Steve Chase Moves On, Abi Abrash Walton Joins In

Below is an announcement about Abi Abrash Walton being hired to replace Steve Chase, the founding director of Antioch University New England’s environmental studies masters program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability for the last thirteen years. Steve has recently accepted the job of Director of Education at Pendle Hill, a Quaker-run adult education center near Philadelphia that focuses on Quakerism, interfaith concerns, contemplative spirituality, and faith-based activism for peace, social justice, and sustainability. He is thrilled that Abi will be taking over directing the AUNE advocacy concentration and believes the concentration is in the best hands possible. To learn more about Abi’s background and qualifications, please read the position announcement below from the acting Chair of the Department of Environmental Studies.

Dear Environmental Studies & Antioch University New England Community

On behalf of the Environmental Studies faculty and staff it gives me great pleasure to welcome Abi Abrash Walton to our team. Effective immediately, Abi will serve as the Director of the Advocacy for Social Justice & Sustainability concentration.

We are excited to have Abi serving our students as an academic and concentration advisor, instructor, coach, networker, and team player.  She brings a powerful background as an advocate and change leader to these roles. (Please see below for an impressive summary of Abi’s extraordinary contributions to our department and our campus as well as her U.S.-based and international work.)

Under Abi’s leadership, Environmental Studies’ students will have an opportunity to get involved, as graduate assistants, with Antioch’s 2016 East Coast Climate Preparedness conference in Baltimore, as well as partnership initiatives with the City of Keene. Abi is also excited about strengthening the advocacy and leadership skills of all Environmental Studies students, understanding that effective advocacy and leadership skills are core to environmental solutions. 

Abi welcomes conversations with students interested in applying for Antioch’s U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus Fellow to serve with the Caucus in DC every summer. The fellowship is a powerful career launch pad for fellows. The Environmental Studies faculty and staff are grateful to our VPAA, Melinda Treadwell and President, Steve Jones for their generous support in preserving and revitalizing the critical role that advocacy plays not only across all of our department’s concentrations, but across all AUNE’s programs.

Please join us in welcoming Abi in her new role as Teaching Faculty in the Environmental Studies Department.

Best,
Jimmy Karlan
Acting Chair
Department of Environmental Studies

P.S. Please read about Abi’s extraordinary accomplishments:

Abi Abrash Walton

AbrashwaltonAbigailAbi joined the Antioch learning community in 2003, serving as faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies, where she founded and directed the department’s award-winning Advocacy Clinic, which has served as the model for the Department’s Collaborative Service Initiative capstone course.

In her role as AUNE’s Assistant to the President for Sustainability and Social Justice, Abi has chaired a series of multi-stakeholder processes that have led to the development and ongoing implementation of AUNE’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force Report, 2010-20 Climate Action Plan, and 2006 Social Justice Audit.  Under her leadership, AUNE has achieved significant progress in the arenas of environmental and social performance, including reduction of its electricity usage by a cumulative 68% over seven fiscal years.  As founding director of Antioch’s Center for Academic Innovation, Abi has worked with innovators to leverage CAI investments of $50,000 into more than $350,000 of new revenue, while advancing our mission, providing new opportunities for our students, and building external strategic partnerships.

Abi served on the Program Committee for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2012 and 2011 Conferences and represented AUNE on the NH Statewide Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board. She has worked with others at AUNE and elsewhere to launch the Conservation Psychology Institute and Translating Research to Inform Policy initiative, and to form AUNE’s new Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. She created and manages AUNE’s U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus Fellowship Program, now in its 9th year. 

Abi’s publications include “Conservation through Different Lenses: Reflection, Responsibility and the Politics of Participation in Conservation Advocacy” in the journal Environmental Management, “The Victims of Indonesia’s Pursuit of Progress,” an invited New York Times opinion piece, “The Amungme, Kamoro and Freeport: How Indigenous Papuans Have Resisted the World’s Largest Gold and Copper Mine” in Lechner and Boli’s The Globalization Reader, and “Let Freedom Ring: Recharging and Consolidating ‘Inside the Beltway’ Activism” in Feminist Approaches to Social Movements, Community, and Power.  Based on her research and analysis, she has served as a commentator for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, National Public Radio, “Democracy Now!” and “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” among other media outlets.

