Poet speaks to global justice for our time

Awakening, reverence, sustainability, justice, peace and joy. Such are the words that describe the motivation behind why there is a place on this island where people can convene for extraordinary activities, such as learning where their spirit lies and delving into a deep inquiry on how to make the world a better place. The Whidbey Institute at Chinook is such a place, and it’s celebrating its 15th anniversary this month.

Drew Dellinger performs his poetry and speaks of global justice in our lifetime.

Drew Dellinger performs his poetry and speaks of global justice in our lifetime.

Awakening, reverence, sustainability, justice, peace and joy.

Such are the words that describe the motivation behind why there is a place on this island where people can convene for extraordinary activities, such as learning where their spirit lies and delving into a deep inquiry on how to make the world a better place.

The Whidbey Institute at Chinook is such a place, and it’s celebrating its 15th anniversary this month.

In lieu of that celebration, and combined with its goal to cultivate ecological and spiritual consciousness and to nourish a new social and economic model for these trying modern times, the institute has planned a special weekend.

Activist and poet Drew Dellinger will lead a Thomas Berry workshop entitled, “At the Confluence of Cosmology, Ecology and Justice: Thomas Berry, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Path into the Future.”

The celebration begins with a pre-gathering potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, and continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, with the Dellinger workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. followed by a celebratory dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Also included in the celebration are reflections on the Whidbey Institute by founders Fritz and Vivienne Hull.

Dellinger is a spoken-word poet, professor, activist and founder of Poets for Global Justice.

He has inspired minds and hearts at hundreds of events in many countries, performing poetry and making keynote addresses on justice, ecology, cosmology, activism and human compassion.

Dellinger has shared podiums and stages with luminaries such as Cornel West, Danny Glover, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., AniDifranco, Billy Bragg, Michael Franti, Eve Ensler, Jim Hightower, Paul Hawken and others.

Dellinger’s work has appeared on radio, and in visionary films, books, anthologies and magazines, from the New York Times Magazine to Yes! Magazine.

His collection of poems, “love letter to the milky way,” is now in its third printing and has sold thousands of copies to enthusiastic readers in North America, South America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

His poems have been shared at gatherings and conferences; in classrooms and prisons; and in women’s groups, men’s groups and spiritual communities.

It’s apt that the workshop is taking place at the institute’s Thomas Berry Hall. Dellinger has studied cosmology and ecological thought with Thomas Berry since 1990, and is finishing his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

He is writing his dissertation on Martin Luther King Jr. and the connections between cosmology, ecology and justice.

To see more of Dellinger’s work, Click here.

Patricia Duff can be reached at 221-5300 or pduff@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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