Interdependence: Wrap-Up

Time Commitment: 40 minutes

We have covered key concepts of cosmopolitanism, civil society, and global governance, while considering several examples of local action to advance more just, inclusive, sustainable communities. As a reminder, this module included:

  1. Acting for just, inclusive, sustainable communities: Global inquiry, thinking, and understanding
  2. What does global citizenship have to do with local actions and community-building?
  3. How is global citizenship enacted – how are these values advanced?
  4. Does global citizenship inadvertently ignore an essential element of interdependence – our shared ecology?

Reflection Questions

  1. How does your identity relate to interdependence, human or ecological?
  2. As people work to enact values within interdependence, they do so by making choices in their own lives, as community members, voters, consumers, or friends. Where do you see opportunities to further advance an embrace of interdependence in your own life?
  3. What civil society networks are you part of, and where might you further advance values and actions for justice, inclusivity, and sustainability?
  4. We began with this definition of global citizenship: “a commitment to fundamental human dignity, couched in a critically reflective understanding of historic and contemporary systems of oppression, along with acknowledgment of positionality within those systems; it connects with values, reflection, and action. A critical global citizenship calls us all to humble, careful, and continuous effort to build a world that better acknowledges every individual’s basic human dignity.” Does this articulation work for you as an embrace of interdependence? What do you like about it? What might you add, subtract, or alter? Why?

To close out this session, we share three beautiful expressions of interdependence from around the world: 

As South African singer Vusi Mahlasela introduces the song, “Say Africa,” he shares memories of home and the concept of Ubuntu – a person is a person through other persons.

Playing for Change, a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, presents Chan Chan:

Finally, the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World offers an extraordinary expression of thanks and interdependence. In Braiding SweetgrassRobin Wall Kimmerer shares that she checked with members of the Haudenosaunee community about whether it was OK to share this thanksgiving with others, outside their community. She writes,

Over and over, I was told that these words are a gift of the Haudenosaunee to the world. When I asked Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons about it, he gave his signature slightly bemused smile and said, “Of course you should write about it. It’s supposed to be shared, otherwise, how can it work? We’ve been waiting five hundred years for people to listen. If they’d understood the Thanksgiving then, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”  

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Next: Cultural Humility

Citation for this page: Hartman, E. (2020). Interdependence: Wrap-Up. In E. Hartman (Ed.). Interdependence: Global Solidarity and Local Actions. The Community-based Global Learning Collaborative. Retrieved from http://globalsolidaritylocalaction.sites.haverford.edu/interdependence-wrap-up/

Further Reading

This image is of a book cover, "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants"
by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Citations:

Haudenosaunee Confederacy. (n.d.). Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address Greetings to the Natural World. Retrieved May 10, 2020, from https://americanindian.si.edu/environment/pdf/01_02_Thanksgiving_Address.pdf

Kimmerer, R. W. (2015). Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (First Paperback ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions.

Videos and pieces cited within the videos:

Charley Flyte. (2016, April 22). The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address (English version) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQP2Ih9Zc4&feature=emb_logo

KEXP. (2011, January 30). Vusi Mahlasela – Say Africa (Live on KEXP) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=extAAlvsjYM&feature=emb_logo

Playing For Change. (2020, April 17). Chan Chan | Playing For Change | Song Around The World [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAjRmHODjyQ&feature=emb_logo