“When I found I had crossed the line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven.”
This exciting SEA project is led by Sisterhood Agenda President, Angela D. Coleman and St. Johnian builder, Vincent Powell. Contributors to the project include Monjia Belizaire, William Willegerod, Dave Carlson, and Island Green Building Association.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why build the SEA? The local environment and market in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (aka Love City) supports the highest and best use of a land parcel in Cruz Bay as Sisterhood Agenda’s Sisterhood Empowerment Academy (SEA). Empowerment is a process by which people, organizations, and communities gain mastery over issues of concern to them. Inspired by Mother Nature, the SEA unites women and girls from around the globe as a centralized place of knowledge, support, self-determination, and healing.
Sustainable design and nature-inspired architecture are hallmarks of the SEA. History and research show us that communities cannot operate independently of their environment. The SEA incorporates permaculture design and premier local natural building materials while complimenting the surrounding natural environment to build a sustainable building for LEED certification or equivalent standards.
Permaculture designers are encouraged to develop an awareness of the patterns that exist in nature (and how they function) and how these patterns can be utilized to satisfy the objectives of the SEA. The SEA consists of 1,680 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting spaces with a resource center, kitchen, and bathroom plus long-term and short-term eco suite accommodations. The facility includes organic fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens with ocean views.
“American Paradise: Virgin Islands National Park’s hills, valleys and beaches are breath-taking. However, within its 7,000 plus acres on the island of St. John is the complex history of civilizations – both free and enslaved – dating back more than a thousand years, all who utilized the land and the sea for survival.” Virgin Islands National Park Service
How much does it cost? The SEA is a low-cost green building that can be a model of sustainable living in other communities.* The proposed design for the SEA mimics the design of Bamboo Groove’s affordable and sustainable container house in the tropics. Costs are generally $150,000 and up, depending on labor, permits, and the cost of materials.
How can I participate? The SEA is complete! See our process on our blog at seausvi.com. THANK YOU for your valuable investment in the SEA, our environment, women and girls, and our community. We welcome your donation to sustain the organization and current projects.
*A green building is defined as an integrated, whole-building approach to the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings and their surrounding landscapes that help mitigate the environmental, economic, and social impacts of buildings so that they are energy-efficient, sustainable, safe, cost-effective, accessible, healthy, and productive.