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Who Pays the Price
The modern way of life is based on an extraction, consumption, and waste trajectory in which the true costs are externalized and paid by people in the Global South, other beings, and Earth. Following the outline of The Story of Stuff, we will explore how, where, and why the true cost of modernity is underwritten by those deemed expendable by the Global North. We will examine too how the sustainability movement is complicit in the continued injustice of this trajectory as we also explore alternative trajectories that respect all beings.
Gender and Ecology
In this three-part presentation we first examine the role of women’s critical role worldwide in ecological harmony then explore how women’s work has been subverted through globalization. We then close with considering the specific and disproportionate impact of ecological upheaval on girls and women worldwide.
R3E: Reimagine and Reclaim Relationship with Earth
The environmental movement gave us the three Rs of reduce, reuse, and recycle. But given that ecological change is the most pressing factor impacting our lives, we need a different set of Rs. We need to Reimagine and Reclaim Relationship with Earth. Through a guided journal dialogue, attendees will participate in a conversation with Earth in which they will first reflect on their current relationship with Earth then they will be prompted to ask Earth questions about our ecological situation and finally, guided to speculate on what Earth is inviting us into relationally.
Poetry as Activism
Our easy consumption driven lifestyle has resulted in human and nonhuman communities being ravaged and destroyed. In the face of fast production and convenience, how can poetry compel us toward a more harmonious relationship with Earth and all Her beings? Following from an initial overview of the arts leveraging social change, we will experience and respond to ecologically themed poems then explore our own poetic voices as moved by not only our shared plight but by the poems experienced in our session.
Sacralize the Desecrated
Our present ecological situation is a result of modern capitalist systems built on exploitation, extraction, consumption, and disposal which desecrate human and non-human cultures, communities, and ecosystems. Whatever movement we make toward a sustainable future cannot emanate from the same template. How do we instead sacralize what has been desecrated and create new systems founded on our understanding of ourselves, each other, other beings, and Earth as sacred? What would sustainability look like from that lens? How can we build a future rooted in sacredness?
Turning Potted Plants into Ecosystems
Let’s transform sustainability through an ecosystems lens that incorporates the needs, limitations, perspectives, and possibilities left out of environmental initiatives which are often siloed in intent and impact. Instead, let’s take our cue from how plants and animals in ecosystems function: in mutualistic, reciprocal, and naturally regenerative communities. How can this model be replicated in our human systems to support and sustain our own individual, communal, societal, and planetary well-being? Participants will then be invited to imagine new societal constructs based on the definition of healthy ecosystems that will be generated in our discussion.
Supremacy in the Environmental Movement
We consider the subtle and not so subtle ways supremacy is woven into the ethos of the environmental movement. Starting with a historical glance, we'll explore how supremacy is embedded in present day sustainability strategies. We close with detailing how a pluralistic lens can lead to an equitable, habitable home for all beings.
From Scarcity to Abundance
We explore our internal infrastructure, the paradigms, that form our current orientation to Earth. As we do so, we gain insights on how internalized scarcity is a mechanism of capitalism that foments systemic injustice. Such inquiry allows space for a paradigm shift toward ecologically based infrastructure and societal systems rooted in Earth’s abundance--where true sustainability and justice comes.
Change the Narrative-Creation
The creation story found in the Abrahamic religions has deep and far-reaching implications for our relationship with Earth, each other, and other beings. In this workshop we will explore these ramifications. We will also explore Indigenous creation stories and consider their trajectory in relation to Earth, each other, and other beings.
Change the Narrative-Earth
Because of the Abrahamic lens, we have viewed Earth as God’s creation. What if we understood Earth as a sentient being with agency and will? Together we will revisit Indigenous understanding of Earth as well as review current science that upholds that perspective as we re-lens climate change.
How Green is That?
In this workshop we will examine sustainability solutions to discover just how green they really are. We will explore who benefits and who is impacted by such things as solar panels, EVs and recycling. This scrutiny is imperative from a justice and spirituality lens. We will explore why land defenders in the Global South view the sustainability movement of the Global North as a form of environmental apartheid.
Having worked as an environmental educator, farm to school coordinator, and having three daughters in school, I have observed both a normalized depth of ecological illiteracy and overconsumption. It is as though the environmental movement and the educational world are two different cultures speaking two different languages. yet climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. We will explore how to build educational systems rooted in ecological literacy to prepare future doctors, engineers, teachers, artists, builders and so on in how to create truly just and sustainable societies within Earth’s systems.
The imagination at play is emancipatory medicine through which we create community: with ourselves, each other and Earth.
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