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A Tradition of Kinship

The Earth Kinship Conference was a series of two- to three-day gatherings held in the Northeast Florida Region between 1988 and 2005. Its intention and design was to understand the roots and evolution of human attitudes which affect the earth’s ecosystems within human and nonhuman societies.

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Conference attendees explored the dynamics between the arts, sciences, human psychology, ecology, social forces, and spiritual experiences; and how they influenced cultural inventions and ultimately, ethics and values. The Earth Kinship Discussion Group continues this exploration through informal regular gatherings. Reviewing the past titles and conference themes reveals the scope of this exploration and suggests possible further topics for study.

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” — Aldo Leopold

Earth Kinship Conference Timeline

1988 Workshop — Florida Coastal Topics for Creative Writers:  A Dialog between Coastal Scientists, Poets, Humorists, Song Writers, Novel & Short Story Writers, Story Tellers, Playwrights, Essayists, Journalists and Teachers.  Is there a need for scientists and artists to work toward a fundamental change in human attitudes and culture?

1990 Stewardship 1990:  Environmental Issues, Ethics and Religion in the 1990's.  Is there a place for the Clergy in shaping environmental attitudes and ethics?

1993 Earth Stewardship 1993:  Finding Appropriate Roles.  Are we mere consumers of natural resources, or is our role to understand & manage our behavior in a manner for maintaining (sustaining) the integrity of the biosphere (the creation) as stewards?

1994 A 15 Generation Approach to Living Lightly on the Planet.  A discussion of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy’s 7th Generation Principle (which nearly became an article in the US Constitution); namely that all political decisions MUST consider its impact on seven generations into the future.

1995 Earth Stewardship 1995:  Neighborhoods as a Natural Resource.  Searching for real “community” in our neighborhoods.

1996 Earth Stewardship 1996:  Healthy Neighborhoods for a Healthy Earth.  “The community – a place and all its creatures – is the smallest unit of health.” — Wendell Berry

1997 Earth Kinship 1997:  Re-Connecting with the Natural World.  An exploration of the newly emerging field of ECOPSYCHOLOGY.  Does human sanity end at the city limits?

1998 Earth Kinship 1997:  Sustainable Economics – Earth as the Bottom Line.  Fulfilling our wants at the expense of those human or otherwise who cannot fulfill their needs.

1998 Environmental Youth Conference – Princess Place Preserve.  Stimulating a dialog between the youth and those in politics at the local level, about adult abuse of land development and its consequences.)

1999 10th Annual Earth Kinship Conference 1999:  Educating for a Future – Learning to be Human in a More-Than-Human World.  Searching Indigenous and other cultures for experiential educational models for learning beyond public educational capabilities.

2000 Earth Kinship Conference 2000:  Coming Home – Discovering Our Sense of Place.  Learning and living in your bioregion.  Evolving a new Cosmology to continue “The Great Work” as defined by Thomas Berry.

2001 12th Annual Earth Kinship Conference:  A River Runs Through Us – Connecting with Our Bioregion.

2002 13th Annual Earth Kinship Conference:  What is Your Ecological Foot Print? Visioning Our Future.  Personal actions making a difference.

2003 14th Annual Earth Kinship Conference:  A Gathering – Learning to Live Wisely.  Using story, song, poetry, science and celebration to foster positive action for Earth healing.

2004 15th Annual Earth Kinship Conference:  Earth, Sea and Spirit – Lighting & Nurturing the Fire Within.  Understanding the role of the religious community and “Eco-Theology” as a significant force of cultural change in our communities.

2005 16th Annual Earth Kinship Festival: The Frontier Within.  Nothing in our outer world will change for the better, until we change our inner worldview.  What we have in our outer-world today is a reflection and/or our inner-darkness.  Are we acting as adults or adolescents with regard towards Earth’s living systems?

Knowledge + Emotion = Attitude

Image by Eilis Garvey
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