Community Emergence Series

Presented by the Terry Todd International Speaker Fund

Community Emergence Series 

The Community Emergence Series is offered by the Kalamazoo Nature CenterONEPlace at Kalamazoo Public Library, and Rootead Enrichment Center. Many of the programs in this series will be free, including the virtual talk by adrienne maree brown, author of  "Emergent Strategy." 

This series is inspired by adrienne maree brown’s concept of emergence as a framework for interacting with self, others, and our planet that mimics patterns found in nature. Communities across the globe have experienced stress caused by the COVID-19 and racial reckoning. The author explores ways we can emerge from these challenging times. She asks what the role of nature is in our emergence? This program series offers a call to listen and imagine collective community solutions.  


Upcoming Series Programs

Lecture and Music Trail: Celebrating Global Environmental Leadership 
Featuring, Mariam Konaté, Ph.D. and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

August 7, 5:15pm – 8:00pm 
Location: KNC Visitor Center and Beech Maple Trail
KNC Members $20, KNC Nonmembers $25 REGISTER HERE

KNC welcomes Mariam Konaté, Ph.D., Associate Professor of African American & African Studies & Gender and Women's Studies at Western Michigan University. Konate will present a lecture, "Race, class, gender, and environmental justice: A Global Perspective." This talk will discuss the importance of using an intersectional approach to analyze the multi-faceted impact of climate change and its environmental effects on people worldwide.

After the talk, enjoy a performance on KNC's Glen Vista Deck by a quartet from the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and drink service from Stamped Robin’s Lil Bird Cocktail Cart. Following this first performance, members of the KSO will perform works by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) composers along  KNC's Beech Maple Trail.  This experience will feature 5-7 individual performers, duos, and trios.   

Kids' Night Out
Drop the kids off prior to the August 7 event for Kids' Night Out at the KNC Camp Barn! KNC will provide outdoor activities for kids including a hike, a campfire, hotdogs and s’mores. Learn more and register for Kids' Night Out here.

Sculpture Forage with Kalamazoo Sculptor, Brent Harris  
Wednesday, August 18, 1:00pm-4:00pm 
Location: Outdoor, in-person event  KNC Camp Barn and trails
Audience: 3rd-8th graders with BIPOC emphasis 

We’ll have a brief discussion and art demonstrations using natural elements. We'll also look at the creative ways animals and insects use found objects. We will hike KNC trails to find objects for our own sculpture making. Foraging bags will be provided. Young artists will have access to glue guns, hemp twine, and other elements to bring their works together. To highlight emergent strategies , we will also create a singular group piece. 

Learning From Fractals in Nature
Thursday, August 26, Time TBD
 Kalamazoo Nature Center Camp Barn 
Audience: Recommended for ages 8 and older, families, children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult 
Free event, Required registration to come 

Get a crash course in the concept of fractals, a type of mathematical shape that is infinitely complex, from a KNC environmental educator. Test your understanding of fractals by hitting the trails at KNC to see how many fractal patterns you can find in their natural habitat.   

YWCA Brave Space Workshop
Friday, September 3, 9:00am - 1:00pm 
Location: Kalamazoo Nature Center Visitor Center

To successfully integrate equity analysis into programs and culture, we must first build a space with the capacity for discomfort, conflict, and critique. This workshop presented by the Kalamazoo YWCA focuses on creating harm-mitigated spaces for discussions around justice and equity. It also provides a constructive analysis of power and privilege. Participants will use guided exploration for using our own complex identities as a framework for beginning and continuing institutional change. 

Rootead Community Drum and Dance
Saturday, September 11, 2:00pm - 3:00pm 
Location: Kalamazoo Nature Center Arboretum 
Free event. REGISTER HERE.

Always one of Rootead’s most popular programs, Community Drum and Dance is a multigenerational, traditional West African Dance celebration. This program will focus on the Dundunba Rhythm. The “strong man's” rhythm and dance, Dundunba is an iconic West African celebratory rhythm to build power. All ages and all levels are encouraged to attend these classes, which are accompanied with live drumming.  All Community Drum and Dance events are pay-what-you-can. The suggested donation is $15 per person. 

Grounding and Earthing for BIPOC Youth 
Sunday, September 12, 1:00-3:00pm 
Location: Kalamazoo Nature Center
Audience: Youth 8 years and older. 
Free event. Required registration to come.

Experience walking meditation and plant recognition with Rootead. This event is open to youth 8 years and older.

Emergent Leader Panel @ ONEplace at KPL
Thursday, September 16, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Virtual event

Join ONEplace for a Deeper Dive Discussion on adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing World. This session will feature a panel of local leaders who recognized something needed to be changed and acted. We will also use the time to provide personal introspection as well as develop a plan to further develop our capacity to emerge. A few principles to be explored: Never a failure, always a lesson; Trust the people; Move at the speed of trust; Less prep, more presence.

Real Talk with RBG Live
Thursday, September 16, 6:30pm

Location: Harrison Park, 620 Harrison Street, Kalamazoo

You've met Red Birth Green After Dark and Real Talk with Red Birth Green live on Facebook. Now, get ready for Real Talk with RBG live in person! We are so excited to gather with you in nature to cultivate community and talk about how we RISE, together. In September, we will turn on our internal power switch as we lean into the Principles of Emergent Strategy. We always come with plenty of conversation material, but most of all we want to know from you what is burning in your body and mind. This conversation space is specifically adults and breastfeeding babes only, so please do leave any other children at home. Food and drink are welcome! Hosted by Rootead.

