10 Incredible Activism, Justice & Human Rights Presentations Coming to Bioneers 2018

We’re looking forward to gathering some of the brightest minds and most groundbreaking changemakers at Bioneers 2018. This year, our Activism, Justice & Human Rights programming will bring to our stages discussions on everything from climate change and the rights of nature to ageism and medicine.

Here are 10 sessions we can’t wait for you to see.

1. Climate Change Is Changing the World-Now We Too Must Change

As Executive Director of 350.org, the groundbreaking grassroots international climate change campaign whose innovative organizing and mass mobilizations have uniquely helped generate a mass global sense of urgency and action, May Boeve will share her eagle’s-eye perspectives on the current state of the climate struggle. She’ll illustrate 350.org’s learnings and strategies moving forward, including ways of learning about and incorporating justice and equity. She’ll illuminate pathways our species must take to keep 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground and radically accelerate the shift to 100% clean energy.

2. Bridging ‘ism’ Schisms: Reaching Out Across Divides

Our race, faith, gender, orientation, age and ability often shape where we live, whom we know, the resources to which we have access, and how people perceive us. The stories we tell ourselves about our similarities and differences shape our life choices, and, far too often, different “isms” are used to divide us. How can we use our differences to make us all stronger? What strategies can we use to build bridges and work together for positive change? The future of our society depends on how we address those questions. Hosted by: Connie Cagampang Heller, co-founder of the Linked Fate Fund for Justice. With: Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, founder of Dignity and Power Now; Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

3. One Word: “Plastics”

The pace, scale and impact of plastic pollution have exploded. Half of all plastic ever created has come into existence in the past decade. The impacts on ocean life, human health and the entire biosphere are vast and growing. Solutions need to be surfaced, rapidly researched and scaled. Join representatives from three of the world’s leading groups actively engaged in mounting a response equal to the size of the challenge. With: Anna Cummins, co-founder and Global Strategy Director of 5 Gyres; Conrad MacKerron, Senior Vice President of As You Sow; Shilpi Chhotray, Senior Communications Officer for the global #BreakFreeFromPlastic campaign.

4. How to Be a Good Ally

White “ally-ship” with Indigenous Peoples is confusing to the point that we don’t know if we should even use the word “ally” anymore. Through open and honest dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners, this workshop provides a pathway for building successful cross-cultural collaborations in: philanthropic giving, environmental campaigns, and the advancement of Indigenous rights. For non-Indigenous attendees, this workshop will explore the relationship between ally-ship with Indigenous groups and one’s own “re-indigenization.” For Indigenous people, this workshop offers practical guidelines to help you manage collaborations, coalitions and alliances with outsiders.

5. Health and Justice: The Path of Liberation Through Medicine

Health visionary Rupa Marya, Associate Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco and Faculty Director of the Do No Harm Coalition, urges us to radically re-envision and expand our concept of medicine to encompass and address the health impacts of poverty, racism and environmental toxicity. She has been working to make visible the health issues at the nexus of racism and state violence through: her medical work; The Justice Study (national research investigating the health effects of police violence on Black, Brown and other disenfranchised communities); helping set up a free community clinic for the practice of decolonized medicine under Lakota leadership at Standing Rock (the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic); and international outreach with her band, Rupa and the April Fishes.

6. Art, Power and Social Change

Drawing on the modalities of theater, play, writing, storytelling and collaboration, this experiential workshop will offer community members, educators, activists and organizers the tools for engaging their constituencies and leveraging the stories that so often go untold in our communities. Sourcing the collective wisdom and collaborative power in the room, this workshop will use art and embodiment to create a safe space for radical self-reflection, systems analysis, community building and articulating visions for change. Led by: Samara Gaev, activist/educator/performer, founder of Truthworker Theatre Company; and friends.

7. Re-Defining Manhood: A Message to Men, to Boys, to Us All

In this brutally honest and provocative talk, Kevin Powell offers his own life journey to illustrate how we can transform our concepts of manhood. Raised by a single mother in the inner city, Kevin’s rites of passage were typical of many heterosexual males: sports, violence, and viewing women and girls as mother figures or sexual objects, and nothing more. This view of women and girls exploded when, in his early 20s, he pushed a girlfriend into a bathroom door during an argument. Decades later, thanks to years of therapy, study, healing, and a commitment to growth and change, Kevin has become a solution-oriented writer, activist and speaker seeking to re-define manhood around nonviolence, peace, love, healthy self-expression, and as an ally to women and people of all gender identities.

8. How to Build an Alternative to Our Current System

Drawing on the experience of organizers working across the country to create the institutions of the next system, this panel, hosted by Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of its Next System Project, will explore the connections between environmental action and the democratic economy. How can local efforts at different scales—the workplace, the community, the city, state, and beyond—be knitted together into a powerful movement to build towards a truly systemic national and global alternative? With: Kali Akuno, co-founder and Co-Director, Cooperation Jackson (Jackson, Mississippi); Niki Okuk, founder of Rco Tires, one of California’s largest sustainability enterprises; Aaron Tanaka, Director of the Center for Economic Democracy; Ellen Brown, founder of the Public Banking Institute, author of Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution.

9. Guardians of the Forest on the Frontlines of the Amazon

In response to catastrophic assaults on their lands and cultures by corporate industrial civilization, the First Peoples of the Amazon have formed unprecedented alliances to protect lands and peoples. These four extraordinary Indigenous leaders, who help guide the Ceibo Alliance of several ancestral peoples of Ecuador’s northern Amazon, have traveled far from their homes to share their stories of resistance and solutions. They will offer guiding wisdom from their elders to show what’s at stake for their rainforest territories, what it means to the future of our planet, and what we can all do as allies to protect the Amazon, its First Peoples and life on Earth.

10. Women at the Frontlines of Climate Justice: Integrated Global Strategies

In many parts of the world, women are often the ones hardest hit by climate change’s destructive effects, but they are also very often the ones taking the leading roles in the struggles to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Leaders from three of the most significant global networks on the frontlines of these efforts — the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, Indigenous Climate Action and the Climate Justice Alliance — will share their inspiring stories about how women-led movements are doing cutting-edge organizing that advances climate stability, social justice, and gender and economic equity. Hosted by Anneke Campbell, author/activist. With: Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action; Osprey Orielle Lake, co-founder/ Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network.

Register for the Bioneers 2018 conference to see these and many other inspirational sessions.

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