April Poverty Forum – Sustainbility

Sustainability April 2016


Sustainability for All Species: Insights for Communal Approaches to Poverty

April 20, 2016, 5:30 – 7:15 PM ~ Carbondale Public Library

Taking its lead from proximity to Earth Day, the upcoming meeting of the Community Forum on Poverty will focus on two questions:  Why should we insure the sustainability of all species?  What communal actions can be taken to insure their sustainability in our community?

The program will begin with screening of a Native American perspective in The Teachings of the Grass, by Robin Kimmerer, a plant biologist of Potawatomi ancestry. This will be followed by short presentations and panel discussion by several of SIU’s engaged scholars, who study sustainability from broad perspectives.

NOTE: We will be posting informative resources that can be accessed in advance of this meeting, or after, to learn more about the perspectives shared by our presenters via the Imagining Geographies website: http://www.imagining.siu.edu.


  1. Screening of Mishkos Kenomagwen: The Teachings of the Grass. 2015 Bioneer presentation by Robin Kimmerer, SUNY Native American plant biologist.

Indigenous peoples worldwide honor plants, not only as our sustainers, but as our oldest teachers who share teachings of generosity, creativity, sustainability and joy. By their living examples, plants spur our imaginations of how we might live. By braiding indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) with modern tools of botanical science, Robin Kimmerer, professor of Environmental Science and Forestry, of Potawatomi ancestry, explores the question: “If plants are our teachers, what are their lessons, and how might we become better students”?

  1. Opening statements by presenter-panelists regarding session’s main questions: Why should we insure the sustainability of all species?  What communal actions can be taken to insure their sustainability in our community?
  • Professor Karen Renzaglia (Plant Biology).
  • Geory Kurtzhals, SIU Sustainability Coordinator.
  • Associate Professor Sarah Lewison (Radio, Television & Digital Media).
  • Brent Ritzel, solar project developer & co-director Fuller Future Festival (SIU alum)
  • Associate Professor Jonathan Gray (Communication Studies).

3. Panel Discussion

4. Comments, Q & A with audience members and fellow panelists



The Community Forum Series – Challenges of Poverty is a project of the Sparrow Coalition in conjunction with Carbondale Public Library and the Imagining Community project of SIU’s Imagining Geographies.  All sessions are recorded and posted on both the Sparrow Coalition & Imagining Geographies websites/YouTube channels.

Contact:    Peter Lemish, Facilitator, Imagining Geographies     peterlemish@siu.edu     (618) 534-3989.

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