Allie Rigby

Allie Rigby

Petaluma

Sustainability

  • Artist
  • |
  • Educator
  • |
  • Naturalist
Focus
Education, Sustainable Living & Lifestyle, Restoration, Environmental Justice, Ecology

Projects

Personal Statement

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. As America continues to unveil its racism, misogyny, and denial of climate change, the role of intersectional climate feminism offers a grounding and critical lens in the greater field of sustainability. As a white able-bodied woman with work to learn and unlearn, I’ve found both hope and despair in the world of art, poetry, and teaching. I feel like art & writing are the best way to explore identity within myself as well as challenge problematic structures that become normalized. To me, sustainability means an active love for the earth and its people, with an awareness of how historic legacies of white supremacy have greatly limited the environmental and sustainability movement.  Interwoven with these perceptions are my mental health journey and the larger pursuit of wellness that exists outside of myself, extending to the wild spaces and the communities around me. None of these ideas exist in a silo: everything is interconnected. In outdoor education, I facilitate outside trips with youth. Students are curious about their surroundings and often need the tiniest permission to play, explore, and get their hands muddy. For Sunlight Editing, I help small businesses and indie presses with their greater vision, whether working with manuscripts, blogs, social media, or marketing ideas. In my own writing, I circle back frequently to the land and its people, as well as to mental health, memory, and changing relationships to "wilderness."  In any kind of sustainability work, 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.