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Happenings, book reviews, the latest from the blog, new publications, upcoming events, and more.
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Spring is certainly springing in Minnesota! It's been a busy two months since you heard from us last, both in the world around us and with trainings and conferences at HCG. It was great to see so many of our friends and colleagues at the White Privilege Conference in March, and we also want to invite and encourage those of you who might want to engage with us more often than in a bi-monthly newsletter to follow our relatively new HCG Facebook page, where we are trying to post and share important news and helpful reflections on the news in racial justice, climate change, and deep diversity issues. We'd love for you to join the conversation and share resources that you find useful there!

And, without further ado, here's a quick overview of all the info in this month's e-newsletter:
  • Upcoming Presentations - where to find HCG trainers over the next two months, and including more info on our first-ever Environmental Justice Faculty Institute, in collaboration with The Orchard School in NH! 
  • Conferences and Events - including a spotlight on the upcoming National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.
  • Book Reviews - in this issue, Heather reviews "What's Race Got to Do With It?: How Current School Reform Policy Maintains Racial and Economic Equality," and we also give you a preview of the hot-off-the-presses new anthology "Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice"!
  • Training Tidbits - this month, Heather talks about the important difference between "pull" questions and "push" questions.
  • Climate Change Corner - In "A Nod to What We Love" Heather steps back - or rather, leans in - to Breathe, Listen, Connect and Remember what it means to live life on our fragile and beloved planet.
  • Blog Updates - If you haven't seen them yet, here's where you'll find links to the recent blog posts "Adjusting Our Climate Lens" by Heather and "Pushing Back on the System of Fear" by Stephen Nelson.
Wherever you are this month, we hope that you too are finding opportunities to learn, connect, and challenge yourself and others in the service of equity and justice.
 
- Kate Eubank, HCG Associate
 

For those of you who are new to the list, this newsletter is meant to highlight some of the work we are doing at HCG, but it is also meant to be responsive to folks reading it. So if there is information you would like HCG to consider sharing in the newsletter (like great conferences you want announced), training questions you would like addressed, or other resources and content you think would be helpful, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@hackmanconsultingggroup.org.

Upcoming Presentations

Curious about what HCG consultants and friends are up to these days? Check out the events, conferences and presentations below!

Naming the Wizard Behind the Curtain & Tackling the Wizard Behind the Curtain (Keynote & Workshop)
May 18, 2015
MN Association for College Admission Counseling Annual Spring Conference, Minneapolis MN

Heather will be the featured keynote speaker and will be offering a workshop at this year's Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling annual spring conference. Her keynote will tee up the day with a conversation about how we can begin to discuss race, racism and whiteness in critical and engaging ways that go well beyond superficial conversations and instead foster real change on campuses - and the workshop will continue the conversation by talking about ways to address race, racism and whiteness in education, while avoiding the typical resistance and traps of doing so in predominantly white educational environments. 
This conference is open to MACAC members and non-members. For more information, go to http://www.mn-acac.org/Spring-Conference.


The Body Already Knows: A Framework for Dismantling Race, Racism and Whiteness and Achieving Racial Justice (Workshop)
May 27, 2015
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Washington DC

At this year’s National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Dr. Hackman will be presenting a workshop based on two key concepts: The first is that the creation of Race (and the system of racial oppression it supports) serves to unnaturally divide us from each other and disrupt our inherent human connection. The second is that the 50 trillion cells in our bodies already know how to live in just and supportive community and these patterns can serve as a powerful framework for uprooting Whiteness and achieving racial justice. Thus the dismantling of Race, Racism and Whiteness is not an idea or reality we “work toward” but rather a pathway that helps us all “come home” to our rightful human interdependence.  
This conference is open to the public. For more information or to register, go to https://www.ncore.ou.edu/

Readings for Diversity and Social Justice Book Signing
May 27, 2015
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Washington DC

While at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, Heather will be signing copies of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice at the Routledge table in the NCORE exhibit area. Stop by and get your copy signed – or pick one up, if you don’t yet have one! For more information about Readings, click here.
This conference is open to the public. For more information or to register, go to https://www.ncore.ou.edu/

Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories (Panel)
May 28, 2015
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Washington DC

Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories is a collection of stories by white activists who have been engaged in the racial and social justice arena for more than 30 years. The goal of the book is to capture the voices of the authors in a way that makes their personal life experiences and knowledge accessible to everyone. For this book the authors were asked to explore three questions:  How did you get into this work?;  What have you learned?; and What do you recommend for future generations? Authors attending NCORE will participate in the panel in addition to the book’s editors and share their personal journeys into social justice. Stick around after the panel to meet the authors and get your copy signed! Author-Presenters include: Ali Michael, Marguerite Parks, Heather Hackman, Frances Kendall, James Loewen, Peggy McIntosh, Paul Gorski, and Eddie Moore Jr. For more information about Everyday White Peopleclick here.
This conference is open to the public. For more information or to register, go to https://www.ncore.ou.edu/


Training Providers on Issues of Race and Racism to Improve Health Care Equity (Poster Session)
May 28, 2015
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Washington DC

Stephen Nelson will be participating in this year’s NCORE poster session, designed to engage participating scholars and conference attendees in conversation on ongoing and emerging research in racial and social justice issues. Dr. Nelson will be sharing some of the research that he and Dr. Hackman have been conducting on effective practices and impacts of training health care providers on issues of race and racism in order to improve health care equity. 
This conference is open to the public. For more information or to register, go to https://www.ncore.ou.edu/

Calling Out the Wizard Behind the Curtain: Critically Addressing the Corrosive Effects of Whiteness in Teacher Education (Workshop)
May 29, 2015
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Washington DC

Dr. Hackman is offering this session at the 2015 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education in response to teacher education’s lack of critical race accountability and racial justice preparation for our future teachers. This workshop is designed to be a place where we can 1) have some honest conversations about the specific failings of current teacher education systems regarding racial justice, 2) critically examine how White liberalism supports racism and whiteness in our E-12 settings, and 3) identify concrete changes for teacher education in order to prepare teachers to truly serve all students in a racially complex society. 
This conference is open to the public. For more information or to register, go to https://www.ncore.ou.edu/

Race, Racism and Medicine (Keynote)
June 30, 2015
UCare, Minneapolis MN

Dr. Stephen Nelson will present an historically-grounded overview of racism in medicine and racial health care disparities, and health care provider bias, with specific current examples. This presentation is designed to help attendees learn to recognize race as an independent factor in health equity, understand the factors that influence racial health care disparities, and begin to understand and have conversations about how unconscious bias affects health care delivery.
This event is open to employees of UCare. For more information about attending this event, please contact Christine Erlenbusch, UCare Meeting & Event Specialist.

Healthiest State Summit: Structural Racism (Breakout Session)
August 6, 2015
Location TBA

On August 6, the Twin Cities Medical Society, Minnesota Public Health Association, Minnesota Department of Health and other business and community partners are sponsoring a one-day event, “Healthiest State Summit – Reclaiming Minnesota’s #1 Health Ranking”.  The idea for the summit stemmed from the United Health Foundation annual report, “America’s Health Ranking”, listing Minnesota as the 6th healthiest state, down from #1 (#3 more recently). The keynote for the conference will be MDH Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, MD, who will outline the factors contributing to this decline with a panel of local business and community members describing what trends they are experiencing. This will be followed by expert-facilitated breakout sessions on key areas of concern, including a session on structural racism facilitated by Dr. Stephen Nelson. The goal is for participants to come away from this conference with not only learning, but an action plan for ways that will positively impact the trend of Minnesota returning to the healthiest state.

Event registration and location details are currently TBA.

To keep up with HCG presentations and consultants between newsletters, be sure to check out the “Upcoming Events” page on our website!
Presentations Spotlight:
 
Environmental Justice Faculty Institute
"Teaching Sustainability Through a Social Justice Lens Across the Curriculum"

June 15-16, 2015
The Orchard School & Community Center, East Alstead, NH




“Teaching Sustainability Through a Social Justice Lens Across the Curriculum” is a two-day intensive institute (June 15 & 16, 2015), designed for pre-school through college and out-of-school-time educators. Located in the beautiful Orchard Hill farming community of New Hampshire, this institute highlights the need to address climate change, social justice and sustainability in every aspect of our teaching, and offers some basic frameworks for promising practices.

his institute is designed for educators in all settings from P-12 to higher education to non-formal settings and is best suited for those who have a basic understanding of social justice issues, have a desire to work sustainability, climate change and social justice content into their work, and who are willing to bring their syllabi and classroom content to the session and do concrete work in the institute itself.

