Educating for a Just Ecological Transition: Building Higher Educational Alliances in a Time of Climate Crisis
March-May, 2021: This virtual summit engages emerging responses to the climate crisis in higher education—with particular attention to the roles higher education institutions can play in building alliances with social movements, community organizations, artists, intellectuals, and informal educational structures.
A Virtual Summit: March-May, 2021
The virtual summit “Educating for a Just Ecological Transition: Building Higher Educational Alliances in a Time of Climate Crisis” engages emerging responses to the climate crisis in higher education—with particular attention to the roles higher education institutions can play in building alliances with social movements, community organizations, artists, intellectuals, and informal educational structures. How can advocacy around climate justice respond to broader questions about inequalities of power? How should institutions of higher education act on their responsibilities to address the climate crisis through curricula, infrastructure, and institutional action? How can higher education institutions learn from, partner with, and provide resources for community organizations and educational programs?
- How should institutions of higher education act on their responsibilities to address the climate crisis through curricula and institutional action?
- How can advocacy around climate justice respond to broader questions about inequalities of power?
- How can higher education institutions learn from and provide resources for community partners and educational programs?
Working with a broad range of activists, scholars, artists, and educators, we hope to:
- Build alliances between higher educational institutions and social movements, community organizations, artists, intellectuals, and informal educational structures.
- Compile best practices to assist institutions of higher education in acting on their responsibilities to address the climate crisis, cognizant of broader questions about inequalities of power.
- Create materials for communities, organizations and individuals to foster educational contexts responsive to cascading environmental crises.
Organized by Education Ecologies Collective. Sponsored by the Leaves of Grass Foundation, the John. B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, VCAM, and the Department of Environmental Studies at Haverford College.
Ecological Transitions: Implications for Higher Education
Thursday, March 4, 2021
2:00-4:00 p.m. EST
From the Pandemic to white supremacy, to the climate crisis, to inequality and large-scale economic shifts, it is ever increasingly clear that we require not only new pedagogies but a radical rethinking of institutional forms in higher education. This session will introduce our seminar’s overall themes and consider the implications of cascading crises on the role of higher education and its relationships to wider society.
- Matthew Derr, President, Sterling College
- Dr. Timothy Eatman, Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community, Rutgers University - Newark
- Davydd Greenwood, Goldwin Smith Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Cornell University
- Joan Naviyuk Kane, Poet & Visiting Lecturer on English, Harvard University
- Tsion Syoum '21, Haverford College
Experimental Structures for Higher Education: Learning from Alternative Models
Thursday, March 18, 2021
2:00-4:00 p.m. EST
We are living in a time of tremendous innovation in the field of higher education. This conversation brings together activists, educators, students, artists, and entrepreneurs experimenting with new institutional forms. From evolving technologies that respond creatively to changing student needs, and better harness resources in the service of social and environmental justice, to place-based initiatives, contributors offer examples and visions for what higher education might respond to our historical moment--and emerging futures.
- Adam Bush, Co-Founder and Provost, College Unbound
- Michelle Jones, Founder, President, and Chief Academic Officer, Wayfinding Academy
- John Kuo Wei Tchen, Inaugural Clement A. Price Professor of Public History & Humanities; Director, Clement Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University - Newark
Remaking Pedagogy for the World that We Need
Thursday, April 1, 2021
2:00-4:00 p.m. EST
This conversation focuses on a range of pedagogies responding to environmental and other social upheavals. Contributors will discuss the genealogies of their practice and inspirations that inform their work, while considering the roles students, educators, activists and administrators have played to support creative and effective pedagogies both in and outside the academy.
- Michael Doxtater, Assistant Professor, Queen's National Scholar in Indigenous Studies: Land- and Language-Based Pedagogies and Practices, Queen's University
- Kashema Hutchinson, FI Graduate Fellow and Peer Leadership Fellows Co-Director, The Futures Initiative
Blurring Lines: Social Movements, Community Collaborations, and Arts
Thursday, April 15, 2021
2:00-4:00 p.m. EST
Global challenges including climate change, pandemic, and mass extinction challenge the conventional distinctions among institutions, social movements, and community organizations. In this session, participants discuss how we can transform higher education to better engage social movements, community-based organizations, and artists. .
Addressing Funding Models in Higher Ed Transformation
Thursday, April 29, 2021
2:00-4:00 p.m. EST
Any attempts to transform higher education must confront the challenges of funding. In the United States, funding for higher education comes primarily (and increasingly so) from private sources such as tuition, donations, or investment. The values of faculty, students, and communities beyond the academy frequently see themselves at odds with the requirements of fundraising. This session explores possibilities for alternative funding models that can open up creative possibilities and environ new relationships.
