The Women’s Visionary Council, an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in the USA, presents discussions, workshops, and events that are open to people of all genders.
Mission and Work
The Women’s Visionary Council (WVC) expands the inclusion of women in critical discussions about mental health and community wellness.
In 2007, during the re-emergence of research into psychedelic-assisted therapies, the WVC began advocating for more representation of women in public discussions about the ethics and safety of these investigations. The WVC presents conferences and workshops throughout the US and Canada which are open to people of all genders, including the Women’s Visionary Congress, a gathering of women researchers, healers, artists, and activists who explore different forms of expanded consciousness. WVC workshops also provide information on risk reduction and about the benefits and challenges of altered states. The WVC raises funds to provide grants to women whose work engages these topics and encourage their inclusion in scholarly discourse. It seeks to amplify the voices of people of color and support the transfer of knowledge among generations and cultural traditions. The WVC is building an archive of presentations by women in our community which includes more than a decade of research, activism, and personal stories of cognitive liberty - a body of knowledge that will benefit future generations of investigators.
Goals and Values
The WVC advocates for the inclusion of women from all communities and generations in leading edge conversations about healthcare and social justice.
- Respect for the contributions of women and people of color in the development of new therapies and community healing
- Events where people of all genders can share ideas and present research from a wide range of disciplines
- Open discussions about different forms of expanded consciousness, endogenous experiences, dream states, and our connection to the earth
- Support for community-based food systems, woman farmers, and education about nutrition and medicinal plants
- Honoring of traditional and indigenous forms of knowing together with qualitative and quantitative scientific inquiry
- A grants program that supports both emerging and established researchers, healers, artists, and activists
- Frank examination of ethical and safety concerns in the therapeutic use and commercialization of psychoactive substances
- Risk reduction education including training in the use of naloxone to prevent opioid overdose
- Development of best practices to prevent sexual assault, uphold consent practices, and develop restorative justice systems
- Engagement with people at every stage of their lives including the end of life and other rites of passage
The Women's Visionary Council was founded in 2008 by female researchers and activists who saw that women were excluded from critical public discussions about emerging therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder, end of life anxiety, depression, addiction, and other mental health conditions. The renewed focus on psychedelic-assisted therapies using MDMA, psilocybin, cannabis, and other substances is increasing the need to discuss the ethical considerations of these investigations.
As new studies have been launched to examine the efficacy of these substances, it became clear that women investigating and working with these substances needed to be heard. This is especially true for women of color and indigenous women who have used psychoactive plants for healing and spiritual practices for thousands of years. Female activists who fought for the reform of racist drug laws, women from so-called counterculture communities, woman elders, queer and trans women, and female artists who found inspiration in these substances have also historically been absent from discussions about psychedelics. Women are also underrepresented among the academic and medical practitioners who advance this research.
In 2007, a founding member of the WVC had organized the first Women’s Visionary Congress to give women from all communities an opportunity to be heard and present their work with these substances and other non-ordinary states of consciousness. For the next decade, this annual event provided a place where people of all genders heard women present the latest research and therapies, activism, art and spiritual insights. These efforts significantly increased the participation of women in discussions about psychedelic-assisted therapies and culture.
Over the years, the WVC community expanded to embrace other conversations about healing and resiliency. Women speak about the transformation of community food systems and re-establishing connection with the earth and the seasons. Discussions about sexual assault in psychedelic ceremonies led to the creation of best practices for safety and restorative justice. Frank examination of both the benefits and dangers of substances launched WVC-sponsored risk reduction workshops. Conversations about racism and cultural appropriation expanded awareness of white privilege and exclusion. People of all genders and from many communities presented and participated in these discussions.