MG Retreat 2017 :: Homework + Prep Information

To: 2017 Retreat Cohort –

We’re excited to see you, spend time with you, and co-create the MG retreat space with you! Here is the prep info you need, that has also been sent to you via email.

AGENDA can be found here:




If you still have questions about payment, or are having any challenges, please give me a call: 510.847.3592.

If you are traveling from out of town and have not made your travel arrangements yet, PLEASE DO SO ASAP. Once you have made your arrangements, please send me your travel info. This way we can support you if anything comes up or changes in your travel.

If you are a local person and can offer solidarity housing before or after the retreat and haven’t let me know, please do so ASAP. If you are an out of town person who needs solidarity housing before or after the retreat, please do so ASAP. I need to make all the arrangements over the next couple weeks. NOTE: The combination of when you arrive and which airport you fly into helps figure out where you should stay, if you need a place to stay, so all the info is connected.  ALSO: If you are from out of town and do not let me know you need housing, I will not make arrangements. I’ll assume you got friends or family to stay with. THANKS!

If you have not yet shared any particular needs that you have to be able to fully participate, please let me know now. We must let OAEC know about all the dietary and other needs. Thank you so much to everyone who has shared with me their needs. This is so helpful for creating an inclusive and inviting space.



The Movement Generation collective is currently deepening our understanding and integration of Disability Justice in our politics and our approach. This, like all of our personal and political development as individuals and as a collective is ongoing. We are at an early stage. We would like to do our best to create the most inclusive, accessible experience possible for everyone at the retreat.

As we have noted before, not all areas of OAEC are accessible to all people regardless of how they move. We will have access to an electric cart to support participants to get to The Pond and to move around the core area of OAEC, as needed. We have also done our best to address needs for sleeping arrangements.

The MG Justice and Ecology Retreat is a chemical fragrance free space, to ensure that people with chemical sensitivities, and fragrance sensitivities can fully participate. We ask that all trainers and participants refrain from using perfumes, colognes, or other chemical fragrances and also refrain from scented cosmetics of other kinds (including shampoos and skin creams).  Occidental Arts and Ecology Center is also a fragrance free environment. Because most of the water from sinks and bathing are returned to the soil on site, OAEC provides chemical free/soil friendly soaps and shampoos in their facilities. Please plan to use these items at the retreat, or bring your own that are fragrance free. If you have specific questions about this policy, please feel free to contact me directly: 510.847.3592 or email me at

Thank you so much for supporting us in creating a community that honors diverse lived experiences and the wisdom that is born from those experiences.



OAEC is 7 miles from the coast, so while it is often warm and sunny in early October, it can also be quite cool, foggy or even rainy – sometimes all happening on the same day.  Think San Francisco weather.  We will be meeting outside at times so bring layers of clothes that will allow you to be comfortable as the temperature changes day to evening, and day to day, including a coat. Please bring:

  • your own towel
  • toiletries
  • flashlight
  • sturdy shoes
  • sun hat
  • water bottle
  • pens and notebooks
  • If you want, bring slip-on shoes (for shoe-free buildings).
  • There is a hot tub, sauna & pond to swim in at OAEC – don’t forget a swimsuit!
  • Feel free to also bring instruments for jamming and hanging out by the fire at night

OAEC will provide all bedding and linens. Meals will be provided three times a day, plus plenty of snacks, coffee, tea, and water throughout the day.




Wednesday, October 4th from 4:00pm-5:00pm we will host a Retreat Prep Webinar. This is an optional session. The intention is to hold space for folks who would like a review/preview of some of the core content and framing or who have questions about logistics, or other details about the retreat. We will also review some of the prep readings and videos for folks who would find that useful.



Here are the videos and readings that we encourage you to watch/read and three “assignments,” to prepare for the retreat. We understand that reading articles isn’t the best way for everyone to take in information, so we have done our best, where we can, to provide diversity in format. We are encourage folks to get together with others and engage the material together, or reach out to us for support, if you’d like that.