Imagining Futures: Educating for a Just Transition
Thursday, May 13, 2021
2:00-4:00 p.m. EST
How have we come to understand the role of higher education in addressing the climate crisis? In our concluding session, panelists and participants will reflect on key insights from previous discussions to consider next steps as we move forward. How do we move forward with what we have learned to transform higher education (and beyond) for the world that we need?
Adam Bush is the co-founder and Provost of College Unbound; a degree completion college working both inside and outside carceral spaces of Rhode Island to ensure all adult learners are valued as scholar-practitioners, and have access to a Bachelor's degree pathway. Adam has always loved to see how things work and take them apart. His work and practice has always revolved around improvisation, learning, collective action, and imagination. Adam directed Imagining America's Publicly Active Graduate Education fellowship program from 2010-2012, and sat on Imagining America’s National Advisory Board (2010-2019). Adam sat on the Strategic Planning Committee of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans and is on the Steering Committee of the Great Colleges for the New Majority Network. Adam received his PhD from USC’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity for his dissertation “Passing Notes in Class” which examined the origins of early jazz programs and the student and teacher-activist musicians that led to that institutionalization. He is the 2011 recipient of the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award for Commitment to Academic and Civic Responsibility from the AAC&U, and the 2015 recipient of the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement from the AASCU’s American Democracy Project. For more information about College Unbound please see the Chronicle of Higher Ed.
Matthew Derr is nationally recognized in higher education for his expertise in leading institutional change and for strengthening mission-based focus. In 2011, He was awarded a Council for Advancement and Support of Education Chief Executive of the Year Award. Derr led the effort to divest the Sterling endowment from fossil fuels, founded the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and recently launched an effort with The Berry Center to expand the reach of farmer education. Prior to Sterling, President Derr served as Interim President of Antioch College, where, he developed a concept for a new curriculum focused on issues related to environmental stewardship, inspired by Sterling. Unusually for a college president, Derr also fulfills a role as a faculty member and teaches community organizing.
Michael Doxtater (McMaster, B.A.; Cornell, M.S./PhD.) is a leading expert on organizational learning and organizational development. Recovering Indigenous Knowledge practices includes enacting the social foundations of governance, sustainable life-systems, and Indigenous languages. As a professional in dispute and conflict resolution he intervened during the Kanonstaten Reclamation Occupation (Caledonia, ON), the Red Hill Valley expressway occupation (Hamilton, ON), the Eagles Nest standoff (Brantford, ON), the Tutelo Heights forestry dispute (Brantford, ON), and Six Nations Against Pollution on-reserve. In 1990, he worked as the Oka Standoff representative for Chief Rastewenserontha of the Mohawk People. Professionally, Doxtater worked at the national level as a senior communication specialist for the Government of Canada, specifically the Department of Indian Affairs Headquarters and Ontario Region, Health Canada, the Canadian Government Expositions Centre (CGEC), the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). He led teams that produced award-winning documentaries in Canada and the United States for PBS, TVOntario, National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). As a senior communication specialist, he has over 20-years experience as a producer in children's television, documentaries, drama, and long-form films in the Canadian media industry. His work has appeared on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Canada, and CKRZ 100.3 FM, and in the Montreal Gazette, Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Southam News, and TVOntario. He was part of the production team for “Where the Spirit Lives”, a Gemini Award winning drama on the frontier of the Indian Residential Schools apology era. His writing practice informs his role for teaching academic research and writing in college and university settings. Doxtater taught at Mohawk College, Niagara College, Cornell University, Wilfrid Laurier University, McGill University, and the University of Waterloo. Areas of research specialization include Action Research methods for strategic planning and developing learning organizations. Michael is an 8th generation descendent of Mohawk leader Joseph Brant.
Timothy K. Eatman
Timothy K. Eatman, Ph.D., is the inaugural dean of the HLLC. Most recently, he held an appointment as Associate Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education at Syracuse University. From 2012 to 2017, Tim served as Faculty Co-Director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA). He is co-author of Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University, a seminal IA research report on faculty rewards and publicly engaged scholarship.
Tim’s research explores institutional policy and equity issues in higher education. He has published in such venues as the Journal of Educational Finance, Readings on Equal Education, Diversity and Democracy, and The Huffington Post, and has written several other book chapters and reports. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Service Learning and Civic Engagement, released in 2017.
He serves in national roles including as a faculty member for Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Summer Institutes on High Impact Practices and the Advisory Panel for the Carnegie Engagement Classification for Community Engagement.
Tim sits on the editorial board of University of Michigan Press – The New Public Scholarship book series, Urban Education, Diversity, and Democracy and reviews for several scholarly journals and publications. The recipient of the 2010 Early Career Research Award for the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) and now a member of the board, Tim often consults with Higher Education associations and institutions for collaborative research, keynotes, workshops and consultancies.
