"EARTH 1.0"

DECELERATOR COHORT

"EARTH 1.0"

DECELERATOR COHORT

"EARTH 1.0" DECELERATOR COHORT

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In April and May of 2020, we planned to host 21 creative practitioners at Strange HQ for the third installment of our biannual Decelerator residency program. Due to this spring's global pandemic, residencies have all been paused—however, we are thrilled to introduce the Earth 1.0 cohort, each of whose vital work demonstrates a commitment to environmental sustainability, climate justice, and healing for the natural world. While we all wait out this uncertain time, we hope you'll take this opportunity to follow their work and support it however you can.

The Earth 1.0 cohort features an incredible array of journalists, activists, organizers, strategists, curators, artists, and teachers whose regenerative and ambitious work centers our planet. With help from past Decelerator alums, this spring's residents were selected from nearly 200 applicants, and were accepted based on the demonstrated impact of their work, their plan for using the residency time in both personally meaningful and strategic ways, and the overall clarity and inventiveness of their vision. Scroll on to meet the Spring 2020 cohort:

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Jungwon Kim leads the Rainforest Alliance's creative & editorial unit—a storytelling team that works to raise awareness about the interdependence of people and nature. The writers, designers, and video producers on the team are dedicated to telling stories about successful, community-centered approaches to building rural prosperity and thriving ecosystems.

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Blacki Migliozzi is an award-winning data journalist and storyteller. As a Graphics Editor at The New York Times he focuses on developing data-driven climate stories. Apart from journalism, he is also an amateur biologist specializing in mycology and synthetic biology. In the past he was part of a team that won several of the top prizes at the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition.

Blacki Migliozzi is an award-winning data journalist and storyteller. As a Graphics Editor at The New York Times he focuses on developing data-driven climate stories. Apart from journalism, he is also an amateur biologist specializing in mycology and synthetic biology. In the past he was part of a team that won several of the top prizes at the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition.

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Zoë Schlanger is a writer and environmental journalist whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Wired, Quartz, and elsewhere. She covers how climate change and pollution impact human and non-human life. Right now, she is developing a nonfiction project about the world of plant intelligence research and its implications for us all.

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Paul David Perry is a writer, freelance journalist, and content strategist. He has a deep background in education and nonprofit management. He is currently working on a feature project that links the emerging global movement for reparative justice to climate change and environmental sustainability.

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Imagine Water Works reimagines the future through art, science, and human connection — focusing on water, climate justice, and disaster readiness and response. Led by Klie Kliebert, Miriam Belblidia, Monique Thomas, and Laura Huerta Castro, IWW’s projects include a Queer/Trans Guide to Hurricane Season, an Art/Science Symposium, and the Library of Water.

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Sawdayah Brownlee and Mekdela Maskal met in a Brooklyn garden and began sharing ideas, leading to a collaboration on a climate crisis workshop entitled “Getting in The Right Relationship With Change: Learning from Food Justice." Sawdayah has worked as a farmer and agricultural/environmental educator since 2011, and is currently the Board President of the Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust. Mekdela approaches grassroots food and land preservation systems from a journalistic perspective.

Sawdayah Brownlee and Mekdela Maskal met in a Brooklyn garden and began sharing ideas, leading to a collaboration on a climate crisis workshop entitled “Getting in The Right Relationship With Change: Learning from Food Justice." Sawdayah has worked as a farmer and agricultural/environmental educator since 2011, and is currently the Board President of the Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust. Mekdela approaches grassroots food and land preservation systems from a journalistic perspective.

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Marisa Prefer works as invisible labor, facilitating relationships between plants and people that seek to de-center colonizer narratives about ecological entanglements. Drawing from alternative pedagogies, deep observation and ancestral wisdom, invisible labor leads walks and workshops as experiments in tactile engagement to catalyze methods for cultivating care among multi-species communities.

Marisa Prefer works as invisible labor, facilitating relationships between plants and people that seek to de-center colonizer narratives about ecological entanglements. Drawing from alternative pedagogies, deep observation and ancestral wisdom, invisible labor leads walks and workshops as experiments in tactile engagement to catalyze methods for cultivating care among multi-species communities.

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Rachel He is a digital designer, artist, and technologist based in New York City who advocates for a more climate-conscious internet. She hosts events for Climate Designers, a group of creatives who push for climate action in their work, and is currently hacking away on a resource for building cleaner digital products.

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Gabriella Demczuk is a Lebanese American photographer based in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Her work looks at the effects of politics and policy in shaping a community, specifically related to migration and the environment. She has been recognized by The White House News Photographers Association and American Photography, among others.

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Alex Todaro is an experience designer and farmer building a cooperative organization called the Department of Agricultural Relevance. Its mission is to reframe how we understand and engage with regenerative agriculture in the United States, and to support ways of making farming more inclusive, resilient, and culturally relevant in the face of environmental, economic, and social challenges.

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Klaudia Ofwona Draber is the Executive Director at KODA, a NY-based social practice residency for mid-career artists. Her next project is Lina Puerta’s survey exhibition, focusing on nature preservation, migration and femininity. Klaudia previously served as a consultant to the British Council Arts, and worked at UBS, managing art CSR collaborations.

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Danny Spitzberg and Erica Ruth Dixon collaborated to create “The Resilience We Want,” a guide to making spaces for mutual aid informed by community initiatives like the grassroots response in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria, all hyper-social approaches with neighborhood pride. They are working to expand “The Resilience We Want” with new material, including a new cover page and fold-out poster.

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Ceci Pineda is a facilitator, composter/earth steward, and musician learning to live in more harmony with the land. They are dedicated to climate justice and find hope in land-based community regeneration work. Through music, they seek to create a space where we can connect with the earth and our true selves.

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Elizabeth Cook, Kirsten Schwarz, and Bethnann Garramon Merkle bring expertise in urban ecology, sustainability science, and science communication. They are working on a book proposal for Sustaining Communities: An Illustrated Guide to Community-Based Urban Ecology. The book will center on the importance of developing a transdisciplinary understanding of urban ecology to address pressing concerns of environmental sustainability and climate justice in cities.

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Curious who else has participated in The Strange's Decelerator program? You can view the Spring '19 Cohort here, the Fall '19 cohort here, and learn more about the overall experience in our publication, Strange Methods 1: Notes on Deceleration, which is available here.

To find out when applications are open for future Decelerator programs, subscribe to our newsletter.