Starhawk (she/her) is the co-founder and executive director of Earth Activist Training. One of the foremost voices in Earth-based spirituality, Starhawk is an author, activist, and permaculture teacher and designer. Her 12 books include such beloved reads as The Spiral Dance, The Earth Path, and The Fifth Sacred Thing. Starhawk drew from 30 years of living collectively to write The Empowerment Manual, which is the basis for her social permaculture course, Empowering Collaborative Groups.
Starhawk has been recognized by the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) as a leading figure in permaculture and has been awarded dual diplomas for excellence in education and permaculture site design.
Best known as an articulate voice in the revival of Earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion, Starhawk is the co-founder of the Reclaiming movement, an activist branch of the modern Pagan religion. In partnership with Donna Read, Starhawk is the co-founder of Belili Productions film company, whose most well-known project was a trio of popular films on the Goddess religion.
Starhawk’s work in progressive activism has spanned generations and geographies. As a global justice and peace activist, Starhawk co-founded RANT: Root Activists’ Network of Trainers, and has taught non-violent direct action across North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. She has been on the front lines of anti-nuclear actions at Diablo Canyon, Livermore Weapons Lab, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the Nevada Test Site. She has been a witness for peace in conflict zones across the world, including Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Palestine and Israel.
As a teacher of magical activism and permaculture education, Starhawk’s life work takes her across the globe. She currently lives part-time in San Francisco in a collective house with her partner and friends, and part-time in a little hut in the woods in Cazadero, California, where she practices permaculture in her extensive gardens and writes. Her website is http://starhawk.org.
Charles Williams is Earth Activist Training’s program director. A long-time permaculture educator and certified permaculture designer, Charles comes to Earth Activist Training through a love of the wild, faith that healthy communities can solve complex problems, and a belief that working with one’s hands is sacred work.
Over the past two decades he has stewarded many pieces of land throughout the United States, including Diana’s Grove in Missouri, Farm & Wilderness summer camp in Vermont, and Starhawk’s Golden Rabbit Ranch in California. His approach simultaneously promotes both the preservation of wild spaces and conservation of the domestic.
His deep respect for and relationship with the divine in nature informs all he does, integrating spiritual practices with land management. Charles also understands the need for healthy community and knows that skilled human implementation is an essential part of any design. In these challenging times, he finds hope for the future through the interlocking, symbiotic relationship of spirit, community, and action.
As an accomplished tinkerer Charles brings a wide range of practical and somewhat obscure hand skills. He has installed complex systems such as solar electric arrays, gray water filters, and veggie oil diesel conversions. He has implemented simple systems such as emergency water filtration, humanure composting toilets, and rotational grazing plans. He is talented in wilderness tracking, solo canoeing, gathering and tending wild edibles, starting fire by hand, and mapping. He loves to work with his hands, whether he is tanning hides or repairing a generator, and this love is reflected when he teaches EAT’s hands-on segments.
Charles believes that no problems are unsolvable as long as we work together to develop and implement our plan effectively and honor the holy in our work.
Sunshine Rose Claymore (they/them; Standing Rock Nation) is a co-teacher for the Permaculture Design Certificate and coordinator for the Regenerative Land Management diploma. Sunshine is an environmental scientist, permaculture designer and educator, doula, and mother from Standing Rock Reservation. They are the Board Secretary of the Mni Wiconi Integrated Health Clinic and Farm, and are dedicated to the collective planning for the Mni Wiconi Nakicizin Woundspe, a learning space designed to embrace Lakota culture while striving to meet community needs. As a student with Earth Activist Training, Sunshine is a graduate of the Sacred Earth Apprenticeship, Permaculture Design, Permaculture Teacher Training for Women; and will be the first graduating student of the Regenerative Land Management program.
Patty Love (she/her) is a perpetually curious Earth Activist Training-certified permaculture teacher and designer. Patty is the instructor of Regenerative Business Design and coach for Maven Makers small business coaching group. Patty has 30 years of experience in business with a focus on education and consulting. She holds nationally recognized certification through the Professional Business Coaches Alliance, with five years personally participating in small business coaching as a group member.
Chris Gilmour (he/him) teaches Designing For Disasters and the Mushroom Grower’s Toolkit. Chris is a student and teacher of ecology, survival, self-reliance, and the relationship between Nature and the human potential. Chris learned permaculture to grow his own food, herbal medicine, and remote back-country first aid. In partnership with his wife, Laura, they built a modern day homestead and helped create a nonprofit organization to help kids and families reconnect with the land.