An anthropologist focused on the anthropology of organizations (manufacturing and service) with a special interest in higher education reform, Davydd Greenwood is an expert in the field of action research with a 50-year history of work in various parts of Spain on issues as diverse as rural exodus, ethnic conflict, industrial cooperatives, participatory community development, and the role of governmental institutions in shaping and exacerbating identity politics and conflicts. He has done more than 3 years of action research work with the cooperatives of Mondragón in the Spanish Basque Country. He has also participated in a variety of international PhD programs in action research, most notably in Norway as part of the Norwegian industrial democracy movement. He has also done participatory community development work in de-industrialized towns in Upstate New York and in Spain's La Mancha region and a variety of action research projects to reform higher education programs. He recently served on the faculty of the European Union project Universities in the Knowledge Economy directed by Professor Susan Wright of Aarhus University, Denmark. He a Corresponding Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and a member of the Board of Directors of the Evolution institute.
Kashema Hutchinson is Ph.D. candidate in the Urban Education program at the Graduate Center (CUNY). She is also the Co-Director of the Peers Leadership Fellows Program. She has facilitated discussion groups with incarcerated populations in New York. Kashema creates and uses Hip Hop infographics to facilitate discussions on the role of women and history; philosophy; behavioral economics and; class and crime in traditional and non-traditional educative spaces. She is also a Co-Director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum’s Education Committee. In addition, Kashema is also an adjunct lecturer and teaches critical thinking to undergraduate and early college students. Her research interests include mattering and marginalization, the socialization of Black girls and women, zero-tolerance policies, mindfulness and Hip Hop pedagogy.
Michelle Jones is Founder, President, and Chief Academing Office of Wayfinding Academy. She is doing her life's work right now, which is exhilarating and terrifying. Her purpose in life is to help others figure out what they want to do with their lives and start doing it. Five years ago, she gathered a group of like-minded friends and colleagues around a vision of what a revolution in higher education could look like. After years of volunteering with groups and non-profits to organize for social impact, (SuperThank, TEDxMtHood, World Domination Summit) Michelle took the leap and Wayfinding Academy was born. We are still learning as we grow, but we are definitely seeing some ripple effects of change in higher education. When not ruffling the feathers of traditional higher education, Michelle can be found walking the Camino de Santiago with fellow Wayfinders (this summer will be her seventh time!) or relaxing at her tiny home in Portland, Oregon.
If you’d like to learn a little more about Michelle, the higher education revolution, or tiny homes please visit www.MichelleDJones.org
Joan Naviyuk Kane
Joan Naviyuk Kane is Inupiaq with family from King Island (Ugiuvak) and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska and was a 2019-2020 Hilles Bush Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her publications include the essay collection A Few Lines in the Manifest (2018), and poetry books and chapbooks The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife (2009), Hyperboreal (2013), The Straits (2015), Milk Black Carbon (2017), Sublingual (2018), and Another Bright Departure (2019). She has been the recipient of the Whiting Writer’s Award, the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, the American Book Award, the Alaska Literary Award, the United States Artists Foundation Creative Vision Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, and fellowships and residencies from the Rasmuson Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the School for Advanced Research, the Aninstantia Foundation, the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Lannan Foundation. She has been a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award, the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and the Dorset Prize. She was founding core faculty in creative nonfiction and poetry in the graduate creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also serves as a lecturer in the department of Race, Colonialism and Diaspora at Tufts University, where she teaches Contemporary Indigenous Literature and Culture. Her work has recently appeared in Yale Review, Salamander, and When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry.
Photo Credit: Tony Rindaldo
Tsion Syoum '21 is a senior at Haverford College, majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Peace Justice and Human Rights. In 2014, she started a non-profit to build sustainable sources of water in Eritrea. Since its establishment, she has raised more than $45,000. She is passionate about protecting and preserving our environment and its natural resources. In the near future, she plans to pursue a master’s in environmental policy and regulation to explore new ways to manage water and water pollution through policymaking. At Haverford, Tsion is a member of the Black Student League and works for the Admissions Office.
John Kuo Wei Tchen
John Kuo Wei Tchen is a historian, curator, and writer. Professor Tchen is the Inaugural Clement A Price Chair of Public History & Humanities at Rutgers University – Newark and Director of the Clement Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture & the Modern Experience, beginning Fall 2018. He is founding director of the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific /American) Studies Program and Institute and part of the founding faculty of the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, NYU. He co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America in 1979-80 where he continues to serve as senior historian. He was the senior historian for a New-York Historical Society exhibition on the impact of Chinese Exclusion Laws on the formation of the US and also senior advisor for the two-hour “American Experience” PBS documentary with Ric Burns and Lishin Yu on the “Chinese Exclusion Act.” Yellow Peril: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (2014) is a critical archival study of images, excerpts and essays on the history and contemporary impact of paranoia and xenophobia. He is also a founder of the New York Newark Public History Project (NYN PHP), funded by the Ford Foundation, which will reframe the history of the estuarial region starting with the twined foundational histories of dispossession and enslavement (work emerging from serving as a Commissioner on the NYC Mayor’s Commission on Monuments.) His Below the Grid Project is pioneering creative historical storytelling with smart, location-sensitive wearable tech.
