BIO: Lucía Oliva Hennelly works at the intersection of climate change, social justice, and human development. Lucía supports climate solutions that address injustice and inequity, integrating spiritual practice and resources from the field of adult development while rebalancing our relationships with the ecosystems of which we are a part. Previously, Lucía worked with Environmental Defense Fund to build bridges to constituencies disproportionately impacted by climate change, but underrepresented in the mainstream environmental movement. She has worked with and learned from some of the country’s best organizers and activists with the Ear to the Ground Project, the Center for Community Change, and President Obama’s 2008 general election campaign. Lucía is a Rinzai Zen practitioner in the Hollow Bones Order and holds an M.S. in Earth Systems and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
PROJECT: Narrative Ecosystem Design (working title) Narrative Ecosystem Design (NED) is a strategic framework and consulting service that helps remedy divisions within the climate movement by supporting the creation and maturation of environmental advocacy “Ecosystems.” A mature Ecosystem is a) a community of stakeholders with b) a shared need for a climate solution, c) whose collaboration is built on values of interdependence, service, and reciprocity, and d) whose advocacy achieves human and ecological resilience. NED is comprised of three processes: Sacred Storytelling, Ecosystem Design, and Ecosystem Stewardship. Key outcomes of NED include a healthy Ecosystem working from shared vision and values toward shared success; new working structures and cultures that support successful alliance work among stakeholders in the environmental movement; increased impact, collaboration, and authentic allies; and improved embodiment of interdependence, service, and reciprocity in environmental change makers.
BIO: Alisha Anderson was born in northern California. After a brief time in Colorado, she moved to Utah where she received her BFA in Studio Arts from Brigham Young University, graduating magna cum laude. While at BYU she studied at the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. She received an MS in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah, where she was awarded The Floyd O’Neil Fellowship in Western American Studies. She uses both her degrees in creating art about our relationship to the land, especially Utah’s exquisite landscapes. Her artwork focuses on ritual and story.
PROJECT: Wend The project Wend will create paths meant for meditation in communities and places in need of healing. The paths will be based on the waveform of a spoken prayer. Each prayer will speak to the healing needed for that specific place and community, and each path will be built from materials reflecting its location. The hope is to provide a place of introspection, healing, and renewed commitment to a just future.
Prayers—in their many forms—can seem ethereal yet these paths will bring them to earth as the abstract becomes concrete. The paths are meant to remind visitors that ideals require action. Yes, we must meditate. Then, we must move. Feet must pray, not just mouths. We must turn our faith, ideals, and pleas into action. Each step will reinforce collective prayer and commitment.
BIO: Salwa Shameem is a non-profit consultant and Peabody nominated producer based in Chicago, Illinois. She recently completed her Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. In partnership with UN Women and the University of Chicago’s International Human Rights Clinic, Salwa traveled as far as Vietnam to conduct research surrounding women’s inclusion and rights. Deeply concerned about the disproportionate impact adverse environmental change has on women and vulnerable populations, Salwa seeks to harness the power of documentary storytelling to connect her audience to ecological principles, policy, and beyond. Her most recent work includes acclaimed and viral multi-part video series The Secret Life of Muslims.
PROJECT: Untitled Three-part Short Documentary Series This three-part documentary series will profile the lives and work of three Muslim women working at the forefront of ecological conservation. By documenting the often underrepresented contribution of women-led environmental work in the Islamic world, the series hopes to give voice to the unique role these leaders are playing in bringing spiritual and religious values into the field of conservation.
BIO: Alec is a 22-year-old musician, writer, and filmmaker based in Olympia, Washington. In his early teens he was a prominent climate activist and founded Kids vs. Global Warming and iMatter. He is drawn to exploring creative ways of telling emergent stories in a new cultural landscape. His long-term vision involves reconnecting with the land in a meaningful way and collaborating with others to bring about the collective shift to a world of resilience and meaning.
PROJECT:Untitled Feature Documentary By his early teens, Alec Loorz was already considered one of the leading young voices in the global climate movement. He led marches, appeared on talk shows, spoke at the UN, and even took the federal government to court. By age 18 however, the weight of the climate crisis and the grief he felt for the overwhelming ecological loss, led to disillusionment and depression, and a withdrawal from the environmental stage. At age 22, he is now a documentary filmmaker committed to using his deeply personal story of environmental burnout and despair to ask questions that probe beyond the usual environmental rhetoric. Part biography, part quest, Alec will use this film to tell his unique coming of age story and explore what real ecological interconnection and regeneration looks like.
BIO: Augusta Thomson is a budding anthropologist, filmmaker, and storyteller. When completing her undergrad at Oxford University, she led two anthropological research expeditions to Tibet and Mongolia, where she fed a burgeoning interest in the lives and stories of nomadic pastoralists. She is the director of Nine-Story Mountain, a documentary exploring the pilgrimage around Mount Kailash, a sacred mountain in the far west of Tibet; and she is currently working on Mobile, a multi-media project exploring the intersections between new media technologies (cellphones, radios, televisions), journalism, environmental activism, and Mongolian women. She is a freelance journalist and has written for numerous media outlets, including the The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and Al Jazeera English. She is currently concluding her first year of a PhD program in Sociocultural Anthropology (with the joint degree in Culture and Media) at New York University.
PROJECT:CROSSINGS Premised on the Camino Frances, or the Camino de Santiago, spanning the north of Spain, but encompassing the larger theme of pilgrimage, as one’s journey through life, CROSSINGS will include both an online/media component; short observational film; and exhibit/interactive community initiative, aimed at engaging people in small-scale pilgrimage paths, or walks, through their local communities. Through a dynamic three-part project, CROSSINGS will seek to open peoples’ eyes to the transformative potential of pilgrimage— to connect people to themselves, nature, and other beings; to break down cultural and religious stigmas; to raise human consciousness; to inspire, ignite creativity, and heal.
