Pain ripples and resonates across our communities, mourning yet another senseless loss, as the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor,Tony McDade and countless others have been violently taken by police brutality in the USA, at the hand of the State.
The pain, rage and struggle are very real.
In many parts of the world, racism is structural—woven deeply into the fabric of our institutions, our economy, and the systems that make up our shared community. For communities of color and others suffering the multiple systems of oppression everywhere, nothing about this pain is new. It’s been in the bodies, minds, and hearts of millions for generations—because racist violence has been perpetrated for that long.
We understand that there is an emotional toll that has been taken on our Black community members and we hope that you all are taking care of yourselves – whatever that means for you at this moment.
We have been given hope by the hundreds of thousands protesting across the USA and beyond, demanding change. We must answer the call to be actively anti-racist and work every day to undo these systems of injustice, that affect the life of Black, Brown and Indigenous people, and other oppressed subjects and communities around the globe.
White communities have an important role in this. For those of us participating in white privilege, it’s time not only to stand in solidarity but to enact it more vigorously. There are several resources circulating to learn about what we can do, how we can learn about and unlearn our habits, disinvesting from systemic racism and pushing our institutions to do the same. Please, take the time to educate yourself and your families and communities, and act locally.
We made an anti racism resources document for both Black and White people and for our children and educators. Feel free to implement this document with other resources, in other languages too.
We encourage ecoversities allies to intentionally create white safe spaces to tackle the benefits of white privilege, unfolding brave conversations about white fragility / radical whiteness, reflecting on the implications in the reproduction of racism and starting to disinvest from it.
A line from James Baldwin resonates so powerfully in this moment:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Seeking actions that both feel of service and of the magnitude needed in this moment, and thinking through ways to deepen our conversations, the next Learning with Covid / EcoversiTea call on June 28th at 11 am EST will focus on the virus of racism, intersecting with questions of gender and class. We are opening this space to be rooted in Blackness, invoking Black resilience and spirituality, and putting in conversation voices from the Diaspora.
More details will be announced. Please, mark your calendar!
Next on the line, will be a call with Indigenous leaders and next we will host a call on the question of Healing and Power, (and the virus of our mind as Munir Fashef mentioned in our call)
If you missed or want to listen again to our dialogue with Gustavo Esteva, Silvia Federici and Munir Fasheh, here is the link.
We echo the invitation shared by Silvia Federici who pointed out the need to build alternatives to the overall structure set for the past 500 + years, based on the reproduction of death and the promotion of a culture of scarcity.
This is what all the projects in our alliance attempt to do, and will keep doing!
Call for proposals from the Ecoversity Alliance
HURRY UP! Few more days to participate in the Call for Publications / Films: the call aims to surface and expand the rich thoughts, experiments, experiences, explorations emerging within the Alliance, and beyond, as a way to support/provoke a co-learning amongst our current and prospective members. Find the link for the application in Spanish and English.The deadline for this application has been extended to June 15th.
The call for Regional Collaborative Project received many beautiful and inspiring proposals aimed at deepeinig the relationships among ecoversitites of a particular region. The call has generated conversations for groups to map their needs, and dream together. We are working on processing the results.
The working groups are moving forward unraveling the tasks before them. Here are some of the questions that arise from these monthly meetings. We remind you that the working groups are open for collaboration. If you are interested in collaborating, reply to this email.
Communications working group: How do we translate the spirit of ecoversities to the virtual space? How do we communicate better within the Alliance? Global Gathering: How to gather in the post-COVID world? Germinators: What is an ecoversity and how can we work together as an alliance to support the creation of new ecoversities? Healing /Conflict Transformation: Mapping healers from the network, finding our own resources Pollinators: Where can we bring in more ecoversities and how can we bring our voice into formal education institutions? Publications: The new call is out 🙂 Regional Collaborative Projects: What’s the meaning of a fruitful collaboration? How to build active collaborations in Ecoversities? Regional Gathering: How do we continue these in post-COVID world? Waiting to see if we can resume in the fall. Preparing for plan B Residencies: On hold, waiting to see if we can resume in the fall .Preparing for plan B. Welcoming group: How to invite people to be more active and engage with Ecoversities? How to welcome and orient new people ?
"I began to speak and write about other worlds, about elsewhere and the racialized figure of the ‘human’. The Anthropocene was already becoming a catchphrase for a planetary ethic that sought to reconcile humans together. To help me meet the duplicity of these Eurocentric contributions, I turned to feminist theories, material ecocriticisms and new materialist thinking, all of which were already dyed in struggles to denaturalize the efforts of Enlightenment science to produce knowledges that were supposed to be “a done deal – once and for all.” For me, the struggle was to disturb the one-world colonial thesis and its claims to exclusivity. These concepts, none of which are revelatory truths or to be taken as divine and “new”, helped me make sense of the colonial university and my place in it".
