LOAM x WEAVING EARTH

a homecoming

Common Raven Photo: Breanna Wilson

Weaving Earth is an organization (a.k.a. organism) dedicated to relational education for action at the confluence of environmental, social and personal systems change. In support of this goal, we have long dreamed about creating a collection of stories, media and publications that highlight our approach to education — reaching an even wider audience than is possible with programs alone. We know there are many who share our visions for communities rooted in justice, interrelationship and earth care, a planet whose ecological and cultural brilliance is preserved for generations to come, and a world beyond dominance. And we want to uplift those stories!

We are also long-time admirers of the publishing work of our friends at Loam, an independent publishing project and community organization. Recently, Loam took a sabbatical from their publications to dream into their next iteration. During that process, they reached out to us to discuss what a deepened collaboration could look like. Many members of the Weaving Earth Ecology have contributed to Loam’s publications over the years and working with Loam has always felt mutually beneficial. We deeply trust their vision and also the care and integrity with which they manifest that work.

Today, we are thrilled to share the news that Loam and Weaving Earth have decided to merge. Loam is becoming the official publishing branch of Weaving Earth!

Locating Loam in the Weaving Earth web is a dream come true! As Kate Weiner and Kailea Frederick, co- editors of Loam, recently wrote : “When we reflect on this shift, the language of “merger” feels insufficient. Nesting Loam within Weaving Earth feels more like a homecoming. We’re hopeful about what might grow from our shared garden, and humbled to be in community with you as we bloom.”

Stories shape how we perceive the world and also how we move through it. Weaving Earth is rooted in the belief that education must critically engage inherited stories of separation and domination as well as responsibly recollect a deeper human inheritance — stories of interrelationship, belonging, dignity and respect. Like Weaving Earth, Loam believes that this orientation supports the conditions for much-needed systems change. And, Loam shares this passion for storytelling as an expression of activism:

”Since 2014, Loam has published more than 20 books that explore collective liberation, climate justice, and community care. From facilitating workshops on disaster preparedness to curating multimedia art exhibits, we’re passionate about the power of narrative to nourish new worlds.”

~ Loam website

What does this change mean? Weaving Earth will still offer a diverse array of educational experiences for youth, teens and adults — with the added focus on telling stories that support the WE x Loam collective vision. As Loam stated in a similar letter announcing this collaboration to their network: “Loam will still be Loam. Same name, same vibe, same vision. But their upcoming projects and programming will be an expression of Weaving Earth’s guiding values, too.”

We love this announcement letter that Loam recently wrote, as it beautifully and concisely describes their new emergence, our joint decision-making process, and where we see ourselves headed in this shared vision. Please read it in full (copied below) for more details on what this union means for Loam and WE and for a sneak peak at some upcoming Loam x Weaving Earth projects.

For now, we share this in celebration! Please do reach out if you have any questions, and we look forward to sharing more as this new path unfolds.

With excitement for what’s to come,
Weaving Earth x Loam

LOAM’S LETTER

Loam x Weaving Earth: A Homecoming

As many of you know, Loam was on sabbatical for much of 2023. Since 2014, we have tended to 20 publications (including the “Down to Earth Deck” from Loam co-creator Amirio Freeman, our disaster preparedness guide “Compassion in Crisis”, and our annual magazine). We have also facilitated diverse workshops on resilience; curated an interdisciplinary art exhibit on wildfire season; and co-led a creative support collective. Our praxis is rooted in a commitment to bringing the power of print to the people. In 2020, for example, we supported somatic counselor tayla shanaye in sharing copies of their beloved book “Nourishing the Nervous System” for free with communities impacted by police brutality. More recently, we built the Loam Library, a mobile library that seeks to connect our community to radical reads.

Like so many in our constellation of creatives, the pandemic pushed us to pivot. But as our team reckoned with continual and compounding crises, we realized we desperately needed space to reflect and reconsider Loam’s work in the world. In the face of an ongoing ecological emergency and an extractive attention economy, we didn’t want to be white noise.

In the fall of 2022, we reached out to a few close friends for guidance. After years of struggling to be real about the financial and emotional reality of nurturing Loam, sending such an explicit request for care was vulnerable.

We were really moved by the sweet notes that our beloved co-conspirators sent to us. Lauren Hage, the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Weaving Earth, wrote this: “I hear you, I feel you, I am with you.”

As we sat with reflections from our community, Lauren’s loving response planted a seed of possibility in us. What would it look like to weave our worlds together? To truly be with?

If you are a long-time reader of Loam, you’ll likely know of Weaving Earth. Many of our continual collaborators—such as tayla shanaye, brontë velez, Justine Epstein, and Sam Edmondson—are a part of the Weaving Earth ecosystem. And for those of you who are new to their work, Weaving Earth is a “Center for Relational Education [that] provides nature-based education for action at the confluence of ecological, social and personal systems change.” In this era of destabilization and destruction, Weaving Earth’s compassionate, intersectional, and caring programming is a call home.

It wasn’t until we were on an Editorial Retreat at the Mesa Refuge earlier this summer, however, that we crystallized our vision for moving forward. Thanks to the support of our cherished friends at the Center for Humans & Nature, we gathered together to envision Loam as an entity within the Weaving Earth ecosystem.

So we are excited to share that after careful conversation and consideration, Loam will become the official publishing branch of Weaving Earth.

What does this mean? Loam will still be Loam. Same name, same vibe, same vision. But our upcoming projects and programming will be an expression of Weaving Earth’s guiding organization values, too. Weaving Earth is rooted in that belief that “education must critically engage inherited stories of separation and domination as well as responsibly recollect a deeper human inheritance of stories of interrelationship, belonging, dignity and respect.” As the educational media branch of Weaving Earth, we’re devoted to creating print materials and audio programming that nourishes that vision. Like Weaving Earth, Loam believes that this orientation supports the conditions for much-needed systems change

In the coming year, we’ll be curating a Loam x Weaving Earth anthology; developing a WE field guide; and designing a card deck inspired by Weaving Earth’s work. We’ll be launching a new publication (our first since our sabbatical!) this fall as well. Created in collaboration with the Center for Humans & Nature, this booklet will be a deep dive into cancel culture, belonging, and coming together in a changing world. We can’t wait to share more soon!

For Weaving Earth, this merger is an opportunity to materialize their dream of developing educational print media. For Loam, this merger is a massive gift. We have been inspired by the work of Weaving Earth for years. To ally our visions with theirs is a dream! And after struggling to find the right home for Loam as a scrappy, heart-powered publishing project for a long time, this merger will also help us to root our work in relational education as well as access necessary resources for nourishing the next iteration of Loam.

When we reflect on this shift, the language of “merger” feels insufficient. Nesting Loam within Weaving Earth feels more like a homecoming. We’re hopeful about what might grow from our shared garden, and humbled to be in community with you as we bloom.

Our emergence from our sabbatical this summer has been slow and steady. We have focused on showing up for our Editorial Fellowship with the incredible crew at Center for Humans & Nature (more soon!) and sharing books for free during Herban Cura’s visionary Plants to the People gatherings. In the fall, we will reopen our online shop as well as the Loam Library. We will also be launching a Substack. You can subscribe here for stories, remedies, and resources for deeping connection to Earth and each other!

For those of you who have reached out to us to ask ‘what’s up’, getting all parts in place for this collaboration has been what’s up! So we’re very grateful that we now get to finally share this big news with you, and to invite you into this work. Welcome home.

In love and solidarity,

Kailea and Kate

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