Here’s an excerpt from our outreach emails“As you know Puerto Rico has not fully recovered from all the natural disasters- Hurricanes Irma & Maria and now daily earthquakes. The Center for International Social Work at UConn and UConn students ask for your support. We have a campaign called “Vieques Sweet Relief” to raise some funds. Many of us know the historical and political importance of Vieques, the little sister island, in Puerto Rico. According to McCaffrey, a Vieques scholar, Viques is “true crossroads of human history, Vieques has been a stepping stone for ancient peoples traveling from South America to Mesoamerica, and European conquerors in the Western Hemisphere. It has been home to pirates and cane workers, enslaved Africans and Taino chieftains.” The Center for International Social Work at UConn and UConn student body stand in solitary with Vieques to preserve and protect the archives and historic legacy of the island. During the natural disasters, the Archivo Histórico de Vieques Historical Archive (AHV) – an independent entity housed in the Fortín Conde de Mirasol – has had serious structural damage. Currently, it houses fragile records from the island’s 19th-century founding, oral history interviews photographs from military maneuvers in the 1940s and 1950s, and many hours of VHS tape that provide a remarkable primary source record of the protest movement from 1999-2003. All of these records are extremely vulnerable and efforts are underway to digitize the Archive. Please help us in this “Vieques Sweet Relief” to contribute to this restorative function. With your help, the Fortin can purchase the equipment necessary to systematically digitize the collection over the coming months, starting with the analog videotape collection. Your contribution will help keep the legacy of this small island alive! Please stand in solidarity with The Center for International Social Work at UConn and our UConn student body and Vieques!” (Medina, 2020)
Donations can be made as follows:
· Check- Make check out to : Incubadora Microemoresa Bieke, INC
Note on the check (VHA). This refers to (Vieques Historical Archive)
When social work is integrated into the policy making is a process we must understand that the outcome of policy will always have negative consequences. The process of Social Justice starts with ourselves,
“through a self-reflective process that examines the contradictions between our espoused values and our lived experience. We must believe that all people, both from dominant and targeted groups, have a critical role in dismantling oppression and generating a vision for a socially just future. For if only people from oppressed groups take on this responsibility, there is little hope that we will ever achieve our vision (Spencer, 2014).
Weitzer (2015) raises a tone, which seems similar to that of Michelle Alexanders, The New Jim Crow (2010). The importance of writer’s, both academic and not, taking the time to not only deepen their scope but develop an agenda that is indicative of a proclamation is beautiful to me. The importance of the writer’s taking the time to not only deepen their scope but develop an agenda that is indicative of a proclamation is beautiful to me. When academics can guide the audience through Facts (statistical analysis) and at the same time frame, the concept which might bring pause to some in an eloquent way has always moved me.
What I write above has sat with me for some time. I reflect that this may be why I find, such as deep interest in anything that intersects with the environment. Because the environment is such a hard topic to research in the traditional way, it moves researchers to conceptualize it in a new way. There is and always will be an art of research.
The analysis of healing or health is conceptual because the science of health is built on the theory of health. There is a flexibility to all that is presented as a widely accepted fact.
The definition of the environment is not concrete because it varies as each person or animal requires an individualized ecological system to feel conceptually pleased. I point out that there are aspects of the relationship between optimal homeostasis within a given environment across a specific population, but consciousness leads to optimal homeostasis to vary.
Push the timeline of science further, and you arrive at a few studies which genuinely sought to analyze the effects of the environment on health. Post-op. Patients healed more quickly with windows than without. Children excel in spaces where they can be curious through nature as allostatic loads reduce as natural elements increase. Walks in nature, lower blood pressure, and collateral. These are all quantifiable measures by current scientific methods. A great example if the reduction of the allostatic load upon children with ASD Diagnosis; sensory overload is not optimal in any environment. Much of us feel similar, too much stimulus, and we need to retreat but retreat to what? If you’re lucky, you can flee and find yourself with access to quiet spaces, natural lighting, and maybe even some greenery. Environmental Justice comes into play when those who retreat are met with an environment that is at the same level of sensory stimuli or poses more factors of allostatic load. For example, you head home to relax, and there is no greenery on your walk home, in a city, you will have buses, trains, airports, neighbors nearby, close proximity to car engines, things like crossways and pedestrian ways built close to residential windows. And we must not forget to mention that one may not even have a home; thus, your allostatic load is constantly going unless you are “homeless” in the deep woods, yet, the deep woods to not pose practicality, which is why we see cities with higher rates for homelessness).
The ecological model used by social work and its focus on vulnerable population provides a useful and holistic vehicle for understanding and responding to this social phenomenon” (Chapter 30, P. 204) I find it helpful to reflect this aspect of the practice of social work as I go on to investigate and reflect upon the scope of a particular social phenomenon; the hunt for sustainability.
