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One Book Project

The Archipelago of HopeThe Spring 2019 One Book is The Archipelago of Hope

An enlightening global journey reveals the inextricable links between Indigenous cultures and their lands—and how it can form the foundation for climate change resilience around the world.

One cannot turn on the news today without a report on an extreme weather event or the latest update on Antarctica. But while our politicians argue, the truth is that climate change is already here. Nobody knows this better than Indigenous peoples who, having developed an intimate relationship with ecosystems over generations, have observed these changes for decades. For them, climate change is not an abstract concept or policy issue, but the reality of daily life.

After two decades of working with indigenous communities, Gleb Raygorodetsky shows how these communities are actually islands of biological and cultural diversity in the ever-rising sea of development and urbanization.  They are an “archipelago of hope” as we enter the Anthropocene, for here lies humankind’s best chance to remember our roots and how to take care of the Earth. These communities are implementing creative solutions to meet these modern challenges. Solutions that are relevant to the rest of us.

We meet the Skolt Sami of Finland, the Nenets and Altai of Russia, the Sapara of Ecuador, the Karen of Myanmar, and the Tla-o-qui-aht of Canada. Intimate portraits of these men and women, youth and elders, emerge against the backdrop of their traditional practices on land and water. Though there are brutal realties?pollution, corruption, forced assimilation—Raygorodetsky’s prose resonates with the positive, the adaptive, the spiritual—and hope. Synopsis taken from

One Book Events Spring 2019

February 21, 6 p.m. – Hamilton Auditorium

Surviving the Extreme film and discussion

March 7, 8 p.m. – Great Hall, Memorial Union

*Rescheduled from November 1*

We Rise: Building a Movement that Restores the Planet

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Xiuhtezcatl (‘Shu-Tez-Caht) Martinez is an 18-year-old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and a voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. He has addressed the UN General Assembly, taken on local issues such as eliminating pesticides from parks, and is a lead plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the U.S. government for their inaction on climate change. Martinez is Youth Director of the Earth Guardians, a tribe of young activists, artists, and musicians inspiring global change. He published his first book, We Rise, in 2017 and recently performed at MTV Music Week in association with the EMAs. National Affairs Series: Building a Better Democracy

April 22, 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. – Dale Howard Café

Earth Day- Community Action Project Displays
Throughout the community: Earth Day Activities

Thursday, April 25 6:00 – Barlow Library, Iowa Falls

Book Club discussion

Late April/Early May TBA

Trip to Seed Savers Heritage Farm in Decorah
($5 fee to reserve your spot)

About the One Book project

The One Book project, an idea originated by the Washington Center for the Book, is an opportunity for communities to read and discuss a book together. Ellsworth Community College has formed partnerships with the Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library in Iowa Falls, Dr. Grace O. Doane Alden Public Library, and groups and organizations in the surrounding communities, such as the American Legion, Hardin County Recreational Trails, and Iowa Valley Continuing Education. The One Book partnership strives to increase interaction among ECC students and local community members. Through discussion groups and activities planned throughout the fall, participants will develop knowledge and understanding about various people and cultures, as well as increasing overall literacy and joy of reading.

Academically, ECC faculty pair book topics with classroom projects and discussions. The Barlow and Doane Libraries include the One Book title in their monthly book discussions. Movies, lectures, panel discussions, and other activities are open to both students and any interested readers, both on the ECC campus and at the public libraries, as well other venues throughout the community.

For more information about the One Book Project contact English Instructor Michael Rottink.