Abi has been a panelist for the Environmental Grantmakers Association, Grantmakers Without Borders, Harvard University Trade Union Program, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, the Asia Society, and the Fund for Peace Business & Human Rights Roundtable, and has given talks at Harvard Law School, Trinity College, Goddard College and The American University.

Previously, Abi served as program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program.  She has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress, and the Massachusetts and New Hampshire legislatures, organized and served as spokesperson for a major coalition campaign, and led an international team in conducting the first independent human rights assessment of the world’s largest gold and copper mining operation. She has served as an election observer in Indonesia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, and served on the White House-initiated Apparel Industry Partnership, which led to the creation of the Fair Labor Association.

Abi chairs the City of Keene’s Planning Board and served on the Steering Committee for the City’s Master Plan. She also was appointed by NH’s Senate President to serve on the NH State Commission Studying the Feasibility of Public Funding of Elections.

Abi is ABD in Antioch University’s Leadership and Change PhD program. Her dissertation research focuses on facilitating pro-environmental behavior. She holds a M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.

Learn more about Abi’s leadership, research and advocacy: http://www.antiochne.edu/employeedirectory/abigail-abrash/

 

Climate Education Opportunity From 350.org

Join In

Friends,

The People’s Climate March has a movie.

Here’s the brand-new trailer for Disruption, which we’re hoping will help galvanize a new wave of climate activists and leaders this fall:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.350.org/images/disruption_trailer_screen.jpg

Click here to watch the trailer.

Disruption weaves together political intrigue, mind-blowing science, and an insider’s view of the largest climate mobilization in history. It features some folks you might find familiar (like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein), and brings some fresh faces and exciting new stories to the fore.

Movies are one of the most powerful forms of communication, and we hope this one will be a powerful tool. On Sunday, September 7th, people everywhere are going to be hosting screenings and watch-parties of Disruption to help build energy and excitement for the big march on September 21st. Will you join in?

Yes, I can host a screening in my community.

I can’t host a screening, but I’ll donate to support the effort.

Hosting a screening is easy: all you need is a way to show a streaming video from the internet (like a YouTube video) to your audience. Our crew will be on hand to support you every step of the way — all you need to do is register your event, spread the word a bit, and block out a few hours. Some people will gather in living rooms, some in libraries, some on campuses — and some people will even book out their local movie theaters. And the timing couldn’t be better: with just a few weeks left before the People’s Climate March in New York, this movie could help us really go big.

Thank you for all your help.

Onward,

Anna for the team at 350.org

P.S. If you have any questions, just send a message to “disruption@350.org.”

Antioch’s Progressive Caucus Fellow Reports on Her DC Experience This Summer

In 2007, AUNE’s Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability concentration launched a first-of-its-kind fellowship in cooperation with the 80-plus member US Congressional Progressive Caucus. Antioch University New England’s Fellowship allows at least one Advocacy student or alum to work in Washington, DC, for the Caucus and its members every summer. As the Fellowship entered its fifth year, CPC co-chair and Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, said, “We are pleased to see this partnership continue. Antioch University New England’s Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability program Fellow will help caucus members address a wide variety of urgent public policy challenges, from the local to the international levels.” AUNE is the only academic institution in the country to host this type of learning and professional development opportunity with the CPC.

The 2014 Fellowship Recipient

Lola Bobrowski – 2014 Lola BobrowskiLola Bobrowski’s passion for resource protection and advocacy brought her to AUNE’s Environmental Studies master’s program in 2012. Her capacity for organizing has blossomed, and her interests have grown to include food resiliency and environmental law. Recently, she participated in a service learning project with New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, focused on raising awareness of economic justice and equal pay issues in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire.

Bobrowski grew up in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2010. There, she raised campus awareness about water and energy conservation issues as an active member and elected president of the AmeriCorps/NJPIRG campus organizations Water Watch and Energy Corps. She also distinguished herself and proved her outreach skills in a one-year term of service in the New Jersey AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador program, organizing community events, conducting stream assessments, and teaching more than fifty K-12 water conservation lessons in local schools.

Read the full news article about Lola.

Read Lola Bobrowski’s journal entries.

Lawrence Lessig on Restoring Democracy in the US

The final talk of the 2014 Amos Fortune Forum will take place at the Jaffrey Center Meetinghouse on August 22 and feature Lawrence Lessig on “Achieving Equal Citizenship: The Struggle to Restore Our Republic.” Lessig will explore how we, the citizens of the United States, have lost touch with our framers’ values, and how that has destroyed the promise of a “Republic.” He will outline a pathway of reform and citizen activism that can turn the tide and restore self-government of, by, and for the people. Admission to all the forums are free but donations are always welcome. For more information, visit http://www.amosfortune.com.

