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Psychedelic Culture: A Conference by Chacruna Institute

Psychedelic Culture: A Conference by Chacruna Institute

Cultivating Change Through Elevating Diverse Voices:

A Look Back at Chacruna’s Psychedelic Culture Conference

The psychedelic renaissance is upon us, a wave of renewed scientific and cultural interest in the therapeutic potential of mind-altering substances. But amidst the excitement, a crucial question arises: who gets to participate in and shape this new chapter? This is where the Chacruna Institute’s recent “Psychedelic Culture” conference offers guidance, cultivating a refreshing approach that combines intellectual rigor with community, activism, and a deep respect for tradition.

Chacruna, known for its interdisciplinary conferences, has a long history of bringing diverse voices to the table. This year’s event, themed “Cultivating Roots for Cultural Change,” embodied that spirit perfectly. The conference wasn’t just about the latest research findings, it fostered dialogue between scientists, Indigenous communities, activists, and everyday people who have a deep connection to these medicines. As the panelists mentioned, “it is more important than ever to promote dialogues” – dialogues that bridge the gap between intellectual inquiry and the lived experiences of those who have used these plants for generations.

One of the most powerful sessions, “Shaping our Future: Ensuring Equity and Access in the Psychedelic Renaissance,” tackled the issue of inclusivity head-on capturing the historical injustices that marginalized communities have faced in their relationship with psychedelics. The War on Drugs has disproportionately impacted these groups, creating a system where access to potential healing is hampered by fear and stigma.

Nicole T. Buchanan, associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, Clinical Director and Founder of Alliance Psychological Associates, and member of Chacruna’s Board of Directors shares: 

“We have to create pathways for them to do the good work without being decriminalized, we have to look at how has the War on Drugs in our history of the commercial state of this country, really predetermined who will ever consider accessing care, and when we don’t come from that kind of lens, when we don’t think of how do we create access for those groups that are more marginalized, most surveilled and criminalized, and have the least reason that we have their best interest at heart, we will never be able to reach that population.” 

The panelists emphasized the importance of “creating pathways” for these communities to participate in the psychedelic renaissance. This requires examining how historical bias has shaped access to care and dismantling those barriers. It’s about “looking at the lens” of marginalization and creating a space where everyone feels welcome and represented.

But inclusivity goes beyond just numbers. It’s about fostering a sense of belonging and shared experience. The conference emphasized the importance of “bringing intention” to our work, allowing people to “see themselves in others.” This means acknowledging the unique challenges faced by marginalized communities and creating spaces where these experiences are heard and valued.

Unlearning the divisions that separate us is crucial in building a truly inclusive psychedelic community. Ritual can be a powerful tool for this, creating a “deeper connection” through shared experience. Moving away from the model of listening only to “dominant voices” and instead embracing a “circle” where everyone’s voice is valued, paves the way for a more just and equitable future.

Chacruna’s dedication to this theme extends beyond the conference itself. Their commitment is further reflected in two recent publications available through our website: Women in Psychedelics, Queering Psychedelics, and Psychedelic Justice. These insightful books offer a wealth of perspectives that challenge the status quo and open doors to a more diverse and equitable psychedelic future. The books explore topics like the role of female shamans in traditional psychedelic ceremonies, the experiences of women of color in the psychedelic renaissance, or the potential of psychedelics to help LGBTQIA2S+ individuals heal from trauma and explore their identities.

These books delve into the often-overlooked aspects of the psychedelic experience for these specific groups. Queering Psychedelics explores how LGBTQIA2S+ individuals navigate the psychedelic experience, dismantling stereotypes about these substances and fostering a more inclusive conversation. Topics such as experiencing a heightened sense of self-awareness and connection during a psychedelic experience can be particularly transformative for those questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Women in Psychedelics also addresses the unique challenges and opportunities women face in the psychedelic realm. Discussions explore historical and cultural biases that have excluded women from psychedelic experiences, or the specific needs and considerations of women undergoing psychedelic therapy, such as the role of trauma and menstrual cycles.

