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ESF Participates in Remembrance for Lost Species

Full day of events set for Nov. 29

Remembrance Day for Lost Species -- Acknowledging Loss of Biodiversity -- 30th November

ESF students, faculty and staff will observe Remembrance Day for Lost Species Thursday, Nov. 29.

The day provides a chance toexplore the stories of extinct and critically endangered species, cultures, lifeways and ecological communities. Across the globe, it is observed Nov. 30. The ESF observation Nov. 29 means the event coincides with the College Hour, held each Thursday.

"We wanted to set aside a day when we could all pause from our work to collectively mourn and remember," said Brian Ratcliffe, a graduate student who is the principal organizer of the event. "It felt important enough to make happen, and so I enlisted some friends and we made a whole day of events all centered around the themes of extinction, memory, emotion and community."

Ratcliffe is working closely with Distinguished Teaching Professor Robin Kimmerer, the director of the ESF Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. Kimmerer, who noted the worldwide remembrance is beginning to gain attention in the U.S., is participating in the international event through an essay that will be published in an online magazine, The Clearing.

The schedule is listed below.

Grief and Healing Ceremony
College Hour (11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.), 408 Baker Laboratory
Overflow rooms are 434 Baker and 319 Marshall.
This ceremony features music, stories, poems, ritual and food. Participants will gather to mourn those who are lost and recommit themselves to living in right relationship with those who remain.

The Extinction Gallery
All day (except for a break between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.), 110 Moon Library
There will be a slideshow on loop depicting species from this region who are threatened, endangered, or extinct. A soundtrack of calls from various species will be played. There will be additional information available from student curators.

Remembrance Circle
All day in the Bray Hall Rotunda
This provides a gathering place for offerings left in memoriam to people or beings who are gone. These can include flowers, stones, photos, drawings, notes, candles or anything else left in a spirit of honor and remembrance.

Letter-Writing Campaign in Defense of the Endangered Species Act
All day in the Bray Rotunda (and other locations)
Campus community members will be invited to add their signatures to a letter drafted in support of protecting the Endangered Species Act, which has recently been under attack by Congress. People will also have the opportunity to write their own letter of support, to be included in a bundle that will be sent to local governmental representatives.

Mural Creation
All day in the Gateway Center tabling space
Student artists will facilitate the collective creation of a mural made from an unusual medium: trash. Campus community members will be invited to add a piece of trash to the composition, which, by the end of the day, will depict a collage of endangered or extinct species.

Species Appreciation Walk
12:30 to 1:30 p.m., meet in front of Moon Library.
Graduate student Tusha Yakovleva and faculty member Neil Patterson Jr. will lead a walk through campus and Oakwood Cemetery, pointing out plant species along the way and telling their stories. (Weather permitting)

Movie Screening -Black Ash Basketry: A Story of Cultural Resilience
2 to 4 p.m. in 319 Marshall Hall
There will be a free screening of a powerful documentary that tells the story of Potawatomi basket makers and the devastating impact of the emerald ash borer on their traditional life-ways.