Monday, March 28 - These Gardens are Blueprints: Sowing the Seeds of Food Justice with Naima Penniman

12:00 - 1:15 PM, Virtual Session

At this time of multiple pandemics, of police violence, coronavirus, climate chaos, and unprecedented economic crisis, we are being called to put our food and land sovereignty dreams into deeper practice. Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-Indigenous community farm in New York that raises vegetables, fruit, herbs, and eggs for people living under food apartheid, and is part of a growing movement to uphold everyone’s right to land, honor the people who grow our food, and support farmers of color.

Combining visual storytelling and poetry, Naima Penniman will share Soul Fire Farm's pandemic-response strategies, including provision gardening in urban centers, a reparations map, and solidarity sharing the harvest through mutual aid networks. She will also uplift other Black-Indigenous-People-of-Color led organizations and movements, past and present, that are working in collaboration with land for food security, climate resilience, and the health of our ecosystems. Join us to learn how you too can help build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all members of our community.

About the Presenter - Naima Penniman (all pronouns)

Naima is a freedom-forging futurist rooted in her ancestors’ brilliance. She is a devotee of seeds, a soulful storyteller, a multidimensional artist, movement builder, medicine grower, healer, and educator. Life-long lover and defender of the Earth, Naima dedicates her creativity and community-building skills to regenerate practices towards planetary interdependence. She serves as the Program Director at Soul Fire Farm, where she equips a returning generation of Black, Brown, and Indigenous farmers with the skills needed to reclaim leadership in the food system and chart dignified futures in relationship to land. She is the Co-Founder of WILDSEED, a BIPOC-led, land-based community focused on ecological collaboration, transformative justice, and intergenerational responsibility. Published in All We Can Save, We Are Each Other’s Harvest, Farming While Black, and Semillas, Naima is a visionary poet whose performances have inspired thousands of people and movements across the world through the groundbreaking work of CLIMBING POETREE. Originating member of the Black healers collective, Harriet's Apothecary, and founder of the Haitian resilience project, Ayiti Resurrect, Naima is devoted to cultivating collaborations that elevate the healing of our earth, our bodies, our communities, lineages, and descendants.
Naima identifies as queer, nonbinary, multiracial, Black, Haitian, and a child of the Earth.

Monday, March 28 - Queering the Narrative: The Intersections of Race, Sexuality, and Spirituality with Rev. Darrell Goodwin

7:00 - 8:00 PM, Brennan's Pub (Davis Center)

A conversation about how a queer black boy from the south side of Chicago embraced all of who he was created to be. Rev. Goodwin will explore how spaces like University of Vermont, the United Church of Christ, and communities committed to inclusion are essential to living a holistic life.

About the Presenter - Rev. Goodwin

Rev. Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, is the first openly LGBTQ black person to serve as an Executive Conference Minister in the UCC. Before full-time ministry, he served in several positions in Jesuit higher education.

Tuesday, March 29 - Addressing the need for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Environmental Field with Kristy Drutman

12:00 - 1:15 PM, Virtual Session

How do we create just, inclusive, and meaningful spaces for change while building a "green future?" This morning discussion will be an open dialogue regarding the experiences and needs of BIPOC pursuing environmental studies and career pathways. Kristy Drutman, a Jewish- Filipina environmental media creator, storyteller, and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion consultant will be discussing her trials and tribulations in this field. Further, she will offer best practices for staff and faculty to consider when trying to integrate intersectional environmentalism into their curricula.

About the Presenter - Kristy Drutman

Kristy Drutman is a Jewish-Filipina environmental media creator and founder of Brown Girl Green, a media platform exploring the intersections between media, diversity, and environmentalism. As a sustainability communications expert, Kristy has spoken in front of thousands as well as facilitated workshops centered around environmental media and storytelling in cities across the United States. She has also worked with youth from around the world to create collaborative, intersectional online media with the goal of creating conscious, culturally relevant content to engage audiences about proactive solutions to the climate crisis.

Tuesday, March 29 - Owning Your Environmental Narrative: Using Storytelling to Address Eco- Anxiety & Inspiring Your Community with Kristy Drutman

6:00 - 7:00 PM, Silver Maple Ballroom (Davis Center)

Eco-anxiety is rampant, especially among young adults who recognize the imminent threats posed by the climate crisis. One of the best ways to tackle eco-anxiety is through art, expression, and connection. This discussion will feature Kristy Drutman, a Jewish - Filipina environmental media creator and storyteller of Brown Girl Green who will cover the importance of storytelling as a tool for transformational change. She will be discussing the power and importance of every single person's voice in fighting for climate justice in their communities, and how to take care of themselves in the process.

