Thursday, April 6th
Introduction by Carl Safina, Safina Center Founding President, Ecologist and Author
We have been killing whales for centuries, but we do so now out of ignorance rather than intent. As cetacean pods lose mothers and grandmothers, they lose wisdom inherited across generations on how to survive. Whale researcher Shane Gero will share some of what he has learned from the thousands of hours he has spent in the company of sperm whales, including how fundamentally similar their lives are to our own and how their cultures define their identity, just as ours do. Shane will explain why we need new approaches to whale conservation that recognize the biologically important divisions between different communities of whales, so we can respect their identity and cultural diversity; and how this can be extrapolated to the larger struggle to conserve biodiversity.
April 6th | 10:05 am to 10:27 am | Zellerbach Hall
Surviving and thriving in these difficult times requires expanding our ability to be present with grief and getting to know it for its potential of regeneration and transformation. Through guided group conversation, intimate sharing, simple breath practices, and ritual with stone and water, we will touch into the gifts of connection and healing available to us when we take the time to tend to our grief in community. Please bring photos, written messages and/or responsibly sourced gifts from nature to adorn our communal grief altar. We will also have paper and nature offerings available for you to use. Facilitated by educators/end of life guides/community gatherers/activists: Anneke Campbell; Birgitta Kastenbaum; and Amber Deylon. (Note: to facilitate a safe space for all who join us, we will close our tent doors 5 minutes past the session start time.)
April 6th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Grief Altar Tent
Until fairly recently the dominant view among scientists was that non-human animals didn’t manifest real intelligence and certainly didn’t live in dynamic cultures, but, mercifully, those misguided ideas have been entirely demolished in recent years. More and more examples of sophisticated decision making, tool usage, emotional richness and complex social organization in more and more species have come to light (something Indigenous traditions have long held to be self-evident). In this session we will join two major figures in this burgeoning scientific and societal renaissance, one a longtime, world-renowned advocate for animal intelligence; the other a daring, visionary young scientist on the frontlines of research on animal societies, in a discussion about what we know and what we might be able to learn from some extraordinary animals, if we can get beyond our species chauvinism. With: Carl Safina, beloved author of such classics as Beyond Words and Becoming Wild; and groundbreaking whale biologist Shane Gero. Moderated by Kate Golden, science journalist and artist.
April 6th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Freight & Salvage
All of us are aware of the tremendous losses suffered in the natural world as what many are calling the sixth great extinction unfolds, but mostly we are too busy to allow space for the grief we carry. Come join us in exploring how we can respond to our eco-grief and find solace through an embodied experience of our own interconnectedness with the natural world. Through creative visualization andthe use of our senses, wewill transform our grief into a compost that can feed personal and communal regeneration and resilience. Facilitated by educators/end of life guides/community gatherers/activists: Anneke Campbell and Birgitta Kastenbaum. (Note: to facilitate a safe space for all who join us, we will close our tent doors 5 minutes past the session start time.)
April 6th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Grief Altar Tent
“The times are urgent, let us slow down.” Bayo Akomolafe
What are the most effective wellbeing practices and supports for this time of upheaval and uncertainty? Community leaders and activists, especially those of us who have suffered othering and colonization, are reporting greater stress, grief and mental health challenges. As current systems transform, collapse and shift, there is a great and growing need for radical artists, activators and healers to center collective wellbeing. Join Ginny McGinn of the Center for Whole Communities Collective and Sonali Sangeeta Balajee, founder of Our Bodhi Project and the Spiritual Social Medicinal Apothecary (SSoMA), in an experiential session in which they will lovingly guide us through mindful and creative practices designed to help us slow down, heal and collectively receive our greatest wisdoms.
April 6th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | San Pablo Room, Residence Inn
Friday, April 7th
3:00 pm: Interactive Session – Building the Inner Conditions for Regenerative, Harmonious Relations: Life and Leadership Rooted in Indigenous Wisdom
Indigenous wisdom contains a deep and broad understanding of body, mind and spirit that allows for a more holistic orientation than the narrow perspective that has led us toward inner and outer crisis. But how can we integrate Indigenous wisdom into our daily personal and professional lives? This interactive session is designed for those who are already on or who wish to begin a journey toward establishing “kin-centric” harmonious relationships with people, communities, and the entire natural world. Facilitated by: Anita Sanchez, Ph.D., author of The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times.
April 7th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | San Pablo Room, Residence Inn
It turns out that we humans have the power to fight climate change even after death. Join Katrina Spade of Recompose and John Christian Phifer of Larkspur Conservation as they describe the similarities and differences between natural burial and human composting. How do these two regenerative death-care practices compare from ecological, cost, and design perspectives? Why are they both considered to be critical tools in the climate healing toolbox?
April 7th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Magnes Museum
LGBTQ2SIA+ communities have long had to imagine and innovate relentlessly in their struggles for dignity and equality. In the face of newly empowered homophobic reactionary forces, queer visionaries have been engaging in ever more social, cultural, political and artistic creativity, forging new paths in a dazzling variety of forms. In this session we will hear from three inspiring, impressive and remarkably diverse innovators: Taylor Brorby, essayist, poet, environmentalist and author of the extraordinary memoir, Boys and Oil: Growing Up Gay in a Fractured Land; Niko Alexandre, a Black Queer forester and co-creator of the Shelterwood Collective, dedicated to a vision of Queer and Indigenous land stewardship and Afro-Indigenous food systems; Ashara Ekundayo, a queer, Black feminist interdisciplinary curator, cultural theologian, maker and the Founder/Director at Artist As First Responder. Moderated by Kristin Rothballer, independent consultant and Senior Fellow at the Center for Whole Communities.