Sustainability may not be the methodological approach to solving modern environmental issues. – Stay Tuned for the Followup Post
Envitalyfe One World, Our Time : Our mission is to connect the world to advocate for the protection of the environment through creative methods that benefit humankind – A unique experience for you to explore. Envitalyfe has added such value to my life, and I love having the opportunity to share my passions and thoughts with my loyal readers. Read on, and enjoy.
“The vision is quite simple, to connect the audience to engage in the environmental discussion whether it be within environmental racism, justice, or other issues through creative vehicles that benefit the world. To inspire and empower storytellers, artists, and advocates to creatively express their concern for environmental issues.”
This is a topic I have written about but never formally spoken on. I am excited and ask you to join us as I engage with Keith Quinata’s the CEO of Envitalyfe. Check his website HERE
To me this opportunity displays the power in the internet as a tool for collaboration. Keith and I met over instagram which proves to me that there is an importance in my choice to take to the web! I never thought my social media presence would transform both my personal and professional self in the way it has. I am endlessly optimistic about taking on a role where I can begin to answer the questions that so many Social Workers have asked me; how do I bring aspects of environmental justice to my practice?
I have always thought in terms of the larger picture. The natural way the Social Work(er) mind conceptually shapes of the world; throught understanding the layers and intersections of social systems, power dynamics, and interpersonal processes. More recently I have thought stratigally about how to bring answers. Step one has been to create “Environmental Social Work LLC” it would have been great to create a non forprofit but that idea was far fetched as a singualr person. What isnt far fatched is the ability to create one with the help of you all.
Myself and Keith realized that our mission and values vocalized played a key role in our ability to seek support from one another. I urge your to reach out if you happen to feel the same.
Environmental Justice can not be effectively combated by a singular person. It’s going to take collaboration of varying professions.
Never have I ever ☝️👉 not found silence to be the most resourceful tool when met with disorder. Silence is an action & a weapon when not used appropriately as it likely causes an influx of unbalanced power dynamics. “The increase of disorder or entropy with time is one example of what is called an arrow of time, something that distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time” (Stephen Hawking) • • • Silence is #selfcare
silence is #introspection
silence is #tactful
silence is #mindful
• At times some will go silent but they are not invisible • each of us has a way of coping & that wayward style is intrinsically comorbid with time & place (#natural & #built) • • Scale silence to many bodies and it’s heard loudly • now scale it down & somehow I find that society has juxtaposed varying stereotypes or archetypal #preconceptions on the scaled down version. Why didn’t you speak up? Why didn’t you reach out? Why didn’t you….? #silence now becomes a result of an unmet #expectation
Gabrielle Conrad-Amlicke written at Lesley University | Intro to philosophy: James Haag
Imagine if philosophy was concrete. Imagine if, the majority of people agreed with a certain philosopher, on his or her views, and these views became rules. Philosophy is formed from ideas, ideas attuned to defending all possibilities. Possibilities are events that are not determined as fact. But, they have potential or had the potential of happening or not. If certain philosophies were in fact, facts, every aspect of life would change. If Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle were true, we could predict future states. Whereas, if Immanuel Kant’s interpretation of beauty were true, beauty would be ruled by those most intelligent. For the sake of this paper, imagine a world where both of these philosophies were true. We see that the very nature of society as we know it would be predetermined.
To start off, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle works against determinism. If it were imagined true, humans could predict future events based on subatomic particles. Subatomic particles in our world are not caused or predictable. Therefore, in this world or time, they would be predicted, as well as, interpreted. However,if subatomic particles were predicted, humans would redefine freedom and individual choice. The position and motion of particles would be known and the determination of their future position and motion would be predicted. These predictions would give us the future states of particles. In other words, humans would be able to tell the future. Time would be stopped for short moments and evidence from particle position would give light to expected outcomes. By the Uncertainty Principle being determined as false, because we now have knowledge of future motion and position, this revokes a free will. People would no longer have choices. “Choices” given to us by our internal mind would be more of illusions than fact. People may believe they have choices, but we (this world) would be able to give concrete evidence to the fact that their subatomic particles were in control. Conclusions can be made that if there were Principles that determined facts of subatomic particles human actions would be determined and no events would be left to free will.
