Planetary Health

Blessed are they who plant trees under whose shade
they will never sit.

– Indian proverb


Liberty’s Northside Healing Space offers Afro-Indigenous practices that challenge ideas of human supremacy. As African Americans, our 400-plus years of immersion in racial capitalism—the commodification of our people and the planet for economic gain—has attempted to crush our sacred connection to the Earth.
Those whose skin is the color of soil are reviving their ancestral and ancient practice of listening to the earth to know which way to go.

—The Gift of Ecological Humility by Leah Penniman, Yes! Magazine 2021

Queen Mother Manye Nartike asked Leah Pennman, “Is it true that in the United States, a farmer will put the seed into the ground and not pour any libations, offer any prayers, sing, or dance, and expect that seed to grow?” Met with Leah’s ashamed silence, she continued, “That is why you are all sick! Because you see the Earth as a thing and not a being.”  


Liberty’s efforts around planetary health and healing are a part of our connectional homeplace ethos.  Homeplaces are collective, connectional, cultural, caring, and loving.  Racialized historical trauma acknowledges the fracture and intentional destruction of relationships with ourselves and our environment; our work helps us return to and recall our connection to the earth; we are interconnected at every level of being.  We can’t heal ourselves if we don’t heal our planet.  


This spring we entered into a partnership with Teddy Potter, PhD., RN, FAAN who is the Director of Planetary Health at the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing.  She is helping us weave planetary health throughout our programming. We are co-creating and planning a gathering in September with our collaborative partners and the community called Healing the Planet—Healing Ourselves. We understand that we must center the earth rather than whiteness, and the intersections of healing must include individual, community, and planetary efforts to be sustainable and impactful. 
We also work closely with the following nonprofits to lessen our impact on and heal our planet:
  • Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light helped us get solar for our buildings and is working with our younger scholars, providing leadership development programs and action opportunities that provide tangible ways to make an impact.
  • Friends of the Mississippi River works with our older scholars on environmental leadership training. Friends of the Mississippi River protects, restores, and enhances the river ethic, envisioning a river accessible to all and a community that actively embraces this river ethic for current and future generations.

We work with these partners because it’s not enough to offer people opportunities to take action on the issues they care about. Instead, we believe leadership development and training will empower individuals to build a movement capable of creating a just and livable climate for our planet.

September Gathering: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves

September 17–19, 2021 
Liberty Community Church  |  2100 Emerson Avenue North  |  Minneapolis, MN 55412

Why are we doing this?

  • To re-examine and re-imagine the spiritual connection between planetary and human health.
  • To increase our understanding of the interconnection between our health and the health of our planet through practicing ancient healing modalities and spiritual experiences, telling stories of interdependence, and transformative education.
  • Deepen our empathy for the wellbeing of planet earth and all of its inhabitants
  • Collectively shift and move from a human centered existence to one that is in harmony with the rhythm and wellbeing of the planet.  

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.

– John Muir, 1911, p. 211