The Master’s of Arts in Education with Urban Environmental Education (UEE) at Antioch University Seattle is committed to advancing race, culture, equity, and inclusion in environmental leadership. Running Grass, Sr. Lecturer for Multicultural Environmental Education and Multicultural Leadership courses, recently presented on an international panel at Oxford University.
Running-Grass, Senior Lecturer at Antioch University Seattle’s Urban Environmental Education Program (UEE) traveled to Oxford University in May, 2019. He served on an international panel, responding to the Oxford Africa Society’s annual keynote address given by Professor Wale Adebanwi, titled “Is Africa a ’Dissimilar’ System? Provisional Reflections on Africa and Knowledge Production.” The keynote address opened the annual Oxford Africa Conference, themed “Asserting Africa’s Relevance, Locally, Continentally, Globally.”
The panelists responded to the lecture broadly on the topic of “Decolonizing Education.” The panel was moderated by Rhodes Scholar Sizwe Mkwanazi and included Sheera Kalla and Nompendulo Mkatshwa, leaders in South African student and social movements.
Running-Grass’s comments focused on the relevance and the need for the protection of indigenous peoples and their traditional epistemologies. He spoke about the movement for environmental justice, and just access to nature and ecosystem services for marginalized, urban residents, especially children and their families. Running-Grass referenced the UEE program as a pioneering example of an educational effort to ‘decolonize’ mainstream environmental education in the United States. He added that the UEE decolonizing project is at the intersection of social justice, multicultural education, and the movement for environmental justice.
The event was organized by former UEE quest lecturer, Simphiwe Laura Stewart, who is a member of the organization’s 62nd Executive Committee and currently pursuing her Doctorate at Oxford University. Simphiwe opened the panel by provided context for the discussion.