This event is over but you can find video documentation here!
Water Justice Lab in North Troy, NY hosts “confluence” virtual gatherings with youth environmental justice advocates throughout communities in the Hudson River Watershed.
The opening evening features a land acknowledgement of the Stockbridge Munsee Community by Heather Bruegl, before the premiere of the water justice documentary “Echoes from Lock One,” a participatory youth production.
The screening is followed by followed by an open dialogue, “What is Water and Environmental Justice?,” facilitated by environmental justice mentors Heather Bruegl and youth educator Meghan Marohn, with participating youth groups, Water Justice Lab (Troy, NY), Kingston YMCA Farm Project (Kingston, NY) and Groundwork Hudson Valley (Yonkers, NY). The evening will end with a collective performance of “Stay Woke” with Jayohcee, and a special visit from hip hop artist Xiuhtezcatl!
Echoes From Lock One – Trailer from Catherine Rafferty on Vimeo.
About Echoes from Lock One
North Troy teens spent five weeks with Media Sanctuary creating a multimedia documentary on water justice and the legacy of the Erie Canal in one of NY’s most economically challenged and environmentally devastated neighborhoods.
Environmental Justice Mentor
- Heather Bruegl is the Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge Munsee Community. The mission of the Cultural Affairs Department is to protect, preserve and tell the history of the Stockbridge Munsee Band of the Mohican Indians. We do this through the archives at the Arvid E. Miller Memorial Library and Museum, protection of our ancestral lands through Historic Preservation, and revitalization of our Language. She is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, is a graduate of Madonna University in Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in U.S. History. Inspired by a trip to Wounded Knee, South Dakota, a passion for Native American History was born. She has spoken for numerous groups including the University of Michigan, College of the Menominee Nation, Shawano County Historical Society, the Kenosha Civil War Museum, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohicans, and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. She has spoken at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for Indigenous Peoples Day 2017. Heather also opened up and spoke at the Women’s March Anniversary in Lansing, Michigan in January 2018. She also spoke at the first ever Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, DC in January of 2019. Summer 2019, she spoke at the Crazy Horse Memorial and Museum in Custer, South Dakota for their Talking Circle Series. She has also become the ‘’accidental activist’’ and speaks to different groups about intergenerational racism and trauma and helps to bring awareness to our environment, the fight for clean water and other issues in the Native community. A curiosity of her own heritage lead her to Wisconsin, where she has researched the history of the Native American tribes in the area. In addition to that she also currently travels and speaks on Native American history, including policy and activism.
Hip Hop Artists
- Xiuhtezcatl! Martinez, Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) recently turned 18. He’s an indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement.
Recently named TIMES Next 100, Xiuhtezcatl has felt called to change the narrative on what it means to be an activist since an early age. Still a teenager, X has spoken multiple times a the UN, addressing the General Assembly and spoken on panels with the likes of Bernie Sanders, Van Jones, Shailene Woodley, Bill Mckibbens and Pharrell Williams.
Xiuhtezcatl has a unique talent for connecting people through popular culture and sharing the message of his indigenous roots to better serve the planet and reimagine the future for his generation.
- Jayohcee, also known as Corey Jocko is an hip hop artist, activist, and a First Nations Mohawk Warrior. Jayohcee is featured in Echoes from Lock One teaching youth how to write and perform a song through hip hop “for their multimedia documentary and performing his Standing Rock song, “Stay Woke.
PARTICIPATING YOUTH GROUPS
The Water Justice Lab fellows are taking a leadership role organizing and leading the Water Justice Confluence. This youth science mentorship program is a project of Media Sanctuary’s NATURE (North Troy Art Technology and Urban Research in Ecology) Lab Environmental Education Center and Riverkeeper. The project will establish a water quality sampling lab, educate diverse communities about water literacy and water civics (water issues and how to make a difference), develop the advocacy capacity of the North Troy area, and strengthen a network of environmental justice advocates focused on water issues in the Hudson River Watershed.
The Kingston YMCA Farm Project’s mission is to educate, nourish and connect the Kingston community with our urban farm. Our vision is to use the farm as a way to engage young people in the magical and empowering process that is food production. Children and youth are involved in all aspects of food production and farm care: seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, harvesting, and ultimately preparing and eating. We have farm stands on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, where we make our produce as accessible as possible to our community. Participants learn how to turn the vegetables they grow into healthy snacks and dishes.
We are committed to racial and economic justice and we are working to create a more equitable food system for all. As we do this, we find different ways for our youth to make change in our community. We have recently started having a Book Club this summer. Since then, we have read Stamped the Remix by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi; as well as How to be an Anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi. The crew has also done things such as sent letters to elected officials, installed a Say Their Names memorial, painted two utility boxes with antiracist messages, initiated a county-wide Sojourner Truth Day, and more.
The Kingston YMCA Summer Youth Crew wrote and created a video called Truth Talk. Truth Talk focuses on what they learned about our history and how to be an anti-racist agent of change.
Groundwork Hudson Valley creates sustainable environmental change in urban neighborhoods through community-based partnerships that promote equity, youth leadership, and economic opportunity.
The Green Team program hires local teenagers enrolled in the Yonkers Public School system for environmental jobs – for many, their first real job. The program focuses on leadership, group dynamics, and a variety of conservation and construction skills. This hard work is tempered with amazing adventures, like hiking, camping, and swimming.
MORE ABOUT WATER JUSTICE LAB
Organized and hosted by Water Justice Lab, a new project of Media Sanctuary’s NATURE (North Troy Art Technology and Urban Research in Ecology) Lab Environmental Education Center and Riverkeeper. The project will establish a water quality sampling lab, educate diverse communities about water literacy and water civics (water issues and how to make a difference), develop the advocacy capacity of the North Troy area, and strengthen a network of environmental justice advocates focused on water issues in the Hudson River Watershed.
This event is sponsored by Media Sanctuary’s NATURE Lab in collaboration with Riverkeeper. Co-sponsor: Extinction Rebellion Capital Region.