About the Presenter - Kristy Drutman

Kristy Drutman is a Jewish-Filipina environmental media creator and founder of Brown Girl Green, a media platform exploring the intersections between media, diversity, and environmentalism. As a sustainability communications expert, Kristy has spoken in front of thousands as well as facilitated workshops centered around environmental media and storytelling in cities across the United States. She has also worked with youth from around the world to create collaborative, intersectional online media with the goal of creating conscious, culturally relevant content to engage audiences about proactive solutions to the climate crisis.

Wednesday, March 30 - The Stories we Live In: Justice, Nature, and Narrative with Kavitha Rao & Delma Jackson

12:00 - 1:15 PM, Virtual Session

Over the past few years the multiple pandemics of health inequities, anti-black violence, and climate catastrophes have awakened many to a deeper understanding of how interconnected we all are.  Center for Whole Communities exists to cultivate transformative leadership that weaves together and strengthens movements for justice and the environment.  For nearly 20 years we’ve used a practice based framework to support authentic partnership and collaboration at the intersection of justice and the environment, with an understanding that we must be open to change as we change the systems we work within.  Join Delma Jackson and Kavitha Rao of Center for Whole Communities as they share practice and story-telling from their work at this intersection and for an unflinching look at the history of white supremacy that is also at the root of the history of the conservation movement in the United States.

About the Presenters - Kavitha Rao & Delma Jackson

Delma Jackson III (he/his/him) is an activist, facilitator, writer, counselor, and lecturer. His research covers a variety of issues including: American pop-culture and media literacy, Islamophobia in America and abroad, Hip-Hop in the context of a Black musical legacy, sexism and media, linguistic authenticity in cross-cultural dialogues, white identity, America’s love affair with violence, the legacy of Black comedy in America, African Americans and history of health care, and African Americans in the context of US housing policy.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies and Psychology from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and his Masters degree in Liberal Arts with a focus on American/African American Studies from the University of Michigan.
Delma has twice conducted research on Afro-European identity. In 1999, he traveled to the Netherlands to explore the Dutch role in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. In 2014, he went back to the Netherlands to explore migration and immigration patterns across Western Europe as well as European racialized pop-culture and its impact on Afro-Dutch identity.
He has lectured on various topics across multiple venues including New York University’s Tisch School for Performing Arts, Toledo University’s Graduate School for Criminal Justice, Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and twice at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE).
Kavitha (she/her) is a mother, facilitator, mediator, consultant, and practitioner.  As a daughter of immigrants to the US, she has always been curious about difference and how we make meaning through connection to land, community, and place.
Kavitha brings over 20 years experience in the non-profit sector focused on transformational leadership and facilitation, building community and authentic partnerships across difference, and using creativity and collective visioning to work towards reparations and healing.  Her understanding of the possibility of change and healing is deeply influenced by her training in yoga therapy, cranio-sacral therapy, ayurveda, and mindfulness.  She brings these tools to her leadership and facilitation work recognizing how important knowing ourselves and personal healing is in our efforts to heal our planet and build community.
She has worked with CWC since 2006 as a facilitator, trainer and consultant and is excited to bring more embodied practice to our offerings and our understanding of the many ways to support change. Prior to that she co-founded Common Fire, a nonprofit that created intentional communities centered in justice, accessibility, and sustainability.  Kavitha is a member of the Culture Shift Agency and the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute team of facilitators, mediators and coaches; serves on the board for Soul Fire Farm; and is on the leadership team for the Wildseed Community Farm and Healing Village.

Wednesday, March 30 - Equitable Climate Action: Guiding Principles for a Just Transition Panel

4:00 - 5:30 PM, Virtual Session

Equitable Climate Action: Guiding Principles for a Just Transition

In December 2021 the Vermont Climate Council adopted the initial Vermont Climate Action Plan to help Vermont meet state emissions reductions requirements and prepare for the impacts of climate change. 