The ideas explored at Chacruna’s Psychedelic Culture conference resonate deeply with the mission of Synergetic Press. As highlighted in a recent article on Chacruna’s website titled Psychedelic Culture and the Future of the Psychedelic Movement, Chacruna is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics by publishing works from a wide range of voices. 

Here at Synergetic Press, we are proud to offer a selection of Chacruna titles on our website. If you’re looking to delve deeper into the insights shared at the conference, we encourage you to explore these thought-provoking books. Whether you’re a seasoned psychonaut or just beginning your exploration, there’s sure to be a book that will spark your curiosity and guide you on your journey. 

Head to our catalog and discover the wealth of knowledge waiting to be explored!

A Journey into Planetary Consciousness

A Journey into Planetary Consciousness

Above: Artwork by Lobsang Melendez Ahuanari, visionary artist from Pucallpa, Peru

Commemorating Pachamama on Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day and honoring our sacred connection with Pachamama, our blog sets sail to embark on a journey into planetary consciousness.

What if I told you that the Earth is alive? Yes, we know our home is a living, breathing organism that is constantly changing, evolving and creating itself anew. All the animals, including ourselves, are the result of our home organism infinitely becoming itself. 

Joseph Campbell famously asserted that “we are the consciousness of Earth”. Beyond the micro organisms and consistent pool of life, the Earth is also something else. She is a conscious, ever evolving, spiritual being connected to the “All’ and ever expanding collective consciousness.

Since the beginning of ancient civilizations, many philosophies would speak of the existence of our planetary consciousness. In the belief of the Andean Cosmovision, the interconnectedness of Mother Earth is the most important connection we can foster. These civilizations did not base their knowledge in a divisive way like we’ve witnessed through scientific history. Greek philosophers based our Western ideals to be centered in our intellectual knowing, leading the western world into a reality of the mind. Philosophers such as Descartes, proposed that our visible reality is in fact composed of two separate realms, that of the transcendental mind of spirit, and the material world of energy and matter. 

However, in the knowledge of the Andean Cosmovision, the consciousness of Pachamama is revered as part of a connected consciousness. The ancient tribes of the Incas and the Paqo Qero High Priests of the Sacred Valley believed that nature had its own consciousness. Fostering the ancient beauty of their land, our ancestors walked the Earth contemplating the life of mountains, rivers and flowers as if they had a life of their own. Their own mini universes that we can all become a part of. For pre-hispanic communities, the provincial towns understood that there are two large forces at play in our universal system. That of Pachakama, the invisible cosmic energy that provides guidance and direction through an invisible dimension, and Pachamama, the terrestrial force that comes from the Earth, that provides sustenance, shelter and nourishment in our visible dimension.

Likewise, in Hinduism, the concept of Devas represents divine beings or cosmic forces that influence the natural world and human consciousness. Reverence for the Devas underscores the interconnectedness between humanity and the broader web of life, fostering a sense of stewardship and respect for the Earth. Buddhism also offers insights into planetary consciousness through its teachings on the interconnectedness of all phenomena. The concept of the Eight Devas in Buddhism highlights the spiritual guardians or celestial beings that guide and protect the world, reflecting the interconnectedness of all life and the importance of collective wellbeing. 

For these civilizations, our realities are intertwined by the great web of our collective consciousness creating a multifunctional world where both spirit and matter exist in the same breath. The consciousness of the revered deity, Pachamama, is always present. She is the consciousness that dictates life for us all, granting us unencumbered passage to leading a life filled with grace and fulfillment. These civilizations functioned with the knowledge of our interconnectedness with nature. But most importantly, they felt the presence of the planetary consciousness as an alive being in herself. A being that works alongside us, not against us. A being that deserves to be seen and spoken to just like any other conscious being on this planet. 

