The CLT is excited to announce a Faculty Learning Community for Spring 2020 titled “Empowering Ourselves and Others in a Changing Climate”!
Headlines tell us we are in a climate crisis and the 6th mass extinction, and subject to forest fires, famine, and floods. Science tells us we have 10 years to deal with climate change, but for the most part we go about our lives as if nothing is wrong. Often, we want to do something to help, but feel powerless or ineffective. Sometimes referred to as ecological or climate grief, these feelings are widespread. They can be debilitating, but with some conscious effort can be the fuel for meaningful action.
Through this workshop, shared readings, and conversations, we will look at ecological issues facing us today, why they are so challenging to deal with personally and socially, and techniques to empower ourselves, our students, and our community to make a meaningful difference.
This learning community will be facilitated by Ariel Burgess, Core faculty member, artist, naturalist, and exhibit designer for Vermont Fish and Wildlife. To join the community, please email Ariel at aburgess AT champlain DOT edu.
Structured as a series of workshops, the community meets once a week on Monday afternoons, 1-2pm, in MIC 301, the Vista Room.
The first meeting will be an introduction. We will talk about the workshop, meet each other, and map out our hopes and goals for the semester.
Science & Implications: What is the Situation?
We will look at the science of the ecological crisis we are in and the implications. Topics may include climate change, extinction, Vermont, inter-relations and justice, health and safety, (un)natural disasters, and what is and is not being done.
Psychology: How we react
How and why climate change, and global ecological breakdown, is a uniquely difficult thing to understand and work with psychologically. How and why understanding this can help us.
Active Hope: How might we want to react
How can we be proactive in our interpretation of the science and implications? If we understand the science, implications, and our own psychology, can we actively make the decision of empowerment over despair?
Green Ethics: A spectrum of ways to interact with the natural world
What are green ethics, which feels the most right for us, and which has the power to address the mess we’re in? We will explore how we can use these to help guide us in making decisions that align with our values and goals.
Deep Time & Intergenerational Justice
How does deep time play into this situation, our understanding of it, and our ethics of what action to take? If we retune to 7th generation thinking, how would that shape our actions? Looking back, as well as forward, what responsibilities do we have?
Interbeing & Interdependence: A wider sense of self
From ancient wisdom to modern science there seems to not be a clear line between where we end and the “other” begins. What can happen if we stop believing the narrative or separation and otherness, and widen our sense of “self?”
Personal Reflection: Where are you and where are you going?
Meaningful change is next to impossible without self-awareness. Given the ecological crisis we’re in, what do you believe in, love, and fear? Are you living in alignment with your values? What holds you back?
Motivation: What will fuel your journey?
Building off of last week, we will focus on our motivations to make a change. What do we live for, what do we hope for, and what has the power to keep us motivated and fulfilled for the long-haul?
Effective Action: Making it count
We are barraged by the “10 things you can do for the environment,” and none seem to be impactful or holistic enough to solve the problem, because they are not. Getting beyond the simple lifestyle changes we can all make, what else, can we do to be an effective change-maker. What solutions address the root of the issue and not just the symptoms?
Multipliers: Action as inspiration
Building off last week, what actions can we take that can also be multipliers. How can we be influencers in our lives and in our classroom? How can we create a new norm, quickly?
Teaching: How we can bring this into our classrooms?
What wisdom have we gathered that we can take into the classroom and share with our students. What techniques, information, approaches can we share so that we can empower, rather than frighten or disempower them? Where and when can we insert any take-aways to build a stronger community.
Big Ideas: What else would we like to see at Champlain?