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CCSU SEPS-GC March 2015 Presentation


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Presented at the March 26, 2015 SEPS-GC meeting at CCSU. The focus is on the nature-based forms of discrimination that form social discriminations and lead us to issues of unsustainability. This is a modified presentation from my NAME presentation in November 2014.

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CCSU SEPS-GC March 2015 Presentation

  1. 1. The Neoliberal Colonization on Nature and Our Deep Ecological Selves Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University ! National Association of Multicultural Educators Annual Meeting, November 5-9, 2014 Tucson, Arizona
  2. 2. A New Paradigm for Diversity & Multiculturalism through Ecological Identities Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University ! National Association of Multicultural Educators Annual Meeting, November 5-9, 2014 Tucson, Arizona
  3. 3. A Sustainability-Oriented Vision for the School of Education and Professional Studies at CCSU Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University ! School of Education Professional Studies Governance Council March 26, 2015
  4. 4. The Map of Diversity • The “map” of diversity has routinely deselected relationships with nature. • The privileged discourse in diversity studies is anthropocentric and has created an academic blindspot.
  5. 5. Privileging Humans & Omitting Nature • Racism, sexism (by extension, heterosexism), Capitalism, classism, Neoliberalism, religionism, globalization, and colonization can all be traced to a particular version of discrimination that favors humans as distant from nature (usually through technology, wealth and often reinforced militarily) • White, European, Christian, wealthy people in positions of domination have relied heavily on a narrative that treats them as God’s people who are right, fully human, have the moral doctrine (rationale), and governmental structure to rule others who are indigenous, poor (or outside of a capitalistic structure), not Christian. • The first and most important step is to see one self as being removed from nature in order to be part of today’s privileged, dominant group.
  6. 6. Neoliberalism’s Roots • Neoliberalism, the favoring of “free market” ideology in business and non-business contexts, is borne out of a desire to accumulate wealth. • Wealth comes from capitalism, which depends on consumerism • Capitalism and consumerism are fundamentally against close relationships with nature and have long-standing practices of exploitation with those who are close to nature. • The global colonizers, Europeans, created racism out of desires to control, colonize, and capitalize from those who were initially closer to nature (subhuman) • Europeans viewed themselves as superior primarily because they became more technological (militarily, agriculturally, and through the mining of the earth), or created themselves and their self images as being increasingly distant from the earth and more able to control the earth. • Controlling the earth also meant controlling people of the earth. People who were not as technologically developed did not have the designator of being fully human. • People who were not fully human could be destroyed, manipulated, and exploited. • People of indigenous societies, women in general, poor people, and people with earth-based spiritualities were (are?) all seen as being closer to the earth and are therefore routinely dominated.
  7. 7. European Colonizers & American Indians Clash of two peoples with two different “ecological selves”! European Colonizers: Nature for profit, land ownership, enclosure, capitalist mindset/values! American Indians: Nurturance, reciprocity, sustainable mindset/values! Genocide: From up to 18 million in 1490’s to 190,000 in 1890, up to 200 million Indians died in the Americas! Land Domination
  8. 8. European Colonizers & West Africans Clash of two peoples with two different “ecological selves”! European Colonizers: Nature for profit, land ownership, enclosure, capitalist mindset/values! West Africans: Nurturance, reciprocity, sustainable mindset/values! Slavery: About 12 million captured and shipped to the Americas, 645,000 brought to the U.S., nearly 4 million slaves in the 1860 census! Domination for profit via capitalism
  9. 9. Shift Away From Valuing Nature Joseph Campbell stated that we can see the movements of a society based on the highest buildings in an area.
  10. 10. Shift Away FromValuing Nature Gods and Goddesses communicate through the actions of nature in the forests Gods and Goddesses communicate through the actions of nature and in growth/ harvest of crops God (no Goddess) & salvation are found only through Jesus. The Devil resides in nature.
  11. 11. Shift Away FromValuing Nature
  12. 12. Shift Away FromValuing Nature Government provides policies of morality aimed solely at rights of humans The super wealthy and transcontinental corporations heavily influence governments and national policies through trade agreements creating the greatest negative impact on the global environment
  13. 13. Aloha & Haole
  14. 14. Aloha & Haole Aloha # “Together, we breathe the sacred breath”# A consciousness that we are inescapably interwoven with each other and the earth. # What we do to each other and the earth, we do to ourselves.
  15. 15. Aloha & Haole Haole # “One who is without sacred breath”# A consciousness that does not include an awareness that we are inescapably interwoven with each other and the earth. # A consciousness only of self and an ignorance of one’s energetic and spiritual impact. Often comes with little or no understanding of spirituality or the purpose of one’s soul (soul loss).
  16. 16. INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS & SPIRITUALITIES Pre-date Christianity Pre-date Islam Pre-date Judaism Earth-based spiritualities Found in all parts of the world
  17. 17. CREATING PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Adam & Eve
  18. 18. CREATING PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Aristotle and Phyllis 
 (Alexander the Great’s Wife) "If thus it happened to me, an old man most wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can see that I taught you well, that it could happen to you, a young man." - Aristotle