Leila Darwish (she/her) teaches Bioremediation & Earth Repair with Earth Activist Training, as well as guest teaching across a number of courses. Leila is a bioremediation educator, a permaculture practitioner, author, and disaster recovery worker with a deep commitment to providing accessible tools for communities dealing with the toxic contamination of their lands and waters, and natural disasters. She is the author of Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes. For over a decade, she has taught bioremediation and oil spill response courses in communities across North America. Committed to climate justice, Leila works in the field of emergency management and disaster resilience, where she supports frontline communities in disaster preparedness, response and recovery through floods and hurricanes, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work is rooted in environmental and social justice, inspired by the power of community action, ecological resilience, mutual aid, and regenerative earth repair.
Pandora Thomas (she/her) has taught social permaculture and Permaculture Teacher Training for Women with Earth Activist Training. Pandora is the founder of the Black Permaculture Network, a network of Afro-Indigenous people who have come together through the practices of permaculture, agroecology, natural living and care for the Earth. She is the founder and steward of EARTHseed Permaculture Center and Farm, the first Afro-Indigenous and all Black-owned retreat and education center in Sonoma County, California, located on the ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo peoples. Established in March 2021, EARTHseed farm is a 14-acre solar-powered farm and orchard built on the legacy of earth wisdom traditions of people of African descent. Among Pandora’s many achievements, she is a teacher, author, designer, and curriculum developer with a focus on urban permaculture and green building for youth.
Chanowk Yisrael (he/him) is the founder of the Yisrael Family Urban Farm and has earned multiple prestigious recognitions, including being named one California’s Emerging Food Systems Changemakers. Born and raised in Sacramento, California – labeled a “food desert “by the United States Department of Agriculture, and supporting parents who were both cancer survivors, Chanowk vowed to break the cycle of poor eating habits that plagued his family by putting healthy food on the family table. In 2011, Chanowk left his career as a structural engineer for seeds and soil, and together with his wife Judith started their farm. Today, Yisrael Family Urban Farm is using urban agriculture to engage, employ, and empower their community, teaching people the valuable arts of cultivating the soil, the self, and service. Chanowk is a graduate of Earth Activist Training’s Permaculture Design Certificate and Resilient Land Design courses.
Wanda Stewart (she/her) is an African American urban farmer, educator and comrade to many in the movement to teach and inspire others to grow themselves, their food and their communities. The executive director of Common Vision, a nonprofit organization organizing school orchards and gardens as places of scholarship, health and equity, Wanda believes that cultivating food and medicine, maintaining a healthy being, and living cooperatively are essential skills for our collective survival. To support that learning, growth and healing, she revisits our shared history and trauma, reframing and reclaiming cultural knowledge and heritage while tending the land. Wanda aspires to be a model catalyst in the new world blooming. She knows in her heart – most especially now – that we must all “grow the power,” together. As a certified permaculture designer, community master gardener, and garden/life educator, what she specializes in and values most is garden-centered wellness and courageous conversations about race and our environment. Learn more about Wanda Stewart here.
RedBird Willie (he/him; Pomo, Wailaki, Wintu) is a native ecologist with deep expertise in teaching Indigenous Ways of Knowing, fire ecology, permaculture, and ancestral skills to people of all ages. Redbird teaches Indigenous land management and fire ecology with Earth Activist Training. An artist who creates through basket weaving, regalia making, drawing, painting, sculpture, and graphic design, Redbird recently illustrated a children’s book, Adventures of Two Coast Miwok Children. Along with being a budding herbalist, Redbird is a land steward for the Cultural Conservancy and a core organizer of the annual Buckeye Gathering. Hear more from Redbird Willie here.
Kanyon “Coyote Woman” (Hahashkani) Sayers-Roods (she/her) is a Mutsun-Ohlone and Chumash Twospirit Indigenous person. Born and raised in Indian Canyon, Kanyon is an Ancestor-in-training, honoring the past to shape the future. She is proud of her heritage and her native name and is an active leader in her community. Kanyon is the co-founder and CEO of Kanyon Konsulting, LLC, where she strives to bridge the gap between Indigenous and contemporary value systems, focusing on Decolonization and Allyship. Her goal is to make a difference by sharing her life experiences and knowledge about California’s Native Americans, with an emphasis on promoting understanding of relationship between humanity and the natural world. Kanyon thrives as an artist, poet, author, activist, student, and teacher. Her art has been featured at the De Young Museum, the Somarts Gallery, Gathering Tribes, Snag Magazine, and numerous Powwows and Indigenous Gatherings. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of California with degrees in Web Design and Interactive Media.