Pachamama, in herself, is a communicative center that communes with us. 

 

What is Planetary Consciousness? 

Planetary consciousness is a modern concept that encapsulates the understanding that humanity is intricately interconnected with the Earth. It represents a shift from viewing the planet merely as a resource to be exploited to recognizing it as a living being. At the heart of this perspective lies the belief that the Earth, Pachamama, is not merely a passive backdrop to human existence but a vibrant, sentient organism with its own agency and wisdom. By embracing this worldview, individuals are inspired to cultivate a deeper sense of respect, reciprocity, and responsibility towards the planetary consciousness of Earth, as highlighted by influential thinkers such as Buckminster Fuller, Itzhak Bentov, Claudio Naranjo, Rupert Sheldrake, and many more.

“I am a passenger on the Spaceship Earth” – Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller envisioned humanity transcending national boundaries to operate as a single planetary organism, embracing our interconnectedness with the planetary consciousness of Earth. His concept of “Spaceship Earth” emphasized the planet’s finite resources, urging responsible stewardship for all its inhabitants. Fuller believed that by recognizing our collective destiny and working collaboratively, we could address global challenges effectively. He advocated for a shift from individualistic perspectives to a holistic understanding of humanity’s role within the intricate web of life. According to Fuller, this planetary consciousness would foster cooperation, innovation, and sustainable practices necessary for ensuring a thriving future for generations to come.

Likewise, in his intrinsic books “Stalking the Wild Pendulum” and “The Cosmic Egg”, renowned Israeli-American physicist and mystic Itzhak Bentov delves into the idea of a world consciousness, suggesting that all living beings on Earth are interconnected through a shared field of consciousness. Bentov’s explorations into the nature of consciousness and the interconnectedness of all life offer profound insights into the potential for humanity to awaken to a deeper understanding of our relationship with the Earth and each other. Bentov explored our capacity to transcend the space time continuum in an exploration beyond our universal consciousness. 

However, it is Claudio Naranjo that truly delves into the importance of the rise of planetary consciousness for our survival of the species in the new coming years as we step into higher awareness. Naranjo proposes that planetary consciousness involves a shift from ego-centered to eco-centered awareness, where individuals transcend narrow self-interests and embrace a broader perspective that honors the Earth and all its inhabitants. He argues that this shift is necessary for addressing the pressing challenges facing humanity, such as environmental degradation, social inequality, and spiritual disconnection.

One important point Naranjo makes in The Revolution We Expected is the need to overcome the illusion of separation and reconnect with our innate capacity for empathy, compassion, and cooperation. He suggests that modern society’s emphasis on individualism and materialism has led to a fragmentation of consciousness, contributing to a sense of alienation and disconnection from the natural world. By re-humanizing our systems and reawakening to the interconnectedness of all life, Naranjo believes that we can create the conditions for a collective awakening and a transformation in consciousness. He envisions a future where humanity operates in harmony with the Earth, guided by principles of reciprocity, respect, and reverence for the web of life.

In essence, Naranjo’s theories on planetary consciousness calls upon us to recognize our shared humanity and interconnectedness with the Earth. As we explore the depths of planetary consciousness and our interconnectedness with the Earth and its inhabitants, we uncover profound insights into the mechanisms that weave the fabric of our existence. Phenomena like morphic resonance and the mycelium network serve as illuminating examples of how this consciousness operates and how we can utilize it for our evolution of awareness. 

 

Learn more about Planetary Consciousness and our way forward to an interconnected society:

The Revolution We Expected book coverThe Revolution We Expected

The Revolution We Expected presents a call for individual and societal transformation in order to rebuild and humanize our institutions and our communities to realize a post-patriarchal world and elevated consciousness as a global community. In his last work as an author, celebrated doctor and psychotherapist Claudio Naranjo uses The Revolution We Expected to make a final call to humanity to awaken to our collective potential and work to transcend our patriarchal past and present. The book presents a map that argues not only for collective individual awakening but a concerted effort to transform our institutions so that our educational and cultural lessons are in service to a better world.

