The Herd is a bimonthly literary newsletter aimed at building community and highlighting incredible artists across America. Each issue features writing prompts, artist interviews, literature reviews, and more! We welcome you to subscribe & join our community.
At Sunlight Editing, I work with small businesses and publishing presses dedicated to social and environmental change. I write and edit digital media for environmental schools, manage social media for indie bookstores, and produce environmental & educational articles for blogs.
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. As America continues to unveil its racism and denial of climate change -- and the connection between the two injustices -- it’s easy to feel disheartened and exhausted. As a white able-bodied woman with my own work to learn and unlearn, I’ve found (depending on the day) 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 white supremacy cannot be met with silence. I hope to be one part of the puzzle and help to enact change. 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. I write many poems on occupied indigenous land, most often that of the Coast Miwok or Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, as well as the Acjachemen or Gabieleno people. I hope to donate proceeds from my zines or published chapbook to land trusts founded and lead by indigenous women, such as the Sogorea Te' Land Trust. 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.