COVID-19 Response and Reopening

Season of Nonviolence Convenes “Braiding Sweetgrass” Book Groups

“Braiding Sweetgrass” book groups, staged throughout Central Oregon, will begin meeting in early January in advance of a free livestreamed author event on Jan. 24

In anticipation of Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) 14th annual Season of Nonviolence, the college is convening a series of community book groups focused on Robin Wall Kimmerer’s New York Times-bestselling “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.” COCC’s Season of Nonviolence events, which begin in mid-January and span through mid-March, will feature a Jan. 24 livestreamed keynote event with Kimmerer, co-presented by the University of Oregon Common Reading program. A complete Season of Nonviolence schedule will be announced early next month; visit cocc.edu/seasonofnonviolence for more information.

Coordinated by COCC’s office of diversity and inclusion and the Nancy R. Chandler Lecture Series, the “Braiding Sweetgrass” book groups, staged throughout Central Oregon, will begin meeting in early January in advance of the free livestreamed author event. A botanist, distinguished university ecology professor and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the award-winning Kimmerer writes about the natural world in “Braiding Sweetgrass,” examining plants through storytelling and Indigenous science to convey a broader message of coexistence.

Book group participants are encouraged to begin reading or rereading the book now to be ready for discussion next month. Groups will individually decide on a remote or in-person meeting format.

In Bend, four book groups are convening. The COCC sustainability committee will meet Fridays at noon, beginning Jan. 7; contact Noelle Copley at ncopley@cocc.edu. The Trinity Episcopal Church group will meet Wednesdays at 3 p.m., beginning Jan. 12; contact Betsy Warriner at betsy@betsywarriner.com. Oregon State University-Cascades is hosting a Bend group on Thursdays at 4 p.m., beginning Jan. 20; contact Judith Sadora at judith.sadora@osucascades.edu. A COCC library book group is set to meet Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m., beginning Jan. 25; contact Cat Finney at cfinney@cocc.edu.

In Redmond, an Environmental Center-COCC Redmond book group will meet Wednesdays at 5 p.m., beginning Jan. 5; contact Priscilla Calleros at priscilla@envirocenter.org. A Madras and Prineville book group will meet Mondays at noon, beginning Jan. 10; contact Michelle Cary at mcary@cocc.edu. In Tumalo, a Cascades Academy book group will meet on Jan. 26 (5:30 p.m.) and Feb. 24 (6 p.m.); visit cascadesacademy.org/community/education-series.

Inspired by the work of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., César Chávez and Chief Wilma Mankiller, the Season of Nonviolence honors the vision for an empowered, nonviolent world. Colleges and universities throughout the country celebrate the national Season of Nonviolence (Jan. 30 to April 4), by educating students, employees and communities to use nonviolent methods to create a more peaceful world. For more information on COCC’s 2022 Season of Nonviolence, contact Charlotte Gilbride, coordinator of the Nancy R. Chandler Lecture Series, at 541-383-7257 or cgilbride@cocc.edu, or Christy Walker, director of diversity and inclusion, at 541-383-7412 or cwalker2@cocc.edu.

Braiding Sweetgrass