00 pm Excursion to redwoods/ocean
7:00 pm Home Groups
Youth-led evening activities

Saturday 2/18/23

8:00 am-10:00 am Breakfast, youth-led community building
10:00 am-11:00 am Home Group
11:00 am-12:00 pm Works in Progress
1:00 pm-3:00 pm Youth Caucus
3:30 pm-4:30 pm Works in Progress
7:00 pm-8:00 pm Open Space Process
Talent Show/Open Mic

Sunday Morning 2/19/23

8:00 am-10:00 am breakfast, morning activities
10:00 am-12:00 pm reflection, strategic planning: what’s next for NDSG?

Youth Forum on Mental Health in Schools

This Youth Forum will be a discussion on mental health in our public schools. COVID-19 exacerbated a mental health crisis existing among today’s youth, with schools having to grapple with a sharp increase of youth mental health issues. How are our schools coping? What can we do to ease the crisis? This will be a discussion among NDSG’s youth leaders with the option for adults to deeply listen and observe.