Proven Sustainable™

This is a collection of thought provoking talks with Indigenous and Maroon people and their supporters to realize and challenge our conscious and unconscious colonized thinking and behaviors. Each conversation explores individual and cultural beliefs and practices for living sustainably and resiliently amidst drastic environment changes and ongoing historical efforts of erasure. **The Proven Sustainable Conversation Series is a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Transformative Action, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. It’s created with the intent of channeling support directly to the peoples represented.**

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Thursday Jun 27, 2024

Listen to this captivating conversation with Dr. Aroha Spinks, an environmental scientist and independent consultant in New Zealand, who shares her profound insights on the centrality of familial and tribal relationships in Māori culture, the crucial role of language preservation, and the enduring impact of ancestral traditions for building a sustainable future. She reveals how her grandmother's teachings guide her spiritual and environmental healing practices, and discusses her unique role in bridging Māori and non-Māori knowledge systems. Learn about her work on the restoration of Lake Waiorongomai, the importance of seeking elder wisdom, and the power of ancestral practices in facing climate change. 

Tuesday Jun 11, 2024

Khangelani is a recent Biology graduate from Ithaca College with a passion for veterinary medicine, public health, and the preservation of Zimbabwean cultures. In this episode, she shares her dedication to preserving Zimbabwean traditions through her initiative, Project Imbizo. Through our conversation, we discuss the challenges Khangelani faced while learning to play the mbira (musical instrument) amid religious and colonial pressures, and her fight against modernity's impact on cultural heritage. Learn about the meaning of indigeneity in post-colonial Zimbabwe, the importance of preserving traditional dances, and the dangers of online misinformation. Khangelani shares many intriguing stories and her heartfelt gratitude for those who keep cultural traditions alive. This dialogue is a testament to the resilience and passion required to protect and celebrate one's cultural roots.

Wednesday May 29, 2024

In this episode, Nichole shares her journey of finding her voice through writing as a young immigrant from Jamaica to England. She delves into the rich history of the Jamaican Maroons, as told by her father, and how their ways of being fueled their fight for freedom. Nichole reveals how she has upheld her spirit and values as a strong Maroon fighter while embodying an introvert’s persona.
Nichole is a senior nurse, honorary visiting professor, blogger, podcaster, motivational speaker, and poet. With extensive experience in acute healthcare settings and clinical quality, Nichole is also the founder and Director of Maroon Mindset Unlimited.
Through the conversation, learn about her extroverted father, a head teacher who proudly expressed his Maroon identity, and Nichole’s dedication to mentoring student nurses to empower them in an often oppressive system. She also addresses the mistreatment of the Windrush generation by the UK government and how it has influenced her work.
With powerfully succinct stories and statements, Nichole discusses the founding of Maroon Mindset Unlimited and the vital importance of embracing her Maroon identity and strength, especially as a mother. This episode is a testament to resilience, cultural pride, and the power of claiming one’s agency.

Thursday May 23, 2024

Join us for a captivating conversation with Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows), the former Director of Education at Oglala Lakota College and current Professor of Educational Leadership for Change at Antioch University. As the co-author of "Restoring the Kinship Worldview: Indigenous Voices Introduce 28 Precepts for Rebalancing Life on Planet Earth," written with Darcia Narvaez, Four Arrows brings a wealth of knowledge and profound insights to our discussion.
In this episode, he shares his transformative journey towards embracing an Indigenous nature-based worldview, sparked by a near-death experience and a miraculous recovery facilitated by the Raramuri Indians. We delve into what it means to be human in the face of existential crises, exploring the stark differences between anthropocentric and kinship worldviews as illustrated in his worldview chart.
Discover the intriguing Cat-Fawn dehypnotizing technology and its ceremonial connections, as well as Four Arrows' recent enlightening experiences with the unconquered Kogi in Colombia. Hear his compelling reasons for choosing Indigenous practices to treat his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and the challenges he faces in promoting “out-of-the-box” thinking for decolonizing and indigenizing higher education.
Four Arrows also recounts his powerful experience at Standing Rock, where he witnessed and partook in acts of fearless courage. Finally, he offers a poignant reflection on accepting the reality of death and discovering one's death song. This episode promises to inspire and provoke thought, offering a unique perspective on rebalancing life on our planet.

Wednesday May 08, 2024

Phil "Pompey" Fixico is an aspiring Seminole Maroon Descendant and Activist who learned about his native identity at the age of 52. He shares his journey and life’s mission in this lively interview. Among other topics, he addresses the Maroon Peace Belt, the definitions of Maroon, the Stono Rebellion, the Seminole Scouts and his founding of the Semiroon Historical Society.

Thursday Apr 11, 2024

This coversation features Diane Schenandoah, a faithkeeper of the Oneida Nation, Wolf Clan of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She speaks about her efforts to encourage people to care for the Earth through her multifacted roles as a sculpture, published author, singer, and Syracuse University’s first Honwadiyenawa’sek, meaning “the one who helps them.”

Sunday Mar 03, 2024

This eposode features Sheryll Durrant, an urban farming and food justice advocate who shares insights on her upbringing in Jamaica, her awakening to sustainability initiatives in Brooklyn, and how these experiences fueled her commitment to food justice in the Bronx.
We delve into her journey from corporate marketing to leading community gardens, emphasizing the role of Maroon heritage in shaping her approach to food sovereignty and resilience.
The discussion explores key themes of resistance, endurance, and community support, inviting listeners to engage with Sheryll's mission to foster environmental justice and collective sustainable living. Discover how the principles of resilience and resistance guide her work and how you can support her efforts in creating a greener, more equitable future.
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Sunday Feb 18, 2024

This is the first discussion amongst the founding group of the Proven Sustainable Conversation series about the origins of the projects, their personal interests in contributing, and what it means to embody the essence of the work in their existence. The participating collective consists of Sox Sperry, the founder of Proven Sustainable, Kelsey Greene, the principle designer behind the project, and Ketu Oladuwa, a longtime friend, journalist, poet, and human rights activist.
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Monday Feb 05, 2024

This pilot episode is a compilation of summarizing statements by Proven Sustainable's core team and Guiding Council members underlying the significance of elevating and learning from Indigenous and Maroon voices.
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We are here to acknowledge, honor, learn from, and support those who have survived the tests of climate changes and the attacks of settler colonialism and modernity for centuries.

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Support Our Production Efforts

All of our content is focused on providing free thought-provoking materials that directly attributes and encourages donations to the Indigenous and Maroon peoples themselves. However, it takes a lot of energy and time to pull this all together. We've contributed hundreds of volunteer hours and thousands of personal dollars to produce everything so far. To uphold our efforts we’re leaning into our own community who see the value in this work. 

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The Proven Sustainable™ Conversation Series is a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Transformative Action, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. 

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