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CO-SPONSORED SESSION: African Diaspora Religions Unit, Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit, Religion and Ecology Unit, and Space, Place, and Religion Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

Sustaining Environmental Change-I
This panel asks: in the face of disaster, firestorms, floods, turbulent weather systems, and globalized systems of environmental racism, how do we make sense of climate change, survival of ourselves and the planet, and environmental justice concerning African/Diaspora cosmology and cultural and spiritual beliefs and ceremonial practices? Environmental Activist Wangari Maathai in her 2004 Nobel Prize Acceptance Lecture in Oslo states: “Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking so that humanity stops threatening its life support system… We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wombs and, in the process, heal our own. Indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty, and wonder.” The Yoruba concept of Àṣẹ champions the power of rocks, trees, wind, thunder, waterfalls, and lightning as things, as cipher or orixá constitute the indigenous ecologies that support our lives and culture. Currently, the earth is in an apparent radical transition, resisting and responding to human impact in a myriad of tumultuous ways. Maathai points to Yoruba indigenous culture’s cosmological care for the ecology, which, like many indigenous communities, was disrupted through development projects and colonial encounters. Yet, it is clear that, if we do not collectively alter our ways of being by supporting the futurity of ecology and sustainability in the continuation of human and planetary existence, we will evidence greater loss of life, our planetary home, and culture.



Steering Committee Members

Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members