An invitation from Word and World

water raiz upDear Friend of Word and World,

The stakes of climate change and climate injustice are too high to stay hunkered down in silos of race, class, religion, or seemingly disparate justice issues. The times necessitate following the lead of communities of color organizing for the health of land, water, and community. On July 15-19, 2015, Word and World will host a Land and Water school, a local/national/international collaboration putting down roots in Detroit to build and energize movement around land, water, sustainability, and environmental justice.

A tri-cultural and tri-spiritual encounter, the Land and Water school will convene Christian, hip hop, and indigenous peoples for five days of workshops, skill shares, cultural exchanges, oral history and storytelling, performance, public art, worship, ritual, and public resistance. Together we will explore: How relationship to place and land is central to First Nations identity which has been assaulted by the actions of the United States government and American culture. How water access is being used to displace African Americans from Detroit. How hip hop has been taken from its African, indigenous, and Latino roots in order to become a major corporate voice for materialism and individualism. How Christianity has been co-opted from its roots as a rebellious minority struggling against a white supremacist (Roman) empire to become a major force for hegemony and global warfare, and how we need spaces for grief and deep listening as we deal with the ongoing legacy of oppression and genocide of African American and Native American peoples.

We will explore the spirituality of each tradition as a source of cultural integrity and resistance to domination.

Christian, hip hop, and indigenous traditions will each make up one-third of the gathering’s participants. To that end, we want a school which is 65-75% people of color, and in which a diversity of sexualities, genders, abilities, and economic classes are represented. We know that not everyone who wants to will be able to come, but we all want to support the movement’s diversity. Here are some ways to be a part of this unprecedented conversation:

Apply online to attend.

Sponsor a colleague, especially a person of color, to attend.

Watch livestream footage of the school’s public events, and look for articles, videos, and resources coming out of the school on our website and blog. (links)

Promote this school and its organizing model: seek out the agendas of communities of color and put your time, resources, and voice behind them!

Donate! Here are some small ways you can support the school:

$50: a can of tobacco for ceremony

$100: silk screen ink for DIY shirts and patches

$250: one hour of sound equipment rental for a hip hop performer

$500: to compensate a grassroots community organizer and poet for sharing their skills in a 3-session workshop

$750: provide fair trade coffee, tea and sugar for the whole event

$1000: ensure that the event is accessible to parents particularly women by providing childcare and children’s programming on site

$1000: food, lodging, transportation for one youth of color to attend

$1500: to provide transportation to an indigenous person coming from a rural or remote community who will return with new skills, organizing tools, contacts, and energy

$2500: one meal made from all locally and ethically sourced, produce, dairy etc from local farmers and community gardens

$6500: hire an indigenous person to coordinate outreach and communication to indigenous activists, organizers, land defenders, youth and elders

Please partner with us in this exciting movement for justice, transformation, and healing. The world can’t wait.

In Hope and Struggle,
The W&W Board

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