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Nature has been defined as a woman, and both nature and women were then defined into objectification and therefore into objects of violence. Ecofeminism is a celebration of the creativity of nature and the creativity of women.

Dr. Vandana Shiva  |  Pod Academy, 2014

This collection of resources aims to identify some of the ways all people relate to the physical environment based on gendered, racial, and global experiences.

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UIC Heritage Garden logo: A white circle with

The UIC Heritage Garden is a hands-on internship program that connects horticulture with environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, and social justice. The seven Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change (CCUSC), including the Women’s Leadership and Resource Center, collaborate on this project with program infrastructure provided by the Latino Cultural Center.

Interns oversee the planting and maintenance of eight satellite gardens on the east side of campus. They also lead tours and host two annual public events that support intercultural engagement to broaden efforts around cultural and environmental sustainability. Interns research the cultural significance of plants in the garden, gather recipes, and collect stories from family, friends, and neighbors about their environmentally friendly practices. They participate in weekly discussions about readings related to environmental and cultural sustainability, visit community resources relevant to this project, and work with local artists to make creative and explicit connections between environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, and social justice.

Every summer, student interns engage with WLRC for hands-on education about ecofeminism. We help introduce interns to feminist approaches to sustainability and environmental justice and promoting a more healthy, livable, and just existence for humanity. At the core of our conversations are stories about how women and communities of color link their personal relationships with the environment to their social identities and involvement in environmental justice movements in Chicago and beyond.

The readings we assign connect the relationship between environmental justice and systems of oppression—prison industrial complex, food security, gentrification, racism, capitalism—through a Black feminist lens.



Stewards of the Land: community organizers connect with the physical environment

Climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion standing in solidarity with worldwide Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd, Sunday June 7, 2020 in St Ives, United Kingdom. (Gav Goulder/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Anti-Racism and Environmental Justice: intersections of race, gender, and environmental justice

Indigenous women gather in Chotacaj

Global Experiences: indigenous, feminist, and women’s work on a global scale

We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own–indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty, and wonder. This will happen if we see the need to revive our sense of belonging to a larger family of life, with which we have shared our evolutionary process.

Dr. Wangari Maathai  |  Nobel Lecture, 2004

On Ecofeminism and Urban Flooding Heading link

Smiling woman with dark hair

“The intersection of urban challenges, such as urban flooding, requires a wider and deeply embedded commitment to community efforts such as community gardens and other community-led initiatives that address justice issues.”

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Jazmin Vega  |  WLRC Graduate Assistant

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