Join us on February 1st for this year’s Collective Learning & Action Session! We’ll work together to learn about and dismantle the systems of oppression and division that have impacted the environmental movement and our community. Together we will take action against the systems that have led to the funding and centering of mostly white-led organizations, and work towards environmental justice.

Click the button below to join community members and organizations located throughout Wisconsin in building a multicultural and multiracial environmental community. The 2023 session started on February 1st, but there is still an opportunity for community members and organizations to join in.

How It Works

On February 1st, we’ll begin this year’s Collective Learning and Action Session to work towards dismantling racism and systems of oppression in our community. Together, we’ll take action against racism, work towards environmental justice, and build a multicultural environmental community.

Community members of all races and identities are welcome to join us. We invite folks to commit to action in their personal and professional lives, as it is not enough to learn about racism and systems of oppression. We must take action against it.

1. Participate in Collective Learning

Community members who are interested in exploring racism and systems of oppression are invited to work together through one of two books: Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad or Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. You’ll gain an understanding of how systems of oppression came to be in the United States, how they are impacting our lives today, and what role we can take in effectively dismantling them.

Throughout the spring, you’ll have the opportunity to gather as a community, connect with others committed to environmental justice, and apply what we’ve been learning. On the following dates, we’ll gather together virtually to identify how racism is showing up on the systemic level and what action we can take against it:

  • February 1 (Orientation)
  • March 15
  • April 19
  • June 7

2. Participate in Collective Action

Every two weeks, all community members will receive a Collective Action Alert email with suggested actions to fight racism, work towards environmental justice, and build a multicultural environmental community. Collective Action Alerts allow us to act in unison and target our collective power to respond to the needs of the community.

Ways To Participate

As a community member, there are three different ways you can join in. Read through the options below and then decide which one works best for you. (NOTE: Book Circles have already been matched, but you can still work through the book independently or join in collective action.)

1. Work Through the Book with a Book Circle

We’ll organize you into a group of 5-8 people based on your availability and your book selection. You commit to working through the book and meeting virtually with your circle once a week using The Circle Way. All members help lead the circle and support one another in this collective learning and action.

2. Work Through the Book Independently

You commit to working through the book on your own. Join our virtual group gatherings listed above to connect with the community and contribute to our collective learning and action.

3. Collective Action Only

You commit to joining in collective action to dismantle racism and systems of oppression in our community. This option is for you if you will not be reading Me & White Supremacy or Caste. Join our virtual group gatherings listed above to connect with the community and contribute to our collective learning and action.

Become a Committed Partner

Organizations as a whole are invited to join in this work as a Committed Partner organization. Participation from Committed Partners is crucial for dismantling systems of oppression and racism that exist at the structural level of our organizations and in the environmental movement. When we change the systems and structures, we can transform the environmental movement.

The following organizations are Committed Partners in this work:

Fill out the form below to learn more about becoming a Committed Partner. We’ll be in touch to set up a time to chat more about this project, learn more about you and your organization, and answer any questions.

Questions or Comments?

Visit our Contact Page to get in touch with Mandi McAlister, Network Lead, with any questions or comments. We’d be happy to chat with you.

Please share this project with others and invite them to join in! We all have a role to play in the fight against racism, and it will take all of us to effectively dismantle it. Thank you!

Special Acknowledgements

This program is inspired by the following anti-racism educators and activists: August BallIbram X. KendiLayla F. Saad, and Leah Thomas. We encourage you to get to know them and support their work.

Thank you to Dr. Sandra Jones for her guidance throughout this project. Thank you to David Thomas of Nearby Nature for his assistance in launching this project.

Additional Information

The Collective Learning & Action Session is offered through the Building a Multicultural Environmental Community Network.

This network began after David Thomas and Mandi McAlister attended August Ball‘s anti-racism workshop series hosted by Nearby Nature Milwaukee in Fall 2020. Nearby Nature Milwaukee, Milwaukee Environmental Consortium, and Hummingbird collaborated to launch this project in March 2021.

13 organizations and over 90 community members joined in after its initial launch. It grew to 20 organizations and 130 community members in 2022. You can read more about how it came together here and its launch here.

This network is lead by Mandi McAlister and continues to be developed as a program of Milwaukee Environmental Consortium.