Learnshops | 2013
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Each year, GLBD brings together people from all areas of the sustainability movement. Whether you are a long-time activist or just curious, we hope you joined us for a weekend of learning and inspiration.
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Saturday Learnshops - A
10:25 to 11:35 am
A1. Greenwork and Sustainability
Presenter: Rev. Joan Ross is Executive Director of Greater Woodward
CDC, Board Chair for the Storehouse of Hope and Emergency Food
Pantry serving nearly 2000 families a month on Detroit's North End,
and Director of North End Woodward Community Coalition, a transportation
justice group that addresses the crisis of transportation for
the underserved. Keith Martin will share the learnshop presentation.
Experience the life -giving energy generated as work on a green
project house changes a community by creating jobs in various
areas to provide employment for its residents. Discover the value
of a solar suitcase. Learn how this community is building strength
and resilience as it addresses food justice, climate justice and
A2. Sustainable Communities in Detroit
Presenter: Blair Evans is the founder and CEO of Evans Solutions, Inc.,
as well as the founder and Superintendent of Blanche Kelso Bruce
Academy and the Incite Focus Program.
If you have ideas about making the city of Detroit an even better
place, here is an arena to create action steps and foster awareness of
the resources that are available to develop sustainable communities
in the city.
A3. Restoring Community and Restoring the Biome With
Presenter: Jeremy Kenward is a permaculture designer, educator,
market gardener, and founder of Wild Earth Permaculture in the
Brightmoor neighborhood in Detroit. Jesse Tack is a permaculture
designer, founder of Abundant Michigan Permaculture Ypsilanti, and
co-founder of Aurora Design Solutions in Ypsilanti. Jeremy has been
working on several projects in Brightmoor that bring permaculture
theory to life. Jesse has been busy at work teaching and organizing a
very active community of people in Ypsilanti (and beyond) based on
Come see what is possible and what is happening with permaculture
design. Learn some of the basic principles and techniques utilized
in permaculture design through a presentation about projects on
the ground or in the works in southeast Michigan. You will also be
introduced to some of the amazing work being done around the
world to bring very degraded land back to health, sequester carbon,
fix destroyed hydrological cycles, and build the health of
A4. What a Way to Go: The Green Burial Movement
Presenter: A Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit
and an adjunct professor at Madonna University, Rev. Charles Morris
was also a founder of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. He is
chairperson of the Board of Green Burial Council International, and
his cemetery of Mt. Carmel was the first cemetery in Michigan and
the first Catholic cemetery in the United States to be certified by the
Green Burial Council.
Learn the history of the green burial movement, a description of the
forms of green burial, and the ecological advantages of being buried
green over traditional forms of burial and over cremation.
A5. Finding Your Spiritual Path Through the Magic of Numbers
Presenter: Linda (Amina) Johnson is an author of The African
Medicine Wheel and Math in A Kola Nutshell. The African Medicine
Wheel is a guide to learning your spiritual path/purpose through the
magic of numbers.
Through the use of ancient African techniques from the Dagara
people of Burkina Faso West Africa, you will learn to find your spiritual
purpose and the key of life/ moderation/balance, in order to live
your purpose to the fullest.
A6. Healing Herbal Gardens, from Brazil to Detroit
Presenter: Former member of the Detroit/Recife, Brazil mission team,
Ann Nett, IHM., worked with medicinal plants and helped establish
a health center which produced medications from plants like salves,
soaps, tinctures and cough medicines. Since returning to the U.S.,
she has begun working with herbs here in the Detroit area and is
planning a healing herbal garden on the Marygrove campus.
Get to know herbs used in Brazil and here in Detroit and their
efficacy. Gain practical knowledge of how to make a salve from
calendula and some dried plants that can be used for other
medications. A little knowledge of herbal plants will be helpful for
A7. The State of Detroit's Environment
Presenter: Rhonda Anderson has worked with the Sierra Club's
National Environmental Justice & Community Partnership Program
for 13 years. Her work has carried over the whole city as well as
the metro area. She has an extensive background in labor, social
justice and environment. Most importantly, Rhonda see's herself as
a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. "I want my children,
grandchildren and great grandchildren to see a Red Wood Sequoia
Tree. I want them to see a whale and experience the awe of nature.
Save the environment for the Blue Butterfly and for the children.
Save the environment for all of us".
In this learnshop we will take a closer look at the findings of Sierra
Club's recent report on Detroit's environment. We will look at the
communities that are impacted by the industries mentioned in the
report. We will discuss solutions, recommendations. Participants will
recognize their power to create the changes necessary in order that
everyone has better health and quality of life.
