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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Orieta

Spring Webinar Series

We know that youth are the future, and that as we spiral deeper into an environmental crisis of epic proportions, we need to prepare our students for the work that lies ahead of them.

For us at GOMI and for the teachers we work with, a central question has been how to guide students in connecting with their communities and how to highlight different avenues for environmental action. We know we want students to have a broader awareness of the types of career paths and partnerships they can forge. The question is how to do this during a global pandemic.

And so, as one of many potential answers to this conundrum, we dreamt up a Spring Webinar Series!

The speaker series will launch on February 2nd, 2021, with artist and guest speaker Jill Pelto, and continue throughout the semester as a lead -up to an end-of-the-year conference for students. The series will feature scientists, artists, authors, and community organizers who are dedicated to climate change awareness, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and engage with the speakers as they think about their own role in forging a future that is more liveable for all of us.

This effort is born out of an awareness that stewarding our environment is not just a skill-based process, but an awareness-based one. Students need to practice skills of scientific enquiry and coalition building, yes, but they also need to have a notion of the sheer diversity of opportunities (careers, actions, communities) that are available to them if they are going to see themselves as part of that process.

To borrow and paraphrase the words of adrianne maree brown, an emergent strategist, if we are to build a better future, we must first be able to imagine what it holds.

The speakers we have selected offer some direction for this act of imagination. They will ask us to think about how art can be a tool for scientific communication. They will help us to think about, consume, and write literature as a means to process our climate anxiety. They will exemplify the work, love, and commitment that goes into building sustainable and just community food systems. They will ask us to consider and commit to biodiversity, not just in our “natural ecosystems” but in our human one. All together, we hope they will broaden our understanding of possible solutions to local (and global!) problems, and teach us something about how to better connect with others as we do.

We hope you can get as excited about this as we are! We invite you to follow along here on the blog as well as on social media as we post speaker bios and short interviews and give you more details as to when and how to tune in to these sessions.

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