Our Stewardship Council
The Stewardship Council is similar to a Board of Directors, and holding the same legal and fiduciary responsibility, this circle consists of a small but diverse gathering of partners dedicated to steering the larger decisions and direction of Youth Passageways as a living network and organization, while keeping vigilant that the mission and vision are always at the very heart of Youth Passageways’ operations. Learn more about How we Govern.
Stewardship Council Members
Sobey Wing, Secretary
Darcy Ottey, Chair (Leadership Circle)
Sharon Blackwolf, Elder Wisdom Keeper
Buffalo Visions Healing Center
Northern Cheyenne Reservation, MT
Ramon Parish (Leadership Circle)
Facilitator, Surfing the Creative
Kruti Parekh, Vice-Chair
Los Angeles, CA
Field Manager, Pacific Quest
Marisa Taborga-Byrne, Younger Wisdom Keeper
ROP Facilitator/Sexual Health Advocate
San Obispo, CA
Becky Chief Eagle, Co-Treasurer
All Nations Gathering Center
Pine Ridge, SD
Cameron Withey, Co-Treasurer
Rite of Passage Journeys
Cheyenne Thunder Youth Group
Lame Deer, MT
Founder, The Ever Forward Club
Working in direct collaboration with the Stewardship Council the staff works in direct dialogue and collaboration with each other to determine and implement the general direction and day-to-day operations of Youth Passageways. Learn more about How we Govern.
Dane Zahorsky, Co-Director/Broom Pusher
Like many called to this work, Dane never had proper initiation, and at 15 left home to seek one. After a long and sordid journey he found himself in a small lake town in Guatemala, taken in by a family of Highland Maya. It was here, living and working among humble and joy filled people who knew exactly who and what they were that he fell into a passionate kinship with initiation, indigenous wisdom, and the nature of simple graces.
Since his return nearly fifteen years ago he has sought to offer his gifts at the axis of art and heartened education. In 2006 Dane created MOTUV [Movement of the Unified Voice] with dear colleagues in Beijing and San Francisco, rooted in re-enlivening face to face community interaction free of alcohol or screens while fostering intercultural skill sharing and dialog. This was the portal that lead him into transformative work, from teaching to creating and implementing comprehensive programing and curricula from the ground up for institutions and organizations such as The Kansas City Academy, Warrior Films, and Pacific Quest (where his path intersected with Darcy’s, which led him to Youth Passageways at the Summit in Ojai), among others.
In 2013 he was called back to the Midwest to care for his mother, and blessed with an opportunity to remake and re-envision what his own relationships to family and place were and are. A large part of that has been connecting to his Slavic heritage [Hungarian/Slovakian descent].
He has since founded the Make Trybe Center for Transformative Design in Kansas City, that guides seekers of all ages through collaboratively designed transformations in the form of workshops, courses, and wilderness vision fasts as they relate to developing that sense of deep community, or of trybe, that he bore witness to and was a part of in San Lucas Tolimán, all those years ago.
Marisa Taborga-Byrne, Network Mapper
Marisa Taborga Byrne is a heart-centered humanitarian. She serves where she is needed and in various capacities: as a friend, teacher, ceremonialist, nature connection guide, gardener, activist, sexual health educator, and ally. She dedicates her work and life to the holistic sexual health education of our youth and to the Global Sexual Healing Revolution one step at a time. With gratitude, her work is influenced by her own journey as a woman of American/Irish/Bolivian heritage, a survivor of sexual trauma, a deep connection with nature, and the belief that love is all.
Dane and Marisa work with a small group of Stewardship Council members on shepherding the organization into the future, we think of as co-directors called the Leadership Circle including Darcy Ottey and Ramon Parish.
Youth Passageways Guardians
Youth Passageways Guardians offer attention to the soul and spirit of our network. Their perspective, guidance, and tending of our mission and values, keep our organization and it’s growth in balance with the spiral. Learn more about How we Govern.