Specifically, this workshop will provide opportunities to:
• Develop and utilize a social justice framework for P-16 settings;
• Analyze how that framework informs our understanding of what it is we are trying to sustain and what sustainability actually is in this current climate moment;
• Enhance our understanding of the current climate reality;
• Unpack relevant theories and their practical applications;
• Group by setting, content area, and the like to do deep application work and experimentation;
• Gain a deeper understanding of how to help our students incorporate their learning into their own lives and act on it.

The two days of the institute also include farm-to-table meals, breakout sessions and case studies of local efforts, panel discussions and a farm tour. Join us for this opportunity to learn, connect and energize your teaching practice with other committed and passionate educators and activists!

Presenters will include Heather Hackman of Hackman Consulting Group, Sonia Keiner of The Orchard School and Frederick Tutman of Patuxent Riverkeeper.

Institute cost is $345 (which includes some meals) and the first 15 participants to register will receive a $50 discount.

For more information about this institute or to register, check out the event Facebook page, go to www.EJFacultyInstitute.eventbrite.com or contact Sonia Keiner at Sonia.Keiner@theorchardschool.org or 603-835-2495.

Conferences & Events

Additional upcoming learning opportunities that might be of interest to HCG followers...

Annual Spring Conference: "Success Through Synergy"
Organized by the Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling
May 18, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN

The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity*
Organized by the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies
May 26 - 30, 2015 in Washington, DC
*Both Heather and Stephen will be presenting workshops at this conference - see "Upcoming Presentations," above, and this month's "Conference Spotlight," below, for more details!

National Summit for Courageous Conversation
Organized by the Pacific Educational Group
October 10-15, 2015 in Baltimore, MD


Audacious Philanthropy 2015
Organized by Social Venture Partners
October 22-24, 2015 in Seattle, WA

AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo
Organized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
October 25-28, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN


2015 NWSA Annual Conference: "Precarity"
Organized by the National Women's Studies Association
November 12-15, 2015 in Milwaukee, WI

The Impact of Media and Education on the Other Tradition
Organized by the National Center for Race Amity
November 19-21, 2015 in Quincy, MA

Overcoming Racism: Vigilance Now!
Organized by the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative
November 13-14, 2015 in St. Paul, MN

2015 People of Color Conference: Art, Science, Soul and the Equity Imperative
Organized by the National Association of Independent Schools
December 3-5, 2015 in Tampa, FL

 
The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE)
May 26-30, 2015
Washington, DC

What is the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity?

From the conference organizers: The NCORE conference series constitutes the leading and most comprehensive national forum on issues of race and ethnicity in American higher education. The conference focuses on the complex task of creating and sustaining comprehensive institutional change designed to improve racial and ethnic relations on campus and to expand opportunities for educational access and success by culturally diverse, traditionally underrepresented populations.

Join HCG trainers Stephen Nelson and Heather Hackman, HCG Associate Kate Eubank, and over 2,000 people from across the country for the 28th annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education in Washington DC this May! This year, NCORE participants will have the opportunity to hear from keynotes including Rosa Clemente, Adrienne Keene, Phil Yu and Jose Antonio Vargas. For more information about the conference and a link to registration, go to https://www.ncore.ou.edu.


Want to connect with HCG folks at the conference? Come find us any time at booth #12 (right by the NCORE tables!), or come check out any of the workshops, panels, poster sessions and book signings that HCG is participating in, including...

On May 27:
  • "The Body Already Knows: A Framework for Dismantling Race, Racism and Whiteness and Achieving Racial Justice" workshop with Heather
  • Routledge Readings for Diversity and Social Justice book signing with Heather
On May 28:
  • Panel with authors of Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice, including Heather
  • "Training Providers on Issues of Race and Racism to Improve Health Care Equity" poster session with Stephen
On May 29:
  • "Calling Out the Wizard Behind the Curtain: Critically Addressing the Corrosive Effects of Whiteness in Teacher Education" workshop with Heather
For more information on these sessions, check out the "Upcoming Presentations" section, above, or head over to the Events page on www.hackmanconsultinggroup.org.
 
We hope to see you at NCORE!

Book Review


Picower, Bree and Mayorga, Edwin, eds. What’s Race Got to Do With It?: How Current School Reform Policy Maintains Racial and Economic Inequality. New York: Peter Lang, 2015.
 
