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Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 2012 Sustainability Profile: American Indian Resource Center's Green Team

Last winter, the American Indian Resource Center's Green Team began working on encouraging sustainable practices in the campus community. This fall, they put on an event to raise awareness for the environmentally conscious belief systems of indigenous peoples, and they plan on continuing to bring sustainable practices to upcoming resource center events.

Compiled from an interview with Michelle Neumann, Green Team Vice President:

"The Green Team is a student-run subdivision of the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC). Our mission is to instill green practices in AIRC events, as well as create an awareness of how indigenous people have led sustainable lives for thousands of years. For example, we held an event this fall 2011 quarter called Heal the Earth. At this event we had lectures and workshops intended to teach students how to incorporate indigenous belief systems and lifestyles into their daily lives, therefore creating a deeper understanding of traditions and acceptance of emerging knowledge.

"The Green Team started as an idea that both Carolyn Rodriguez (AIRC intern) and I [Michelle Neumann] wanted to revive through Heal the Earth 2011. The AIRC did have Heal the Earth before the Green Team was created, but we really wanted to add our own little tweaks to it by making it a student-run event and include both old and new sustainable practices or ideas. After our first project, Heal the Earth, we started to really evolve into something greater trying to play a part in AIRC events. Currently, the Green Team is working on an the AIRC's upcoming UCSC powwow scheduled for this spring quarter. The Green Team intends to handle all aspects of trash created at this event as well as raise money through selling items made out of recyclable materials."

"The goals of Heal the Earth are to target our consciousness and support our community in an effort to instill a commitment to sustainability. Relational and holistic thinking is often central to indigenous worldviews; therefore, this event aims to target individual, community, social, and environmental relationships and perspectives."-- From the Heal the Earth 2011 Proposal

The Green Team Members:
  • Carolyn Rodriguez - Green Team President
  • Michelle Neumann - Vice President
  • Madana Cast - Secretary
  • Lucio Ramirez - Treasurer, AIRC Program Coordinator and UCSC Grad student
  • Chelsea Hawkins - Green Team member
  • Blanca Farjardo - Ethnic Resource Center staff member
  • Carolyn Dunn - Fiscal Liason and Director of the AIRC
Find out more about the AIRC's Green Team on their website here.