Earth Activist Training Team

LEAD TEACHERS 

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 (he/him) 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 thirty years he has stewarded many pieces of land, 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.

TEACHING TEAM

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. Throughout all her work, Patty applies regenerative design to create thriving business practices.

Residing on occupied Haudenosaunee Territory (known as Rochester, New York), Patty practices permaculture, edible forest gardening, and social permaculture. Patty is the owner of a small business, Barefoot Edible Landscape & Permaculture, and an organizer in her local community around food justice. She is the founder of the Rochester Permaculture Center and Lots of Foods program; and the former treasurer of the Permaculture Association of the Northeast (PAN).

Delyla Wilson, engaged Grr-Parent and resilience visionary, began her journey into resilient living as an environmental, social justice, and animal rights activist. Her path includes farmstead learning and living, community street medicine, disaster preparedness, permaculture, and decades of animal management experience with a special focus on all things dogs. Delyla acquired an Earth Activism Training Permaculture Design Certificate; developed and directed the Skills for a New Millennium Tour (a three-year traveling resilience education tour), and earned a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies focused on Resilience Education for Disaster Preparedness.
Delyla’s energy is focused on resilience education both as a teacher and life-long student. Delyla seeks to weave resilience into every system throughout the web. Delyla currently is developing lines of homestead working dogs and keeps cows, goats, chickens, and sheep for land management, soil building, carbon sequestering, and dinner.

Erik Ohlsen is a master of regenerative design, an internationally recognized Permaculture teacher, a landscape contractor, author, farmer, herbalist, storyteller, and practitioner of Nordic folk traditions.

Since 1999 Erik has founded numerous organizations that regenerate ecosystems including his award winning design and build firm Permaculture Artisans and The Permaculture Skills Center where thousands of students around the world learn ecological landscaping and regenerative agriculture.

Working as an internationally renowned regenerative designer, he has committed decades to repairing ecosystems and connecting people with the land throughout the globe. He has designed and implemented hundreds of regenerated landscapes ranging from small urban lots to large tracts of land.

His many years of experience observing and listening to landscape patterns while managing installation crews have led to an extensive knowledge of ecological land development and planning. He is a specialist in water harvesting systems, food forest design, community organizing, facilitation, vocational education and much more. In all of his work there is a presence of social equity, climate justice, and ecosystem restoration and his stories and achievements continue to empower people worldwide.

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.

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.

Chris Gilmour (he/him) teaches             Fire, Flood, Drought, & Heat: Creating Community Resilience. 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 that helps kids and families reconnect with the land. He has:

  • Helped build several organizations and businesses from the ground up,
  • Taught for colleges, public and private schools and designed curriculum at all levels,
  • Consulted in emergency preparedness with large and small businesses, governments, farms and camps
  • Provided training and mentoring in ecology, nature awareness, leadership skills and self-reliance though his business Chris Outdoors

His offerings bridge a deep understanding of ecology, community and culture with emergency preparedness, holistic business practices and healthy human development.

Alfred Decker is an award-winning permaculture designer, a certified educator with the Permaculture Association of Britain, and one of Europe’s leading permaculture educators. Since his first PDC in 1998 in California (where Alfred and Starhawk were students together), he has been involved with permaculture projects and social movements and projects throughout Europe and the Americas. Based in Catalunya (Spain), Alfred is the founder of the 12P Permaculture Design consultancy, and teaches widely throughout Europe. These days he is dedicated to facilitating permaculture teacher trainings with a focus on refugees.

Guest Teachers

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.

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.

Teaching Assistants

Kristi Broadhead

Kristyn Tinney

Lori Heath

Steave Breedlove

Ajay Tallam

Core Staff

Mariah

Mariah Master (she/her) is the Program Administrator for Earth Activist Training, she assists students with registration, payments and is here for any questions you may have. She is a mother, indigenous woman, activist, herbalist, farmer and permaculture business owner. Her herbalism and activism work led to a nomadic lifestyle until deciding to root down in Colorado to become a mother where she now owns a permaculture business. As of recently she has been exploring the interconnections between birth work, and nature. 

Elizabeth Coll (she/her) is the Communications Coordinator for Earth Activist Training. She shares the news of our courses and events, and the inspiring stories and collective knowledge of our students and teachers. She loves hearing about all the different ecosystems and communities our students hail from, and getting to see the kaleidoscope of hopeful visions that emerges from each classroom.

 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.

Asa Angel (she/her), is Earth Activist Trainings Tech host for the Permaculture Design courses and events. Along with running the tech for classses and events Asa is a talented healer who combines ancient spiritual practices with an understanding of modern neuroscience. Find out more on her webpage Asa Angel Holistic Healing

Support Staff

Carin McKay (she/her) Is an amazing and talented chef who, along with her staff, caters many of Earth Activist Training events in California. Carin started her business Culinary Magic in 1999. A self-taught chef and world traveler, she incorporates these elements into her food. Culinary Magic views food as central to weaving together community, health, history, culture, lineage, and the environment.

Diane Perazzo (she/her) does live captioning for some Earth Activist Training events. Along with being an amazing captioner, she currently enjoys thinking about the intersection between art and regenerative agriculture and ways that visual artists, poets and storytellers can work together to support positive change in our evolving eco-system.  She is involved in a project called Sowing the Future which is very much about that.  Diane also writes poetry and stories for witches and pagans that is available here.

Sarah Comerford (they/them) has been a practicing sign language interpreter since 2010. Beginning in Honolulu, where they were trained and raised by the local Deaf community, in 2019 sarah relocated with their family to the Pacific Northwest, the ancestral homelands of the Kalapuyan people, who are still here, as are the native Hawaiian people still alive and defiant back home. They are passionately working to finish their master’s in Interpreting Studies from Western Oregon University, researching sign language interpreters’ occupational culture through a social justice lens. Their professional portfolio is available on Canva via this link https://tinyurl.com/25gl59dp

GaianIsis (they/them) lives on the current and ancestral lands of the Tiwa and Dine peoples, in what is now called northern and central New Mexico, USA. They are a professional signed language interpreter (16 years), a Pagan (25 years) and a budding permaculturalist (5 years). To contact GaianIsis, please email: PaganBoi2002(at)yahoo.com.

FELLOWS

We love these stories and interviews! Please have a listen

              FEATURED PODCASTS            

  • “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”

 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

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. 

 

 

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