The Just Transitions subcommittee created Guiding Principles for a Just Transition (PDF) to provide a framework for the Council and subcommittees to evaluate, adjust and prioritize recommendations based on how they will impact Vermont’s impacted and frontline communities including those who are highly exposed to climate risks; experience oppression and racism, are excluded from opportunities or have less resources to adapt to climate and economic change; bear the brunt of pollution and negative effects from fossil fuels and extractive economies and are more likely to experience a job transition as Vermont addresses climate change.

UVM Professor, Vermont State Climatologist and Vermont Climate Council member, Dr. Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux will facilitate this panel of Just Transition Subcommittee members (Chris Campany, Beverly Littlethunder, Sue Minter, and Kashka Orlow).

Come to hear the lessons they’ve learned about what it means to create a Just Transition framework and its relevance to our campus. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching & Learning.

About the Panelists

Beverly Little Thunder - “My name is Beverly Little Thunder. I am a great grand mother, advocate for the empowerment of BIPOC people, women and LBGTQIA, Two Spirit individuals. I believe as an elder it is my responsibility to encourage and support our next generations in any way we can. I currently live in Huntington Vermont and smacurrent member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. I am enrolled at Standing Rock Agency, a Oglala and Hunkpapa band of the Lakota. My life has been that of an activist around Social and Racial injustices, with special attention to Indigenous rights. I worked in the field of medical services as a nurse since 1980 until 2010 when an injury required I retire. Having served on non profit boards since 1976 , I continued to offer my services, most recently with Peace and Justice Center in Burlington. I have published a memoir “ One Bead at a Time “ and written for several publications. Somewhere out there are films I have been interviewed for and been part of. I have also traveled through out the USA  and Canada speaking on Indigenous issues and Two Spirit identies. I am honored to be a board member for Earth Walk and look forward to working towards providing our youth with skills they can then use to create a better planet for those who come in the future."
Chris Campany - Chris is Executive Director of the Windham Regional Commission based in Brattleboro, Vermont, which serves 27 towns in Southeastern Vermont. Its mission is to assist towns in Southeastern Vermont to provide effective local governance and work collaboratively with them to address regional issues. Chris was previously Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Graduate Program Coordinator at Mississippi State University; Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning, and Zoning Officer, for Calvert County, Maryland; Deputy Commissioner of Planning for Orange County, New York; Federal Policy Coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture; founder and Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance; and a Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC.  Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University.
Kashka Orlow - "My name is Kashka Orlow. I was born in Poland during the Cold War. I moved here as a young girl and have lived in many cities across the US. After being told I’d never be able to attend university, I graduated from Loyola. Life was great, until it wasn’t. In 2008, I lost everything that I had ever worked for. I had no safety net or support, and two babies. Never in a million years could I have seen myself asking for help, but as fate would have it, that is exactly what I had to do, to survive. Life experience has gifted me a unique perspective on poverty in America. I am a member of the Climate Councils’ Just Transitions Sub-Committee representing those whose voices aren’t typically heard; the low and moderate income Vermonters. I’m also a consultant with Capstone Community Action; focused on frontline community outreach.
Sue Minter - Sue is the Executive Director of Capstone Community Action, an anti-poverty non-profit dedicated to creating resilient households and advancing social, economic and environmental justice. Minter served the public sector for 20 years, as the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) in 2015, and as Deputy Secretary from 2011-2014. Minter served as a State Representative in the Vermont legislature from 2004–2010, and was elected to be the Democratic candidate for Vermont Governor in 2016. During her legislative tenure, Sue was a member of the House Appropriations Committee and House Transportation Committee and was selected to be an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership (2009-11) and was designated as a 2008 Emerging Political Leader by the State Legislative Leadership Foundation. A graduate of Harvard University (BA) and M.I.T. (MA in City Planning), Sue and her husband, David Goodman, live in Waterbury Center and have two adult children.
Facilitator Dr. Lesley-Ann L. Dupigny-Giroux - An applied climatologist by training, Dr. Dupigny-Giroux' research interests intersect a number of interdisciplinary fields including hydroclimatic natural hazards and climate literacy as well as the use of remote sensing and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in the fields of spatial climate and land-surface processes. Dr. Dupigny-Giroux is the State Climatologist for Vermont and a member of the Vermont Climate Council. She is an expert on climate change science and climate hazards, with a special focus on flooding and droughts. As the State Climatologist for Vermont, she engages directly with community groups, K-12 schools, State legislators, Federal and State agencies, and national climate organizations. She is the President of the American Association of State Climatologists and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in January 2020. In November 2021, she was invited by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Program to speak at the United Nations COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Dr. Dupigny-Giroux offers classes in Climatology, Physical Geography, Climate hazards and Remote Sensing at all levels of the curriculum in the Department of Geography and Geosciences. She holds a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and Development Studies from the University of Toronto (1989), an M.Sc.(1992) in Climatology and Hydrology and a Ph.D. (1996) in Climatology and Geographic Information Systems from McGill University.