Documentaries & Media
Documentary “KANTHARI – CHANGE from WITHIN”
The film documents the journey of Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg, founders of kanthari, a scholarship based leadership training centre in Kerala, India.
They visited graduates in East Africa, social change makers, each with a powerful personal story, a big dream, and a ground-breaking social project. You can see it here.
La Desescolarización en Tiempos de Pandemia | Mariana Zamudio
Video from EDIT - Education in Transformation
Mariana Zamudio Zacala, mother and facilitator of self-directed learning in community shares what we can do in COVID times for ourselves, for our healing and unlearning. You can see it here.
Some stories from the Alliance
The podcast LEARNING OTHERWISE series, hosted by Udi Mandel and produced by Jack Haskell, is available to Alliance members from this folder
Through conversations with leading practitioners and thinkers re-imagining learning and education, this series will make audible the silent revolution happening all around the world in higher education (and beyond…).
Our first conversation in this series is with Kū Kahakalau, a native Hawaiian educator, researcher, cultural practitioner, grassroots activist, song writer, and expert in Hawaiian language, history and culture. Since the mid 90s Ku has led the Hawaiian-focused education movement. Ku shares more with us in this conversation about the Pedagogy of Aloha which promotes the revitalization of Hawaiian values along with language and culture, hands-on learning in the environment, community sustainability, food sovereignty and Hawaiian self-determination in education and beyond. In this conversation Ku describes the origins and principles of Pedagogy of Aloha, and its rootedness in the experience of Native Hawaiians’ defiance of Western imposed educational models and the reconnection with their own values and orientations. Ku also engages with the broader question of the contemporary crisis in education (in schools and universities) and of the specific challenges native Hawaiians and indigenous peoples have faced whilst being at the receiving end of a colonial, western-imposed educational system. The conversation also explores the relevance of the pedagogy of Aloha beyond Hawaii, and what it means to reconnect to indigeneity wherever we are from.
In this podcast we talk to Manish Jain, one of the strong planetary voices for de-schooling our lives and also one of the co-founders of the Ecoversities Alliance. Manish has served for the past 20 years as coordinator and co-founder of Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development based in Udaipur, India, and is co-founder of Swaraj University. Manish is also co-founder of the Learning Societies Unconference, Udaipur as a Learning City, and the Jail University in Udaipur. In this conversation Manish talks about his work with Swaraj University. We learn about the meaning of the concept and practice of Swaraj, or self rule, and its deep roots in Indian thought and history. Embodying Gandhi’s call for decolonization and independence, Manish here discusses the need to deepen this struggle into the realm of higher education and its forms of knowledge, and also to rid ourselves from the diploma disease.
Invitation to donate,
If you have financial capacity, please consider donating to Black Lives Matter, and to other organizations supporting Black communities who have been highly impacted by Covid-19.
Also House Lives Matter, a movement for Black and Latin* LGBTQI+ in the HOUSE and Ballroom communities has created emergency fund
Another call for solidarity is for indigenous communities in the Amazon who are being affected by COVID. The lack of resources to sustain a foreign disease that their bodies and defenses do not know about, forces them to ask for external help. Political authorities and governments in South America are not listening to these voices that have always been silenced by the colonial system.
Friends of the Alliance have established the "In Earth’s Care / Teis das 5 Curas: Covid-19 South American Indigenous Emergency Fund" to support Indigenous communities in their networks who will receive 100% of the funds: Pitaguary de Monguba-CE, Jenipapo-Kanindé-CE, Kanindé de Aratuba-CE, Tremembé da Barra do Mundau-CE, Pataxó-BA, and Huni kui-AC.
The Mushuk Away network, part of Ecoversidades Latin America, has Shuar communities in Kuamar, Morona Santiago among its family that are currently with the virus and require financial support to cover medical expenses. Find out how to support the network in this link.
We are committed to send newsletters the first week of each month.
Share your announcements if you like to be included in the next one, responding to this email.
We deeply value the diversity of languages within Ecoversities and would like to have this shared in as many languages as possible. If you are willing to help us translate newsletters into another language please let us know!
Finally, please check our website regularly, we are uploading publications as well as films, podcasts and other material produced in 2019-2020 and on going https://ecoversities.org/
The Ecoversities Alliance is a community of learning practitioners from around the world committed to re-imagining higher education to cultivate human and ecological flourishing in response to the critical challenges of our times.