We are located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, a small part of what was Lenni-Lenape territory for over 10,000 years. We understand that the Lenape were friendly and accommodating — until the settlers gradually, and often violently, forced them out. We acknowledge the injustice and mistreatment indigenous people faced (and still face) as a result of colonialism. We recognize … [Read more...] about Recognizing the Original Inhabitants of This Area
Focus on Pages
The "Focus On" section provides in-depth information and opinion on many facets of sustainability. (Although these topics may appear quite distinct and separate, it’s important to remember that they are interconnected and interdependent in multiple ways — in general, the 4 basic principles of ecology apply to all complex systems.)
When you select a Focus On… topic, the system will select all the articles and posts in that category with the most recent pages at the top, just under a brief introduction to the topic. (Many articles appear in multiple categories.)
Background & detail information is organized into the main categories listed in the left sidebar.
Education & Schools
Learning is a natural process that happens in every imaginable setting. Schools are designed, in theory, to promote and enhance learning. Some schools use highly-structured curriculum, while others use a more experiential, democratic, & student-driven approach. In practice, many schools also function to stifle criticism and to instill the values of state policy, religious dogma, or other value systems.
- teach-climate.net for information on how to integrate global warming & climate change into your school!
- resources for better schools & learning
Other school-related topics: Militarism in schools
Clare Meehan As a third grader, I remember re-creating the first Thanksgiving, making teepee and wigwam structures. It was fun and lighthearted. We even had a special day for us to excitedly share our creations with our parents. In sixth grade, I participated in ‘Latin American Day’, where the whole grade dedicated a day to holding a market. Students brought in … [Read more...] about Unlearning What We’re Taught in School
Kermit O A question I’ve always disliked when meeting people in professional or even casual spaces is: “What do you do?” Because where should I start? Like all of us, I wear many hats: I’m a graduate student, an orchard intern, an aspiring community educator, a writer, a life partner, a brother, son, and uncle, among other things. But the subtext of that question, of course, … [Read more...] about Education for Sustainability
(All of these poems and drawings are by students in Jennie Gilrain's fourth-grade class at Freemansburg Elementary School.) Swift Poemby Christian N Like a Tornado’s Swirling Almost like a Hurricane’s Curling Together Forming a Shoe Around they Flew Into a Chimney, Pouring Swifts in the Sky, Soaring Forming a WindyTornadoAn Eruption of Swifts … [Read more...] about Poems & drawings about the Swifts
As a senior in college, I have been reflecting on my education throughout the years. In elementary, middle, and high school. I find myself angry at our country. Our schools have failed us by teaching that Martin Luther King Jr. solved racism, and Christopher Columbus was a hero who discovered America. The current political climate has divided our country into those who think … [Read more...] about What They Never Taught Us
We can look at a broad range of factors that prevent us from building sustainability in todays' modern culture. We can spend a great deal of time discussing and implementing policies that might mitigate those factors to bring us closer to the goal. And this is as it should be. But not everyone is on board and not everyone sees a … [Read more...] about Early Childhood Development
What do we mean by community-based & restorative justice? Community and restorative justice is a way in which we look at problem solving. According to the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), restorative practice is defined by “the study of how to build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision making” … [Read more...] about Community & Restorative Justice – Summer 2020
1939–2019 We bid fond farewell to Martin Boksenbaum, co-founder of the Alliance who was deeply involved in preparing each of the previous 16 issues of this Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet. It’s hard to think of the Alliance—and especially this publication—without Martin. He was integral to nearly every aspect of it from its inception. Martin died last summer, but we’re … [Read more...] about Martin William Boksenbaum
Elizabeth Oram My father was a tenured professor at a large southern university. His income provided a secure, middle class life for our family of four in the 1960s. But my father was not brilliant or ambitious and I am certain that were he a PhD job seeker in today's academic "marketplace," our family would have known neither security nor abundance. He would have been among … [Read more...] about What professors and Fast Food Workers Have In Common
Over a year ago, the Brookings Report on Pennsylvania, “Back to Prosperity, A Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania”, was published. It reported many serious challenges now facing our state: We are losing our young people – the “brain drain”Pennsylvania is barely growing in populationEven with no real growth in population, construction continues at an alarming pace. … [Read more...] about Renewing Pennsylvania