Thursday, March 31 - Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant Keynote: Reclaiming Community with Majora Carter

4:00 - 5:30 PM, Grand Maple Ballroom (Davis Center) & Online

A half century after the passage of groundbreaking civil rights legislation at the federal level, nearly all of the challenges that many billions of dollars in government and philanthropic spending have attempted to solve are worse or have stayed the same.  Low-status, economically stagnant communities across America suffer from the effects of brain drain, and can benefit from talent-retention strategies that successful companies use for growth.

About the Presenter - Majora Carter

Majora Carter is a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow andPeabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation of numerous economicdevelopments, technology inclusion & green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training & placementsystems.  She currently serves as Senior Program Director for Community Regeneration at Groundswell,Inc. and is author of the best selling book, Reclaiming Your Community.
Her ability to shepherd projects through  seemingly conflicted socio-economic currents has garnered her 8 honorary PhD's and awards such as: 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs, SiliconAlley 100 by Business Insider, Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement by News Corp, and other honorsfrom the National Building Museum, International Interior Design Association, Center for AmericanProgress, as well as her TEDtalk (one of six to launch that site in 2006).
Majora was born, raised and continues to live in the South Bronx. She is a graduate of the Bronx HighSchool of Science (1984), Wesleyan University (1988 BA, Distinguished Alum) and New York University(MFA).  After establishing  Sustainable South Bronx (2001) and Green For All (2007), among otherorganizations, she opened this private consulting firm (2008) - which was named Best for the World byB-Corp in 2014.

Friday, April 1 - Morning Keynote: Empowering Communities Using Renewable Resources - Native Tribes with Cody Two Bears

9:00 - 10:00 AM, Grand Maple Ballroom (Davis Center) & Online

Since 1492 when the Europeans came to our homelands which we call Turtle Island (North America), Native Americans have gone through many struggles to keep our Native American identity alive. Genocides, taking of our lands, trying to Christianize our people through church, conquer and divide our people while sending our children away to residential boarding schools and forcing our people to live in a colonized way of life. 

Today, Native American people on and off the reservation still struggle with living a colonized way of life and we deal with historical trauma that has been passed down for many generations. In this keynote address we will discuss how renewable energy has been empowering to native communities across the country and how it falls right in line with our cultural beliefs and traditional customs of native people.

Renewable energy is a technology that is a new way of life that honors the old way of life for native people. We will talk about how it creates jobs and saves money in some of the most poverty places in the United States and how this platform could be shared with the rest of the western world on how to live in balance with mother earth and to empower people to live in a more sustainable way.

About the Presenter - Cody Two Bears

Cody Two Bears is an enrolled member of The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The Cannon Ball Community of the Standing Rock Reservation, where Cody grew up is in one of the poorest counties in the nation, and energy costs there are among the highest. Compelled to address this problem, in the wake of the #NoDAPL protests that gripped the area in 2016, Cody merged his cultural knowledge and desire for climate justice to create the organization Indigenized Energy. Cody created the largest solar farm on Standing Rock, the largest in the State of North Dakota. His work centers on the collaboration of Western science with Indigenous traditional knowledge. At age 26, he was the youngest elected tribal council member in history on Standing Rock. In 2013, he brought President Obama to the reservation. It was the former president’s only visit to a Native American reservation in his two-term tenure. Instead of having the president address the community, the organizers had the community’s youth address the president and tell their stories. Youth empowerment is also central to Cody’s work. He founded a program called Indigenized Youth which focuses on encouraging young Standing Rock Sioux tribal members to continue traditional ways of tending to the earth. They teach the children that renewable energy is just as attainable as iPhones and iPads — and it plays a big role in helping the community break cycles of poverty. Cody has been recently featured in People's Magazine, Rolling Stone, AlJazeera, Parade Magazine's 2019 renewable project of the year, USA Today, Solar Power World Magazine and many other national news outlets.