Wellbeing Series for Planetary Health: Part Three

Wellbeing Series for Planetary Health • Part Three

This event was held Oct. 6, 2020

For the third part of our series, the Center hosted an online community gathering, which featured select local, inspiring climate-focused organizations. During this event, organizational leaders highlighted the important work they are doing in Minnesota, and shared ways in which you can get involved and help change the trajectory of climate change and support planetary health.

Taking actions toward a healthier planet and community are acts of social justice. Join the Bakken Center in this grand challenge today.


Winona LaDuke

Executive Director at Honor Earth

Winona LaDukeHonor the Earth's mission is to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and Indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard. Learn more about Honor the Earth here.

Executive Director Winona LaDuke will be presenting on how to get involved with Honor the Earth.

Winona LaDuke is a rural development economist working on issues of economic, food, and energy sovereignty. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and leads several organizations including Honor the Earth, Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute, Akiing, and Winona’s Hemp. These organizations develop and model cultural-based sustainable development strategies utilizing renewable energy and sustainable food systems. She is an international thought leader in the areas of climate justice, renewable energy, and environmental justice. She is also a leader in the work of protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. She has authored six books including; Recovering the Sacred, All our Relations, Last Standing Woman, and her newest work The Winona LaDuke Chronicles.

Sam Grant

Executive Director at MN350

sam grantMN350 emerged in the midst of the climate crisis to promote planetary health, specifically by attending to our unacceptable pattern of exceeding biospheric limits, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. They focus on bringing down greenhouse gas emissions through an integral action framework that activates and supports collective agency on policy, transportation, agriculture, community resilience, economy contextualized in ecology (circular economy), stopping fossil fuel extraction (pipelines and divestment work), honoring Treaty Rights and the sovereignty of indigenous bodies (missing and murdered indigenous relatives). Learn more about MN350 here.

Executive Director Sam Grant will be presenting on how to get involved with MN350.

Sam Grant is a lifelong organizer focused on the intersections of environmental, economic and racial justice and health. The ethics he embodies match those of permaculture design: earth care, people care, future care. Working with people deeply democratically, Sam is always sensing the unfolding dream in someone's life, how activated that dream is and how through nourishing relationships we can live on higher mutual paths. At MN350 Sam is most actively involved on the BIPOC Caucus, the Food Systems Team and the Scenario Planning Team.

Kira Liu

Community Engagement Coordinator at Climate Generation

kira liuClimate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy empowers individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change with the goal of building a more equitable and resilient future for all. Climate Generation is dedicated to climate change education, youth leadership and community engagement for innovative climate change solutions. In this webinar we’ll discuss a number of ways that participants can take action including having conversations about climate change, engaging policymakers on climate justice, and fostering healing for ourselves and our communities through climate grief and storytelling work. Learn more about Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy.

Community Engagement Coordinator Kira Liu will be presenting on how to get involved with Climate Generation.

Kira Liu joined Climate Generation in the fall of 2017, and was previously working with Climate Generation’s youth programming before transitioning to her current role as Community Engagement Coordinator. Her work focuses on supporting communities to engage in climate change conversations and solutions, and supporting people to develop and share their own personal climate stories. Kira grew up in Boston, MA and graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. She is passionate about climate justice, intersectional solutions to climate change, and exploring Minnesota's many lakes and parks.

Julia Frost Nerbonne

Executive Director at Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light

julia nJulia brings her skills as an organizer and academic to build a vibrant movement for climate justice in over 400 Minnesota congregations. She has an undergraduate degree in Religion and her Ph.D. in Conservation Biology. Her research focuses on how to create powerful social movements.

She was the founding Director of MN350 and has spent over 25 years teaching ethics and sustainability studies to college students at the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs and at the University of Minnesota. When she is not working, Julia enjoys playing the fiddle and reading about history.

Catherine Jordan

Volunteer at Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light

catherine jCatherine has extensive experience in the areas of art and education administration, media production, and program design. She recently transitioned from paid work to work for love. She is one of the volunteers who developed MNIPL’s Climate Justice Household Planner tool, she chairs the University of Minnesota’s Friends of the Library Board, and she is actively registering people to vote. Catherine was the first President and CEO of AchieveMpls, dedicated to building community partnerships with the Minneapolis Public Schools and served as the project director of the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary, managing a visual, literary and performing artists residency program.

Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light (MNIPL) is an interfaith community co-creating a just and sustainable world. It works to build the interfaith climate movement in Minnesota by empowering faith communities across the state to take action that is authentic, effective, and energizing through leadership development programs and action opportunities.

MNIPL’s Climate Justice Household Program serves people committed to effective and sustained action in response to the climate crisis. This program provides resources and a map to deeply engage families, housemates, neighbors, and affinity groups in the work of climate justice and carbon footprint reduction. Learn more about Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light.

Executive Director Julia Frost Nerbonne and Volunteer Catherine Jordan will be presenting on how to get involved with Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light.

We poorly understand the ways in which multiple complex, coincident, and interacting environmental changes will alter habitability and drive population displacement, but these changes are likely to be associated with large burdens of disease and disability. Little is currently understood about how the combination of climatic disruption, natural hazards (e.g., droughts, heat waves, floods, fires, tropical storms), water scarcity, land degradation, and resulting crop and livestock failures may interact to make parts of the world that currently support large numbers of people uninhabitable. How many people are likely to be displaced? What populations are most vulnerable? And when people are displaced (many of them with very few resources) into areas where they may not be welcome, will civil strife ensue? We know that such displacement is associated with sharp increases in infectious disease outbreaks, malnutrition, and physical and mental trauma. What are the best approaches to managing increasing requirements for population movement with the least conflict and health burden? These types of questions require urgent focus.
-Planetary Health Alliance