SATURDAY LEARNSHOPS - B
2:10 to 3:20 PM
B1. Natural Building & Rocket Stoves
Presenter: Deanne Bednar is the coordinator of the Strawbale Studio
Education Program outside Oxford, MI, where she leads classes in
strawbale construction, earth plaster, earth ovens & rocket stoves,
foraging, fermenting, and other land-based re-skilling.
See a brief slideshow of local natural buildings, ovens, sculptures,
and retrofit opportunities, and watch a demonstration of the fire
chamber of a Rocket Stove which can be used as a cooker or heated
bench. Deanna has as much "fire" as her Rocket Stove.
B2. Looking to the Future: An Agenda for Detroit's Environment
Presenter: Margaret Weber is Coordinator of Zero Waste Detroit, a
coalition of over 20 community, environmental and environmental
justice groups. She is also coordinator of Rosedale Recycles and
a shareholder advocate for faith-based institutional investors
A coalition of environmental/environmental justice advocates
and data experts developed the State of the Environment report,
including local environmental conditions, an overview of current
initiatives and opportunities, and an environmental justice
perspective on the Detroit Future City plan. This is an opportunity to
learn about several key policy and issue areas regarding the future of
a "just sustainability" in the City.
B3.Chlorophylling For Your Life
Presenter: Regina T. (Ravin) Lawson is affiliated with the Herbal
Healing Hut's "Chat and Chew" program.
An "Herbal Walk & Talk" on Marygrove's lawn will open you to the
plant based herbs and foods that could be growing in your own yard.
Learn how to identify them and incorporate into your life -- in recipes,
for cleaning your home, and for healing minor injuries.
B4. Transforming Our Neighborhoods as We Transform Ourselves
Presenter: Kim Sherobbi is a 40 year-member of the Birwood Block
Club Association (BBCA).
Join Kim and other members of the BBCA to hear both the challenges
and successes they have had in maintaining and building their neighborhood.
This learnshop may include a panel discussion and skits or
scenarios to help participants know the BBCA experience.
B5. Carbon-Free & Nuclear-Free Energy Blueprint
Presenter: Carol Izant co-chairs the newly formed Alliance to Halt
Fermi 3 (ATHF3), a non-profit organization dedicated to halting DTE
from building a proposed new nuclear reactor. She has been active
in the environmental justice movement in Southeast MI for over 25
years, working to support a peaceful, ecologically sustainable, and
In part one of this session, get acquainted with the problems,
concerns and lessons learned (or not) from Three Mile Island,
Chernobyl, and Fukushima. In part two, learn about the carbonfree,
nuclear-free future possible in the USA and around the world,
including steps you can take to help promote a clean, safe energy
B6. Vermicomposting: Raising Worms that Eat Your Garbage
Presenter: Keith Martin is Green Projects Manager for Greater
Woodward CDC. During the past five years he has been busy building
greenhouses, raised beds, wicking beds, vermi-composting bins
and gardens. He is creatively engaged in work that is growing the
resilience of the North End Community.
Learn how to build and maintain a vermi-composting bin, make
worm tea and utilize the worm castings as a powerful natural
fertilizer in your garden.
Our 2013 Conference Brochure
KEEP THE CONVERSATIONS GOING
MORE RECONNECTING EVENTS!
Frequently at the end of the annual conference participants
say "You should do this more often". So, we have heard you
and have scheduled Five Re-connecting Events featuring the
plenary speakers we were not able to share at the conference
as well as a person or organization from our local community
doing similar work.
All events are FREE and will be from 5 to 6:30 PM. The first two
will be at Marygrove College. 2014 venues will be announced.
Save the dates.
Monday, November 11
The renowned Buddhist teacher, eco-philosopher, systems theorist,
scholar, author, longtime peace, justice and ecology activist, and one
of the most beloved and influential leaders in the personal and social
change movements of our era, shares the essence of the wisdom she has
distilled during her extraordinary 84-year trajectory. According to Joanna,
the greatest gift we can give our world is our full presence. As we draw
that gift forth from ourselves and each other, we find our courage and
clarity. In this time of radical uncertainty, that choice and that capacity is
there for us every step of the way.