Achieving Equal Citizenship: The Struggle To Restore Our Republic

Most Americans feel disenfranchised from their democracy — and they’re right. In this talk, Professor Lessig outlines precisely how we have lost touch with our framers’ values, and how that has destroyed the promise of a “Republic.” Professor Lessig explains how recent efforts, including the “New Hampshire Rebellion” and MayOne, the “SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs”, are mobilizing citizens to form a movement capable of restoring the Republic that the framers intended.

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and founder of Rootstrikers, a network of activists leading the fight against government corruption. He has authored numerous books, including Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Free Culture, and Remix.

Lessig serves on the Boards of Creative Commons, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and on the Advisory Boards of the Sunlight Foundation, the Better Future Project, and Democracy Café. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries.

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale. As Professor at Stanford Law School, Lessig founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Popular Economics Education Training of Trainers

United for a Fair Economy is once again partnering with the Highlander Center in New Market, TN to present our Popular Economics Education Training of Trainers Institute. We will explore the causes and consequences of economic inequality, connect the dots among our struggles, and provide participants with popular education tools for informing their communities, inspiring political action, and building a powerful social movement for economic and social justice. Read More…

Democracy Matters’ Campus Leadership Program Opportunity

Paid Political internship – Organize Antioch Students for Campaign Finance Reform – Apply now! Starts with fall semester.

Democracy Matters is accepting applications for paid internships through our Campus Internship Program. We are a non-partisan organization of students and professors working on campuses across the country to educate people about the role of private money in politics, and its impact on democracy. We call for alternatives that can reform and revitalize our political process thereby deepening democracy in the United States. Specifically, we organize around issues of campaign finance reform, full and partial funding of elections, and election reform.

We differ from other political groups on campus in that we are not linked to a political party and we do not concern ourselves with specific election campaigns. Instead, we are concerned with the process of campaigns – especially fundraising – and issues specifically related to political accountability and democracy.

Campus Leaders are expected to work a minimum of 10 hours/week.

Responsibilities:

  • Build coalitions of student activists on your campus.
  • Create a Democracy Matters chapter that can work with students, faculty and community activists to get private money out of politics and people back in.
  • Organize at least four campaigns/events per semester.

    Opportunities:

  • Receive training and guidance from a Democracy Matter staff link who will work with you each week to develop your skills as an organizer.
  • Attend the annual Democracy Matters student summit where you will meet with hundreds of other students from across the country and attend workshops to build your skills and issue awareness.
  • Receive Democracy Matters materials – banner, flyers, DVD, t-shirt, stickers, and pins – to spread across your campus.

    Compensation:

  • $500 per semester if needed
  • Additional financial support for campaign/event expenses
  • Service learning course credit (depends on college/university)

    Applicants should have a commitment to social change and some organizing experience. No expertise in campaign finance reform is required.

    Apply today! Email your resume, at least three academic or professional references and cover letter to DemocracyPartnersRecruiting@gmail.com

    Please see our website, DemocracyMatters.org for additional information.

NH Permaculture Gathering

You’re invited to a NH Permaculture Gathering

D Acres of NH will be hosting a gathering for permaculture practitioners, supporters,
and the general public. This event is intended for all, families included.

Networking, skill-sharing, tours, and workshops for every level from curious beginner to experienced permaculturist will be offered.

Permaculture is a design methodology that utilizes a set of ethics and principles to create living systems for a more sustainable future. The basic tenets of “Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share” guide the philosophy into on-the-ground practice. Permaculture in NH is gaining momentum as planners, homesteaders, builders, and community organizers are learning the design principles and putting them into practice. This gathering will feature the many hands-on skills, knowledge, and expertise that are actively present in our state.

When
SATURDAY
AUGUST 23, 2014
The event will take place rain or shine from 9a.m. – 6p.m.

Where
D Acres of NH
Permaculture Farm & Educational Homestead
218 Streeter Woods Road
Dorchester, NH 023266

Register Today!

Volunteer opportunities are available.
Please contact D Acres directly to inquire:
info@dacres.org, 603-786-2366