No. 3: A River Connected: stories about river, race, home, and climate

12 Noon, Thursday, March 17, 2022

All communities, every state

Gathering and Welcome

Introduction: Who are you, where are you, and what is the river to you?

River—Climate: Mohns Fish Market

The last commercial fishing operation on the Upper Mississippi, a family operation that makes their life and work on the river.

Q&A: How does the river shape your sense of home?

Climate—Home: Mayor Lionel Johnson

A three term mayor of St. Gabriel, Louisiana, he’s dedicated to his homeplace and committed to bringing environmental understanding to his people.

Q&A: Is there a need for climate education in your community?

Home—Race: Alanda Gregory

A transplant from Chicago to Dubuque, Iowa, Alanda Gregory is leading the charge to diversify and urbanize this Iowa town.

Q&A: How do you face race and class disparities in your community?

Standing Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, Illinois, he’s a veteran of the Civil Rights movements and the revolutions that came with it. Now he sees revolution in our midst.

Q&A: Why do we make our homes in threatened environments?

click here to watch video

What a great convening. Even more so for the voices who joined us and the things they shared than for what Tom and I had to say I think. Regardless, so many good stories and rich, thought-provoking discussions.

As we keep journeying on in this series, one month after another, it becomes more and more clear that these chosen themes of river, race, climate and home are so very important and also prevalent in the stories we heard along the Mississippi. However insulated we might think ourselves, it’s important to make contact with lives who are shaped by these issues and reflect on our own connection to these spaces and places. I truly appreciate the people who join us each month to dive into this process.

This is only the beginning, not just because this was March and only the third month of the series. But also because all the work of this series is a prelude to the impending storytelling website that we will launch this fall. The website is truly the “book” we always thought we would write, but we believe a better outcome for its interactivity, its immersiveness, and its ability to live on and stay current with the flow of stories coming from the river. We hope you will continue to share your stories with us. Invite us into your lives and communities. We are ready to listen.