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Common Experience Project hosts author Janisse Ray Oct. 7


The Common Experience Project on Sustainability along with the Department of Geography and the Environmental Studies Program in the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs will sponsor a discussion with author Janisse Ray at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 in Walter Hall 235.

There will be a discussion with the author as well as a book signing.

The goal of the multiyear effort for Ohio University's Common Experience Project on Sustainability is to create a common learning experience for students through integrated curricular and co-curricular activities. The goal is for students to acquire a deep understanding of the principle concepts and issues related to sustainability and ecological literacy.  

Janisse Ray will discuss her most recent book, "The Seed Underground, A Growing Revolution to Save Seed" during the talk. The book details the agricultural movement across the country, a renaissance of local food, farming, and place-based culinary traditions that are taking hold. And yet something small, critically important, and profoundly at risk is being overlooked in this local food resurgence: seeds. We are losing our seeds. Of the thousands of seed varieties available at the turn of the 20th century, 94 percent have been lost forever.

With a signature lyricism that once prompted a New York Times writer to proclaim her the Rachel Carson of the south, Ray (Ecology of a Cracker Childhood) brings us the inspiring stories of ordinary gardeners whose aim is to save time-honored open-pollinated varieties like Old Time Tennessee muskmelon and Long County Longhorn okra— varieties that will be lost if people don't grow, save and swap the seeds.

With a quiet urgency "The Seed Underground" reminds us that while our underlying health, food security and sovereignty may be at stake as seeds disappear, so, too, are the stories, heritage and history that passes between people as seeds are passed from hand to hand.

The Common Experience Project is also offering a free series of films at the Athena Cinema. Here is the movie schedule.

Oct. 2
We Are Not Ghosts (52 min.) Discussion to follow

The film presents a compelling vision for the transformation of contemporary American Society: building new forms of community and cooperation from below in ways that demonstrate that another world is possible.

Oct. 16
Bidder 70 (72 min.) Discussion to follow
The film highlights one of the most important contemporary examples of environmental civil disobedience. In following Tim DeChristopher's development from a student to a dedicated leader of the climate movement, this documentary not only discusses the importance of addressing climate change, but the value of civil disobedience in bringing about social change.

Oct. 30
Chasing Ice (72 min.) Discussion to follow
Acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog heads to the Arctic in order to capture images that will help to convey the effects of global warming.

For further information, contact Loraine McCosker at mccosker@ohio.edu