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Intersectional Justice: Toward a Whole-Earth Community

March 25, 2016 - March 27, 2016

photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Our conference goals:

  • Look at a range of social justice issues through the lens of animal rights.
  • Identify ways in which we can better collaborate between and among movements.
  • Examine the impact of speciesism on humans, other animals, and the planet.

2016 Intersectional Justice speakers (alphabetical by last name) included Carol J. Adams, Rocio Cavazos, Lisa George, Pax Ahimsa Gethen, A. Breeze Harper, Brian Henning, Marnie Jackson, pattrice jones, Zarna Joshi, Aph Ko, Dawn Moncrief, lauren Ornelas, Brenda Sanders, Shaila Yovan Tenorio, Gerardo Tristan, and Will Tuttle. Additionally, Howard Lyman presented on the subject of animal agriculture immediately after the conference.

 March 2016 Conference Speakers:

Carol J. Adams

Carol J. Adams is an American writer, feminist, and animal rights advocate. She is the author of several books, including The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (1990) and The Pornography of Meat (2004), focusing in particular on what she argues are the links between the oppression of women and that of non-human animals. She has published around 100 articles or entries in journals, books, magazines, and encyclopedias on vegetarianism, animal rights, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. She was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2011. (wikipedia; caroljadams.com)


Lisa George

Lisa George is an antiauthoritarian activist and sociologist whose areas of specialization include the Sociology of Education, Race and Ethnicity, and Social Inequality. She writes, teaches, and speaks about foodshed issues, sports, community engagement, activism, and social change. “An often overlooked, but very powerful form of activism is our everyday interaction with neighbors.  One of the only ways to overcome the profit and consumption driven norm that’s so prevalent and destructive in our society is: to share our stories, food, fears, hopes, daily struggles and triumphs with the people around us. It’s through our day-to-day interactions that we build familiarity and transformational common understanding . . . ”


Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Pax is a queer black trans activist, blogger, and photographer. Assigned female at birth, Pax legally and medically transitioned to male in the year 2014 at the age of 43, but identifies as agender and uses gender-neutral pronouns (they/them/their). Pax writes about gender and social justice issues, with a particular focus on cissexism (oppression of transgender and nonbinary people) and speciesism (oppression of non-human animals). They photograph primarily performing arts and other events and live in San Francisco with their partner Ziggy. They both enjoy vegan cooking and music making; Pax sings and plays piano and electric bass. Pax’s blog is hosted at funcrunch.org/blog. Photo by Ziggy.

A. Breeze Harper

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a diversity strategist and analyst with Critical Diversity Solutions and the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project. She has a PhD in Social Science with emphasis on leveraging diversity challenges for social impact. She created and edited the ground-breaking anthology, Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak On Food, Identity, Health, and Society. Her most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Learn more at www.criticaldiversitysolutions.com and www.abreezeharper.com.

Brian Henning

Brian, Professor of Philosophy and Env. Studies at Gonzaga, authored Standing in Livestock’s Long Shadow. His most recent book, Riders in the Storm: Ethics in an Age of Climate Change, assesses the challenges of climate change through an interdisciplinary study, examining the basic scientific, political, economic, and moral dimensions through philosophical ethics. “If human culture continues on its present course and allows ten to one hundred species to go extinct every day, not only do we lose the beauty achieved by the individuals that perish, but, by weakening the harmony of the whole, we diminish the depth of intensity possible for every individual within that system.” Photo courtesy Boise Weekly.

pattrice jones

Pattrice, a cofounder of VINE Sanctuary,  works within an ecofeminist understanding of the interconnection of all life and the intersection of all forms of oppression. VINE  welcomes and works to facilitate alliances among animal, environmental, and social justice activists. Pattrice is an inspiring ecofeminist educator, writer, speaker, and activist, speaking and writing on subjects such as the intersections of racism, sexism, speciesism, homophobia, and the exploitation of the environment. She is the author of Aftershock: Confronting Trauma in a Violent World: A Guide for Activists and Their Allies (Lantern, 2007).


Zarna Joshi

Zarna is a Seattle-area writer and a climate activist with People and Planet, Backbone Campaign, Women of Color Speak Out, ShellNo Action Council, Rising Tide Seattle, and Earthship Seattle. She was a keynote speaker at the Whidbey Institute’s 2015 Salish Sea Bioneers Conference. She is a writer, public speaker, and storyteller and has published books about Hindu spirituality, self-examination, and cross-cultural understanding.  “Rather than just talk about dismantling the system, we also have to talk about building the future.” Photo courtesy www.resilience.org.

