Nature Connection Skills for Black Lives

Iya Sangoma sharing about becoming a Fire Tender

 

All kinds of folks (and a rainbow of colors!) are rising up around the world right now to put their livelihoods and lives on the line for justice, healing, and liberation for Black lives, and we as a nature school are SO grateful to be part of this work. We know that by following Black leadership, attending to Black safety, and addressing the rampant injustice and ongoing harm that Black folks experience every day, we are contributing to growing a healthy society where nature and culture can thrive. All our work is interconnected, and Mama Earth has taught us that we live in a beautiful both/and non-binary world… So, let’s acknowledge that liberation work is part of nature connection and all proudly SAY and KNOW and SHARE and STAND for the fact that

Black Lives REALLY Matter!

Right now, as we stand together in our shared humanity (with the more-than-human world at our backs!) across a spectrum of differences in order to address the ways racism causes constant harm through the entrenched systems of our society, we who are working for a better world have an amazing opportunity for our scout skills, deep nature connection practices, earth-based ceremonies, and mentoring cultures to be of service to a broader whole— and how amazing is it that Black & Brown folks are leading the way with their skills, wisdom, and deep wells of experience about how to stay connected with community, place, and culture in the face of great oppression? We are so lucky to live in a time when we have access to this leadership and guidance. Do some tracking and find your local BIPOC-led movements, businesses, schools, and initiatives to support and stand behind!

Specifically in our Wildwood community, we know that the teachings we have access to through our multi-cultural, multi-racial nature connection movement are deeply relevant to the many actions being taken now in support for justice for Black lives. Nature teaches us about complexity, awareness, generosity, abundance, relationship, and the ability to fiercely fight, shake off fear, and rest in the shade when needed. And, we want to step up more each day and use our powers for good…

So, we ask:

What is your nature connection practice telling you about how you can be of service to the movements for justice that are happening now?

How is your experience of nature informing how you show up to help grow a healthy, just, and equitable culture & future?

What role can you play?

Are you a shapeshifter, like a red fox who can thrive almost anywhere? Someone who can talk to anyone, fit in anywhere, understand different perspectives, and help diverse people figure out what’s going on and how they can contribute? #educate #connect #talktoyourpeople

Are you a listener, like a still lake at sunset, who can hold space for grief and pain with love? Or a raging torrent who can feel the pain and allow the tears or rage to flow and to water the parched soil and refresh the hungry hearts of the ancestors? #listen #affirm #holdspace/ #grieve (don’t dump your grief on BIPOC folks but DO grieve) #discharge #release

Are you a gorgeous vocalist, like a purple finch in a treetop, who can make amazing speeches that move the heart and make people want to jump up and ACT? #writeletters #preach #makeart

Are you a giver, like an oak tree, who works hard to make SO many more acorns than they could ever need, and gives most of them away? #donate #fundraise #redistributewealth

Are you a clever scout, like a blue jay, who can make a loud distraction when needed or swoop in silently when called for? Who pays attention to what everyone else is doing and has the data on the obvious AND the invisible actions of those around? #protest #defend #inform

Are you a systems-engineer, like a beaver, who works with others to figure out the small focal point where one concerted effort could change the whole landscape over time? #organize #democratize #systematize

Are you a beauty-maker and a thinker, like a human, who can learn from the whole world around you and sort out how to put what you’re learning to good use working for positive change in our society? #takeaction #stepup #bebrave

 

What other roles are there? How do they connect?

What are we missing? What did we get wrong and need to change?

How does your nature connection practice inform how you are showing up for social change?

What are you doing to support Black lives today?

Let us know!

 

With love and accountability from Mama Earth and from your friends

of all stripes, types, species, and roles

at The Wildwood Path–!

 

Some places to get started:

Ally Resource Guide

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice (many are applicable to all people)

Black Lives Matter official page

Written by Trevanna, a white/cis/slightly queer/mostly femme/British ancestry/Wabanaki-territory living/nature-loving human.

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