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Children's Kinship with Nature in Action
January 16, 2023
I was not meant to be here telling my story, but the universe conspired, along with my courageous ancestors, to make it happen through their bravery and love of life.
-Olga Lacayo, in Stories of Resistance

Last week, when we shared Ijumaa Jordan’s tips about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we quoted Dr. King:

“But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends.”

In Dr. King’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, Director Rukia Monique Rogers has taken these words to heart. Opening her latest Exchange magazine article, “Growing Our Sense of Place and Kinship with the Land.” Rogers writes: “Over the past few months, our Highlander School community in Atlanta has been in a place of evolution, rethinking our relationship with the natural world and the land upon which we live. We find ourselves asking, ‘Who am I, who are we in relationship to this earth?’ This current thinking and our ongoing work, is fueled by our careful attention to children’s connection with this earth, and is further propelled by the urgent call to help defend the Weelaunee forest, also known as South River forest in Atlanta.”

Rogers shares the children’s kinship with the forest, and the adults’ efforts to support them, and notes, “It is powerful to witness and feel the children’s passion and sense of agency to act on behalf of their community, and in solidarity with other children, families, activists, the Indigenous people, and educators. Children embody such sensitivity to this earth and a belief in the right of trees to exist, to hugs, to love, to happiness, to the sun, to water, to a lovie, to medicine, and the good stuff! Our adult world has a good deal to learn from children about the expansiveness of empathy.”

Join Rogers, a member of the ROW Initiative, in an intimate, live conversation about this and more in our next Engaging Exchange, on January 31st, 2023.


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Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Kirsten Haugen · January 18, 2023
Eugene, OR, United States

Joanne, the children in your care are fortunate indeed.

Joanne Paige · January 16, 2023
Beginning Pathways CDC
Long Beach, CA, United States

Yes, children come into the world with a connection to the earth. Children are happiest when they engage with the planet.???? Community is what children know, and they embrace it as their right to exist.

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