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Youth Allies Opening Circle

Integrating Culture as a Cornerstone of Success in Sustainability Education: A Case Study, Youth Allies for Sustainability Leadership Program, Earth Care, Santa Fe, NM

By Christina Selby

Environmental sustainability cannot be separated from social justice. Christina Selby presents a compelling case study of sustainability work grounded in cultural democracy, or processes that involve all groups in community decision-making. In the Youth Allies for Sustainability Leadership Program, young residents of Santa Fe, New Mexico, address ecological integrity through intercultural healing, relationship-building, and advocacy. Selby grounds her case in the broader theoretical work of eco-justice and transformative education. She highlights the urgent need to further integrate the defense of cultural integrity with the protection and restoration of ecological balance and economic vitality. This case study is a shining model for such integration.

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