Episode #8 ~ AASHE 2018 ~ Kate Rayner Fried & The Ethics of Care



So, the AASHE 2018 Conferene & Expo just wrapped up, The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education had this years annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I must say, that is a beautiful part of this planet. The conference was themed around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDG’s for short which have been crafted by the United Nations. These goals are to be met by 2030 in hopes to curb our carbon emissions and ideally not have us collectively head quite so quickly off of the cliff. One things for certain, we cannot go forth practicing the detrimental ‘business as usual’ if we are going to realistically move away from the cliffs edge and get on any sort of realistic sustainable track or perhaps solar road…

Over the course of the conference I had a good handful of takeaways and moments to remember though one that stands out was the conference session I attended called: Sustaining our Communities Through Care and Action. The presenter was Kate Rayner Fried, a senior at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. This session was filled with so many important elements and ideas that I resonated with that it’s going to be challenging to succinctly pick a few to describe to you. Thankfully, after Kate’s session I asked if she’d be willing to sit down with me and share some of her thoughts and reflections on her session and about the ethics of care. Also, if you follow the link to her presentation, Kate was kind enough to share her presentation slides and notes as well.

I finished editing and producing this episode yesterday, on what is now called Indigenous People’s Day in many parts of America. This is a good step in the right direction for telling better stories moving forward. And I would also like to add that Kate started off her presentation with these words which was very thoughtful and showed a sense of honor and respect for the lands we were on in what we now call Pittsburgh.

Haudenosaunee Confederacy

“Before we begin we need to take a few moments to acknowledge the history of the land we are on and the people who have lived and continue to live here since time immemorial. Here in Pittsburg we are currently occupying Haudenosauneega/Haudenosaunee Confederacy (pronounce: Hoe-den-ah-show-knee) land and Osage (oh-sage) land, and we did not ask permission to be here. The Haudenosauneega Confederacy (pronounce: Hoe-den-ah-show-knee) is a group of Indigenous nations which includes the Mohawk, Oneida (Own-eye-da), Onondaga (On-on- da-ga), Cayuga, and Seneca people. Both the Haudenosauneega (pronounce: Hoe-den-ah- show-knee) and Osage nations are nations that cross borders imposed by settler colonialism.”



It was encouraging to see and hear the land acknowledgments being incorporated into many of the presentations at AASHE including right before the opening keynote of the conference. The sustainability movement has been a very privileged and white persons movement for a long time and it has a ways to go to be genuinely inclusive and equitable in many regards. These land acknowledgements are a good step in the right direction for sure…

Okay, one last thing before I wrap this up and kindly encourage you to have a listen to this episode, I loved that Kate has a self declared major called ”Environmental Consciousness: Society, Culture, and Education,” That is awesome. Alright, let’s hear what Kate had to say on the Ethics of Care and some views on social justice and the sustainability movement…