Our Guiding Principles

Our Guiding Principles

Our guiding principles are: 
๑ compassion
๑ awareness
๑ reverence for the interdependent web of life.

Alongside those, we uphold universal values – such as integrity, respect, and freedom – that are gifts from cross-cultural wisdom and religious traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, earth-honoring spirituality and shamanism.


Donna Webb

We also draw from modern sources such as Linda Knodle’s Coming of Age curriculum, Tamara Slayton’s I Find My Star curriculum, Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Joanna Macy’s eco-feminism, and Rudolph Steiner’s and Maria Montessori’s views on child development and education.

Every girl and every adult student is encouraged to translate what they hear into language that fits with their own beliefs, and to feel free to explore those in circle. Girls of many faiths and no faith have found meaning and a sense of belongingness here.

Other key principles that arise from our main Guiding Principles are: 

Diverse, inclusive representation.  JOYW welcomes heartfully people of ALL racial and ethnic identities, economic and social classes, gender identities, sexual orientations, nationalities/immigration status, languages, education, religions/spirituality, ages, sizes, physical and mental health status, and dis/abilities. We aim to prioritize the voices of black and brown people and all people experiencing oppression. Our staff, fee structure, and teaching content support inclusivity, diversity and equity and diversity.  We're working hard to expand our efforts. We encourage our trainees and graduates to do likewise as mentors and community members.  

Intersectionality.  We stand together against oppression in all its forms.  Although our mentor training focus on girl's mentorship, we teach about offering gender-expansive, all-genders, and boys' mentorship. We deeply believe that young people of all genders need and deserve affirmation and support from birth forward. Students, grads and staff explore issues such as white privilege, raising and mentoring anti-racist children, mentoring gender-expansively, working with kids on the spectrum, and cultural appropriation.

Sex, Body, and Menstrual Positivity.  The time for shame, silence, stigma and exclusion is over.  We promote understanding, celebration, and reverence for all bodies in all their amazing facets.

Be a mentor.
Learn to offer Mentoring Circles. 

guiding principles

Gaia Orion