Julia Onnie-Hay is a certified holistic health counselor, yoga teacher and herbalist with a small community practice – Bless Botanicals – focused on reconnecting people with the healing powers of plants through educational experiences. She holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology from New College of Florida and a graduate certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Julia has studied folk healing traditions in the Peruvian Amazon, Ghana, Jamaica, and throughout the United States, including the Big Island of Hawai’i, northern California, and North Carolina. She earned her certification as a Family Herbalist from the Florida School of Holistic Living and is a lifelong student of herbalist elders and the plants themselves. Julia is a co-founder of the South Florida Herbal Community, a grassroots network of herb lovers that sprouted up in spring 2013.
In addition to her work and studies with plants, Julia is nonprofit program administrator with a decade of professional experience in leadership development (youth and adult), food justice issues, and drug policy reform. After four years developing and delivering holistic health programs for at-risk girls through her position as director of the Healthy Girls Initiative with the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, she now works as the Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Manager for Miami-Dade County with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Julia also holds certifications in permaculture design, teaching yoga to at-risk youth, and as a birth doula. Born in Washington, D.C. and raised there and on the small island of Salt Cay in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Julia is based at the Earth ‘n’ Us Farm in the Little Haiti neighborhood of beautiful Miami, Florida. Learn more about Julia at her website.
Julia’s 2018 Florida Herbal Conference classes:
ANCESTRAL HERBALISM: A RECLAIMING CIRCLE
No matter where you were born or who your people are, we all have our universal herbal heritage in common. All of our ancestors used locally-growing plants as food and medicine. As herbal students, let’s reach way, way back to the herbal traditions of our lineages. We’ll start by sharing our oldest memories of how herbs were used in our households and recall any family histories featuring plants. For folks that didn’t receive any stories from their families or don’t have recollections of herbs at home, we’ll hold space for a meditation to connect with our most deeply-buried memories. Wisdom from elders and others who have been on this reclaiming journey will be offered up to assist our process. Folks will be invited to honor specific herbs and healing traditions sacred to their roots in a collaborative experience that is intended to facilitate healing and activate environmental and cultural stewardship.
CEREMONY, SACRED ACTIVISM & MENTAL HEALTH: A CONVERSATION FOR THE HERBAL COMMUNITY
We all know that plants are powerful. Experiences with plants – whether in plant spirit medicine ceremony or in environmental activism – can evoke powerful responses. As herbalists, teachers and community members, what are we doing to care for folks who have powerful experiences in ceremonies, workshops, retreats, conferences and other events we are involved with? How can we apply the ideal standard of care that clinical herbalists apply to their clients in non-clinical settings? In this conversation, we’ll provide a mindful space for folks to share their concerns and celebrations on this topic. Based on interviews with harm reduction activists, Julia and special guests will offer up some tips on how our herbal community can hold space for folks passing through strong emotional, spiritual, psychological processes.