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Home > Calendar > 2013 > April > Week 2 > Tuesday > Voices Plenary Speaker, Peter Forbes, Center for Whole Communities

Voices Plenary Speaker: Peter Forbes, Center for Whole Communities

When: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Ackley Auditorium

Peter Forbes is a life-long student and advocate for the relationship between people and the land wherever he has encountered it from remote Nepal to the American Rocky West to Central Harlem, New York.

Peter is a social entrepreneur. He co-founder of Center for Whole Communities, a nationally recognized leadership development organization that focuses on strengthening the capacities of, and building bridges between, the worlds of social and environmental justice. As result of Peter’s efforts, more than 2,000 citizen and career leaders from 50 states have been trained in a unique learning process inspired directly by the Martin Luther King’s inspiration for “beloved communities” where different leaders come together to solve increasingly complex problems. At a time when social justice and environmental leaders are often seperated from one another, Peter has created the place, the opportunity, the curriculum to bridge those divides.

Peter is nationally recognized for voicing and advancing a new land movement integrating a community’s relationship to land, social justice, and healthy landscapes. In the 1990’s, Peter was among the first to bring together and create dialogue between rural, lower-income, blue collar logging community and the urban, white collar wilderness advocacy community in the northeast. In 2004, Peter was hired by the Kellogg Foundation to convene, for the first time ever, farm and restaurant workers and labor rights activists with policy experts and food security advocates. In 2007, Peter worked with environmental advocates in the Chesapeake Bay to create greater understanding and relationship between policy experts and the crabbing community. In 2009, Peter conceived of and launched a new program, 2042 Today, that calls upon the conservation community to recognize the emerging population of color in our country and to train groups of young conservationist in their twenties, both whites and people of color, how best to be in relationship and to do the work of conservation together. In 2010, Peter was brought to Flint Michigan, a majority people of color city, to develop a unique program using story and personal narrative to help former General Motors assembly line workers to imagine and create a new city. Peter is now beginning new work to foster more understanding and healing from within our nation’s public lands toward the indigenous people who were removed from those lands. Peter is also an artist of imagery, written word, and carved wood. His photography and essays have appeared in many books and he has given hundreds of keynote addresses around the country. He is the editor of Our Land, Ourselves: Readings on People and Place and he is the author of The Great Remembering: further thoughts on land, soul and society (TPL/Chelsea Green, 2001). His essays have also appeared in Coming to Land in a Troubled World (Center for Land and People/Chelsea Green) His photographs of homesteader and social activist, Bill Coperthwaite, are published in A Handmade Life, which won first prize in 2003 from the Independent Bookseller's Association for most inspiring story.

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