The Robert A. Macoskey Center collaborated with the Women’s Center and Pride Center to present the first film of the Women in the Environment Film series on Wednesday, showcasing and discussing Joanna Macy and the Great Turning.
Corie Eckman, sustainability education graduate assistant for the Macoskey Center for Sustainability Education and Research, stressed the film’s message of unity and collaboration. The event itself is a joint effort between organizations, one that has passed hands a number of times before.
“The reins got passed on to me, and I’m doing my best to repeat some of those same programs that have been successful in the past,” Eckman said. “The organizations behind this have, I wanna say, two years under their belt of hosting two movies a semester as part of this collaboration.”
The film focuses on growing environmentalist efforts across the globe, referred to by host Joanna Macy as “The Great Turning.” The film, Eckman said, was a natural fit for both the involved organizations and their goals.
“It kept people’s attention, and I loved the way that throughout it… you felt like you were always having a conversation with [the author],” Eckman said. “I brought it to our next meeting with Kendra and Lyosha and said ‘Hey, why don’t we play this one?’ and we ended up all agreeing on it.”
Eckman said that the goal was to create a conversation between attendees, but if people were not really speaking up they had to prepare for a more direct, guided discussion. Luckily, Eckman explained, the discussion went better than she could have hoped, with attendees chiming in via Zoom’s chat function sometimes faster than she could respond.
The message Eckman hoped to send attendees home with was, just like the film showcased, one of positive connection with others and with the world. Connection is especially difficult with everyone stuck at home, Eckman said, but that difficulty does not have to mean a negative impact.
“Having that discussion was the main point of connection, so that people could feel heard and could take home that feeling of knowing your impact on the world doesn’t have to be a negative one,” Eckman said. “That’s the main thing: you can be positive, even if things do seem doom-and-gloom.”
The Women in the Environment Film series is planning a second event sometime in November. The exact date and the film that will be shown have yet to be announced.