Feminism & Civilization with Dr. Bonnie Morris

Earth Day Feminism with Professor Bonnie Morris - Women’s Role in Sustaining CivilizationWomen’s Role in Sustaining Civilization with Professor Bonnie Morris.

Carolyn Gage interviewed Bonnie Morris for our Feminism and Sustainability Telesummit where Bonnie shared her experiences as a Women’s Studies Professor: international students and events, the next generation of students, and women’s longevity.

“The sustainability success story is that Feminists have succeeded in making it mainstream to take Women’s Studies because it’s offered in thousands of  schools and in forty or more countries around the world.”  Dr. Bonnie Morris

Case Studies shared in our interview with Bonnie Morris:

– The education of women and girls as a tool for empowering entire communities.
– Mainstreaming women’s history as heritage everyone should know.
– How learning about their foremothers empowers young women and teaches men to respect women.

In our interview with Bonnie Morris she shared stories about Gerda Lerner, Islandic Vagina Monologues, Kay Gardner, Ubaka Hill, MichFest, the Women’s Music Movement, Fidel Castro, Chris Williamson’s lullaby at the Temple of Diana, the Golden Age of Lesbianism, and the “Treasure Hunts” of the past to recover women’s history.

Earth Day Feminism with Bonnie Morris

At the Temple of Diana in Kusadasi as guest lecturer for Olivia Cruises in 2007.

Bonnie Morris is a Professor, Award Winning Author, Poet and Performer. She is the author of eleven books, including “Revenge of the Women’s Studies Professor,” and “Eden Built by Eves,” and “Women’s History for Beginners.”

Bonnie was the first graduate to complete American University’s then, new minor in Women’s Studies. After earning her PhD, she taught one of the first-ever graduate seminars on Jewish women’s history at Harvard.

Feminism and Sustainability TelesummitProfessor Morris joined the women’s studies faculty at George Washington University in 1994, and at Georgetown in 1996. She teaches Women and Western Civilization, Gender and Athletics, Women and War, and Introduction to Women’s Studies.

We invite you to listen to Carolyn Gage’s interview with Bonnie Morris here,

Sign up to hear all the interviews here.  

And learn more about Carolyn Gage Here. 

Pilgrimage to MichFest for Self & the World

 

Monarch Caterpillar on our bush this summerIn one week, I begin my yearly pilgrimage to MichFest, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. This Festival is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. Ten years ago, I joined in this journey ‘home.’

If you can imagine a place on this earth built and created by women electricians, carpenters, cooks, and healers, a village that takes shape in the woods of Michigan over a period of three months, and is then inhabited by thousands of tired women weary of the past year’s struggles and accomplishments, joining together to be renewed spiritually, emotionally and physically. This is our MichFest: Thousands of women and not one piece of litter! 

Monarch Cocoon this summerBy night, we cocoon in our tents among the trees and ferns and wild mushrooms, listening to the final remnants of evening concerts performed by generations of the most talented women musicians, singers, songwriters, dancers, and sign language interpreters on the planet!

In the morning, we wander through the woods, waking up to sisters walking every path on the 600 acre space-out-of-time, making coffee at our campsites or standing in line with other women, still wearing our handwoven warm beanies and jackets while we wait for coffee, tea, gluten free — and not gluten free — donuts and pastries thoughtfully brought in from town by early bird sisters of good heart.

TransformingAn hour  or two later, the cooks who are both staff and volunteers, have our breakfast prepared. Again we line up with sisters from around the world, every size, color, age and  energy level, serving up our washable plates with good nourishing vegetarian food. All food and entertainment provided with the price of our ticket. Three times a day we complete this ritual! And at dinner, out by the “Watermelon Tree,” is a long table that has been set up by Amazons and loaded with cool slices of locally grown watermelon with seeds.

I am one of a hundred or so craftswomen who bring our wares to share and sell. At the start of each day, I head to my booth inside one of the huge craft area circus tents to get ready for women who come to shop before and after their activities of the day. Then, when my booth partners arrive for their work shifts, I walk the winding foot-hewn pathways through the ferns with thousands of other women to workshops, the subjects of which never play in my home town.

Rebirthing monarch butterflyThe offerings and activities are so numerous, and so diverse, that the paths are never crowded. No cars are allowed into the village center, so women young and old, able bodied and differently abled, are free to walk and cross the unpaved roadways freely, visiting and exploring as our spirits guide us. Every child is safe because she/he has thousands of Aunties looking after their safety. Mothers are free too because they know that they and their children are safe from all harm. This freedom is what enables transformation — the turning to liquid and releasing all that has gone before — so we can know where we are going, and who we truly are.

Birthing our SelfLike the butterfly, we transform our spirit and our spirituality, our bodies and our generations. This millennia old experience of women gathering is held sacred by those of us who come, and by those of us who know we come, not just for ourselves, but for the world to continue to exist in a good way.

We learn from each other here, and we reconnect and recommit to our Self, our World, and our Truths. At the end of each Festival, the woman-owned 600 acres returns completely back to Mother Nature. We leave her as we found her: Ferns and forest, and the wildlife who have been watching us from a distance. Wise women gathering, communing with Nature and each other, for the benefit of all. MichFest is a “Menstrual Mind Revival” space. There is talk of this being the Festival’s last year. I hope it continues. We need it now more than ever, it  seems.