Malik “Sol” Coburn (he/they) is an oracle card reading, vinyl DJ, eclectic earth servant and teacher hailing from Potawotami/ Miami/Illinois territory, also known as inner city Chicago. Sol has dedicated their life to finding spaces where care for the earth and people, and sharing resources is embraced and illuminated. Sol has a genuine non-stop curiosity for embodying processes that are taught by nature. This is channeled through cultivating fun and culturally sensitive curricula, co-curation of events, and consulting with those who seek to find the parallels to their daily lives in nature. Sol moves with a listen-first attitude, understanding that resilience is true security – feeding what we want to grow. As well as being a student and teacher with Earth Activist Training, Sol has been involved in environmental programs in Chicago, including the Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago Urban Permaculture Salon.
Alfred Decker (he/him) will co-teach a Permaculture Design Certificate course with Starhawk in Sweden this summer. Alfred is an award-winning permaculture designer and one of Europe’s leading permaculture educators. He is the founder of 12 Principles Permaculture Design consultancy, Permaculture Barcelona, the Forest Gardens project at Can Masdeu, and is co-founder of the Spanish Permaculture Academy (Academia de Permacultura Ibera). Alfred holds a graduate degree in sustainable architecture and renewable energy from the Centre for Alternative Technology. With renowned permaculture teacher Rosemary Morrow, Alfred is the co-editor of a forthcoming permaculture teaching platform called Permaculture Teaching Matters. Learn more about Alfred on Earth Activist Training’s international teaching page.
In Appreciation of Past Teachers
Annie-Rose (they/she) is a social artist who seeks to create raucous experiences of joy and pleasure to counteract systems of oppressive mind control. Annie-Rose draws together the fields of ecological design, community arts, and social justice through facilitation and performance. Their earnest irreverence is inherited from a lineage of Jewish and Queer healers. Annie-Rose has called themself a performance artist, a clown, a ritualist, an educator, and an activist – today she calls herself happy to meet you.
Europa (they/them) is a mixed-race Black Trinidadian, Queer, non-binary multi-disciplinary artist, and educator based in Oakland, CA (Huichin, Chochenyo Ohlone Land). As a yoga, teacher trainer, and Cultural Competency consultant, Europa stretches across the intersection of spiritual, somatic and social worlds. Europa is the creator of curriculum to address the socio-political dissonance they experienced and witnessed within the yoga and wellness world.
Lindsay (she/her) is passionate about connecting people to nature through ecological design consulting and restoration, curriculum development, and program management. Lindsay’s core work is devoted to tending Zone 4: the edge of the wild. She has been a student of California Indigenous land management, and is passionate about working with prescribed fire as a healing tool in the landscape. Lindsay works with private and tribal landowners to improve ecological conditions while deepening our connection to the natural world.
Lisa (she/her) is a PINA certified permaculture designer, teacher, and practitioner with over 15 years of experience. She is the co-founder of the Western Massachusetts Permaculture guild and co-creator of Permaculture FEAST. She is a lecturer in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts and a research fellow at the MIT media lab. She runs the UMass Carbon Farming Initiative on the 40 acre Agriculture Learning Center and is author of Permaculture FEAST principles flash cards.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
“Mother Goose and Other Earth Stories” is a partnership of Suzanne Husky and Earth Activist Training, and funded by the Creative Work Fund and La Fondation des Artiste.
“Mother Goose and Other Earth Stories” is a bilingual podcast in which fascinating guests unpack the earth knowledge hidden in folktales. The project is geared toward deepening humans’ intuitive relationships to plants. Conducted over two years, it encompasses research into traditional folktales in which plants are central. The podcast features folk tales read by storytellers associated with Earth Activist Training, and events in which the collaborating partners seek to enhance biophilia (love of the living) through ritual and experiential encounters.
Suzanne Husky is a multimedia artist, landscape designer, and teacher based in the Bay Area of California and France. For the past 20 years, she has developed a mixed media creative practice focused on human, plant and earth relations.
She’s also a founder of the artistic duo Le Nouveau Ministère de l’Agriculture (the New Department of Agriculture) that creates art work on agribusiness and agtech. Suzanne has shown her work extensively in California and throughout Europe, and has pieces in multiple collections.
Episodes of the podcast are available in English and French on Suzanne‘s website, as well as on Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and Google Podcast.
- “Folktales and Earth-Based Spirituality: Conversation with Starhawk” (Earth Activist Training’s founder and executive director)
- “Starboy, Timsila, and Amplifying Life: Conversation with Sunshine Rose Claymore” (EAT Teacher)
- “Fluid Genders, From Joan of Arc to Trans Saints: Conversation with Midievalist Clovis Maillet”
- “Beavers Held the World: Conversation with Ben Goldfarb”
- “A Mushroom’s Perspective on Sacred Geographies: Conversation with Eco-Historian Yu-chuan Chen”
“The Three Little Pigs: Conversation with Midievalist Jamie Kreiner”
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