“Offers a hopeful path forward, beyond a society ruled by dogma, greed, authoritarianism, and narcissism.” — Don Lattin

 

 

Morphic Resonance and the Mycelium Network

Through the concept of morphic resonance, we discern a collective memory encoded within the natural world, influencing patterns and behaviors across species and fostering a deeper sense of connection. Similarly, the mycelium network, with its intricate threads linking trees and plants, exemplifies the interdependence that characterizes life on Earth, offering a tangible manifestation of the interconnected web of relationships that sustains us all.

Morphic resonance, a concept developed by biologist Rupert Sheldrake, proposes that there is a collective memory inherent in nature that influences the patterns and behaviors of organisms. This theory suggests that similar patterns of activity or behavior become more probable as they are repeated, even across space and time, through what Sheldrake calls “morphogenetic fields.” These fields are thought to be shaped by the collective experiences of species, creating a sort of shared memory that influences the development and behavior of individuals within that species.

 One fascinating aspect of Rupert Sheldrake’s theory is its potential connection to the mycelium network, a vast underground network of fungal threads that connects trees and plants in forests. Mycelium acts as a sort of natural internet, facilitating communication and the exchange of nutrients between plants over large distances. This network has been likened to the neural network of a brain, with mycelial connections resembling synaptic connections. Funnily enough, like father like son, Rupert’s son, Merlin Sheldrake, dives into the importance of the working of the mycelium network through his book The Entangled Life, where he explores the fascinating world of fungi and their interconnectedness with all life on Earth. Delving into the mysteries of the mycelium network, Sheldrake reveals how fungi form symbiotic relationships with plants and play vital roles in ecosystems, highlighting their profound impact on the planet’s health and biodiversity.

 

Read more about Morphic Resonance by Rupert Sheldrake


Interested in delving deeper into the fascinating concept of Morphic Resonance? Explore further by accessing scientific papers on the subject through the following link: Scientific Papers on Morphic Resonance. Discover the latest research, theories, and discussions surrounding this intriguing phenomenon. Delve into the forefront of scientific inquiry and expand your understanding of the interconnectedness of all life.

“What you do, what you say and what you think can influence other people by morphic resonance. There is no immoral filter in morphic resonance, which means that we have to be more careful about what we are thinking if we are concerned about the affect we have on others.”

 

 

 

The mycelium network and morphic resonance share similarities in their mechanisms of communication and information exchange. Just as mycelium facilitates the transfer of nutrients and chemical signals between plants, morphic resonance could facilitate the transmission of information between individuals of a species or even between different species.

Imagine a forest ecosystem where plants and fungi are constantly exchanging information through the mycelium network. If one plant develops a defense mechanism against a particular pathogen, for example, this information could potentially be transmitted to other plants in the network through morphic resonance, allowing them to adapt and develop similar defenses more rapidly.

This interconnectedness extends beyond the natural world and into the realm of human consciousness. According to Sheldrake, morphic resonance could also play a role in the transmission of cultural and social phenomena. Just as behaviours and patterns can become ingrained in the collective memory of a species, cultural norms and traditions can shape the collective consciousness of human societies.

In this way, the web of consciousness connects us all, forming a vast network of shared experiences and knowledge. Every thought, action, and emotion contributes to this collective consciousness, influencing and being influenced by the thoughts and actions of others. Just as the mycelium network facilitates communication and exchange in the natural world, morphic resonance may serve as a form of communication between individuals, shaping our perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors.

The implications of this interconnectedness are profound, suggesting that we are not separate, isolated beings, but rather interconnected nodes in a vast web of consciousness. Our actions and experiences ripple outwards, influencing and being influenced by the collective consciousness of humanity and the natural world.