This is a very good anthology. The editors manage a solid balance of theory and practice, but more importantly they have an incredibly cogent analytical frame that addresses both race and class in educational policy without losing the critical edge for either issue. The tendency in education today, and this is particularly true for White educators, is to use class as a means of avoiding a focus on race (and particularly Whiteness), but due to their grounding in progressive and engaged politics and the expectation of an intersectional analysis Picower and Mayorga give to their contributors, that does not happen in this book. The result is a book that is clearly not your usual policy grind. Rather, it is a solid indictment of the impact on education of neoliberal economic and political policies in conjunction with long-standing racism. Specifically, it strongly critiques topics such as the privatization of education in the U.S., high-stakes testing, school closings, mayoral takeovers, and school choice. What is particularly refreshing about this anthology is that it does not seek to “tweak” the current system(s) but unapologetically demands that these educational practices simply end. Authors such as Wayne Au and Pauline Lipman are well known and oft cited for their educational research and they share their many years of experience with current research and analysis from school systems across the U.S.
 
One note is that this book is solidly grounded in critical race theory as well as critical pedagogy and thus the wording can get a little heavy if one is not inclined toward that form of academic parlance. Thankfully, this is often balanced with a clear and powerful commentary that helps the reader understand the “on the ground” implications of the various policies, practices and procedures being addressed.
 
To give you a flavor of the book, here is an extended quote from the introduction: “As neoliberal education policies continue to push for competition and choice in city after city, the implications for the future of public education stand in the balance. As Lipman (2011) expounds, ‘Urban schools are wound up in privatization, public-private partnerships, demands for union “flexibility”, teacher merit pay schemes, and mayoral takeovers, along with high stakes testing and restricted urban school districts, direct involvement of corporate actors and corporate philanthropies dictating school district policies – these are features of neoliberal governance dominating urban school districts (p.47). As a network of reforms, neoliberalism has spurred the privatization of education in a seemingly race-neutral yet highly racialized manner, resulting in the accumulation of capital and success for some and failure and dispossession for others.”
 
If you are in any form of graduate program regarding P-12 education, I recommend the book as a powerful resource. If you are an in-service P-12 educator or an administrator, I also recommend the book but suggest that you read it with the knowledge that the authors are courageously naming what must be named and thus it can feel a bit overwhelming in terms of all that needs to be transformed in today’s U.S. P-12. And, if you are an activist seeking progressive educational reform, this book will align very well with your hopes for a P-12 environment that is truly for all students and fulfills its democratic and liberatory promise.
 
-Heather 
 
PS: Looking to buy a copy? Support local! Find or order this book at Magers and Quinn or get it delivered from Boneshaker Books!
 
Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice

Book Cover Image
 
Eddie Moore Jr., Marguerite W. Penick-Parks, and Ali Michael, eds. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2015.

Heather is honored and delighted to be a contributor to this new anthology that seeks to give readers an opportunity to explore and reflect on some of the many paths to becoming a White racial justice and social justice advocate by learning from the experiences, reflections and challenges of the contributors. Edited by three of the key organizers of the annual White Privilege Conference and structured as a series of personal stories from 15 White social justice advocates and activists, who share their paths to awareness and activism, their missteps and mistakes, and how they confront the contradictions of doing racial and social justice work while simultaneously benefitting from privilege.

Contributing authors include Warren J. Blumenfeld, Abby L. Ferber, Jane K. Fernandes, Michelle Fine, Diane J. Goodman, Paul C. Gorski, Heather W. Hackman, Gary R. Howard, Kevin Jennings, Frances E. Kendall, Paul Kivel, James W. Loewen, Peggy McIntosh, Julie O’Mara, Alan Rabinowitz, Andrea Rabinowitz and Christine E. Sleeter. Each author's chapter is unique, and chapter titles include:

  • The Joy of Antiracism (James W. Loewen)
  • Learning to Become an Antiracist Racist (Christine E. Sleeter)
  • Calling Out the Wizard Behind the Curtain (Heather W. Hackman)
  • Working Within the System to Change the System (Julie O'Mara)
  • Hands-On Activism (Paul Kivel)


More information about Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice - as well as online order forms for hardcover, paperback and e-book versions - are available at the Stylus Publishing webpage.