Aph Ko

Aph Ko is a blogger, performer, vegan, and indie digital media producer; creator of the comedy web-series “Black Feminist Blogger”; and  PR Consultant for the documentary film “Always in Season” which explores the legacy of lynching in communities grappling with how best to move forward. Aph is on the editorial board for the F Bomb and writes about intersectionality, black feminism, and veganism on her website Aphro-ism. Aph received the Anti-Racist Vegan Change-Maker of the Year award during the 2015 Sistah Vegan Conference, “The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter: Challenging Neoliberal Whiteness While Building Anti-Racist Solidarity Among Vegans of Color and Allies (Before, After, and Beyond Ferguson).


Dawn Moncrief

Dawn Moncrief is the founding director of A Well-Fed World (a vegan hunger relief and animal protection organization). She has been a social justice advocate for more than 20 years. She has two master’s degrees from The George Washington University: one in International Relations, the other in Women’s Studies, both focusing on economic development. Her work highlights the ways in which high levels of meat consumption in the U.S. and globally exacerbate global hunger, especially for women and children. She also draws attention to the negative consequences of animal agriculture on climate change and the deceptiveness of “humane” marketing.


lauren Ornelas

lauren is the founder/director of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit seeking to create a more just world by helping consumers recognize the power of their food choices. F.E.P. works in solidarity with farm workers, advocates for chocolate not sourced from the worst forms of child labor, and focuses on access to healthy foods in communities of color and low-income communities. While lauren was the director of Viva!USA, she investigated factory farms and ran consumer campaigns. She served as campaign director with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Watch her TEDx talk on The Power of Our Food Choices. Learn more about F.E.P.’s work at www.foodispower.org and www.veganmexicanfood.com.

Brenda Sanders

Brenda is the Community Engagement Specialist for A Well-Fed World and serves as Executive Director of Better Health, Better Life (BHBL). She is also a founding member of the PEP Foods Collective and Co-Director of Open the Cages Alliance (OTCA). Through BHBL, Brenda runs the Eating for Life program, a series of free workshops aimed at teaching people in low-income communities how to live a healthier, more holistic lifestyle. With OTCA, she co-organizes the Vegan Living Program. As a Zero Waste Community Organizer with Energy Justice Network, Brenda fights environmental racism by working to shut down Baltimore-area air and groundwater polluters that negatively impact low-income communities of color. Brenda also co-created Vegan SoulFest.

Shaila Yovan Tenorio

Shaila is a self-taught artist and advocate for animals and wilderness. Shaila sees the Creator’s love come through the wild places on our planet, and through the animals that share the Earth with us. Her art invites the viewer to a deepening understanding of animals, and she’ll be displaying a selection of original works during the Conference. Shaila’s relationship with Coyote, an American Mustang,  has led her into an inquiry into how the displacement of the mustang in the American west parallels her own childhood experience as the child of immigrants. She will be presenting with facilitator Marnie Jackson-Jones. Together, they’ll invite participants to share their own stories of transformative relationships with non-human animals. 

Gerardo Tristan

Gerardo is the director and founder of FaunAcción, an organization dedicated to empowering a Mexican activist community working on interconnected issues of social justice and animal liberation across Mexico. He has been campaigning, speaking, and writing at the local, national, and international levels on issues of speciesism, animal rights, and veganism since 1993. He is currently active in in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives with a canine-human family including his husband—the writer, literary critic, scholar, and jazz musician Dr. Craig Womack—and their canine rescue babies, Wotko, Steven, Thelonious and Eldon.


Will Tuttle

Dr. Will Tuttle wrote The World Peace Diet, which has been published in over 15 languages; is a recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award and the Empty Cages Prize; edited Circles of Compassion, a book on the intersectionality of social justice issues; and has created several wellness and advocacy training programs. Will’s Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on educating intuition and altruism in adults, and he has taught college courses in creativity, humanities, mythology, religion, and philosophy. A former Zen monk and a Dharma Master in the Korean Zen tradition, as well as a 35-year vegan, he is devoted to cultural healing and awakening.


