About

IMG_2845

Seen as a fire dragon, living in both air and water, the salamander heralds transformation – a good totem for our evolutionary times.  While we cultivate greater collective purpose in this shift, it may seem as if we live in two worlds – the old and the new.  It is in this brimstone that we evolve and create.   One way is to expand our sense of justice across a more holistic time span to regenerate social consciousness and sustain harmony with each other, ourselves and the earth for the past, present and future.  

What We Do:

  • Integrating restorative justice, ecovillage design, permaculture, indigenous wisdom and legal support to help people co-create sustainable micro-communities.
  • Advancing the laws on behalf of the sustainable living justice movement, whether new emerging tribes, revitalizing first nations, or intentional communities.
  • Defending the rights of people to live in and naturally build homes and communities of their own design for sustainable evolution.

About Us:

Valeria A. Gheorghiu  

Valeria Gheorghiu is an environmental and civil rights attorney integrating restorative justice into the practice of law.  She currently practices cooperative, environmental and civil rights law at her office in Kingston, New York.  Her more notable cases include representing the Ramapough Nation, Occupy New Paltz and advancing pagan rights in the Matter of Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, Inc. v. McCoy et al. As a multi-lingual contract attorney, Valeria co-founded United Contract Attorneys drawing from her prior work as a global justice organizer, and as a workers’ rights attorney at NGOs such as South Jersey Legal Services.  She also serves on the Taskforce for the Ulster County Restorative Justice and Community Empowerment Center, the  National Lawyers Guild NYC Chapter Executive Committee, for which she co-founded the Restorative Justice Committee, and the Center for World Indigenous Studies.

At Vermont Law School, she was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow related to her summer internship with Alburnus Maior’s efforts to stop a gold mine in Rosia Monta, Romania.  Her 3L summer policy work on farmers’ rights at Gene Campaign in India as a Fellow for the Center for World Indigenous Studies resulted in a publication in the Fourth World Journal.  She also initiated a legal text drive to several developing country law school libraries worldwide as Co-Chair of the International Law Society.
Valeria also holds certificates in Ecovillage and Permaculture Design, as well as Restorative Justice and Kundalini Yoga.  She is in Year Two of the Priestess Path, a woman’s leadership development path mostly rooted in indigenous european traditions.  She is currently founding the Sacred FireSchoolhouse Collective through which she hopes to teach Ecovillage Design and Restorative Justice and facilitate collective intentional community cocreative design for more sustainable living, integrating land use law as needed.  She owns land in High Woods, Saugerties, New York, where she is experimenting in creating a forest farm and teaches ginseng and goldenseal growing workshops.  As a Master Gardener trainee, she founded the Sojourner Truth Memorial Community Garden at the Ulster County Family Courthouse.
PUBLIC SERVICE
  • City of Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, Commissioner, June 2009 – June 2011
  • Ulster County Bar Association, Secretary, June 2010 – June 2011: Won grant for and founded Sojourner Truth Community Garden at Ulster County Family Courthouse with Cornell Cooperative Extension

BAR ADMISSIONS, PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, CERTIFICATIONS, LANGUAGE SKILLS, CITIZENSHIP

  • Admitted to New York Bar, June, 2009, Southern District Court of New York, June  2017 and New Jersey State Bar and District Court, December 2007
  • Associate Scholar and Board Member, Center for World Indigenous Studies
  • Member of the Executive Committee and Chair and Co-Founder of the Restorative Justice Committee of the NYC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association Member
  • Restorative Justice Certificate, Simon Fraser University, December ‘16
  • Kundalini Yoga Level 1, Kundalini Research Institute, June ‘13
  • Ecovillage Design Education certificate, Gaia Education, June ‘14 – team lead for “Living Justice” case study
  • Permaculture Design Course, Center for Bioregional Living, July 2016
  • Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program graduate, Pace Law School, November 2010
  • Languages: Fluent Romanian, French and Spanish; Reading Italian
  • Dual U.S. / Romanian citizenship