Training Tidbits


Pull v. Push Questions

I am often invited into organizations that are majority White both demographically and structurally with respect to power, and it is not long before the head of organization or the point person I am meeting with asks, “how do we get more People of Color / Native people in our organization?” I respond a range of ways, depending on where they and / or their organization are at developmentally, but every answer always comes back to the same essential point: you are asking the wrong question.
 
I describe the “how do we get more of  ‘them’ into ‘our’ organization?” as a pull question because it is operating from a framework of trying to pull more People of Color / Native people (POC/N) into the organization or group, but does not represent any ability of the organization to self-reflect and interrogate its own structure. Certainly the intention with this question is not wrong, as there is ample evidence to show that getting a more racially diverse organizational structure can have certain positive impacts on the overall racial environment in an organization. How could it not? One of the key ways a racial hierarchy stays in place within any organization is via the process of continually isolating Native people and People of Color within that setting while constantly foregrounding Whiteness. And so though countless organizations have a Person of Color as their head of HR or as their Chief Diversity Officer, the isolation of those folks makes the chance of them making any substantive change regarding racial issues minimal. A more racially diverse workforce throughout the power structure of an organization serves to disrupt this isolation and make the organization a more viable place for POC/N folks. However, the mere presence of a few People of Color / Native people is not enough to substantially change an organization regarding racial equity / racial justice because the organization is not asking the questions or taking the approach that opens it up to such change.
 
As such an organization needs to ask the push question, which is something along the lines of, “In what ways does our organization’s culture, structure, and ways of operating make it impossible for People of Color / Native people to join or stay? In other words, what about our ‘business as usual’ literally pushes People of Color / Native people out?” An organization is heading in the right direction with this framework because it is asking questions related to core ways of being in the organization and is more likely to make the kinds of internal changes necessary for Native people and People of Color to arrive and thrive. When POC/N are not spending so much energy and time dealing with the endless dynamics of racism and Whiteness in their midst, the capacity to advance and contribute to the organization increases exponentially. To be sure, one of the main reasons there are not more People of Color and Native people in positions of power within organizations is because the daily grind of racism and Whiteness burns People of Color and Native folks out long before their White counterparts even know what is going on. Understood through a non-critical race lens, White folks tend to see this as an inability of People of Color and Native people to “work hard” or to “apply themselves” or to “stick to it” because those White folks have never been educated about the daily realities of race, racism and Whiteness in the U.S. Contrary to the racist and uneducated perceptions of many White folks, the truth is that most organizations invite POC/N folks in but do nothing to make it possible for them to stay without it taking an incredible toll.
 
We can see this in college admissions where a university that wants to become more “racially diverse” goes all out in their admissions recruiting and does, in fact, get more Students of Color and Native students to attend. The institution, however, has done nothing to educate its residence life staff, it students affairs staff, its campus security staff, or its faculty on issues of race and so those students, exhausted by the toll “everyday racism” is taking on their lives, leave the university. To explain this away, White folks at that university assume that “those” students simply can’t cut it or do not have as much of an investment in their education as White students do and thus the cycle of racial oppression in higher education continues. This same pattern can be seen in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, it can be seen in P-12 education in the teacher and administrator ranks, and it is all too obvious in the government / social services sector where there are a large number of front line POC/N but very few POC/N in positions of power within city, county, and national government.
 
Thus, if an organization is realizing “we’re pretty White,” the first move is not to ask “how do we get more POC/N into our organization.” The first move is to ask what about your organization is making it impossible for POC/N to get in. More specifically, how are the Racial Narratives, Racism (individually, institutionally and structurally), and Whiteness (White Privilege and White Supremacy) making it impossible for POC/N to stay? Once an organization begins to address this reality, the changes they will undertake will have much more substance, will outlast any “initiative’s” life span in the organization, and will create authentic opportunities for POC/N to arrive and thrive. What this means, however, is that an organization has to have the courage to lean in and ask the deep, critical questions about its own structure and the ways that Race, Racism and Whiteness inform its day to day operations. Some specifics about how to do this will be the subject of the next newsletter “training tidbit.”
 
-Heather

Climate Change Corner


A Nod to What We Love

It is so easy to get caught up in the data regarding the drought in California, the recent report that said that “business as usual” will wipe out a minimum of 16% of all species on the planet by the end of the century, and the recent report on the impending possibility that this year could be the worse year in human history for the bleaching out of global coral reefs. It’s abysmal out there in the world of climate science and climate reporting. And so as spring arrives and summer approaches I think it is also important to remember what we love and deeply connect / reconnect to this tiny blue dot of ours.
 
