Environmental Justice

Professor Arun Agrawal of the University of Michigan responds to a number of questions about the importance of common pool resources, their use and their governance.

 

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“This is a female moment in time,” observes Rev Dele, founder of the Virginia-based, Soil Souls. “The Earth and society are about to give birth to a new culture. It’s women who give birth to that which is yet unseen.”

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The cooperative business and community model is both older than you think, and probably not what you think. Cooperatives have a history, especially in Buffalo, NY, and in minority communities everywhere. Clinton Parker explains how co-ops really work, how they can help some modern problems, and how you can get involved.

 

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cross-posted from the Center for Humans & Nature

“And we are put on this earth a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love.”
–William Blake

This is my story of how water led me to become conscious of the inter-connectedness of all life.

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[Editor's note: Below are four videos from the CommonBound 2016 closing panel "Moving Forward with a Plan to Win."  Makani Themba of Higher Ground Change Strategies sets the stage by asking us to consider what exactly we mean by a "new" economy, and how our New Economy will relate to the old, i.e.

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The cast of characters assembled on vacant lots in Larimer, an East Pittsburgh neighborhood.

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[Editor's note: Below are three interviews from CommonBound 2016, held in Buffalo, NY earlier this year.  Interviewers Laura Flanders and Esteban Kelly talk with three women who are working to build financial and economic structures that empower people and communities.  Click here for more videos from the conference.  CommonBound is a project of the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of 150-plus organizations including PeoplesAction, 350.org, and the U.S.

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Many participants enjoy Transition [environmental movement] activities and like the idea of concrete, local actions as a positive means of building more resilient and sustainable communities. But insofar as Transition wants to address seriously the threat of climate change, its diffuse structure compromises its ability to synthesize activist efforts, follow up on projects, form alliances, and devise viable strategies. --Staggenborg and Ogrodnik (2015).

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Michael Johnson and Pamela Boyce Simms discuss the need for self-accountability in our movements and some of the ways to get there.

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"You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place." -Gurdjief-

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Gloria Lowe and Vanessa Marr of the Detroit non-profit We Want Green, Too talk about the work they are doing with veterans and returning citizens to both rebuild and reimagine the city of Detroit.

 

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Optimism is alive  in a new generation of environmentally aware and astute African American young people who “get it.” Over the past four years 40,000 pounds of trash has been removed from Washington DC’s Anacostia River by young, local African American residents. They understand how the forces of gentrification, income disparity, and environmental issues have converged.

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This Kickstarter funded documentary begins with the following sobering statistics: In New York State a farm is lost every 3.5 days. 215,000 acres of farmland lie idle. Noticing the alarming rate in which local farms were being be sold off, in 2012 documentary filmmaker Sarah Teale (HBO’s The Weight of the Nation) formed a cooperative of grass-fed beef farmers called the Adirondack Grazers. Grazers follows the Co-Op’s first two years.

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cross-posted from YES! Magazine

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Converting to renewable energy sources will do nothing to stop the environmental destruction caused by mining, logging, and other industrial processes, nor will it address increasing wealth inequality. If activists are serious about saving the planet need to recognize the corporate-led economy as the root problem to be overcome.
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Introspection Exorcises Racism: Taking the Cocoa Powder Out of the American Brownie

by Pamela Boyce Simms

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