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Somewhere Between Lenape and Wakanda
September 25, 2020 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT
Dr. Shadiin Garcia and Dr. Claudia Ford joined our ongoing series of conversations, hosted by Delma Jackson, III, exploring the promises and challenges of justice, solidarity, and community building among Black/Indigenous populations. Together, these two brilliant and powerful women discussed where we’ve been, where we are, and where we might go. Opening with adrienne marie brown’s “Radical Gratitude Spell“, they also spoke about strategies for self-care and balance within activism and scholarship. Watch the recording here!
Shadiin Garcia is Chicana and Laguna Pueblo, and has lived in Oregon for 16 years. She has worked for over 20 years as a teacher, as a public school administrator, researcher, a policy analyst, Indigenous education leader, and as a consultant. Shadiin has a huge extended family including high school and elementary aged children, 59 first cousins, and 19 aunts and uncles.
Read more about Shadiin
Shadiin’s work centers on organizational change; culturally relevant and sustaining curriculum; diversity, equity, and belonging; educational and systemic equity; culturally appropriate research; and community driven systemic change. She served as the Deputy Director of Policy and Research at Oregon’s Chief Education Office where she helped develop a research agenda driven by culturally appropriate practices and Indigenous methodologies for improving key educational outcomes. She served as the Director of TeachOregon at the Chalkboard Project leading initiatives to diversify the educator workforce and improve teacher educator systems. With funding from Meyer Memorial Trust, she facilitates Oregon’s statewide American Indian/Alaska Native Educational Professional Learning Community. Dr. Garcia is board chair of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon.
Through her work both professionally and personally, she has cultivated a network of amazing people who navigate across multiple systems and spaces – public, private, sovereign nations/tribes, non-profit, government, P-20, higher education and more. She often collaborates within these networks of experts, thinkers, and advocates which bring multiple minds and approaches to bear on complex topics. Shadiin believies in co-constructing solutions grounded in equity and local context.
Dr. Claudia J. Ford’s career in international management, development, and women’s health spans three decades and all continents. She is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at SUNY-Potsdam in addition to teaching ethnobotany, indigenous knowledge, gender studies, international business, environmental justice, and environmental literature in classrooms and workshops around the globe.
Read more about Claudia
Dr. Ford’s course for the Biodynamic Association, “The Wisdom of Sophia: Agriculture and the Sacred Feminine,” examines practices and beliefs that brought communities and the environment to the brink of catastrophic change and how spiritual agriculture and other sacred paradigms can help us move away from that brink. She has taught at the International Herb Symposium, Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, New England Women’s Herbal Conference, and The Biodynamic Conference – Cultivating Relationships, all of which she says are, “much needed exercises in decolonization and transformation.”
Claudia serves on the boards of directors of the Soul Fire Farm Institute, committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system, and Biodynamic Association, awakening and enlivening co-creative relationships between humans and the earth. Claudia was awarded both the John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the Environmental Excellence Alumna Award at Antioch University New England (AUNE) in 2018. “I enjoy being in the classroom where I get to work alongside students investigating complex environmental and social justice issues, and then exploring how to make a difference for ourselves, our families, our communities, and in the world.”
Claudia has a BA in Biology from Columbia University, an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in Health Administration and a PhD in Environmental Studies from Antioch University. Her doctoral thesis was titled, “Weed Women, All Night Vigils, and the Secret Life of Plants.” She moved to New England after a career in international development and public health and worked with international students and study-abroad programs before joining the faculty at RISD. Claudia is also a midwife, a published author and poet, and a visual artist and she has shared decades of global work and travel with her four children.
“My background is in health, and I always want to explore the topic of the healing of trauma for individuals and communities,” Claudia says. “I consider that the humanities are at the heart of all of the topics I have the fortune to teach, as I am interested in promoting the power of stories—arts, literature, and poetics—in relationship to our greatest social justice challenges.”
The title of this session comes from Delma’s blog post, Somewhere Between Lenape and Wakanda: Reservations, Reparations, & Afro-Indigenous Futurism.