By recognizing and understanding the interconnectedness of all life, we can cultivate a greater sense of empathy, compassion, and stewardship for the planet and each other. Just as the mycelium network facilitates the exchange of nutrients and resources to support the health and vitality of the forest ecosystem, so too can our interconnectedness foster cooperation and mutual support among all living beings on Earth.

Interconnected with our Planetary Consciousness

In commemorating Earth Day and honoring the consciousness of Pachamama, we embark on a journey of profound interconnectedness and collective awakening. From the wisdom of ancient civilizations to the visionary insights of modern thinkers, we are reminded of the intrinsic bond between humanity and the Earth—a bond woven by the threads of planetary consciousness. As we contemplate the essence of Pachamama’s living, breathing presence, we recognise the importance of embracing a holistic perspective that honors the Earth as a sentient being deserving of reverence and stewardship.

Through the teachings of influential figures like Buckminster Fuller, Itzhak Bentov, Claudio Naranjo, and others, we glimpse the potential for a transformative evolution of awareness—one that transcends individualism and materialism to embrace a deeper sense of connection and cooperation. By understanding phenomena like morphic resonance and the mycelium network, we unlock the secrets of nature’s communication and exchange, paving the way for a more compassionate and healing species. As we heed the call to reawaken to our interconnectedness with the Earth and all its inhabitants, we embark on a journey of collective renewal—a journey guided by the wisdom of Pachamama and fuelled by the boundless potential of planetary consciousness.

 

Women and Psychedelics for Women’s History Month

Women and Psychedelics for Women’s History Month

New Book Release from Chacruna Institute

Women and Psychedelics: Uncovering Invisible Voices

This month, Chacruna Institute and Synergetic Press released the new copy of Women and Psychedelics: Uncovering Invisible Voice in honor of Women’s History Month.

Compiled by leading researchers and practitioners, Women and Psychedelics is a compelling anthology featuring essays, interviews, and personal narratives from women who have pioneered psychedelic research, therapy, advocacy, and spiritual leadership. These voices, often underrepresented in the scientific community, share profound insights into the healing potential of psychedelics, their personal journeys of discovery, and the critical need for feminine perspectives in this sphere of study.

Please enjoy a small excerpt in celebration of its release:

The theme of this collection is revealing the heretofore unseen. To show the reader some of the remarkable people doing valuable work in the field of psychedelics, people who have remained largely unrecognized. It happens that all of these people are women. Some are hidden figures, first brought to light here in this collection of profiles. These are previously untold stories of women who may have been mentioned in relation to their male colleagues, or their partners, yet their own contributions have been in the shadows. These women have been occluded from the story that we collectively like to tell about ourselves, about our social movements toward changes in consciousness, about how aware we, as a species of seekers, have become. This phenomenon is being revealed in many fields of study, yet the irony of occlusion is even greater in a field that has prided itself on its expanded awareness. It turns out that even our collective consciousness manages to subsume women, to undervalue contributions of female participants and minimize women’s life experiences.

As eye-opening as psychedelics are thought to be, or as deep as a personal experience feels, they don’t necessarily reveal to the explorer some of the more subterranean assumptions and gendered worldviews. Many belief systems, behavioral patterns, and cultural attitudes are clearly resistant to the profound review that the psychedelic experience can generate. Various patterns of assumption and privileged thinking may remain stubbornly unexamined. It’s simply amazing that the use and sometimes abuse of power can survive intact, in relation to gender, race, and class. The roots of these dynamics run so deep that the profoundly transformative psychedelic experience often does not reach bedrock, so the power dynamics continue to operate without change. In this era of “psychedelic renaissance”—the rebirth of psychedelics in largely contemporary, Euro-descended cultures—some of us elders who lived through the “psychedelic revolution” of the ’60s and ’70s may chuckle or grumble at all the ironies implicit in this cartoonish framing of our own lives’ work and passion. I am from that generation. Now, as then, generally speaking, women and many other humans are othered and dismissed from significance.