BIO: Ryan Camero is an arts activist and coalition builder with Stockton-based anti-water privatization nonprofit Restore the Delta and the internationally known Beehive Design Collective, among others. A 2015 Brower Youth Award winner and a California youth delegate at the U.N. climate talks in Paris (COP21) and Morocco (COP22), his work centers on visual storytelling education projects applying an interdisciplinary approach of the arts as a catalyst for critical research and analysis. Camero’s work recognizes that efforts to address climate change and the ecological crisis are systematically tied to social, economic, and cultural oppression.
PROJECT:With and Within Water With and Within Water is a large-scale and intricate mural that uses visual metaphors to uplift commentary and discourse around historical and contemporary injustices in the state of California.
Initially beginning with a listening tour to communities most affected by climate collapse, societal dysfunction and cultural struggle, this project seeks to collect stories and translate them visually, respectfully, and accurately. Printed as paper posters and as fabric banners, this artwork will become a centerpiece of social and environmental education with exponential distribution in training multiple storytellers to become well-versed in explaining its content. The image will span metaphors of real-life, community stories told through native and/or culturally significant flora and fauna species in illustrating a mosaic of varying issues.
BIO: As an environmental writer and activist, Kate Weiner collaborates with communities to cultivate a deep appreciation for the Earth and inspire impactful climate action. She's a storyteller with a passion for luscious plants, playful dance, and vibrant landscapes. Kate graduated in 2015 from Wesleyan University with a double major in Environmental Studies and Anthropology and holds a Certification in Permaculture Design from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. She is a recipient of the Brower Youth Award for her work with LOAM, an environmental arts collective and magazine, and Wild Walls, an interactive program that builds abundant vertical gardens to educate and engage diverse learners. As the Founder and Creative Director of Loam, Kate works with a brilliant network of artists and activists to share stories that help us reimagine and regenerate our world.
PROJECT:Hope Embodied Hope: Embodied is a multimedia book that will meld ecological journalism, visual art, prose, interviews with artist-activists, and personal essays to explore sensuous environmentalism and spiritual ecology in practice. Hope: Embodied both digs into the embodied trauma of living through climate chaos and celebrates those experiences—communions with nature, connection with a beloved—that are climate change proof. My vision is that Hope: Embodied can be a vibrant resource that folks who are passionate about the planet and hungry for tangible action can turn to for healing in moments of hope and of heartbreak.
BIO: Emily Arasim is a farmer, seed guardian, photographer, and journalist from the high-mountain desert soils of Tesuque, New Mexico. While completing her degree in International Relations at the University of Denver, Emily began intensive research on the impacts of industrial agriculture, and rising movements for agroecology and seed and food sovereignty. Since 2014, Emily has been apprenticing with, working for, and building relationships with traditional and Indigenous farmers and seed keepers across her Northern New Mexico home region, and around the world. When her hands are not full of soil and seeds, Emily is working as the Communications Coordinator and Projects Assistant for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International). She has previously worked with high school youth as a community organizer; conducted field research on native seeds in Ecuador; and contributed to diverse works as a photographer and journalist.
PROJECT:Protecting New Mexico Ancestral Seeds & Their Stories Protecting New Mexico’s Ancestral Seeds & Their Stories is a pilot project consisting of door to door visits and consultations with elders, citizen scientists, Indigenous leaders, cultural stewards and farmers across diverse communities to map community need. It will collect information on local seed diversity and loss; and develop multimedia storytelling and educational works honoring Northern New Mexico’s ancestral seeds and their guardians.
BIO: Fraser Jones is an independent filmmaker hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving a B.F.A. in Film & Television from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2016, Fraser soon moved to Sydney, Australia to write a children’s television series for Nickelodeon and continues to direct numerous short music documentaries for Capitol Records across America and Europe. His debut feature film, Your Ride Is Here, is currently touring the international film festival circuit. Whether creating social justice documentaries or improvised comedic narratives, Fraser uses his strong interest and background in poetry, theater, film, photography, and clowning to create honest, personal films, which aim to deliver light to audiences while still maintaining a strong sense of realism and empathy.
PROJECT:We Can’t Breathe We Can’t Breathe is a feature-length documentary film that takes place in Uniontown, Alabama, a primarily African-American town that has fallen victim to continuous acts of environmental injustice and racism. In 2005, a diverse resistance movement named the Black Belt Citizens banded together to let their voices be heard and try to stop the dumping of coal ash and the creation of the Arrowhead Landfill, a large contributor to the toxic waste and sewage overflow that is significantly threatening the air quality of local citizens and thus, their own lives. This film, and Fraser’s direction of it, aim to honestly portray the collective narrative of the Black Belt Citizens in order to further project their voices through the medium of film in hopes of helping the movement to actualize their goal of clearing the toxins from their town and living healthier, non-endangered lives as they restore the natural beauty of their land.
BIO: Jessica currently works for Food & Water Watch as the Midwest Region Director. Following her graduation from Beloit College in 2008, Jessica worked for Heifer International, Brigadas Internacionales de Paz in Guatemala, and interned for the World Food Program in Nepal. With extensive experience in community organizing and campaigning, Jessica is committed to introducing the values of Spiritual Ecology to large-scale environmental leaders in hopes of reconnecting them to the roots of their struggles.
PROJECT:Environmental Residency Program A 10-day residency program to introduce the principles of spiritual ecology to the emerging leaders of large, influential environmental organizations and to their funders. The program intends to challenge participants, and give them the tools to pursue goals based on real, systemic change, rather than predictable, easily-fundable, status quo successes. The hope is to provide these leaders with the tools to meaningfully reconnect with the frontline communities and Earth that their struggles support.