The Commons presents this series, in collaboration with campus partners and visiting scholars, to invite dialogue across disciplines, that references the broader conversations we face at a societal level. These events broach topics of intersectional identity, community, and the sociopolitical implications of events. While they address themes that are at times difficult to discuss, they encourage conversations worth having. Through this series we endeavor to frame these topics so that conversation is productive despite the difficulty and potential for disagreement.
We recognize that the only way to understand different perspectives is to hear them, and to keep asking questions. Please feel encouraged to contribute to the discussion, and recognize that many of these topics are particularly sensitive.
Partners in programming include: the KU Libraries, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, the KU Honors Program, the Office of First-Year Experience, the KU Law School, Peace & Conflict Studies, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, the Hall Center for the Humanities, the Spencer Museum of Art, the Department of English, the Department of Design, and the School of Architecture & Design.
Climate change is often discussed in scientific terms, but the work of responding to the urgency of climate change requires many voices. The realms of social, creative, activist, spiritual, food production, and many others, play critical roles in the larger conversation. As well, we know that climate change disproportionately affects certain populations. We present this series to showcase the works of leaders included in All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson. This series brings thought leaders from diverse professions and callings into conversation with KU students and the community.
Leah Penniman (Li*/Ya/She/He), Co-Director and Farm Manager at Soul Fire Farm, has over 20 years of experience as a soil steward and food sovereignty activist, having worked at the Food Project, Farm School, Many Hands Organic Farm, Youth Grow and with farmers internationally in Ghana, Haiti, and Mexico. Li co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2010 with the mission to reclaim our inherent right to belong to the earth and have agency in the food system as Black and Brown people. Her areas of leadership at Soul Fire include farmer training, international solidarity, perennials, writing, speaking, “making it rain,” and anything that involves heavy lifting, sweat, and soil. Li’s book “Farming While Black” is a love song for the earth and her peoples.
Penniman will give a presentation, after which li will be in conversation with Douglas County Grower and Food Policy Activist Cody Haynes.
Presented by: The Commons; the Environmental Studies Program; the Indigenous Studies Program; and the KU Departments of African and African-American Studies, English, Geography and Atmospheric Science, and Geology; the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity; the KU Sawyer Seminar; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative; the University Honors Program; and the Global Awareness Program.