But, at long last, we see the stories of these intrepid originators of research, fieldwork, and ideas, along with women living today who are blazing new paths in their communities. Some of these women have spent their adventurous, exploratory, or intellectual lives being designated as muses, accomplices, or assistants, or described as primarily wives or lovers. And yet we see, reading these essays, that the women have, of course, lived their rich lives too, embedded deep in the past century of psychedelic experimentation and its myriad consequences, or carrying today’s torch for a wild and promising future.

We all realize that this is the plight of many women, historically and in the present day: to be omitted, for reasons both cultural and individual. In this fictionalized history, we have all lost some richness and truth for not recognizing the accomplishments, influences, and sacrifices of these passionately lived lives. We don’t see how the work of women in the field of psychedelics has also lifted up the men, and made their work better, or even possible. Women’s participation and inquiries are braided throughout the pronouncements of men. What does it mean to be a scholar who is dedicated to a path of inquiry,
and yet who remains largely invisible? There are ironies in this predicament, especially when the field of inquiry—exploring psychedelics and their potential for humanity—is itself marginal at best, taboo or legally forbidden at worst. This volume of life stories reflects the role of the hidden characters in the era when psychedelics were introduced, “discovered” (although long and deeply familiar to Indigenous peoples), grown, manufactured, distributed, savored, and much discussed within the already existing systems of knowledge. That prior version was a story half told, like a great river trip when only one bank of the river is documented and described. Turn around, we point out: she is behind you, she is regarding the left bank, le rive gauche, the side where the bohemians live and experiment, where counterculture thrives, and creative thinking is the strongest, flowing, and more egalitarian.

Grandmothers’ Wisdom | Join Us in Anticipation for the Heartfelt Release

Grandmothers’ Wisdom | Join Us in Anticipation for the Heartfelt Release

We’re thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of Grandmothers’ Wisdom, and extend an exclusive opportunity for readers to sign up for the pre-sale release.

Grandmothers’ Wisdom is a vibrant tribute to the lives of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, an unprecedented global alliance of elders who came together in 2004 to protect our planet in crisis and envision a future for the next seven generations. With a foreword by Vandana Shiva and tributes to the grandmothers who have passed on, this special work is a living portrayal of the grandmothers’ upbringing, their encounters with the violence of colonialism and forced assimilation, their awakening to fierce activism, and the ceremonial practices they carry forward from their lineages with tenacity, grace, and devotion.

The thirteen remarkable women portrayed in Grandmothers’ Wisdom are keepers of traditional medicine and Indigenous spirituality, preserving ancient wisdom traditions and traditional ecological knowledge that have served our planet earth for millennia. Their stories come from the Amazon rainforest, the Central American highlands, the Sierra Madre of Oaxaca, the plains, deserts and canyons of North America, the Himalayan mountains of Tibet and Nepal, and the forests of Central Africa. The award-winning photography depicts the grandmothers making offerings to all of creation and stewarding earth-based medicines through their practices of divination, energetic cleansing, gathering herbs, and performing initiations with plant medicines.The grandmothers have gathered each year for two decades to pray together in their homelands, promoting deep peace and interconnection through Indigenous ancestral knowledge, cultural preservation, and a reverence for the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. In a time when contemporary life has left many young people bereft in the rifts between us, these spiritual activists constitute an intercontinental union across differences in culture, language, and ceremonial practice. They are icons for future generations, representing a worldview that honors the richness of our differences as we unite to protect our shared home on planet earth.

Read more about this wonderful book here

Sign up to learn about pre-ordering Grandmothers’ Wisdom: Living Portrayals from the International Council of
Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers

 

Celebrating Black Changemakers

Celebrating Black Changemakers

This Black History Month, we’re celebrating Black changemakers in the space of ecology, land stewardship and permaculture who are taking the sustainable world by storm with their incredible dedication to creating a more holistic world for all. 