To illustrate another interpretation of concrete philosophy, we can imagine Immanuel Kant’s interpretation of beauty true. The world’s beauty would now be determined by those who were most intelligent. If beauty were based on basic principles of knowledge, those who were “not smart” would have no say on “good art.” Things like test would determine true intelligence because society could not bank on anything else. People would not be intelligent because they excelled in one specific area. For example, dancers or musicians may only be intelligent and proficient in that one area of knowledge. Rulers of beauty would become those with, overall, higher intelligence. Immanuel Kant who rejected David Hume, believed that inherent structures of the mind give us the basic principles of knowledge. So, societies would agree that those who are inherently smarter than others will always be. These inherent rulers of beauty would be able to determine “good art” solely justified by their personal choice. Those that are less intelligent would have no justification in refuting their taste because they, themself, are inherently less intelligent. Yet, Immanuel Kant’s inherent structures of intelligence would bring about new issues. These capable rulers would have to share aesthetic responses. It seems it would be difficult to have concise personal aesthetic responses. Even so, Determining Intelligent would be forced to determine “good art” for the rest of the world. Those who are not intelligent would lose freedom of interpretation. The only beautiful things that would be known to them, would be those chosen for them. These people would lose personal preference because all arts would be good. Even if these people had preferences, these preferences essentially wouldn’t matter because they were choosing between two “good” artworks. This declaration of art and beauty would create false realities for the majority of the world. To further elaborate, there is no room for interpretation or disagreement if these philosophies are true. The stability of freedom and beauty would rely on facts. In one case, the facts would be scientific and in the other fact would be intelligent. Even though art will be subjective for the intelligent a common ruling of good art would be made. I can only purpose that these philosophies as fact, would produce a better utopia. Perhaps a utopian society derives from common law. In order for utopia, society must work collectively. If every human in the world believed these philosophies, and those philosophies of others, it would leave no room for dispute. Unless, of course, those deciding on a specific piece of art, to be deemed beautiful, were selected by their subatomic particles. Of course by someone else in charge.
There is a need to address Trash. We make more then our county knows what to do with. It piles high. Trash is collected and hidden away from plain view, and yet, it piles high. In our water, in our bodies, in our ecosystems. I’d say that my way of helping to minimize my carbon footprint and environmental impacts upon vulnerable populations has come in the form of upcycling with a purpose. My goal is to spread awareness of Environmental Justice with the critical factor here being to serve vulnerable populations who are currently and will continue to face the harsh reality of nature’s forces as it succumbs to our consumerism. View the MMXX Collection
Upcycling is a process in which used or waste products and materials are repaired, reused, repurposed, refurbished, upgraded and remanufactured in a creative way to add value to the compositional elements. It has been part of human life throughout history, and the past few years have seen its revival, driven by multiple factors including growing concern for the environment and resource scarcity. Upcycling increases quality and lifetimes of materials and products, reduces wastes, creates employment opportunities, and encourages sustainable consumer behaviour. Despite such benefits and increasing interest, upcycling is largely considered as a niche practice.
It started with a conversation about unneeded packaging and turned into an enjoyable long term process for myself. To make these products, I had to seek donations. Often, that which I received came with a friendly “this was sitting in a closet.” With so much, we can feel like we have so little. I didn’t realize how much material I had laying around waiting to become that which I display as the MMXX Collection. My process was a shift to my mental state.
Each time I went to throw something away or anyone went to throw something away, I would think about how I could turn it into something else. Something useful and beautiful. I would say the MMXX Collection is my way of presenting how to be adaptive when presented with scientific information. Current research tells us that people are suffering and will continue to suffer. Yet, as social workers or members of this planet, I suggest that we can find unique and personal ways to engage with the realities of environmental dis-justice. Not everyone is going to start crafting upcycled materials, but you might be a consumer of them… Why by new from a large corporation when you can buy one person trash that is now handcrafted with intention. Meaning-making is the process of cultivating an identity. I am glad to share this meaning-making process and journey with you.
I did not learn the flaws of the criminal-justice system in law school or college or by reading about it. I grew up knowing the flaws and how it was disproportionately impacting the black community. It’s not academic for me.
This quote continues to resonate with me as I answer the questions as to what brought me to environmental justice. The wealth of #deepnature or Deep Ecology … an ecological and environmental philosophy promoting the inherent worth of all humans- later this within modern society and it came to be; my values and ethics simply didn’t understand how our modern society built in such a way that takes nature from who it inherently belongs to be forever interconnected with… “Deep ecology argues that the natural world is a subtle balance of complex inter-relationships in which the existence of organisms is dependent on the existence of others within ecosystems…Human interference with or destruction of the natural world poses a threat therefore not only to humans but to all organisms constituting the natural order” (Deep Ecology definition)
The relationship between health and nature is a hard topic to research. There are a vast amount of variables that limit the rigor of studies on the subject. Have faith, there is some evidence. The way I see social workers engaging with this at a macro level is questioning why more funding is not going into this topic. The theory is there. Yet, Economic value or incentive to the answer question of deep ecology is not. Economic value is rooted in cultural values. When we don’t value the specific population, we also don’t appreciate what it is they lack. The house on the ocean, in the mountains, within profound secluded nature, is costly. That cost is the outcome of the way we value those spaces… even if we can’t quantify why.
Thought provoking! Would you say a person has a higher chance of having a positive feedback loop with his/her/their environment…
Thank You!. Will DO!
Thank You!!!! It seriously means so much to know people are enjoying my thoughts within this space. Nice to meet…