On September 11 and 12, 2023, Second Nature hosted Fostering Reciprocal Relationships for Climate Action, our first Midwest gathering on the Menominee Reservation. We were joined by representatives from the College of Menominee Nation and members of the higher education community across the Midwest.

Read more about the gathering here.


September 11 and 12, 2023
Menominee Resort and Casino, East Central Wisconsin
Registration is now closed.

Moving towards equitable climate action requires building and strengthening relationships that have historically been undervalued and under cultivated. Second Nature is bringing together colleges and universities from across the Midwest to intentionally focus on how we communicate and build solidarity across our differences to move climate action forward. During this event, we are centering the voices, perspective, knowledge, and wisdom of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Conference Agenda
Monday, September 11

  • 9:30 am – 11 am: Check In
  • 11 am: Welcome and Invocation from a member of the Menominee community, and remarks from Chris Caldwell (College of Menominee Nation); Rebecca Edler (College of Menominee Nation); Cami Sockow (Second Nature)
  • 11:45 am: Working Lunch – Harnessing Culture for Climate Action: The Role of Minority Serving Institutions in the Climate Crisis featuring Sougata Bardhan (Lincoln University); Rosa Cabrera (University of Illinois, Chicago); Rebecca Edler (College of Menominee Nation)*
  • 2 pm: Respecting Indigenous Knowledge(s) with Chris Caldwell (College of Menominee Nation)*
  • 2:45 pm: Small is All: Weaving into Right Relationship with Katherine MacHolmes (Second Nature and Collective Futures Design Lab) and Blythe Coleman-Mumford (Second Nature)*
  • 4:30 pm: Maintaining a Relationship with Unci-Makha (Grandmother Earth) with Paisley Sierra*
  • 5:30 pm: Dinner and Entertainment with Wade Fernandez (multi-award winning international touring artist and member of the Menominee community)

Tuesday, September 12

  • 8 am: Breakfast
  • 9 am: Tour of the Menominee Forest with Jeff Grignon (Forest Regeneration Forester and member of the Menominee community)
  • 12 pm: Lunch and Entertainment*
  • 1:30 pm: Scaling Up: Building the Practice of Right Relationship with Katherine MacHolmes*
  • 3 pm: Closing remarks from Cami Sockow and Wade Fernandez

* indicates an activity is followed by a break

Lodging Information

Second Nature has booked a room block at the Menominee Casino and Resort, about 45 minutes west of Green Bay, WI. Please see their website here or give them a call at 1-800-343-7778 to book your room for the event.

Goals of the conference:

  1. To center Black, Indigenous, and People of Color’s perspectives to lead the conversation on climate
  2. To learn best practices for support and build intentional reciprocal relationships between diverse institution types (TCUs, HBCUs, HSIs, PWIs, community colleges, research institutions, etc.)
  3. To create a space to convene universities and colleges from the Midwest region to learn from each other and move closer to climate-related goals
  4. To understand barriers to aligning climate action between universities/colleges and the communities they live in

Conference attendees will leave with increased ability to:

  • Access language around climate impacts and structural oppression to communicate with each other to move climate action forward
  • Understand what our responsibility is to learned knowledge(s), shared through research and traditions
  • Build reciprocal relationships around climate impacts and vulnerable populations to move climate action forward

Why are we hosting this gathering?
Second Nature’s first Midwest gathering will strengthen our ability to communicate about how climate change intersects with structural oppression to compound vulnerability for specific populations and institutions. The gathering is designed to strengthen our connectivity and relationship-building capacities to increase our collective strength. We see this as a critical step in advancing our collective impact around climate change. This event is supported by the College of Menominee Nation.

Questions about the Midwest gathering? Email Cami Sockow at [email protected]