Local Community Representative: Claire Maitre
Sunday Learnshops - C
10:25 to 11:25 AM
C1. Becoming Ancestors: Our Gift to the Future (Continued D1)
Presenter: Long-time Detroiter, now from Ann Arbor, Claire Maitre has trained with Dr. Joanna Macy to facilitate groups of people to realize our radical interdependence with Earth and live the fuller expression of our human potential through the Work That Reconnects. Claire first experienced these practices in a workshop led by Joanna Macy more than 13 years ago. It was a life-changing weekend, the teachings of which she gratefully passes along to others.
Through the ritual landscape of Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects, gain an understanding of how The Great Turning is the most extraordinary global revolution in which we are all participating. Find how your choices in The Great Turning can create a personal and collective legacy in becoming an Ancestor to Future Beings.
C2. Actioniirs - Help Your Friends Go Green
Presenter: Jacob Corvidae has been active in helping create sustainable communities for over 15 years. He designs programs and manages the green consulting arm for WARM Training Center, a 30 year old Detroit-based nonprofit that creates opportunities to learn and practice the sustainable use of energy and resources.
75% of Americans are willing to go green, so why isn't more happening? What if it were more fun? Getting ourselves to a green life shouldn't be a chore. And as long as it is, we sure can't get our less enthused friends to go along. But what if there were a tool that removed a bunch of the barriers? That made it easier and more fun to go green?
You will walk out of this session with a plan to put an innovative new tool, Actioniirs, to use that makes it easier for any community to go green, whether it's your friends, neighborhood, work colleagues or place of worship.
C3. Development and the Commons
Presenter: Linda Campbell is a member of the national Building Movement Project Team and the Lead Team Member for the Building Movement Project Detroit team. As a member of the B M P, Linda is working on several projects including social service social change, the People's Platform, and the Detroit People's Atlas. Her work seeks to build the power and voice of Detroit residents and social service constituents in Detroit.
Linda will introduce you to the issue of economic development and its impact on our commons. She will review selected examples of development in Detroit and acquaint you with the role of Equitable Detroit Coalition (EDC), a community based initiative that is a strategy for responding to local development.
C4. Who Owns Your Food?
Presenters: Nerfer Ra Barber is a member of the Detroit Food Policy Council and Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, and is a Health Ambassador. She works for Earthworks Urban Farm at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. She advocates for people to eat as healthily as possible and to think before they eat.
Do you know which of the ten or eleven major food corporations owns the food in your pantry? Learn the role these corporations play in the food you buy, and get information on buying clubs, food shares, and locally owned grocery stores that support local entrepreneurs.
C5. Fracking In Michigan
Presenter: Tia Lebherz is the Michigan Organizer for Food & Water Watch. Based in Detroit, she works to engage activists and hold elected officials accountable on a range of issues across the state including water privatization fights, fracking, and food issues such as factory farms and genetic engineering.
Get an overview of fracking and dive in to where this is occurring in Michigan. Learn the top environmental and public health concerns with this process, and find out how to get involved in the movement to stop fracking in Michigan.
C6. Sustainable Cities: My City Would Be Greener If...
Presenter: Chelsea Maralason helped establish and is president of the United States Green Building Council student group at Wayne State University where she is journalism major in her junior year. She works for the Office of Campus Sustainability and is a staff writer for the South End student newspaper.
Join a very interactive session about how a city can do small things to greatly impact its neighborhoods. You will learn about Better Block projects and talk about ways to localize this approach in cities and on campuses. Participate in a "mini Better Block" idea design charrette and get feedback on feasibility and constraints.
C7. Worker Ownership Anchors Sustainable Business and Jobs Locally
Presenter: Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE) and speakers from worker owned companies. C2BE supports and connects entrepreneurs, community and resources to grow sustainable, locally-rooted businesses that pay living wages. The Center also provides education and consulting on employee ownership and community based enterprise best practices.
Have you been thinking about the value of cooperatives and worker owned businesses for your community? This learnshop will provide basic information on what is involved in creating a worker owned company. Engage with speakers from worker owned companies, and Detroit based co-op organizing efforts - with discussion focused on what the audience hopes to learn.
The C2BE leaders and co-op organizers presenting will be happy to meet with anyone interested in organizing a worker co-op.
Sunday Learnshops - D
2:10 to 3:20 PM
D1. Becoming Ancestors: Our Gift to the Future
(Continuation See C1)
Presenter: Long-time Detroiter, now from Ann Arbor, Claire Maitre has trained with Dr. Joanna Macy to facilitate groups of people to realize our radical interdependence with Earth and live the fuller expression
of our human potential through the Work That Reconnects.