Education Ecologies Collective seeks to transform contemporary education, stewarding inclusive climate justice for an equitable world.
Tal Beery is a New York-based artist and educator. He is co-founder of Eco Practicum, an artist-run school for ecological justice and founding faculty at School of Apocalypse, examining the connections between creative practice and notions of survival. Beery is also a core member of Occupy Museums, a collective fighting the economic and social injustices propagated by institutions of art and culture. His curatorial research considers the relationships between art and epochal change. Beery’s written work and interviews have appeared in numerous publications and his personal and collaborative works have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, including the 2012 Berlin Biennale, Brooklyn Museum, and the 2017 Whitney Biennial.
Trained originally as a neuroscientist, Suparna Choudhury has worked as a researcher in London, Paris, Berlin and Montreal developing interdisciplinary approaches to examine the implications of the new brain sciences for health and society. She is a founder of the research program of Critical Neuroscience, which brings to bear perspectives of science studies and medical anthropology to examine how neuroscientists construct their objects of inquiry, and how research findings are transformed into popular knowledge and public policy. Ongoing projects include investigations of socioeconomic and neighbourhood contexts on brain development; uses of the neuroscience of the "adolescent brain" in education, law and psychiatry; subjective experiences of young people in the mental health system; interpretations of data from brain science and epigenetics about maternal mental health; and the politics of open science. She is Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Culture, Mind & Brain Program at the Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University.
A graduate from the Applied Human Sciences Department in Concordia (M.A. Human Systems Interventions 2016), Cédric has spent the last 10 years supporting individuals, teams, organizations and communities to invent creative ways to think, do and live together in alignment with their collective values. In this spirit, he has designed and hosted dozens of inclusive strategic conversations and participatory processes with a wide diversity of partners, including public institutions, ONGs, foundations, businesses and activist groups.
His teaching and practicing interests include community development, sustainability, and social justice. On a personal level, he is profoundly engaged towards a vision of communities, organizations and social movements as spaces where one can learn and practice the magical and somewhat tricky art of becoming better humans.
Laura McGrane is Director of Visual Culture Arts and Media (VCAM) and Associate Professor of English at Haverford College. Her work in liberal arts as interdisciplinary practice explores alliances between arts, technology, sciences and community engagement. She oversaw the creation of the VCAM space and design, and runs its grant programming with the Mellon Foundation and other funders in arts, visual studies, technology and community practice.
Her teaching explores print culture and digital media, integrating theoretical work on interface, surveillance, and inclusivity into scholarship on the history of the book.
Joshua’s trans-disciplinary research focuses on disaster and complex socio-ecological change. His forthcoming book, Anxious Experts: Spiritual Care and Disaster Response from 9/11-the Climate Crisis (UPenn Press) brings together his work on religious and mental health response to the attacks of September 11th and Hurricane Katrina, centering on the formation of “spiritual disaster expertise” following the attacks of September 11th and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—as well as more recent climate crisis-related related activities. Joshua has worked with Nunatsiavut Inuit communities in northern Labrador on inequality, dispossession, community wellbeing, migration, and identity in the context of recent land claim settlements and large-scale resource extraction. He has also conducted research in the Northwest Territories on migration, housing, and homelessness, and has worked with youth in Alaska. As a member of Education Ecologies Collective, Joshua’s work has increasingly focused on the response of education to the climate crisis and the ways we are (or are not) preparing each other for futures that society itself struggles to imagine.
Li Sumpter, Ph.D. is a mythologist, educator and social practice artist who employs mythic literacy and eco-conscious design as modes of creative resistance and community empowerment. Her academic work and socially engaged art projects synergize world building and afrofuturism, environmental justice and land sovereignty as a praxis of freedom. Li is Founder/Creative Director of MythMedia Studios, an art and design studio that employs myth, media and liberation technologies to address existential concerns and environmental issues.
Nathan D. Woods
Nathan D. Woods is an anthropologist and information scientist working at the intersection of research and practice on issues related to the design of knowledge institutions and expert work, the science-policy-practice interface, and the dissemination and use of scholarship, scientific information and expert advice. He is currently completing a book manuscript on the history and purpose of U.S. higher education in the climate crisis.