  19. 19. Christian Domination of Earth-Based Spiritualities Movement out of nature and into “Human” as separate from nature! Nature is where Satan resides ! Technology is Godly & righteous! Christian missionaries with indigenous peoples globally, views on nudity! Killing of at least tens of thousands of “witches” from 1400s-1600s! Continued persecution of paganism, neopaganism, and Wicca
  20. 20. Western Enlightenment’s Cultural (Science) 
 Domination of the Earth Galileo Galilei “The Universe is a clock” Johannes Kepler “The Universe is a machine” Francis Bacon “For you have but to follow and as it were hound nature in her wanderings...Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering and penetrating into these holes and corners, when the inquisition of truth is his whole object” Thomas Hobbes “Nature is dead, stupid matter” René Descartes “We can be the masters and possessors of nature”
  21. 21. Is “Progress” Ecologically Sustainable? Progress # Technology# Individuality/Isolation# Capitalism# Competition# Movement away from nature# Sustainability# Cooperation# Reciprocity# Nurturance# Interconnectedness with each other and with nature “Progress” as typically defined in the first world nations is the opposite of “sustainability”
  22. 22. A Diversity Without Sustainability Diversity studies cannot be truly sustainable without ecological identities as an integral part of the discourse.# Currently, diversity studies favor Western, industrial culture as an endpoint for social justice. Students of color who have more access and success within the current structures of schools are used as a point for social justice.# Our schools are cultural vehicles forming all children to become docile workers in a capitalistic, consumeristic structure that ultimately creates a global monoculture that is unsustainable.
  23. 23. A Present- & Future-Minded Educational Vision for SEPS
  24. 24. Teach Today 
 for a Better 2057 Our current group of traditionally-aged students in 2014 will likely retire by 2057 Even though students may come back to us during their graduate years, we need to think about our undergraduate students with their whole careers in mind providing a dynamic foundational framework of thinking that can be used for 43 years. Furthermore…By the time Dr. Love retires circa 2044-2057(unless he wins the Powerball or Mega Millions earlier!), his traditionally-aged students then will be likely to retire between 2087-2100
  25. 25. A New Sustainable and Cultural Relationship with Nature The latest UN Report on the Climate (by the IPCC) released this week said: Fossil fuels need to be phased out completely world-wide by 2100 Renewable energies growth needs to increase from its current 30% to 80% by 2050 Another report by ecologists released this week said: Currently, 29% of salt-water edible fish have declined by 90% representing a total collapse in fisheries A total extinction predicted by 2048
  26. 26. Resist Myopic Thinking It is imperative to prepare our teachers to have broadly encompassing visions with dynamic philosophical and pedagogical approaches I know that doesn’t roll off the tongue with ease, but there it is…
  27. 27. Sustainability Framework Sustainability # Environmental# Social# Economic
  28. 28. Sustainability - Environmental The Earth has the ability on global and local scales to replenish itself within a human generation (25 years)
 - Science, Social Studies, English, Math,TE Evolving mindset of humans as interwoven parts of nature and the Earth
 - Social Studies, Science, English, Art, Music, Counseling, Social Work
  29. 29. Sustainability - Social Working towards peace (non-violent conflict resolution) 
 - Social Studies, Health, English, Art, Music, PE, Counseling, Social Work Solidarity - Affirmation - Critique of Power 
 - Social Studies, English, Social Work, Health & Wellness
 - Health, PE, English, Social Studies, Nursing, Counseling, Social Work
  30. 30. Sustainability - Economy Strong local economies and responsible global commerce
 - Social Studies, English, Art Reintegration of the cultural commons
 - Social Studies, English, Art, Science, Counseling, Social Work, Nursing
  31. 31. A Vision
  32. 32. A Visionary Mission for the 
 School of Education and Professional Studies The CCSU School of Education and Professional Studies aims to create human service professionals (nurses, counselors, social workers, administrators, and educators) who are sustainability-oriented in their careers.These professionals will have a lifelong interest in developing sustainability literacy, mindsets, and consciousness. SEPS alumni will be integral in the inevitably challenging ecological, societal, and economic transitions that are needed to create more sustainable societies of wellness, compassion, ecological balance, and a sustainability-oriented educational system and economy.
  33. 33. References Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. NewYork, NY, Ballantine Books. ! Bowers, C.A. (2006). Revitalizing the commons: Cultural and educational sites of resistance and affirmation. NewYork: Lexington Books. ! Doppelt, B. (2010).The power of sustainable thinking: How to create a positive future for the climate, the planet, your organization, and your life. NewYork, NY, Routledge. ! Feagin, J. R. (2001). Racist America: Roots, current realities and future reparations. NewYork,Taylor & Francis, Inc. Hardt, M. and A. Negri (2000). Empire. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Loewen, J.W. (1996). Lies my teacher told me: Everything your American history textbook got wrong. NewYork, NY, Touchstone. Martusewicz, R., Edmundson, J. and, Lupinacci, J. (2011). Ecojustice education:Toward diverse, democratic, and sustainable communities. NewYork, NY, Routledge. Merchant, C. (1980).The death of nature. San Francisco, CA, Harper & Row. ! Nieto, S. (1994). "Affirmation, solidarity, and critique: Moving beyond tolerance in multicultural education." Multicultural Education. ! Plotkin, B. (2003). Soulcraft: Crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche. Novato, CA, New World Library. Zinn, H. (2003).A people's history of the United States NewYork, HarperCollins.