Bioneers 2020 Day 2: ‘I Love America’

The second day of the Bioneers 2020 Conference delivered essential calls to action for a brighter future paired with beautiful performances and a healthy dose of democracy. 

Following are some of the ideas and takeaways Bioneers introduced at Conference Day 2.


ACTION ITEMS

Lessons, in Their Own Words:

  • “At the heart of this decolonization has to be land return. We don’t need to think about that as the last step, like after we’ve decolonized our minds, our curriculums, our statues, our books, our movies, our TV shows, our clothing, then maybe we’ll finally get to the return of land. I say let’s start with the return of land and know that it’s possible, and it’s powerful, and that it’s going to be the thing that changes the world.” -Cutcha Risling Baldy; Co-Founder | Native Women’s Collective
  • “This idea we share with all life on Earth is a tendency toward democracy – a tendency toward fairness. Still the story we’ve been telling ourselves for thousands of years is ‘people are bad, and democracy is abnormal.'” -Thom Hartmann; Progressive Talk Show Host
  • “Fund the people who know the way to freedom. Open the floodgates for flexible, general support, ongoing funding to deep organizing led by people of color, and particularly women of color, transgender and gender non-conforming people of color. …There’s no one coming to save us. Every one of us who’s alive now, we are the team on the field. There’s no guarantee that in 30 years some future generation is going to have the time left on the clock to do what we were too afraid to do, to be bold where we were timid, to act where we hesitated. This is our moment. This is it. This is our shot.” -Vanessa Daniel; Executive Director | Groundswell Fund
  • “For a long time we’ve assumed that huge conglomerates and monopolies are the price of business. But what we’ve done in reality is create policies that benefit these businesses enormously. It’s not just about calling these companies out for their bad behavior, it’s about recognizing that this is our government. We have to think about, what does a democracy look like that actually serves the people?” -Stacy Mitchell; Co-Director | Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  • “Transformative justice means replacing a gun with an ecosystem; with our friend groups, partnerships, and neighbors.” -Liz Kennedy; Communications Director and Research Fellow | Lead to Life
  • “May we advocate for the voiceless among us, for the finned, feathered and furred, for the plant people and fruitful funghi and for the many – like the whales – whose voices we have yet to understand, that their habitats and wildlands may regenerate to shelter and renew them.” -Nina Simons; Co-Founder | Bioneers

Campaigns to Follow & Support:

  • Join the movement to return stolen land to Indigenous Peoples. LANDBACK seeks to defund and dismantle white supremacy and to return all public lands back into Indigenous hands. (Mentioned by Cutcha Risling Baldy in her keynote presentation, Indigenous Voices for Decolonized Futures)
  • Support the U.S. movements for reproductive and social justice with Groundswell Fund, which resources intersectional grassroots organizing and centers the leadership of women of color – particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and Transgender. (Mentioned by Vanessa Daniel in her keynote address, How Does Humanity Get to Freedom? By Following the People Who Know the Way)
  • Learn more about the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration by supporting Essie Justice Group, a nonprofit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones. (Mentioned in the panel Dreaming Transformative Justice: An Intergenerational Dialogue)
  • Help seed the solidarity economy by getting involved with the New Economy Coalition, which exists to organize its member organizations into a more powerful and united force, in order to accelerate the transition of our economic system from capitalism to a solidarity economy. (Mentioned in the panel Frontline Leadership to Transform the World)
  • Support the EcoHealth Alliance during a year when the need couldn’t be clearer. EcoHealth Alliance is a global environmental health nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and public health from the emergence of disease. (Mentioned in the panel Public Health/Planetary Health/One Health)
  • Pledge to fight Native erasure and illuminate the vibrancy of Native voices, knowledge and the importance of the issues Natives face. Sign the IllumiNative pledge. (Mentioned in the panel The Power of Matriarchy: Intergenerational Indigenous Women’s Leadership)

READ NINA & KENNY’S DAY 1 OPENING REMARKS

Holding It Together by Holding It—Together

“It’s all alive—it’s all connected—it’s all intelligent—it’s all relatives.”

Read Bioneers Co-Founders Nina Simons and Kenny Ausubel’s Conference Day 1 heartfelt opening remarks here.

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