MCFly caught up with Judith Emmanuel (a friend of both editors) about her upcoming presentation on Tuesday night.
What’s happening on Tues 19th?
I will be leading a discussion at Ragged about Wangari Maathai – some lessons from the Global South for a Steady State Manchester’. Jules Bagnoli will be talking too, about ‘Manchester’s De-Industrial Food Revolution’. it is at the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street in Manchester 7pm to 10pm at the Castle Hotel in Manchester
- show a short film about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement’s work
- give a brief introduction to Steady State Economics and Steady State Manchester
- explore the relevance of the successes of the Green Belt Movement’s work for introducing Steady State ideas in Manchester
- consider how we can use this learning
So who was Wangari Maatthai, and why should people in Manchester be more aware of her?
Wangari Maathai, was the first environmentalist and African woman to get a Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Kenyan Green Belt Movement. The Green Belt Movement works at grassroots, national, and international levels to promote:
- environmental conservation
- build climate resilience
- empower communities, especially women and girls
- and foster democratic space and sustainable livelihoods.
They have been amazingly successful, apart from everything else they have done they have inspired the planting of 52 million trees since 1998.
Dealing with the issues of today is enormous, I think that is an important reason why people deny what is happening or feel powerless.
Wangari Maathai was born in a village in colonial Kenya. At the time she set up the Green Belt Movement Kenya was coping with IMF imposed structural readjustment, a notoriously corrupt and sexist government, 93% of tree cover in Kenya had disappeared. They have achieved a lot through their holistic and empowering approach. Their story can encourage us to feel we can succeed and moreover we an all do something.
I am really keen to share what I know about Wangari as my experience of doing this in the past has had an amazing impact in the past. for example, I showed Taking Root a lovely film about Wangari to a neighbour who is a teacher. As a result she wrote a teaching aid for the staff at her school, did an assembly at the school about Wangari and they planted a tree.
What are you hoping will happen on the night/why should people come?
My presentation will include a brief introduction to steady state ideas and a short film about Wangari and her work. I am really excited that my presentation will be complemented by Jules talking about things that are happening in Manchester.
We hope to stimulate a lively discussion and that people will leave excited and feeling able to contribute even more to creating a sustainable world. We want to hear what others are doing and what they would like to do too.
Whether they can come or not, how else can they get involved in the work you are doing?
This is a pre-event for to Celebrate WANGARI MAATHAI DAY, Sunday 3rd March. We invite you to celebrate it alongside Steady State Manchester. Other events are being organised in homes, student residences, a GP practice, involving women asylum seekers, literature lovers and many others. You can:
· Encourage conversations about Steady State Manchester
· Link up with Kaoma Environmental Resources Initiative, a grass-roots projects in Western Zambia.
· Use available teaching aids and DVDs are to help you mark the day
· Respond to the council’s consultation about the budget by 20th February and challenge their commitment to economic growth. See
www.steadystatemanchester.net for model letter and Steady State Manchester’s response .
Wednesday 6th March, 7.30pm, ‘Taking Root’ a beautiful film which tells the dramatic story of Wangari Maathai. The film will be followed by a discussion to consider what we can learn from this inspiring woman and the Green Belt Movement to develop a healthy, sustainable future within Manchester. Alexandra Practice, 365 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M16 8NG
Thursday 7th March, (please note new date) 6pm for 6.30pm – 8.30pm. Launch of Beacons: stories for our not so distant future with BEACONS editor Gregory Norminton and writers Clare Dudman and Rodge Glass. The Manchester Writing School at MMU, Manchester Literature Festival and Steady State Manchester invite you to explore how literature can connect us with the predicaments of our age. The stories are inspired by, and will be sold for the benefit of, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition @ International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY. http://www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk/preview-events/beacons
We hope to see you on Tuesday and at the events in March.