Announcing the Fall 2017 series

Fall 2017 Series

Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis

TalkingTruth Fall 2017 (flyer)

“Hearts in Action: Creative Responses to Climate Change”
Art making, creative writing and contemplative practices
Mondays 4-5pm, Sci and Engineering Library

Reading of Kinship of Clover with author Ellen Meeropol
Thurs. 9/28 7pm, Sci and Engineering Library

Nature Experience with the Outing Club
Fri. 9/29 12-1, Majestic beeches next to Durfee Conservatory

Green Building Tours with Ludmilla Pavlova, Senior Campus Planner
Thurs. 9/14 and 10/5 4-5:30, meet in the lobby of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library


Talking Truth in the News

We set up a Talking Truth booth at the Amherst Sustainability Festival on April 22, 2017. Great way to get climate change “out in the open!” Here are two articles about the Fest: Sustainability Comes to Amherst and Sustainability Festival in Amherst sets the tone for Earth Day.

At our booth, community members wrote a response to the question, “How do you feel about climate change?” Their responses have been added to the hundreds of others written by UMass students, faculty, librarians and staff which are all housed in the University Archives on the 25th floor of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. This project is inspired by Joe Duggan, doctoral student in Australia and the creator of Is This How You Feel?

A Night of Reflection & Bravery!

Thank you for the great crowd who came out for “Finding Your Life Purpose: Career Workshop” on Thursday,3/2.
This was a reflective writing, group discussion and practical steps to support career exploration. The group was led by contemplative career coach and mindfulness teacher Jennifer Earls, M.Ed., Dance with Life Consulting.

Attendees began the night with a meditation to pull them into a state of mindfullness and introspection. The room was quiet as all soaked up the healing energy Jennifer put forth as they prepared to delve into thinking about their futures!

As Jennifer coached participants through thinking about their personal dreams and their dreams for the Earth, intersections of both love and fear were made apparent.  There was a beautiful willingness to experiment, seek partnership, and open up to each other among the attendees. Certain words such as “uncertain”, “stuck”, and “lost” were met with “engage”, “restore”, and “community” as everyone talked to their partners and groups.

At the end of the night, many reflected on how surprised they were to have opened up to strangers about their goals and dreams about entwining their personal passions with ecojustice. The resounding sentiment was: “You can connect to people so quickly when you are vulnerable and share your passions, which are in a sense your true self.”

Gazing 5 minutes at a climate change headline

Every Monday 3:00-3:45pm in room 1638 of the Du Bois Library, we gather for “Holding Earth: Mindful Climate Action.” Yesterday we listened to excerpts of this NYT article, “Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just 1 Famine, but 4.” Then we gazed for 5 minutes at slide #2.

This exercise was inspired by Thomas Huebl, who explains more here (3:45 minutes)

Says Huebl, “This is a spiritual practice that helps us to expand our awareness into the bigger We-space. We relate to current world events – and often this is experienced as ‘negative news’. That means this event triggers in me so much discomfort that I want to turn away. If enough people are able to perceive and feel what we are doing to each other right now on the planet – that is the basis for a change.”

The Talking Truth goal here: To respond to climate change and co-create change from our conscious awareness.

Spring 2017 series!

Unless otherwise indicated, all events take place in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, UMass

The theme of the spring 2017 series is “Living and Working with Purpose in a Time of Climate Disruption.”


Holding Earth: Mindful Climate Action
Mondays, 1/30-5/8, 3:00-3:45 p.m., Room 1638
Weekly 30-minute mindfulness practice followed by sharing of resources, action-based opportunities, and ideas.

Meeting Our Ancestors: Exploring the Future Through the Present Moment
Friday, 2/24, 12:30-2:00 p.m., Campus Center, Room 917

A sacred “deep time” practice session, inspired by the work of activist and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy. In this workshop we will consider how we might act like ancestors of future generations and reinvigorate our commitment to climate justice action. The group is facilitated by Tim Beaucage, graduate advisor/teaching associate at UMass Amherst.

Beyond Doom and Gloom: Including Solutions to Climate Change in Teaching
Wednesday, 3/1, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 2601

Live webinar for faculty presented by the Disciplinary Association Network for Sustainability. Learn to access expert guidance and curricular materials to engage your students in current and future solutions. This webinar is applicable to any course, in any discipline; discussion to follow.

Finding Your Life Purpose: Career Workshop
Thursday, 3/2, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Room 2601

Reflective writing, group discussion and practical steps to support career exploration. The group is led by contemplative career coach and mindfulness teacher Jennifer Earls, M.Ed., Dance with Life Consulting.

Poetry Reading and Creative Writing Workshop
Thursday, 3/23, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Room 2601
Featuring Don Ogden, author of Bad Atmosphere. A free copy of Ogden’s book will be given to the first 20 participants to arrive.

Green Building Tour
Thursday, 4/13, 4:00-5:30 p.m.,
Meet in the lobby of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library
Get the inside stories of the new Design Building, renovated Old Chapel, South College addition, Integrative Learning Center and others. Led by Ludmilla Pavlova, senior campus planner.

Finding Work with Meaning in the Anthropocene: Panel Discussion
Wednesday, 4/19, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Room 2601
Gain insights into your personal journey toward forward-thinking work in sustainable living and community building within the fields of education, entrepreneurialism, and green building, with Ofer Sharone, Assistant professor, Sociology, UMass; Sara Schley, Co-founder of sustainable consulting firm Seed Systems; Ezra Small , UMass Sustainability Manager; Sarah Hebert G’13, Trinity Solar employee; and John Fabel, Building & Construction Technology adjunct faculty member, UMass.

Other associated events:

A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection, and Action around Climate Change
Saturday, 4/1, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Lower Level, W.E.B. Du Bois Library

Participate in our reflective writing exercise as part of the Libraries’ spring Climate Change event, which will also include a Sustainability Showcase, speakers, and refreshments. The full event is from 4-7 p.m.

Town of Amherst Sustainability Festival,
Saturday, 4/22, 10:00-4:00 p.m, Amherst Town Common
Find representatives from Talking Truth in the Climate Transformer area.

For more information, contact Madeleine Charney, 413-577-0784 or visit: and

Talking Truth is co-sponsored by the Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, UMass Amherst Libraries, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Psychology of Peace and Violence Program.

Talking Truth is endorsed by the following UMass Amherst entities, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, UMass Climateers, Eco-Rep Program, Biostead Initiative, Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group, Spiritual Ecology and Regenerative Systems Initiative, and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Experiential climate change workshop Fri. 11/4 12:30-2:00

Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis presents…

An experiential climate change workshop
Fri. 11/4 12:30-2:00
26th floor of the Du Bois Library, UMass
Free and open to all

Storytelling, reflective writing, discussion and more.

We will then all go to the #noDAPL speak out on the Goodell Lawn at
2:00 (organized by students from Divest and the Native American Students Association)