Education has always been a part of our business. This was surprising to us at first, but it became clear that if we were going to persuade anyone to use our service, we needed to educate them on why our planet needs us to compost. These days we do a lot of educating through our monthly blog on the topics of composting, zero waste and other areas of sustainability.
After the George Floyd uprisings, many book groups popped up focused on reading and discussing books on racism/anti-racism and reading books by authors of color, but we were not aware of one that focused on environmental justice/racism.
So, we decided to start our own.
We’ve used both books and films as a springboard for discussion. Collective Resource Compost is the host and librarian Lesley Williams is our facilitator. We view the films and read or listen to the books on our own time. We meet on Zoom on the second Thursday evening of the month beginning in February and continuing through November from 7:00-8:30 pm central standard time.
We began our discussion group last year with what could be described as a soft opening. We were concerned at first, that if we had too many participants, the discussions would be unwieldy. So, we did not do a huge public push to let everyone know about it. We’re ready to do that now. Please share with individuals or in your communities. If this is the first time you’re hearing about the group, we’re happy to share the titles of the selections we’ve discussed thus far.
In May, we’ll be discussing our first book of the year: Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger by Julie Sze. It examines mobilizations and movements, from protests at Standing Rock to activism in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Environmental justice movements fight, survive, love, and create in the face of violence that challenges the conditions of life itself. Exploring dispossession, deregulation, privatization, and inequality, this book is the essential primer on environmental justice, packed with cautiously hopeful stories for the future. If you have trouble sourcing a copy of the book, listening to one or both of these recordings on YouTube will be sufficient for joining the discussion: https://youtu.be/aa5jJDm8O60 or https://youtu.be/cCBfcS_jRhs
In June, we’ll be discussing a podcast episode. The podcast, Agents of Change in Environmental Justice, has this stated mission: to empower emerging leaders from historically excluded backgrounds in science and academia to re-imagine solutions for a just and healthy planet. The episode we’ll be listening to on our own and discussing together is an interview with Cielo Sharkus who discusses how the field of civil engineering can help combat environmental injustice and better engage with communities. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.
Registration is needed for each discussion. We use the same link every month but registration is open only after the current discussion concludes. Register for both the May 12th and June 9th discussions here.