“Wildlife Mini Camp” (Learn more!)
Cost: $50

Children can also purchase meals for half price ($55 includes dinner Friday, three meals plus snacks on Saturday, and breakfast plus lunch and snacks on Sunday). Children’s meals will included a boxed lunch during Saturday’s nature camp; bringing your own bagged lunch from home is also acceptable!

Explore the wisdom of the wild and learn forest life skills that animals can teach us in this day and a half mini forest camp. We will play games, explore the forest, hone our observation skills, deepen our wild animal knowledge, and learn the ways of our wild neighbors.

For those attending the Intersectional Justice Conference, we are offering this special program for children Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. On Sunday, after Wildlife Camp has closed, we’ll provide art supplies and a workspace for children to create artwork reflecting what they’ve learned and explored . . . then, after lunch, we’ll invite them to present their creations to the adult conference-goers!

Youth are welcome to participate in the main conference throughout the weekend if they prefer, and meals for those under 12 are available for purchase at half the cost of adults.

Children’s program scholarships may be available for those in need.

Email marnie@whidbeyinstitute.org with any questions.

Children’s Program Mentors

Wildlife Camp Mentor Lisa Kois is a founder of the Calyx School, the 347 acre classroom at South Whidbey State Park. She is an advocate for children and nature, and is passionate about connecting children with their earth home. She considers herself a student of the natural world, and loves learning with and from the children with whom she works, including her daughter. Lisa is an educator, human rights lawyer, writer, and documentary filmmaker.

Wildlife Camp Mentor Kelsi Franzen is an experienced educator, naturalist mentor and fourth generation Whidbey Island native who holds a deeply embedded passion for this place. Kelsi has worked with all ages in a variety of Pacific Northwest ecosystems – lowland forests, marine waters, alpine glaciers, urban wetlands, farms, and traditional classrooms. Her greatest passion is to inspire students to connect with nature and their communities through acts of stewardship.  She considers herself a creator with an adventurous spirit. In her free time, you will find her cooking healthy meals, wildcrafting, and trail running.


Art Mentor Megan Murphy is a pacific northwestern native and has been a Seattleite for the last ten years. She lives with her two children, Eamon and Desmond, and their companion kitty, Alejandro. She is a second year master of social work student at the University of Washington and is passionate about community organizing, working with women and youth and young adults. Currently she is co-organizing a boxing therapy program for women and girls who have experienced or are placed at risk of experiencing violence, abuse and trauma. She has been vegan for 4 years and vegetarian for 5 years before that. She spends her time daydreaming about smashing the patriarchy, retiring to an old farm house with rescued dairy cows and chickens and reading for fun.


Visiting Artists and Poet

We’ll be displaying visual art by mixed media artists Lee Ann Thill (Conference Facilitator) and painter Shaila Tenorio (Conference Presenter) as well as sharing the written words of Megan Hollingsworth.

Megan is a mother and poet. She is founder and creative director at ex·tinc·tion wit·ness, a collaborative art project that honors chronic disenfranchised grief and celebrates regenerative collaborations inspired by unnecessary, devastating loss. ex·tinc·tion wit·ness produces short poetic films and electronic posts that explore how other beings influence human potential and shape human story.  Megan lives in Bozeman, Montana with her son.

Conference Sponsors


A Well-Fed World— a hunger relief and animal protection organization chipping away at two of the world’s most immense, unnecessary and unconscionable forms of suffering . . . the suffering of people hungry from lack of food, and the suffering of animals used and abused for food.

They have a positive, practical, and action-led approach that produces immediate assistance for those in need and structural change for lasting results.

In addition to their direct programs, they  raise funds, partner with, and promote innovative, highly effective projects that strengthen:

  • plant-based feeding & farming programs
  • farm animal care & rescue efforts
  • vegan advocacy & community building

Vegan Outreach — a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to end violence towards animals. Vegan Outreach seeks a future when sentient animals are no longer exploited as commodities.

Vegan Outreach focuses on exposing the suffering of farmed animals through the widespread distribution of their booklets promoting plant-based eating.

Vegan Outreach (VO) was founded in 1993 to move society away from eating animals and their products.


Vegan Printers
Someday Farm

Oriental Healing Arts
Earthling Liberation Kollective

“Constructive dialogue is the only way we can ever heal systemic injustice. When we can adequately understand the space occupied by both those who benefit from privilege and those who are oppressed by it, we build a bridge that can liberate us.”
—Conference facilitator Christopher-Sebastian McJetters



March 25, 2016
March 27, 2016