by Eleanor Finley

This year the Institute for Social Ecology hosted its annual week-long Winter Intensive program in Northampton, Massachusetts. Participants gathered at the Northampton Friends Meetinghouse, a bright, serene space in the heart of downtown Northampton. Classes were held each day from 9 to 6:45, with eight instructors lecturing and leading discussions on topics ranging from direct democracy and dual power to permaculture principles and carbon sequestering agriculture.

The ISE was thrilled to welcome poet and Yeshiva University professor, Joy Ladin, as well as Tar Sands/Keystone XL Blockade organizer Negesti Cantave to the Intensive as special guest speakers. Our wonderful students came from a variety of backgrounds, including local community organizations, organic farms, and universities from across the region and beyond.

While the intensive was rigorous, participants did not forget to have fun, playing games during lunch and exploring downtown Northampton. Many thanks to all of the delightful individuals and organizations who came out in support of the ISE and this program, to create a truly welcoming and enlightening learning experience.