DINK #223 Dialogues About Environmental Justice and Human Rights

Posted on : 31-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be in school and to be exposed to such interesting panel discussions like the one I attended today (counted as a “class” since our Professor was one of the panelists).  This discussion was part of the “Philosophy Dialogue Series” hosted by the Psych Dept. at Texas State University.  It was called the Interdisciplinary Panel: Environmental Justice and Human Rights with the following Professor Panelists: “Brock Brown (Geography), Marco Grimaldo (Bread for the World), Catherine Hawkins (Social Work), Vincent Lopes (Aquatic-Biology), Vincent Luizzi (Philosophy), Chad Smith (Sociology).  The cost was nada, zilch, nothing.

Unfortunately I arrived about 20 minutes late but I was able to jump in and listen to what was being talked about and although it’s always disheartening, for me, to hear that we (especially the U.S. “we”) are going to have to change the way we think and believe if we’re going to affect any change as far as our global impact, I did feel encouraged by the time I left. I felt encouraged by the students who were concerned and interested in what was being said. I felt encouraged in listening to all the professors especially Vincent Lopes who talked about the idea of Civic Ecology and then, of course, my professor, Catherine Hawkins who talked about the fact that “we” are going to have to not only think differently and act differently (to help change happen) but we’re going to have to learn how to “feel” differently about who we are in the world and what the world means to us.

I’m definitely going to check out more dialogues that the Psychology Dept. offers and I want to find out more about the areas that Dr. Lopes is studying.  A few years ago after twin hurricanes hit Belize and Mexico, David, a friend of ours and me took a scuba diving trip and somehow lucked out in meeting  some of the premier biologists of the Yucatan who were conducting some pretty amazing research and had created some pretty amazing plumbing solutions for the island of Cozumel to handle the drain from the hurricanes.  I’m just wondering if Dr. Lopes is involved in any of that.  You know how I love to make connections.  I believe that’s how my Higher Power communicates to me by presenting puzzle pieces to me of my life that I can then choose to connect for a picture or not.

I have an idea of what I want to do with all my experience and education that would involve helping others and communicating solutions and answers to many but I’m not so dense that I don’t realize that all my best laid plans could blow away to show a completely unexpected path underneath it all.  I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m encouraged by panel discussions like these and look forward to attending more in the future.  My hope is that we will all learn how to have dialogues with others and learn from many disciplines about what is working and what isn’t.  Together I think there are amazing things that we can do!

What are you doing to expand your mind and go beyond your beliefs today?

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