  • Research: Who are the original peoples of the land where you live, or where you were born?
    If you have not already done so, please familiarize yourself with the indigenous peoples and their struggles in the place(s) you call home. This could be where you were born, where you were raised, or where you currently live. Attached is a handout from the Catalyst Project with some guiding questions (just suggestions, you don’t have to answer all of them!). Additionally, you might find this website useful. However, as the handout mentions, conversations with people in your community are preferable to what you find on the internet. Of course, some of you are indigenous people from where you call home; so we invite you to share the name of your peoples or community, your story, or a story of your family, elders, peoples, etc.
    We will ask a few people to share what they have learned during the retreat. Not everyone will be expected to share, or even have the opportunity to share, but we encourage everyone to participate in the inquiry.
  • Research: Who are your ancestors, however you define them? What do you know of their stories and journeys?
    We all come from a people(s). The stories of our peoples can be complicated, powerful, and even traumatic. We carry our ancestors with us, with all of that complexity. We depend on some, and keep out others. We draw stories and inspiration for our struggle and we draw lessons of harm and hurting. From some of our ancestors we can learn to live in right relationship to the living world, and from some of our ancestors we can learn how we got to a world of destruction and disconnection.
    In the spirit of all of this complexity, we ask you to explore where your ancestors come from, and any parts of their journey that interest you.  They can be the stories of your immediate ancestors, your peoples, or even your chosen ancestors (such as those that have struggled for justice before us). And you can go however far back in history you would like to explore. We acknowledge that you may have done this exploration already, or this may be a new exploration for you. Or, this may open an opportunity for new stories and understandings to surface. We will have an opportunity to share some of these stories, and they will guide you in some of the sessions, at the retreat.
  • Pecha Kucha Offering: Create a “Pecha Kucha” about yourself (see info at the bottom of this page, or click here)




Extra Optional (for folks who like longer reads / deeper dives):



On the first and second evenings, we will be having a “Pecha Kucha” night! For those that are not familiar with the term, Pecha Kucha is a Japanese phrase that means “Chit Chat or Chatter”. It is a popular style of presentation that involves a rapid fire slideshow. We’re using Pecha Kucha as a format for all of us to share and experience who we each are, the bad ass work we’re doing in our communities, our stories, our selves. The goal of this is to have fun, build, learn about each other, and let our work and our movements shine!

Typically Pecha Kucha’s are done by creating a powerpoint show that has 20 slides that are timed for 20 seconds each. For our purpose, we are asking everyone to put together a presentation with 14 slides that are 20 seconds each (1 title slide, 12 content slides, and 1 contact slide at the end). In total you will have about 4 min 45 seconds to present. The purpose of the presentation is for you to share about you, your life, and your work with the entire group.

Here are some details to help you prep…

  • You will not have to work the projector, we will have someone to do that for you.
  • Slide/Images Recommendations:
    • Try to use High Resolution images (150 or 300 DPI) if you can – low-res images will appear distorted on the projection screen.
    • No Animation – you only have 20 seconds per slide. Animation will take away from the impact of your slide and also may negatively affect your timing.
    • Have no more than 4 images per slide. Less is definitely more.
    • Don’t use a lot of (if any) text – people shouldn’t have to read a your slide. The visual should captivate them.

How to get me your powerpoint…

Click here to find a Powerpoint template with a timer already in place, please use it to create your presentation. Send your presentation to in a PowerPoint format (Mac or PC)  by 5pm on October 10th (the day before you arrive). If the PPT is too big to send via email, we’ll take a Google Drive / Dropbox link. OR last resort, you can save it on a usb drive and share it with me on Day 1 (Weds Oct 11th) during lunch – but please only do this if it’s too big to send and notify me that this is what you will do.

Never did a Pecha Kucha presentation? Here’s a great article with some helpful tips: