Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

EcologyShifts application deadline extended until June 24th

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Deadline for applications extended until June 24th!

EcologyShifts is a community-learning and change-making experience focused on personal growth and organizational change as critical elements to creating shifts in the environmental field toward equity and justice.

EcologyShifts will be based in emergent and participatory design as well as experiential learning theory and practice. This means that while some of the outcomes and outline of the program will be pre-determined, the program will be significantly shaped by the participants. EcologyShifts will weave together guest speakers, conversation and dialogue, personal and organizational reflection, and time for play, quiet non-programmed time, creative expression, storytelling and open space in order to experience and explore equity and related concepts from the “inside out.” Through this cohort-based experience participants will challenge assumptions, explore questions, lean into discomfort, develop strategies for shifting power, and explore how to heal and change systems-level inequities with creativity, honesty, and justice.

Throughout the experience, participants can expect to:

  • Explore issues of power and equity including, but not limited to, colonization, racism, and patriarchy.
  • Develop processes and strategies for shifting and transforming power in organizations and the environmental field.
  • Engage in conversations, contemplation, and reflection.
  • Practice equity through taking action within organizations, communities, and at the larger systems-level.

By the end of the experience, participants will:

  • Develop and deepen relationships in the environmental field.
  • Strengthen skills which nurture more powerful, authentic connections with people and the environment.
  • Build relationship with a community of people with whom they can connect and collaborate to lead continuing change in the environmental field toward equity and justice.
  • Develop a sense of how they and their organizations will continue to contribute to a shift to equity-centered change in the environmental field.

Imagined outcomes of EcologyShifts are that people, organizations and the environmental field will:

  • Be centered around issues of equity, particularly racial equity.
  • Engage in equity-focused policy and field-based shifts.
  • Share resources more equitably.
  • Have more diverse, inclusive, and equitable leadership.

Who is Offering EcologyShifts? 

EcologyShifts is offered by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, a philanthropic organization seeking to create a healthier and more equitable Maine, where all people, animals, and the environment thrive. With an equity-first approach to all it does, the Foundation works to build mutual, trust-based partnerships spanning socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic boundaries.

EcologyShifts will be facilitated by a Host Circle.  We are excited to announce that Sherri Mitchell will be joining our Host Circle and providing key facilitation to the cohort and experience. There will be additional members of the Host Circle that we will shareabout in July or August.

The essence and outline of EcologyShifts was created over a long period of time, emerging from many conversations, as well as the focused work of a design team which provided the initial shape of EcologyShifts. 

Learn more about the Sewall Foundation here. To read about the Foundation’s equity journey, click here.

To learn more about EcologyShifts and apply, visit the program page.