Patrese Griffin: The Kalamazoo Housing Crisis & Environmental Justice in Kalamazoo
Friday, September 17, Time TBD 
Location: Kalamazoo Public Library's Central Branch AND Virtual 
Free event. Required registration to come.

Patrese Griffin will speak about the housing crisis in Kalamazoo, her work to combat housing injustice, the relationship between housing and environmental justice, and how these crises affect all community members. The talk will include a Q&A session at the end.

Black History 101 Mobile Museum: The 5th Element Hip Hop Exhibit Display
Saturday, September 18, 10:30am - 3:00pm  
Location: Kalamazoo Nature Center Visitor Center
Free event includes KNC admission. No registration required.

The 5th Element Hip Hop Exhibit is the latest thematic showcase of memorabilia from the award-winning Black History 101 Mobile Museum. "Knowledge of Culture and History" is the 5th of the fundamental elements of hip hop, which also include "Emceeing, Deejaying, Graffiti, and the "B-Boy/B-Girl." The exhibit features over 150 original artifacts documenting the 40+ year history of hip hop culture. 

This exhibit will use artifacts from the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow, Civil Rights Movement, Black Power Movement and the Black Arts Movement to show how hip hop has drawn inspiration from the past to create a distinct cultural contribution that has a global impact on popular culture. blackhistorymobilemuseum.com

Dr. Khalid el-Hakim: The 5th Element - Using Hip Hop Artifacts to Teach Black History
Saturday, September 18, 5:00pm - 7:00pm 
Exhibit opens for registered guests at 5:00pm. Lecture begins at 6:00pm.
Kalamazoo Nature Center Visitor Center
Free event. Required registration to come.

Hear from the founder of Black History 101 Mobile Museum, Dr. Khalid el-Hakim.   

Open Roads Community Ride
Saturday, September 18, 10:00am - 3:00pm 
Location: Ride begins and ends at Open Roads, 1523 Riverview Dr., with a stop at KNC's Visitor Center.
Free event includes KNC admission. No registration required.

This 10-mile, round-trip ride will take participants to KNC by way of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail (KRVT). At KNC, riders will stop at the Visitor Center to view the The 5th Element Hip Hop Exhibit. Riders will then return to the KRVT to ride back to Open Roads. (Learn more here)

adrienne maree brown
Thursday, September 23, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Location: Virtual event broadcast by Public Media Network
Free event. Required registration coming soon. 

Join a virtual talk by Terry Todd International Speakers Series guest, adrienne maree brown. In Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown names patterns established to perpetuate capitalism, white-supremacy, colonialism, and patriarchy.  She offers patterns found in nature as alternative tools for relating to ourselves, each other, our institutions, and the Earth for our collective liberation. 

Tune in live from home or join a watch party and facilitated discussions at one of the following locations:

    Watch Party for adrienne maree brown at KNC
    Thursday, September 23, 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location: Kalamazoo Nature Center Visitor Center
    Free event.  Required registration coming soon.

Gather for a live screening of adrienne maree brown’ s talk on Emergent Strategy. Her talk will be followed by discussion and a meal.

    Watch Party for adrienne maree brown at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership
    Thursday, September 23, 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location: Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College, following Brave Spaces Work Shop.
    Free event. Required registration coming soon

Whether you are attending the Brave Spaces Workshop or not, you are welcome to gather for a live screening of adrienne maree brown's talk on Emergent Strategy. Her talk will be followed by a discussion and a meal catered by @LoadASpudKzoo

Gun Violence: Wellness and Healing Together 
Friday, September 24, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Rootead Enrichment Center Dance Studio
Free event. Required registration coming soon.

Our community is suffering great loss in a variety of ways due to gun violence. Coping with loss is deeply personal and challenging but even more so as a community and as a result of the trauma of gun violence. Understanding our grief and allowing time and space to process can lead to a greater sense of awareness, healing, and peace. 

Join Dr. Wells as she addresses grief and its various stages, what support looks like, how compassion plays into the process, and ultimately how to persist in helping yourself and others heal.

Deeper Dive Discussion & Brunch
Thursday, September 30, 10:00am-11:00am
Kalamazoo Nature Camp Barn
Free event includes KNC admission. REGISTER HERE

            "We will adapt to change or become irrelevant." adrienne maree brown

Join ONEplace for a Deeper Dive Discussion of adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing World. This book discussion will focus on applying Emergent Strategy to our organizations. We will also use the time to provide personal introspection as well as develop a plan to further develop our capacity to emerge. A few principles to be explored: Never a failure, always a lesson; Trust the people; Move at the speed of trust; Less prep, more presence. Coffee and pastries will be served. Children welcome

Lunch with Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower
Saturday, October 2, 3:00pm - 4:30pm   
Location: Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch Hosted by RAWK Read and Write Kalamazoo
Free event. Required registration coming soon. 

Facilitated by RAWK Read and Write Kalamazoo. Check back soon for details on this program.

Transforming our Approach to Conflict
Saturday, October 6, 9:00am – 12:00pm  
Location: Kalamazoo Nature Center Visitor Center
Free event. Required registration coming soon.

Facilitated by Gryphon Place, we will gather to learn, connect, and support one another as we solve problems faced in our local communities. We will consider how a transformed approach to conflict can help us approach issues of environmental injustice specifically, while also considering how environmental issues are connected with many other forms of injustice.



In Partnership With:

Kalamazoo Nature Center


KPL ONEplace



Black and Brown Therapy Collective

Black History 101 Mobile Museum


K College Arcus Center


Kalamazoo College


Gryphon Place


Kalamazoo Public Library




TRHT Kalamazoo