This introduction appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.
In March 2020, we invited authors to contribute to this issue with the observation that the “social and environmental crises we face today are unprecedented.” In July 2021—following a year of unprecedented pandemic, fires, and floods coupled with a rise in mobilizations against police brutality and systemic racism—the observation seems to be a truism. The layering of these catastrophes has painfully laid bare the rampant exploitation of people and planet at the root of many disasters, and in turn the mentality of dualism beneath the exploitation. In preparing this issue we asked ourselves, what can we learn from contemplative practices that work to dispel dualistic thinking? How can we create the conditions for empathy, connection, and acting from a deep understanding of interconnectedness?
The articles, essays, and poems herein—and forthcoming in a second issue later this year—tackle these difficult questions and more in unique ways, weaving together perspectives from anthropology, psychology, political theory, indigenous wisdom, eco-feminism, contemplative practice, and nature-based education. Each author provides an important lens through which we can understand and address the immense, interwoven catastrophes we face. We are incredibly excited to publish the writing of these authors in this first installment of what will be a double issue. Together, their perspectives weave a rich tapestry of insights that we hope will aid readers in showing up with bravery, wisdom, and skillfulness for the work of liberation that requires everyone.
This tapestry is also incomplete. The voices of Black and Indigenous authors and other scholars of color are not as well represented as we envisioned, as we did not identify and recruit the full breadth of scholars whom we hoped could speak to this topic. As with many publications, forums, and platforms, this is an important area for growth at The Arrow. We are at once excited about the offerings in this double issue—including meaningful contributions by several writers of color featured here—and committed to weaving a fuller tapestry that speaks to the questions at hand in our future publishing.
It has been a delight to work with guest editor LaDawn Haglund, whose insightful and provocative questions in the call for papers stimulated submissions to fill two volumes, of which this is the first. We wish to express a heartfelt thank you to LaDawn for her vision and editing of this issue, to artists Rae Minji Lee and Chetna Mehta for their beautiful illustrations, and to the issue’s contributors for their insight and exertion through the editorial process. Enjoy reading!
Gabriel Dayley, Chief Editor
shah noor hussein, Managing Editor
The Arrow Journal
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