In case you missed our previous announcement, we have added a very special event to our already dynamic conference programming. We are proud to honor Environmental and Buddhist scholar, and treasured Bioneers elder, Joanna Macy with a Bioneers Lifetime Contribution Award. We hope that you will join us in honoring Joanna when she accepts her award and delivers her keynote talk 'Choosing Life' on Sunday, October 20 in San Rafael.
For decades Joanna has been a champion for peace, a subject that also defines the lifework of john a. powell [spelled without capital letters], who is featured in our latest BioCon highlights video clip. john, a distinguished leader in social and racial justice movements, attributes justice activism to an internal need for connection and close community.
We still have BioCon Subsidized Registrations available for those seeking financial assistance. Learn More >>
In the theme of community and connection, our Bioneers Conversations continue. BioCon 2013 presenter Dekila Chungyalpa recently joined fellow presenter and Alaskan Native elder Ilarion 'Larry' Merculieff to discuss growing up in a culture that revered Mother Earth, bringing the sacred into modern environmentalism, and what it means to be a real human being.
Finally, our own dear Nina Simons addresses developments in Bioneers women's leadership initiatives.
See next month in San Rafael!
-Your Friends at Bioneers
Justice is the Public Face of Love
john a. powell is the Executive Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley, and the author of Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society. In this clip from Bioneers Radio Series XIII, john reflects on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the underling need for beloved community that drives social justice activism.
Moonrise Evolves to Become Everywoman's Leadership by Nina Simons
Moonrise seemed like such a good program name at first. It resonated with our anthology book, featuring inspiring stories from over 30 diverse women leaders. It referred to women’s leadership and the ‘feminine,’ but in a poetic way that didn’t carry all the baggage or single-issue pigeonholing often associated with the word ‘feminine.’ Over time however, I realized that our name was obscuring our work from public view, and defeating our own purposes: internet searches by people seeking women’s leadership weren’t finding our work! So, now…ta daaaa, announcing… our new program name: Full Spectrum & Everywoman’s Leadership.
Full Spectrum because we each have an array of aspects within us to draw from, including masculine and feminine, right brain and left, body – heart – mind and spirit; and today’s leadership calls us all to bring our fullest capacities to bear, regardless of our temporary gender assignment. Full Spectrum, because the collective movement to transform how we live on Earth and with each other will be led, I believe, by women (and men) of all colors, ages, disciplines, orientations and ethnicities. Full Spectrum because diversity is so much more than political correctness; it is essential to our work as progressive change-makers.
And Everywoman’s Leadership? I believe we’re all called to be leaders now, that we’re collectively reinventing leadership, and that leadership has as many different expressions as we are people.
Our program purpose is to connect and strengthen the leadership of women who are diverse in every way to effect progressive environmental, social and cultural change while reclaiming the value of the feminine within us at every level — individually, organizationally and culturally.
We’re still doing leading-edge work, with four approaches that include: transformative residential 6-day trainings for groups of women leaders, co-facilitated by terrific teams; media creation and distribution that spreads breakthrough ideas and models of women leading from the feminine across a spectrum of disciplines, ethnicities and ages; public outreach through speaking engagements; our website; and networking that helps connect the dots across fields, places and approaches; and a small re-granting fund.
This year’s conference features a stunning array of Everywoman-related programming, which I am super jazzed about. These are subjects that I’m not seeing anyone else covering that are utterly timely and relevant. While everyone from Sheryl Sandberg to the Harvard Business School is exploring how to narrow the gender gap and improve gender equity, few are exploring multi-cultural dimensions of re-envisioning gender, and how to heal the rifts within our selves as well as among each other. I’m psyched that Bioneers tackles these issues in positive and enlivening ways. Check it out here, I hope we’ll see you there!
Faith & Conservation: Staying Hopeful in Times of Climate Crisis WWF Sacred Earth Program Director Dekila Chungyalpa in conversation with Aleut Traditional Messenger Ilarion Merculieff
Dekila Chungyalpa is the Program Director for the World Wildlife Fund’s Sacred Earth Program. Recognizing that many of the world’s most important conservation areas are also sacred sites, the program works with religious leaders and faith communities to protect local natural resources. She is also the ecological advisor to HH the 17th Karmapa. Recently Dekila joined fellow BioCon presenter and Alaskan Native elder Ilarion Merculieff to discuss growing up in a culture that revered Mother Earth, bringing the sacred into modern environmentalism and what it means to be a real human being.
Dekila: I'm honestly really happy to be speaking with you. There are very few leaders I know, especially male leaders, who are talking about feminine energy being powerful, and who actually prize it as oppose to devaluing it. So I 'm very happy to speak with you.
I've been starting to delve into the academic field of eco-psychology, and part of it is very obvious because it's so embedded, I think, in indigenous knowledge and cultures, and also in a lot of religions, which is this idea that our concept of self is actually much larger than our body. It's not contained in our body, and it encompasses nature and it encompasses the earth and the universe.
One of the things I'm trying to figure out is how do we bring this kind of thinking into our work while we are trying to save the planet, because we do emphasize the science so much. It means that we end up being disconnected ourselves to a certain extent, because it is difficult to talk about things like sacred energy, or to talk about things like sacred places.
Ilarion: Well, yes. Even the science that we depend on is disconnected, and the elders here, they say that when we disconnect from our hearts, it's easy then to disconnect from other people and all of creation.
What we need to do according to our elders is get to the root causes of the situation we find ourselves in, which is pushing the life support systems of Mother Earth right to the edge. And we're dealing with a consciousness that works with the symptoms and not the root cause, which I think is separation from the heart that is in connection with all-that-is. And so, the elders here would say we've reversed everything, we've reversed the laws for living. We used to teach how to live, and now we teach how to make a living. And we used to contemplate the mystery of death, and now we contemplate the mystery of life.
Dekila: I did conservation in what I think of as the more traditional way. I worked on all these projects for communities, and all these projects on sustainability and large-scale sustainable development, and just gradually I started to get quite discouraged and starting to get extremely angry and feel helpless.
When we started this work with His Holiness the Karmapa, he called me and said he wanted his monks and nuns- over 200 monasteries have him as their leader- to be trained in some sort of environmental management. And I went into it very much thinking this was a personal project, that this was something I was doing as a Buddhist. It never occurred to me that this was actually the biggest part of the environmental work I could be doing. And by the time we finished developing environmental guidelines for all the monasteries, I was so transformed. I had hope and it had been such a long time since I had had hope. I felt this reconnection. I could stop pretending that I wasn't connected to the world, and I could stop pretending that what was happening to the world wasn't deeply affecting me
Ilarion: Einstein said that we can't solve the problems in the world with the same consciousness that created the problems. And when we look at the solutions that are being brought to bear on things like climate change and other environmental issues, we're using that old consciousness of separation, and that's why I think things are not improving, they're getting worse.
The hunters would take me up hunting, starting at 5 years old. We would hunt by sunrise at the edge of the island. The men would be soft spoken; they wouldn't talk that much. They were always totally present watching for the sea lions to come by. And then somebody might holler out “sea lion coming,” and without him pointing or anything, instantly the men would look at one spot in the water. And it's like 180 degrees of water around the island there where we were hunting, and they would look at one spot. And so I'd look at that spot and there would be no sea lion, but they still would watch that spot. And then about a few minutes later, the sea lion would pop up, and I thought, Wow, that's magical, just magical.
To read the entire conversation about bringing hope and indigenous thinking to the ecological movement, click HERE
For more on Dekila's Bioneers talk on faith and conservation, clickhere
For more on Ilarion's Bioneers talk on the sacred feminine, click here