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The 1 Book/1 Project/2 Transform Reading and Learning Guide is here

How faculty members are integrating “We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement That Restores the Planet” into their fall courses.

By Lindsey Coulter

July 31, 2019

Cover of book We Rise The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that ResThis year’s 1 Book/1 Project/2 Transform selection, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez’s “We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement That Restores the Planet,” is a powerful, inspiring read. Including themes such as climate change, activism, culture and creativity, the book is a fantastic complement to many courses and concentrations.

Faculty members can easily integrate the book into their fall classes via the Reading and Learning Guide, developed by Associate Professors of Chicana/o Studies Chalane Lechuga, Ph.D., and Adriana Nieto, Ph.D., and student Siet Wright. The guide includes chapter summaries, themes and activities related to identity, environmental racism, empathy, food production and much more – ensuring broad academic appeal and application.

The Reading and Learning Guide has become a valuable tool for many faculty members, including Kathryn Young, Ph.D., associate professor, Secondary Education.

“I always read the (guide) to get a sense of the questions and themes that can be pulled out and used in conjunction with my other course materials,” Young said. “As the course I use the book for is service-learning-designated, I try to partner with the community organizations found in the guide.”

Ann Obermann, Ph.D., assistant professor, Social Work, uses the guide as a tool and resource. This semester, her Philosophy of Social Work students can use “We Rise” as the topic of their final ethics papers, while her intro-level students will use it as a platform for discussing the professional intersections of social work, human rights and environmental justice.

“In social work, we talk a lot about being a ‘change agent’ at an individual level and at the community, school, regional, national and international levels,” Obermann said. “Many students have powerful life stories, convictions and skills but struggle to see themselves as a change agent – or don’t know the first steps to take to make change. Reading ‘We Rise’ can help them identify with a young, passionate change-maker that explains the small and big steps.”

Obermann hopes the book will inspire her students, who get credit for attending the author visit. She said this experience enhances in-class discussions and that students consistently reference it as the highlight of their semester.

The book and guide also address many of the issues that Sara Jackson Shumate, Ph.D., lecturer, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, discusses with her Geography and Sustainability students, including migration, ethnicity, political geography, agriculture and industry.

“Throughout commodity-chain processes from resource extraction to production to consumption to waste, there are many ways to create more just systems that reduce harm to environment and people,” Jackson Shumate noted. “The book raises political awareness about the impacts of these processes and provides a variety of solutions to get students thinking about the behaviors we’re all going to have to change to have more sustainable futures. The message of hope is strong.”

Martinez, also a hip-hop artist, will visit campus for an author talk Oct. 16 and a concert Oct. 17. Visit the 1 Book/1 Project/2 Transform website to get your copy of “We Rise” and to learn more.

Topics: Community, Events

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