The team of Reconnect Earth has put together a list of suggested readings for folks to continue their own personal quest for knowledge around social justice, the environment, activism, conservation work and many related intersectional topics. As always, we are constantly learning, reflecting and working on personal practice; leave a comment below and let us know what you find helpful or other resources we can help steer folks towards!
Suggested Summer Reading List (Books):
(Please note, we have included links to these books available at Indigenous owned, Black owned businesses where possible – if you can support your local BIPOC owned businesses first and foremost, or your local library, please do so)
- So You Want to Talk About Race By Ijeoma Oluo
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry by Camille T. Dungy
- What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha
- White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward
- The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
- Survival Math by Mitchell S. Jackson
- Tulalip, from My Heart: An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community by Harriette Shelton Dover
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Paddling with Spirits by Irene Skyriver
- As Long as the Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, From Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
- Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn
- The Unlikely Thru-Hiker by Derrick Lugo
- Wild by Nature by Sarah Marquis
- The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors by James Edward Mills
- The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World by Alison Hawthrne Deming
- Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney
- Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy
- On Trails by Robert Moor
- Horizon by Barry Lopez
- Last Chance To See by Douglas Adams
- Little Black Book by Marlow Baines
- Youth to Power by Jamie Margolin
- The Lifelong Activist by Hillary Rettig
- @alisonmdesir – Endurance athlete, mental health coach & advocate, community builder, activist and mother.
- @she_colorsnature – Diversity in the outdoors. Motherhood + Mountain life. Speaker. Writer.
- @teresabaker11 – Working to increase diversity and inclusion in the outdoor industry.
- @courtneyahndesign — email about sharing graphics for social media content
With the safety of our participants, staff, and the communities in which we operate in mind, Reconnect Earth has been carefully monitoring developments around COVID-19 in Washington State. Based on the recommendations of state and local authorities and health experts, we have concluded that unfortunately it is not safe to run our summer backpacking trips in 2020. While COVID-19 means we cannot run in-person programming for the time being, we are currently engaged in discussions about what a virtual programming option for the summer might look like. Stay tuned for more information soon!
This past weekend was Reconnect Earth’s Student Activism Training Summit at Bay View State Park, two days of discussing important environmental and social justice issues, developing activism skills, and getting to know a truly beautiful part of the Salish Sea region. On Saturday morning eight of us carpooled from Bellingham to the State Park, which sits on the edge of Padilla Bay. Soon after arrival we gathered on the beach to orient ourselves to our place in the landscape. We discussed the unique ecology of Padilla Bay–which has estuary characteristics from when the mouth of the Skagit River flowed into before the course of the river was altered by human activity. And we educated ourselves about the history of nearby Indigenous peoples now living on the Swinomish Reservation, and who have inhabited this landscape since time immemorial.
Later on Saturday, in one of the cabins where we’d be spending the night we delved into one of the most important activist components of the trip: learning best practices for public outreach, communications, and event planning as they relate to putting on strong activist events. Whether planning a rally or educational event, we explored how to communicate with the public in ways that maximize of having a successful, well-attended event. On Sunday we followed this up with a discussion on how to influence elected officials or other decision-making officials through events that demonstrate public support while playing to your campaign’s strengths. During the course of our time together we also worked to identify ways of combating White supremacy and other forms of oppression in outdoor spaces, and participated in an activity that reminded us of the roots of our motivation as activists.
One of the highlights of the trip was on Sunday when we went for a hike along the edge of Padilla Bay itself. This part of Washington sits on a major bird migration route, where thousands of waterfowl who nest in Alaska or Canada wait out the winter before returning to those northern regions for breeding season. We spotted snow geese, swans, buffleheads, and two species of mergansers. Along with these waterfowl sightings came glimpses of raptors like northern harriers and majestic bald eagles.
Sunday in the late afternoon we headed back to Bellingham, ready to take action for a more just, sustainable Earth. Be on the lookout for other Reconnect Earth trips and activism opportunities coming up later this winter and spring!