Skip to Content

COCC’s Season of Nonviolence spotlights equity, economy and climate

Native American economist and environmentalist Winona LaDuke will present “The Green Path Ahead: Indigenous Teachings for the Next Economy” on Feb. 1
Native American economist and environmentalist Winona LaDuke will present “The Green Path Ahead: Indigenous Teachings for the Next Economy” on Feb. 1

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Season of Nonviolence at Central Oregon Community College, which spans from January through mid-March and advances ideas of empowerment for a nonviolent society, is set to commence with a free livestream event on Monday, Jan. 24 featuring celebrated Native author Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Visit for the full lineup of presentations, discussions and a series of community book conversations, now underway. All events are virtual and free to attend, with registration required.

“We’re commemorating our 14th Season of Nonviolence with some renowned Indigenous scholars who bring inspiring insights on coexistence,” said Christy Walker, director of diversity and inclusion at COCC. “And our full schedule of events features diverse voices with ideas and topics that have global views while also addressing important equity topics right here in Central Oregon.”

Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the New York Times-bestselling “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” will be delivering a livestreamed presentation at noon on Monday, Jan. 24, presented by the University of Oregon’s Common Reading Program. A botanist, ecology professor and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer examines plants through storytelling and Indigenous science to convey a broader message of coexistence in “Braiding Sweetgrass.”

Visit to register.

Community book groups, six in all, are convening this month to discuss the work; learn more at COCC’s Season of Nonviolence webpage.

Winona LaDuke, Native American economist, environmentalist, writer and executive director of Honor the Earth, will be virtually presenting “The Green Path Ahead: Indigenous Teachings for the Next Economy” from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1. LaDuke will share her vision for an economic future that is just and equitable, emphasizing goals and practices of sustainability.

A virtual panel discussion, titled “Examining Inequalities in Central Oregon,” takes place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and will be led by three local equity activists: Kerani Mitchell, founding partner at Allyship in Action LLC; Jamie Bowman, past president of the Human Dignity Coalition and co-founder of the Central Oregon Transgender Health Coalition; and Dray Aguirre, a first-generation college student at COCC and an advocate for food- and housing-insecure students.

Two assistant psychiatry professors from Harvard Medical School will virtually present “Inequity in Healthcare: Seeking Mental Health Services after Experiencing Healthcare Discrimination” at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3. Dharma Cortés, Ph.D., and Ana Progovac, Ph.D., are senior scientists at Cambridge Health Alliance’s Health Equity Research Lab and will share findings from one of their cornerstone research projects, including how discrimination can impact future dialogue with health care providers.

“Climate Justice as Freedom,” presented virtually by Julie Sze, Ph.D., professor of American studies at UC Davis and the founding director of the Environmental Justice Project for UC Davis’ John Muir Institute for the Environment, will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 10. The event offers a view of how climate justice is a freedom struggle, highlighting the disparities of who is most impacted and who is most responsible.

The Season of Nonviolence was established by Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, as a yearly event celebrating the philosophies and lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. COCC’s programming also honors César Chávez and Chief Wilma Mankiller. Its lectures, community projects, interactive discussions and other content is co-presented by the college’s office of diversity and inclusion and the COCC Foundation’s Chandler Lecture Series.

COCC’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Chandler Lecture Series thank the many community sponsors and partners who make the 2022 Season of Nonviolence possible: Brooks Resources Corporation, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon, the Casey Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the Cushman Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the COCC Sustainability Committee, the Environmental Center, the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, St. Charles Health System and the Associated Students of COCC.

For more information on COCC’s Season of Nonviolence, contact Charlotte Gilbride at 541-383-7257 or

Author Profile Photo

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


Leave a Reply

Skip to content