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  • Writer's pictureAnita Wadhwa

How does nature feel?

From having my home flooded in Hurricane Harvey, to feeling the brutal impact of heat that rises to 110° daily in my hometown in the hottest summer I have ever experienced, I am personally impacted by climate change. Rarely have I ever thought about the intersection of restorative justice with climate justice, so I was happy to have the opportunity to do so with my former student Brandon.

We presented on inter-generational partnerships for justice work at Climate Gen's Summer Institute for Climate Change. Our session was small, but we brainstormed with educators across the country about how to partner across generations to engage with education around climate change through restorative justice. We discussed the idea of having a circle where students would take on different roles from the vantage point of personified entities and stakeholders in climate change. The root question would address the impact of climate change on these entities. In other words, one educator said, how does nature feel about what is happening? I found the question to be a profound one and, and it was a reminder of how necessary it is to engage consistently in teaching perspective taking when doing this work. When we discuss reparations and impact in restorative justice, we are not just talking about impact on people are institutions, but on the environment. I'm grateful of the ways these educators opened my eyes to yet another facet of how my work can intersect with other justice movements.

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