Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Environmental Justice and Racism Panel!

Environmental Justice and Racism Panel!

Thursday, April 19
6 to 9 pm
Sem II B1105
The Evergreen State College

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend! This event is free of
charge. Please feel welcome to participate in our discussion following the
panelists' presentations.

Learn about environmental justice impacts on tribal sovereignty, culture
and resources; events in Oaxaca; the effects of corporate personhood on
economic inequalities; health and human rights violations; climate change;
the imperative connections between social justice and environmental
activism; and much, much more.

Our panelists include...
Shelly Vendiola of the Indigenous Environmental Network
Lin Nelson, Health and Environment faculty at Evergreen
Melissa Poe, Environmental Anthropologist on issues in Oaxaca
Karen Coulter of the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project
...and perhaps more!

Speaker Bios:
Michele (Shelly) Vendiola (Swinomish/Lummi/Filipina) - Bellingham, Washington
Ms. Vendiola is a certified mediator, educator and community activist.
Currently she works as a consultant to the Families/Communities/Schools
Partnership project as a Community advocate for the rights of native
students and families. Recently she worked with the Northwest Indian
College—Tribal Governance Leadership Enhancement Project, developing
curriculum on tribal leadership decision-making. Shelly serves on the
Board of Directors for the Indigenous Women’s Network, an international
coalition of Native American women whose work includes support and
advocacy for community-based economic development, human rights,
environmental justice, health and wellness of native women. She serves on
the Board of Directors for Agricultural Missions, a US based non-profit
supporting rural agricultural development internationally. She has served
as the Program Director at the Indigenous Environmental Network and
continues to lead the Persistent Organic Pollution Tribal Initiative for
the Northwest region. Shelly also serves as an advisor and advocate for
the Lummi CEDAR Project—Youth Leadership Institute and facilitator for the
Lummi Ventures – Shaping Lummi Education Conference.
Ms. Vendiola became a certified mediator through the Indian Dispute
Resolution Services, Inc., where she also produced and led Alternative
Dispute Resolution training events. She also received training from the
San Francisco Community Boards Program. Shelly provides conflict
resolution training and facilitation services and together with her mother
conducts a five-day Tribal Peacemaking Training Institute for tribal
communities and programs throughout the country. Shelly has a M.Ed. in
Adult & Higher Education and practices popular education methodology
within all aspects of her work as an educator, activist, and community
Karen Coulter - Fossil, Oregon
Phone: 541 385 9167
Director of the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project in eastern Oregon.
Karen has been a grassroots activist on environmental, anti-nuclear and
social justice issues since 1980; part of the Earth First! movement since
1984; worked for the AFSC against the MX missile; for Greenpeace
International as Acid Rain campaigner and international lobbyist on ozone
depletion. Helped create the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the
Environment. Graduate of Reed College.
Lin Nelson - Olympia, Washington
Lin Nelson is a teacher/researcher/advocate around issues of environment
and social justice. Before she came to Evergreen in the early 1990's, she
worked with various movement organizations in the Northeast, in particular
with the Akwesasne Mohawk Environmental Justice project, the
Labor-Environment-Justice Network of NYS, and the National Women's Health
Network. She's been a writer/contributor on the environmental/occupational
health chapter of Our Bodies Ourselves. Here in WA, she collaborates with
the Washington Toxics Coalition and other environmental health
organizations. Currently Lin's working with Anne Fischel and the Evergreen
Labor Center on a project about pollution impacts on families in working
class communities.
Melissa Poe
Melissa Poe, M.A., PhC, is an environmental anthropologist who recently
returned from Oaxaca, Mexico where she has been conducting research since
2002. Poe is finishing her doctorate at the University of Washington,
Seattle where she focuses on issues of environmental politics and social
justice in a communal forestland in the Sierra Zapotec region. Poe's
undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Spanish, together with her early
career experiences in sustainable development (vis-à-vis ecotourism),
provided just the right background for graduate-level ethnographic work in
Latin America. Identity issues – of race/ethnicity and gender – and how
these affect rural (indigenous) people’s access to forest resources and
environmental decision-making have been central emphases of her research.
Poe is the co-author of the article, Community Forestry in Theory and
Practice: Where are we now? forthcoming in the Annual Review of
Anthropology. She maintains a long time interest in communities and
forests and has recently been working on collaborative forest management
in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Poe teaches undergraduate courses on
the political economy and cultural politics of environmental change, world
development and inequality and using ethnography to understand complex
human-environment relationships.
If anyone is inspired to ask questions of the speakers ahead of time,
please email and we will forward your discussion topics to
each panelist.

These are questions/discussion topic ideas we've posed to them already:
What types of human rights violations have you encountered in your work?
In what area of this struggle (and in which part of the world) have you
had experience in?
What connections do you see between environmental activism and social
From which angle do you think social change is most effectively
achieved?...(policy, popular movement... what level of organization?)

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