Gigi‘s life and work are focused on integral healing through right livelihood, social action, rites of passage, council and the arts. She is a catalyst and consultant, a facilitator and guide: a person who assists in building bridges, understanding, and awareness with individuals and groups.
In the late 70’s after a decade of work in social justice and international relations, Gigi turned her attention to a deeper look into the healing and system changes she and others longed for – thru the study of different spiritual traditions, modern and ancient healing methods, direct personal experiences of ceremony and Nature. This led to her arrival in 1981 at The School of Lost Borders and The Ojai Foundation – the beginning of a long-term relationship with fellow educator Jack Zimmerman, with whom she developed the Council Practice as a means of heightening one’s capabilities for deep listening and truthful communication. She is co-author of The Way of Council, co-founder of the Center for Council Training and continues to work as a community facilitator and trainer of trainers. She has served as Co–Director and Co Chair of the Board of Ojai Foundation and as an Associate Director, guide and trainer for the School of Lost Borders during the past 30 years. Currently, she serves on elders council for both organizations and gives much of her time and attention to an inter-generational pilgrimage of service – Beyond Boundaries and Walking-Water.
Gigi was also a principal in the development of the Terma Company, an alternative publishing venture and corporate training program, responsible for co-creating The Box; Remembering The Gift. She continues her efforts today assisting similar artistic activist projects that guide and inspire regenerative life, work, and community.
Gigi has been instrumental in the founding of Youth Passageways, providing vision and guidance throughout the process. She was part of the core organizing team for the 2012 Summit at Ojai as well as Youth Passageways’ founding Stewardship Council gathering, and has continued to provide leadership and support ever since.
She resides in Big Pine, California, at 3 Creeks, a small oasis, where she works with her husband Win, members of the Biosphere Foundation and others to create a sanctuary of care.
Orland Bishop combines a deep dedication to human rights advocacy and cultural renewal with an extensive study of medicine, naturopathy, psychology and indigenous cosmologies. He was a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Violence and Social Change at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and has consulted with many human development organizations. As director of Shade Tree Multicultural Foundation in Los Angeles, he has pioneered approaches to urban truces and mentoring at-risk youth that combine new ideas with traditional ways of knowledge.
Shade Tree reaches into gang and drug cultures where many young people expect to die before the age of 20.
“These young people feel that they are not welcome in the world, in the culture and in the future,” Orland explains.
Shade Tree employs a unique process that draws on both contemporary and ancient practices, particularly that of the South African tradition of Indaba or “deep talk.” Hidden Forces of the American Dream refers to the creative, still unused powers available to the American people and land that were released through tremendous sacrifices made over the course of American history by Native Americans, African slaves and waves of immigrants.
Orland has provided guidance and wisdom throughout the founding of Youth Passageways. He attended the 2012 Summit at Ojai as well as Youth Passageways’ founding Stewardship Council gathering, served as a member of the Leadership Circle during YPW’s first year, and has continued to provide leadership and support ever since.
Growing directly and naturally out of the dialog between the Stewardship Council and Leadership Circle is our Advisory Council. This is a group of trusted colleagues, allies, elders and confidantes who are beacons of light and knowledge, helping to bring clarity and wisdom to the circle. If ever our waters should muddy, our advisors bring fresh perspective, allowing the surface to still and mirror back to us where we are at, so we may best cultivate the best possible solutions.
Gigi Coyle, Guardian
Big Pine, CA, USA
Orland Bishop, Guardian
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Laupahoehoe, HI, USA
Boulder, CO, USA
Sonoma, CA, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Westminster, CO, USA
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Madison, WI, USA
Glastonbury, CN, USA
Oakland, CA, USA
Oakland, CA, USA
Cleveland, OH, USA
Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia
Durango, CO, USA
Big Pine, CA, USA
Unceded ancestral Multnomah & Takelma lands (Portland, OR, USA)
Lame Deer, MT, USA