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A discussion will follow the walk in Dwight 202.

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Nature and land are terms that have historically been defined and conceptualized around humans and their interaction/ interest.

Indigenous scientist, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer in her piece Braiding Sweetgrass presents the pattern and legacies of a mutually destructive relationship between nature and mankind where human needs’ are used as a means to appropriate nature.

Presently, the ever growing concerns and effects of the Climate Crisis, have ushered a wave in environmentalist efforts that challenge previous understandings of this relationship between the environment and humans. And while these new relationships center notions of sustainability, we are witnessing the continual challenge that human interest presents through mechanisms like greenwashing. Historically, this relationship between the environment and mankind has relied on colonial and capitalist interest/structures in order to exclude marginalized identities/groups. As a result, the legacy of this as Kimmerer states in Braiding Sweetgrass is that “It’s not just land that is broken, but more importantly, our relationship to land.”

The Miller Worley Center for the Environment proposes a workshop centered around identifying and recentering ones’ relationship to nature and land through the practice community visioning.

Inspired by indigenous understanding of land, this event will begin with a guided walk through the natural trails (Lower lake, Upper lake, or Prospect Hill) on campus where students will be presented with meditations to practice envisioning themselves as a part of their environment rather than removed.

Afterwards, students will be brought into an indoor location where they will be a part of an open dialogue on personal and collective healing through a social and environmental justice lens.

Lastly, students will end the session with a hands-on community project that will be a continuation of the conversation of reconnecting and healing ones’ relationship to land as well as thinking of it from the perspective of the collective.

Ultimately, this event would provide students with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their relationship to the environment, while allowing them to envision redefining and restoring this relationship to take collective action at a time when it is needed the most.

Presented by: Alejandra German, they/she, 2023, Community Sustainability Coordinator

A discussion will follow the walk in Dwight 202.

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