April 7th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Crystal Ballroom, Hotel Shattuck Plaza
In North America, agency over how we die has moved from family-centered community care to costly corporate systems driven by profit. A medical conveyor belt disempowers and isolates our dying, causing hardship on already strained families and communities, compounding grief and trauma. But alternative end of life carers, community educators and innovators are bringing change to the way we die in America, reclaiming agency over a natural process by dispelling fear, sharing wisdom on accompanying the dying, tending to our dead, and facilitating grieving in community. Come explore how we can reclaim and reimagine our own dying and that of our beloveds. Facilitated by educators/end of life guides/community gatherers/activists: Anneke Campbell; Birgitta Kastenbaum; and Amber Deylon.
April 7th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Grief Altar Tent
Saturday, April 8th
Introduction by Alexis Bunten, Co-Director of Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program
“In community we pause, we open, we nourish, and we become.”
Yuria Celidwen is of Nahua and Maya descent from the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, born into a family lineage of mystics, healers, and poets. Her scholarship centers on Indigenous forms of contemplation and has developed into a broader statement she calls the “ethics of belonging.” It has become evident that when we pay attention to the world around us, all we hear is urgency. It is time for community reflection. Yuria will share two core guiding principles from her scholarship, Kin Relationality and Ecological Belonging. She will explain how these concepts can help us access an ever-expansive unfolding of a path of meaning and participation rooted in honoring Life.
April 8th | 11:36 am to 11:58 am | Zellerbach Hall
3:00 pm: [CANCELLED] Climate Grief, Racial Trauma and Collective Action: How To Tap Into the Power of Belonging To Face the Great “Poly-crisis”
The world seems to be unraveling—the ever-worsening climate crisis; slews of ethnic and religion-based violent conflicts; the erosion of democratic structures around the world, etc. We are confronting what some are calling a great “poly-crisis.” In this presentation, climate scientist, Buddhist Zen priest and grief ritual facilitator Kritee Kanko will explore how climate grief and intersectional traumas resulting from legacies of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy shape our nervous systems and shrink our ability to act wholeheartedly. She will explain how “difficult” emotions and traumas around injustices can be “composted” so that they fuel our movements for climate justice, and she will share strategies on how to draw power from vulnerability to heal, build resilience and belonging, and act collectively for a better world.
April 8th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Golden Bear Room, Hotel Shattuck Plaza
3:00 pm: Honoring Mother Earth and Bodily Sovereignty: Reproductive Rights, Equity and Birth Justice
Presented in collaboration with Full Spectrum Capital Partners
The war on Mother Earth is rooted in the war on the bodies of women and gender non-binary people’s bodily autonomy. As our cultural system rooted in patriarchy and misogyny goes into deeper crisis, the war on women and the feminine is accelerating. As people of all genders rise up to defend abortion access, reproductive rights and justice, the deepening collaboration between the reproductive and birth justice communities is helping us take a holistic, united approach to defending individual and collective rights to bodily autonomy and self-determination. In this session, we will learn from leaders working at the intersection of Birth Justice and Reproductive Justice about how we all can play a role in supporting efforts to ensure that all people have access to reproductive freedom. Hosted by: Taj James, co-founder of Full Spectrum Capital. With: Tenesha Duncan, co-founder and Managing Director of Orchid Capital; Cynthia Gutierrez, Program Manager for UCSF’s Hub of Positive Reproductive and Sexual Health (HIVE) and Team Lily programs.
April 8th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Campanile Room, Hotel Shattuck Plaza
3:00 pm: Interactive Session – The Power of Awe: Awakening Humanity and Reconnecting to Our Sacred Relationship with Nature
The emotion of awe can help us address some of humanity’s biggest challenges, be they climate change, racism or political strife. The reason is that, when we experience awe, we feel more connected, kinder, and more caring toward others and all life on Earth. Awe opens our minds and hearts. Awe is in us and surrounds us all the time, but most of us don’t know how to access it. In this 75-minute experiential session, based on evidence-based research, we will learn to access awe in the ordinary moments of our lives, resulting in improved health for us and the people we connect with. Facilitated by Michael Amster, MD, researcher at the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, and longtime yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher.
April 8th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | San Pablo Room, Residence Inn
4:45 pm: Climate Grief and Our Intersectional Traumas: An Interactive Session to Get a Taste of How We Can Access Belonging
Climate grief along with intersectional traumas resulting from legacies of social injustice shape our nervous systems and can shrink our ability to act wholeheartedly, but our hope in these complex, chaotic times lies in the fact that if we can “compost” our “hard” emotions (grief, rage, fear and confusion) and traumas, we can harness the resulting energy to fuel our movement for climate justice. The very fear and grief that can incapacitate us can be transformed into creativity and courage if we can ignite the power of vulnerability in our quest for belonging, healing, resilience and effective collective action. This interactive session is intended for those who desire a direct embodied experience of what it might mean to be witnessed or to see and hear another as we “compost” our grief and anxieties in the presence of a receptive, committed and compassionate community. Facilitated by Ladybird Morgan.
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the nature of this session, we will be closing the entrance door at 5 minutes after the start time.
April 8th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | San Pablo Room, Residence Inn
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