D2. MOGO (Most Good)
Presenter: Presenter: Lisa Forzley has been a full-time humane educator for 6 1/2 years and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Humane Educators.
For anyone who wishes to make their lives a manifestation of their greatest vision for a more peaceful, sustainable, and humane world, this part retreat, part personal development, part educational experience will help you examine what's most important to you, combine your passions with your talents, and connect with others who share your commitment to live according to their deepest values to create a just, compassionate world for all.
D3. Accumulating and Using Community Power
Presenters: Tova Perlmutter, founder and Principal at Engine of Progress, draws on 25 years of experience to help progressive organizations and campaigns obtain and use resources to advance social change; Curtis Smith, Detroit Urban Planner and Film
Producer; Simone Sagovac, Detroit Community Organizer and Environmental activist.
Learn to mobilize neighborhood residents and strengthen their voice in the public sphere and with corporate and government decision-makers. The goal: to identify strategies that put pressure on powerful individuals and institutions to be more responsive to community needs. Although government and media have strong tendencies to serve the interests of corporations and wealthy people, well-planned and executed campaigns by organized groups can make a real difference and can change policy outcomes.
D4. Tar Sands Pipelines in the Great Lakes Basin
Presenter: Beth Wallace is the Community Outreach Regional Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation at their Great Lakes Regional Center in Ann Arbor. She has been the lead organizer for the Center's response to the Kalamazoo River oil spill, working to ensure proper response and accountability. Beth is also part of the Pipeline Safety Trust's New Voices Project, which brings concerned public members to the table to help solve pipeline safety issues.
There are an astonishing number of tar sands pipeline expansion activities happening around the Midwest and Great Lakes basin that will soon make our region the ultimate hub for pipeline transportation of diluted bitumen (also known as raw tar sands)
The Alberta Clipper project alone has the capability of transporting more tar sands through the Great Lakes than what's being slated on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Learn the issues, talk about strategy, and discuss ways to better collaborate to stop some of these projects from progressing forward, while pushing to close regulatory gaps and increase pipeline safety to protect our resources from spills.
D5.Harvesting Rainwater: It's Raining, It's Pouring...
Sewage is Overflowing
Presenter: Melissa Damaschke is the Director of Sierra Club's Great Lakes Program. For over nine years, Melissa has worked to protect the Great Lakes, a national treasure, from sewage pollution, invasive species, and polluted runoff.
Learn how storm water and sewage pollution threaten our Great Lakes, as well as how to overcome these problems through harvesting rainwater (i.e. rain barrel, rain gardens, green roofs). The learnshop includes a rain barrel construction exercise and guidance in designing home rain gardens.
D6. Tai Chi for Health and Wellness
Presenter: Marcia Lee, Co-Director for Cap Corps Midwest, is an assistant teacher in Yang style tai chi chuan. She co-leads the Detroit Asian Youth Project, an empowerment program for Asian American youth in Detroit.
Tai chi chuan is an ancient martial art that originated from China. It is a practice that gives practitioners a method to gain awareness of their body and learn to relax. You will practice tai chi basics and tai chi meditation. No experience necessary. Must be able to stand for most of the learnshop. Wear loose clothing.
D7.Urban Herb Foraging
Presenter: Roxanne Moore is founder and team leader at Love Earth Herbal. For several seasons she has been working with Earthworks Urban Farm. Roxanne serves on the Detroit Food Policy Council as a Community at Large representative.
This learnshop will focus on the varied uses and characteristics of herbs that grow all around us in Detroit. Learn to identify herbs, discover nutritional benefits and how to use them in everyday living.
D8. Working In Solidarity for Racial Justice
Presenter: Lila Cabbil had the blessing of being mentored by Mrs. Rosa Parks. Lila is a committed change agent with more than 35 years of experience. Her work focuses on racial disparities in health, environment, economics, education, employment and public/justice policy. Her mission is the empowerment of people, especially youth, through personal and systems transformation. Ms. Cabbil is an active founding member of the People's Water Board, the Detroit Food Justice Task Force, and the Rosa Parks Institute's Dialogue for Racial Reconciliation. Currently she is Project Director for Uprooting Racism Planting Justice. Lila serves as a resource trainer with The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond.
This learnshop is an interactive opportunity to identify strategies for coming out of our silos to stand in solidarity for reclaiming our humanity and walking the talk on uprooting racism. Explore the question of who has power and how community self determination is impacted by racism. Attention will be given to the necessity for self care and community care for healing ourselves and Mother Earth.
Registration fees include organic/locally grown lunch.