Evening Programs Events
Gathering begins on Sunday with our All-Gathering Worship & Welcome for attendees of all ages, led by the 2018 Gathering Clerks & Gathering Committee.
As part of the opening, we'll be led in a water ceremony by Panoka Walker. Panoka is of mixed French and Anishinabe decent from the Deer Clan. Panoka strongly identifies with her Indian roots as a traditional storyteller, song carrier, hand drum maker and traditional craftswoman. Encouraged by her elders after years of apprenticeship inside the sacred circle of life, Panoka is a facilitator of women’s ceremonies. She also leads workshops and presentations for adults and youth. Panoka is affiliated with the Mother Earth Water Walkers, who bring awareness to the Water, the Lifeblood of the Earth.
Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.
This year on Tuesday, instead of Interest Groups, we have the special gift of hearing from three Quakers who will be sharing their journeys and understandings of Quaker truths: Oskar Pierre Castro, Paula Palmer, and Andrew Tomlinson.
Nationally acclaimed and award winning storyteller La’Ron Williams shares stories that are educational, musical, and highly participatory. Drawing inspiration from the lessons of struggle, perseverance, and survival of Africans in the Western Hemisphere, Williams’ tales are noted for their ability to offer hope, and to provide alternatives to despair. He always sings, he always plays some kind of music, and he always has a good time. We believe you will, too.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is president of Repairers of the Breach, national co-chair of the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign, and leads an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations best known as “Moral Monday,” a multi-racial, multi-faith movement fighting for voting rights, public education, universal healthcare, environmental protection, and the rights of women, labor, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community.
Baldemar Velásquez, born and raised as a migrant farm worker from South Texas, founded the Farm Labor Organizing Committee which has been instrumental in changing the working conditions for farm workers. He holds a BA in sociology, advanced degrees in practical theology and was ordained as a chaplain to farmworkers by Rapha Ministries.