Meet the faces who support the Campaign to Stop GE Trees. Here’s what Theresa Church, Assistant Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, had to say about her journey to working with us.
What’s your background?
Professionally, I am the Assistant Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and a member of the Campaign to Stop GE Trees steering committee. My educational background includes a MA in Resilient Leadership from Naropa University and a BA in English. I am also a 500 hour registered yoga teacher and certified prenatal and postpartum doula.
How did you get involved with the Campaign to Stop GE Trees?
Naropa afforded me the opportunity to study living systems theory, ecopsychology, sustainability, climate justice, human rights, environmental policy, nonprofit management, entrepreneurship, and mindfulness. More importantly, for the first time in my life, I was surrounded by others who had the same misgivings I did about our current social, cultural, and political landscape. Luckily, shortly after graduating from Naropa I unintentionally found myself back in Buffalo, NY where I hooked up with the similar minded co-founders of Global Justice Ecology Project, Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle.
What excites you about the campaign?
From the moment I heard about the Campaign to Stop GE Trees I knew it was in alignment with my vision for the world. Like so many, I didn’t grow up attuned to anything other than my suburban backyard. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I started to experience a rise in awareness, alongside a global rise in social justice movements, gender equality, and climate change advocacy. In many ways this was no coincidence, and I went through a lot of changes, as many do during this period of their lives, to create a life that aligns with my spiritual, political, and ecological thoughts and beliefs.
My work with the campaign has been around the precedent setting implications of genetic engineering on wild ecosystems and the ecocidal model of “business as usual” that is potentially reinforced not only ecologically, but socially and culturally as well. It is through this work and my education at Naropa University that I have found myself immersed in the intersections of feminism, spirituality, and ecology. Well before I started to understand the root of these intersections I sensed the connection between the degradation of the Earth and the oppression of women. I can trace the moment I became aware of the ecological crisis back to the very same moment I began to reclaim my feminine essence. Understanding these intersections is where I currently stand on my journey and is what excites me most about working for the campaign.
What do you hope to accomplish by being involved with the campaign?
I believe that myself and many others are being called to forge ahead on a new path unlike anything we have ever seen before. While I do not know the intricacies of this path, I do know that it involves dismantling the systems that no longer serve our personal and collective evolution. It is clear to me that, however this journey unfolds, the Campaign to Stop GE Trees plays a crucial role.
Theresa is located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. To connect you can email her at email@example.com.