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Ecologies of Justice
Conference (2022)

The ECOLOGIES OF JUSTICE conference convened researchers, practitioners, and community leaders who work at the intersection of correctional programs, community-based interventions, and ecological sustainability.  

The event took place in two parts.  PART ONE was fully online and focused primarily on sharing information and engaging in discussion.  Weekly sessions on Thursdays (from June 2 until July 14) centered on themes such as social impacts of ecological conservation, key issues related to reentry, green workforce development, STEM education and college programs, the healing potentials of people-plant interactions, food and agriculture, developing participatory and collaborative research projects, and program evaluation.


PART TWO was in person at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and focused on building a community of researchers and practitioners who are thinking about and acting on ecological issues in prison, jail, and community spaces. While part one was open to the general public, part two was intended for those who are actively imagining, designing, researching, or implementing programs, research projects, or interventions. The focus of this part of the conference was identifying key issues for advancing the work in our local, regional, or national contexts and developing new collaborations, research agendas, future visions, next steps, scenarios, and/or courses of action.  

The sessions that were recorded from the conference are listed below and are also in a YouTube playlist at this link.  

PART 1:  Online Conference (June 2 - July 14)


Ecological Conservation Programs in Prisons

This session focused on social and environmental impacts of ecological conservation programs in prisons and other communities.

  • Kelli Bush, Sustainability in Prisons Project

  • Carolina Landa, Office of Corrections Ombuds 

  • Stacy Moore, Institute for Applied Ecology 

  • Elizabeth Louie,  FareStart Consulting

  • Emily Passarelli, Sustainability in Prisons Project

  • Karen Hall, Institute for Applied Ecology


Cultivating reentry success for women from the inside out

Insight Garden Program staff and alumni introduced their work in 3 women’s prisons in California to create gender responsive curriculum and re-entry support that meets the needs of women and gender non-binary participants.

  • Andrew Winn, Insight Garden Program

  • Michelle Mondia, Insight Garden Program

  • Jamala Taylor,  Insight Garden Program

  • Michelle Scott, Insight Garden Program & Human Rights Watch


Nature as Healing

This session explores the meanings of healing and justice, in a broader holistic context, including how healing may overlap and/or differ from common notions of rehabilitation in corrections or therapeutic practices in mental health professions.

  • Genea Richardson, Huma House 

  • Brendan Wilson, Angel City Urban Farms

  • Matt DelSesto, Moderator


Forging Career Pathways in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies after Incarceration

This panel brought together current members and alumni of the New Jersey Mountainview Program at Rutgers University who have pursued careers in a range of environmental science fields as returning citizens.

  • Christopher Etienne, Princeton University Prison Teaching Initiative

  • Arcadia Lee, Sustainable Business Consulting, LLC

  • Brian Snyder, founder of Beyond Day Zero


Food in the Context of Incarceration and Reentry

This panel brought a group of individuals working at the intersection of food and reentry into dialogue to address this critical issue.

  • Leslie Soble, Impact Justice

  • Wayne Williams, The Food Trust

  • Kurt Evans, Chef and Co-Founder End Mass Incarceration dining series

  • Cara Santino,  EMERGE CT and CitySeed



Measures and Meanings of Research and Program Evaluations

This presentation looked at a case study of participatory methods with currently and formerly incarcerated people to support holistic health, wellbeing, and social change. 

  • Kelsey Timler, University of British Columbia

PART 2:  In-Person Conference (July 22-23)

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The in person event took place at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.  There were 40 attendees from 12 states and more than 20 different organizations who attended sessions on reentry, ecological conservation, green jobs training, organizational development, applied research, community building, and more.  All attendees were actively involved in implementing or researching environmental justice and ecological sustainability issues in prisons, jails, or communities impacted by incarceration. Insights, models, and strategies from the in-person conference will be included in the Ecologies of Justice book.

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