This year we have a special focus by honoring the remarkable women who are making waves in the ecology realm. Their passion, dedication, and innovative approaches to environmental stewardship have brought much needed guidance into the ever growing field of ecological and off-grid living. From sustainable farming to climate advocacy, community gardening to environmental education, each woman has demonstrated the transformative power of intersectional environmentalism. Their efforts not only inspire positive change but also challenge us to rethink our relationship with the Earth and each other, not only their expertise but also a deep connection to the plants and wisdom passed down by their wise ancestors.

It’s essential to acknowledge that Black History encompasses so much more than can be contained in a single month. The richness and diversity of cultures worldwide have profoundly shaped our world, and to truly appreciate this, we need more than just a few weeks of recognition.

This list is by no means comprehensive, and will no doubt keep growing with time. From trailblazing environmental activists to scientists pioneers in sustainable solutions, we are happy to highlight these wonderful individuals who are innovating pathways for a more sustainable and liveable future.

 

Celebrating Black Changemakers in Ecology & Sustainability

Black Girl Environmentalist

Black Girl Environmentalist is a national organization with a focused mission: to confront the challenges of access and retention within the climate movement for Black girls, women, and gender-expansive individuals. Our commitment lies in empowering emerging leaders of color in the climate arena, ensuring that Black girls, women, and gender-expansive people have the resources and support necessary to thrive in climate leadership roles. They envision a future where everyone has the opportunity to contribute to and shape a representative climate movement that reflects the diversity and experiences of all communities. Together, they strive to build a more inclusive and equitable environmental landscape, one where every voice is valued and heard.

Read More

 

Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru

Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, a Kenyan-American climate storyteller, is dedicated to making climate communication more empathetic and accessible. Leveraging her experience as a Rhodes Scholar and youth climate activist, Wawa’s mission is to shape a climate movement that truly reflects the diversity of humanity. It was there that she discovered the vital intersection of environmental justice and the contributions of Black women throughout history. Inspired by this newfound knowledge, Wawa embarked on a mission to empower Black girls, women, and non-binary individuals in environmental professions through her organization, Black Girl Environmentalist. At just 24 years old, she represents the next generation of environmental leaders, driven by a deep understanding of the urgent need for inclusivity and community engagement in the fight for environmental justice.

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Black Star Farmers

Black Star Farmers (BSF) is a dynamic coalition committed to the radical reclamation of land and the pursuit of food sovereignty. Our collective comprises individuals from diverse backgrounds and identities united in the mission to challenge systemic inequities. Through practices of land stewardship, mutual aid initiatives, educational outreach, and direct action, BSF endeavours to cultivate a future where communities have agency over their food systems and land resources. Our work is rooted in the principles of justice, equity, and sustainability, as they strive to create a more equitable and resilient agricultural landscape for all.

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EARTHSeed Farms

Founded in March 2021, EARTHseed Farm found by Pandora Thomas stands as a beacon of sustainability nestled on 14 acres of solar-powered, organic farmland and orchard in Sonoma County, California, on the ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo Peoples. With the gracious permission and blessings of the Graton Rancheria Tribe, our farm operates under the guiding principles of AfroIndigenous permaculture, honoring the rich earth wisdom traditions of people of African descent. Grounded in permaculture, an indigenous wisdom-based ecological design system, they prioritize ecosystem health while meeting human needs. Our offerings include a Wholesale program, a U-Pick experience open to the public from July to November, and Educational Programs geared towards communities of color, particularly those of African descent. Through these initiatives, EarthSeed Farms aspires to cultivate a deeper connection to the Earth, fostering healing and reconciliation while nurturing a harmonious relationship with our planet. Welcome home to EARTHseed!

