Upaya Zen Center is bringing together women leaders engaged in the field of spiritual practice and environmental activism for an intensive day-long program unfolding on the June 5th anniversary of the United Nations World Environment Day. In a time of racial inequity, climate catastrophe, poverty, hunger and global pandemic this program honors the commitment to plant life and grow justice.

The day-long intensive begins with teachings from renowned Santa Clara Pueblo artist and indigenous scholar Roxanne Swentzell, grounding us in the ancient Tewa World of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Native Foodways. Next, lay dharma teacher, garden mentor and writer Wendy Johnson will draw from her ten years of experience with the Upaya Three Sisters Garden, addressing heritage seed sovereignty and the principles and practices of regenerative agriculture.

During the afternoon, social entrepreneur, earth and social justice activist and spiritual teacher Konda Mason will speak to racial injustice in America in rural areas where it has long gone unnoticed. She will discuss the hidden economic violence impacting Black rural farmers in the South and share what she is doing to help bring awareness and repair harm in this area. Following Konda, author of Green Buddhism and professor of Environmental Studies Stephanie Kaza will introduce Dharma and Ecology systems thinking for integrating racial justice and environmental perspectives into Planting Life initiatives.