Earth Rising Program

Earth Rising is a project aimed to provide environmental justice education to underserved communities including groups with limited English proficiency. As an Earth Rising fellow, members participate in an educational curriculum emphasizing the ways in which the environment intersects with social justice and everyday life. Moreover, Earth Rising aims to support the next generation of community leaders of color and improve their self-efficacy for environmental change. The program creates space for fellows to explore strategic partnerships with community partners while establishing a strong foundation of allyship and understanding solidarity’s role in advancing environmental justice work.

Four Core Principles

  1. Environmental Literacy
    Introduces climate change, the relationship between the environment and community issues, and fieldwork opportunities partnered with community stakeholders.
  2. History, Identity, and Environment
    Explores the history of environmental racism and promotes learning through fieldwork experiences
  3. Development of Values and Community Assets
    Builds empowerment and self-efficacy among fellows by utilizing knowledge and learning from fieldwork
  4. Build an Action Plan
    Trains fellows to collectively develop a tangible Community Curriculum that will be shared with municipalities and partners in the Southern U.S. coastline

Sinews in the Cypress

Sinews in the Cypress is Earth Rising’s new interactive speaker series featuring local experts who explore environmental issues in our community as we create a more intimate atmosphere to foster open and conversational dialogue.

The name Sinews in the Cypress speaks to the deep ties that Louisianans have to their environment and more specifically the wetlands. The Bald Cypress is the state tree of Louisiana, a staple of the most prevalent ecosystem in the state and is one of the most ubiquitous and broadcasted species found throughout the state. In the environmental world it is ambassador for the wetlands and Louisiana. The Bald Cypress is also extremely resilient, much like the population of Louisiana, and is resistant to decay, often called the wood eternal. The term sinew has two connected yet different meanings. First, it is used to describe a piece of tough fibrous tissue uniting tissue to bone as well as bone to bone. The other definition for a sinew is the part of a structure or system that gives it strength and binds it together. The term sinew gives a humanistic vision to the project as well as a show of strength and resilience that the people as well as the Louisiana environment display. Lastly, when the bald cypress grows in the swamps it develops a unique texture that is often described as sinewy, resembling tendons in person.

The series is intended to engage our community and we want to hear what topics you want to explore next. Complete our short Sinews in the Cypress survey to let us know!

Past Events

July 28, 2021 at 4:30 CST

Topic: Lincoln Beach: Past, Present, and Future

Guest speaker: Sage Michael Pellet, Sageville

Recording: Available Soon

May 11, 2021 at 4:30 CST

Topic: Intersectionality Meets Coastal Restoration

Guest speakers: Cyndhia Ramatchandirane, MS, Earthjustice and Jacqueline Thanh, MSW, VAYLA New Orleans

Recording: Watch Now

April 7, 2021

Topic: From Sustainability to Green Infrastructure

Guest speaker: Khai Nguyen, VEGGI Farmers Cooperative and MQVN Community Development Corporation

Recording: Watch Now

March 2, 2021

Topic: Environmental Racism in New Orleans East

Guest speaker: Monique Harden, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

Recording: Watch Now

Pardon the Jargon

Pardon the Jargon is Earth Rising’s weekly segment that breaks down environmental vocabulary terms in both English and Vietnamese. Through this series, our goal is to make terms often used in discussions about environmental education and climate justice more accessible to our community. Click the following images to learn more!

For Program Updates

Please reach us at contacts@vayla-no.org and follow us on social media.

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