New GVSU program: “Place-Based Education for Environmental Stewardship and Community Engagement”

Grand Valley State University’s College of Education is excited to offer two pilot courses in a potential* (see below) graduate certificate program in Place-Based Education for Environmental Stewardship and Community Engagement.  Through an interconnected sequence of four courses, the certificate program will prepare learners to:

  • Understand the principles and implementation of place-based education that nurtures and augments academic and ecological literacy
  • Develop insight into the cultural, historical, economic, and environmental character of one’s place
  • Recognize the unique issues that threaten the health and well-being of the inhabitants (both human and non-human) of a particular place
  • Cultivate a sense of responsibility, agency, and empowerment in facing these challenges and designing sustainable solutions

The program will be designed for anyone working within K-12 educational settings as well as individuals outside of the field of formal education who have an interest in issues related to sustainability, community problem-solving, and community well-being. The certificate program can be completed within 12 months and all courses will be held on Grand Valley State University’s Pew campus in downtown Grand Rapids.  Please see the attached flyer for descriptions and meeting times for the first two pilot courses in the anticipated certificate sequence.  Enrollment is currently open and the first course in the program begins the week of May 5, 2014.

This potential certificate program will also be available to undergraduate students.  Interested GVSU undergraduates taking graduate courses through the dual-credit process may be admitted to a graduate certificate program.  The credits for these courses may by applied either as undergraduate elective credit or toward completion of the graduate certificate.  However, an undergraduate student may NOT be awarded a graduate certificate until they have been awarded a baccalaureate degree. Non-GVSU students without a bachelor’s degree will be considered for the program on an individual basis.

*We anticipate the certificate program will be approved and officially established through the University curriculum process by Spring, 2015.  In the event that the program does not move from “pilot” to permanent status, credits earned can be applied as graduate or undergraduate electives depending upon the level of the student.

All interested individuals can apply to Grand Valley State University and register for courses with graduate non-degree-seeking status. Please visit for further information about applying to Grand Valley State University with graduate non-degree-seeking-status and registering for courses.

All questions and inquiries about the program can be directed to:

Dr. Kevin Holohan
Grand Valley State University
College of Education
489C Richard M. DeVos Center

Renowned Chef Bryant Terry featured at OKT Women of Color Convening April 23

Eco-chef, food justice activist and author, Bryant Terry will meet with community members for dialogue on food justice and a cooking demo from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday April 23 at LINC Gallery, 341 Hall St. SE in Grand Rapids. The appearance debuts Our Kitchen Table’s 2014 series, Women of Color Convenings. Terry’s stop in Grand Rapids marks the release of his new cookbook, Afro-Vegan, as part of Calvin College’s Wake-up Weekend.

Lila Cabbil, president emeritus, Rosa Parks Institute, will facilitate the dialogue. Seating is limited. Preregistration required by contacting or 616-206-3641. This is Terry’s second appearance at an in-neighborhood, Our Kitchen Table event. He hosted a community dialogue on Food Justice with Ms. Cabbil here in January, 2012.

Terry’s other books are The Inspired Vegan, Grub and Vegan Soul Kitchen. He hosts his own program, “Urban Organic,” and has appeared on the Sundance Channel’s original TV series “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” the BET series “My Two Cents” and on PBS’ “Nourish: Food + Community” and “The Endless Feast.”

According to his website,, “For more than a decade Bryant has worked to build a more just and sustainable food system, and cooking has been an important tool for illuminating the intersections of poverty, structural racism and food insecurity. He uses the sensual pleasures of the table to shift people’s attitudes, habits and politics in effort to ensure that everyone in this country of abundance has access to healthful food.”

It’s Time for Tree Planting!

Reposted from Urban Forest Project

It’s mostly spring, which means its time to plant trees. This year, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks has a few great tree plantings in which you can get involved. Slap on some old clothes, bring some water and come get dirty!

Dickinson Park Tree Planting
April 12 from 9a to 1p

Roosevelt Park Tree Planting
April 26 from 9a to 1p

Plaster Creek Family Park Tree Planting
May 15 from 9a to 1p

If you are interested in attending one of these tree planting opportunities, please register at the volunteer center or contact the Urban Forest Project, 616 389 4687 or e-mail.

Vote today to support Well House Food Growing Project

Well House wants to expand its food growing project and needs your help. An organic seeds purveyor, Seeds of Change is giving out grants to non-profits that do urban food growing and food justice work. Click here and type in Well House Food Growing Project to cast your vote. You can vote once a day through April 21. Please share this information with as many people as possible so that Well House gets the most votes and wins a grant from Seeds of Change.