Transforming the worldThese lovely Monarch Butterfly photos were taken outside our kitchen window over the past couple weeks by my daughter, Denise. Nature’s reflection of our transformative spirit. I’m hoping to see some of you there, and to share photos of the wild mushrooms outside my tent when I return with plans for more Menstrual Mind Revivals.

If you are on your way to Michigan, or some other place to renew your spirit, check out our green and healthy Camping, Hiking, and Outdoor Living products made by women entrepreneurs. Bee well!

2015 UN Year of Soils

2015 UN Year of Soils. Soil, where food begins.Soil – The Nearly Forgotten Resource. The top six inches of soil are the most precious.

Without healthy soil, life on earth would be unsustainable. Soil is the foundation of agriculture, and the largest pool of organic carbon essential for mitigating and adapting to climate change.

New approaches must be adopted. As much as one-third of all soils are degraded due to:

– erosion
– compaction
– soil sealing
– salinization
– soil organic matter and nutrient depletion
– acidification
– pollution
– other processes caused by unsustainable land management practices

It takes up to 1,000 years to form one centimetre of soil. Investment in sustainable soil management is be cheaper than restoration and is needed for the achievement of food security and nutrition, climate change adaptation and mitigation and overall sustainable development.

2015 UN Year of SoilsSoil – the nearly forgotten resource:

– Soils are the foundation of agriculture. They provide vital ecosystem services and the basis for food, feed, fuel, fibre and medical products important for human well-being.

– Soils are fundamental for the appropriate storage and distribution of water.

– 1/4 of the world’s biodiversity lives underground, where, for example, the earthworm is a giant alongside tiny organisms such as bacteria and fungi.

– Organisms and plant roots act as the primary agents driving nutrient cycling and help plants by improving nutrient intake — in turn supporting above-ground biodiversity.

– Organisms boost soil’s ability to absorb carbon and mitigate desertification, so that even more carbon can be sequestered.

2015 UN Year of Soils2015 UN Year of Soils

In 2015, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has implemented more than 120 soil-related projects around the world and produced together with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Soil Map. Among the most urgent priorities is to update, standardize and render accessible the world’s knowledge of soil types and distribution. One of FAO’s priorities is to establish a global soil information system that could assist with reliable data decision-making regarding soil management.

Jane Iris Designs – 20 Years of Woman Made Women’s Jewelry

Spirit Healer Sterling Silver Pendant with choice of garnet, opal, ruby and more.

Spirit Healer

I just added more of Jane Iris Designs beautiful jewelry to the Apparel & Accessories on GreenWomanStore.com. Pendants, rings and earrings, Goddesses, Labrys, Ankhs, and Conga Drums in bronze and sterling, with garnets and opals, citrine and lapis, rubies and more. Jane Iris is one of the great designers of women’s jewelry in our time.

I remember discovering Jane Iris jewelry when I lived in Berkeley, California, in the l990’s. Hers was some of the first dramatic, spiritual and woman-identified jewelry that mirrored my growing interest in ancient and sustainable cultures, environmentalism and spirituality. Her women’s jewelry makes tangible the strength, truth and integrity of women’s culture anciently and today.

When I sell Jane Iris jewelry at the Michigan Women’s Festival, women tell me, “I have that piece, and that one too.  And I gave that piece to a dear friend.”  I love that we women share our sacred possessions, and that we keep supporting the craftswomen who inspired us when they, and we, were much younger.

Today, I am delighted to have added some of my favorite pieces, and hopefully some of your favorites too!  Surely, we will be adding more in the future.  I created a video sharing some of the new beautiful woman made Jane Iris Designs women’s jewelry pieces: Spirit Healer, Sardinian Goddess, Ankh, Labrys, Conga Drums, Truth Ring, and many more.  Enjoy!

Drift by Rachel Maddow

Rachel MaddowToday, I had the pleasure of adding another timely and important book to GreenWomanStore: Rachel Maddow’s book Drift, The Unmooring of American Military Power.  Here’s an excerpt:

“National security is a real imperative for our country—for any country. But the connection between that imperative and what we do about it has gone as frowsy as my hometown’s little pumpstation in high August. Our national security policy isn’t much related to its stated justifications anymore. To whatever extent we do argue and debate what defense and intelligence policy ought to be, that debate—our political process—doesn’t actually determine what we do. We’re not directing that policy anymore;it just follows its own course. Which means we’ve effectively lostcontrol of a big part of who we are as a country. And we’ve bro-ken faith with some of the best advice the founders ever gave us.”

Rachel Maddow“The Rachel Maddow Show” debuted in September 2008 and was the most successful show launch in MSNBC history. Rachel was named one of the “Top Ten Political Newcomers of 2008” by Politico.com. She has been nominated by the Television Critics Association for “Outstanding Achievement in News and Information,” and The Rachel Maddow Show received a GLAAD award in 2010.  Maddow was honored by the Interfaith Alliance with the 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom award and her MSNBC documentary “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” won a Gracie award in 2011. 

You can buy her book here, and read Rachel’s full bio while you’re there!