 

 

Black Girl Farms

Black Girl Farms recognizes and honors the profound interconnectedness that exists within the land. Rooted in this understanding, Brown Girl Farms is dedicated to growing practices that embody and celebrate these interconnections. Drawing inspiration from African Indigenous Agroecology traditions, our farm embraces holistic approaches that prioritize sustainability, resilience, and community stewardship. By weaving these ancestral practices into the fabric of our operations, they aim to cultivate a deeper harmony with the land, honoring its wisdom and nurturing its abundance for generations to come.

 

Indy Officinalis

Indy Officinalis, the captivating host of National Geographic’s “Farm Dreamers,” brings a unique blend of passion, expertise, and charisma to the world of sustainable agriculture. With an unwavering commitment to ecological farming practices and a deep reverence for the land, Indy guides viewers on a transformative journey through the heart of the farming experience. Through captivating storytelling and hands-on exploration, she illuminates the joys and challenges of cultivating food in harmony with nature, inspiring audiences to reconnect with the land and embrace a more sustainable way of life. As an advocate for regenerative agriculture and community empowerment, Indy’s work transcends television screens, leaving a lasting impact on viewers and igniting a movement towards a healthier, more resilient food system.

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Leah Thomas

Leah is a trailblazing force in the environmental justice movement, having founded and launched the non-profit Intersectional Environmentalist in 2020. This groundbreaking platform serves as a beacon for advocating environmental justice, providing educational resources on intersectional environmentalism, and promoting inclusivity and accessibility within environmental education and movements. Through her innovative initiatives, including London’s first Black EcoFeminist Summit, Earth Sessions climate justice concerts, and a grassroots book tour spanning over 70 stops, Leah has demonstrated her unwavering commitment to amplifying marginalized voices and driving meaningful change. Her seminal work extends to her book, “The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet,” which sheds light on the interconnectedness of environmentalism, racism, and privilege. As the founder of the eco-lifestyle blog @greengirlleah, Leah leverages her extensive experience and vast audience to inspire action and foster dialogue.

 

Black Girl Country Living

Meet Hillarie, the heart and soul behind Black Girl Country Living. With a deep reverence for Mama Nature, Hillarie finds solace and healing in her embrace. Through Black Girl Country Living, she invites others to join her on a journey of reconnection with the natural world. Through her stories and experiences, Hillarie aims to inspire and empower others to rediscover the beauty and tranquility of nature, fostering a deeper connection to the Earth and all its wonders. Join Hillarie as she embarks on a path of exploration, discovery, and inner growth, guided by the wisdom and healing power of the natural world.

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Compost Fairy 

Meet Crystal Walker, also known as the Compost Fairy! With a passion for composting that spans over four years, Crystal is a dedicated educator and consultant on all things compost. Armed with personal research and hands-on experience, Crystal has honed her expertise in curating nutrient-dense compost through trial and error. As an Oklahoma County Master Composter and Master Gardener, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. For the past three years, Crystal has been on a mission to spread awareness about the importance of composting and its transformative impact on soil health and food cultivation. With her guidance, she aims to empower individuals to return their waste to the Earth, fostering a symbiotic relationship with nature and nurturing vibrant, healthy ecosystems. Whether through educational workshops or one-on-one consultations, Crystal is committed to cultivating a greener, more sustainable world, one compost bin at a time.

 

Poppy Okotcha

Poppy Okotcha is an ecological enthusiast, home grower, forager, and dedicated cook whose passion lies in inspiring reconnection to the land and the living world through the narrative of food and herbs. With a holistic approach encompassing cultivation, processing, and cooking, Poppy’s journey embodies a deep commitment to fostering sustainable relationships with the Earth. She believes in the transformative power of gardens, which not only yield nutrient-dense harvests and healing herbs but also impart invaluable lessons on living harmoniously with nature. Through her work, Poppy endeavors to cultivate spaces where communities can gather, learn, and progress towards greater food sovereignty and a more equitable food system.

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If you are looking to up your eco game, check out some of our ecology and sustainable titles for some inspiration: Regenerative Landscaper, Social Forestry and Agroecology and Regenerative Agriculture.

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