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I started teaching as a Naturalist at Walker Creek Ranch. This work continues in new ways. Since 2014, for each week during the school year, I worked with 20-25 students during their week of outdoor education. As a program, we focused on hands-on learning and community-building.
Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, the climate scientist behind ocean justice, discusses how to stay engaged in a world with so many overwhelming obstacles and setbacks. In a recent conversation at the National Association for Environmental Education Conference, Dr. Johnson said, “We need artists to help us envision a good vision of the future so that we run towards it instead of sauntering away from the apocalypse. We need everybody and all of these skills.” As Dr. Johnson's quote expresses, change often traces back to art, activism, and consistent public awareness and pressure.The United States will continue to unveil racism, misogyny, and denial of climate change; I believe that intersectional climate feminism offers a grounding and critical lens that keeps movements moving. I feel like art & writing are a fabulous way to explore identity, contextualize the world, and challenge problematic structures. It's impossible to separate my complex identity from my mental health journey and the (much) larger pursuit of communal wellness. I believe that when our local communities and wild spaces are not well, we are not well. I belief that nothing exists in a silo and that everything is political. With outdoor education, I facilitate hikes and trips with youth. With Sunlight Editing, I help small businesses and indie presses communicate their greater vision. In my own writing, I circle back to the land and its people, pausing at each rock to consider mental health, memory, and changing relationships to internal and external "wilderness." In any kind of sustainability work, it is both urgent and long-term. I find strength in community, and I find purpose among the coalitions of badass activists, educators, and artists who have been raising collective consciousness for centuries.