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 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 reimagine 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.
The Poetry Society of America and Greenpeace USA invited eight poets to reflect on a poem that has shaped their understanding of environmental justice, including how it feels to live through the climate crisis, the lived experience of communities in harm’s way, or the power structures that reinforce environmental inequality. In July, we’ll be discussing the eight poems and their reflections. They are available here on The Poetry Society of America’s website.
We hope you’ll join us! 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 June 9th and July 14th discussions here.