Step 1: Breathe
Breathe fresh air and focus solely on the physical sensation of the air as it is coming in and out of your nose. If you live in a smoggy city, try doing this early in the morning where the coolness of the evening has interacted with some of the smog and it is less intense. The important thing here is to really notice what it feels like to breathe. Our bodies work incredibly hard at this and most humans barely notice (unless you have been given a reason to notice such as meditation or health issues) and yet we breathe about 23,000 times a day. So, instead of missing this moment, take one minute to simply breathe and take in fresh air. I recommend you watch David Suzuki’s clip “We Are Air” to get a better sense of how this serves to connect us all.
 
Step 2: Listen
Listen to the world around us. The birds, the wind through the trees, and the buzz of a bee (if you can find one near you…they are in some trouble these days) are all constantly speaking to us and yet most U.S.ers rarely notice in the bustle of our lives. If we are to find a way out of this climate crisis we need to learn to deeply listen to Nature again. Those of you who spend a lot of time outside will not find this unusual, but if you live in a city or large town, it is incredibly easy to lose touch with the sounds of nature all around us. Some thoughts on the importance of listening to the natural world can be found in an episode of On Being with Krista Tippet where she interviews Gordon Hempton in the show entitled “The Last Quiet Places.” A disclaimer for this is that Mr. Hempton appears to be a White man from the U.S. and thus some of his observations, as well as Krista’s reflections, are rather White in their substance. Nevertheless, it is a useful message with respect to the ways quiet spaces have been decimated by this country’s focus on “development.”
 
More broadly, if the sounds that fill my range of perception are all mechanized, they can support disassociation and disconnection, which in turn makes it easier for me to contribute to climate change via my unaware choices. Conversely, I notice for me that when I pause to listen and connect, it makes me just a little more mindful and a little more hopeful with respect to climate issues.
 
Step 3: Connect
Sit and touch into the earth in some way. So many indigenous societies around the world historically and today hold a connection with the earth as essential for a connection to oneself (because the two are not seen as separate) and incorporate that connection in a range of ways into their rituals, daily lives, and ways of making meaning. The U.S., unfortunately, has made this increasingly difficult and yet there are pockets of green spaces all around and it is imperative that we all touch into that as much as possible on every given day. Again, communities that are connected to the earth, whether by tradition or function or both, already know this – and, they are rarely the ones we need to convince to get moving around climate disruption and environmental justice. But in this society, many who are “middle class” and living in suburbs are often those who are consuming the most (thus contributing to this climate moment in substantial numbers) and are also often the most disconnected, and need this reconnection the most. It does not have to be a week-long trip to the Badlands, nor does it have to be a lifetime membership at REI and the purchasing of hundreds of dollars of equipment. Rather, just sit on the earth and take it in. I’ve mentioned this book before, but it can be a useful resource, and so if you are inclined toward prayer and meditation I recommend Mark Coleman’s book Awake in the Wild and the web site that goes with it. And, if you are a city person and want to learn more about gardening as a way to reconnect, I recommend going to Growing Power’s web site and exploring their resources and workshops, and also checking out Soul Fire Farm’s web site and their amazing resources. Both organizations emphasize the connection between touching into the earth and dismantling the oppressive structures that led us away from this connection in the first place.
 
Step 4: Remember
Remember that this is your home and the source of life – your life, my life, all life. Our species has done incredible, tragic things to this home and its impact will not be isolated to us and instead will impact every living thing on this planet (as it already is to incredible degrees). Thus, we need to remember our place in it, among it, as part of it and shape our actions to reflect that. Here are some voices that can remind us of that: Winona LaDuke’s TED talk on sustainability and our place on this planet, Joanna Macy’s talk at the Bioneers 2014 Conference, and this Vandana Shiva interview on traditional knowledge, biodiversity, and sustainable living. We cannot engineer our way out of this climate reality (read Clive Hamilton’s book Earthmasters and look at his web site). Rather we must change our entire notion of what it means to be human, to be a member of community, and what it means to live together with all life on this planet. If we can begin to remember this, we can begin to collectively move toward a viable response to this climate moment.
-Heather

Blogs


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