Community Practice Day: Work That Reconnects Workshop

Navigating Climate Chaos in These Times

In collaboration with the Joanna Macy Center (JMC) and The WaterShed High School. A local alternative school that is reading Joanna Macy’s Active Hope this semester. Join us for a workshop on Joanna Macy’s root teachings of The Work that Reconnects 

This workshop is both for restoring ourselves and growing our capacity to bear witness and act from a place of resilience. Please join us across generations where we can Learn, empower and support each other

When: 3-3-20  (Tuesday, 1:30pm-4:00pm)

Where: Nalanda Campus

Community Tea with Dr. Shariff Abdullah, J.D.

The Joanna Macy Center is hosting this special opportunity for the community to engage with Dr. Sharif Abdullah. 

Dr. Abdullah is a consultant, speaker, author and advocate for societal transformation. His mission is to bring currently dysfunctional systems and structures into alignment with our common human and spiritual values, to create a world that works for all living things. Dr. Abdullah consults with people and organizations on the leading edge of change, including government agencies, businesses and social service organizations. Dr. Abdullah brings an understanding based on his growing up in racism, oppression and generational poverty, as well as his experiences in 45 different countries, on every inhabited continent, and his experiences in over 120 different cultures around the world.  

His books on leadership and societal change include the award-winning Creating a World That Works for AllSeven Seeds for a New Society, and The Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times. 

When: 3/6/20 (Friday, 2:00–4:00 p.m.)  
Where: Cultural Center, Arapahoe Campus

The 11th Hour: A Call To Climate Justice

Join in the ancient practice of sounding community bells in the time of emergency. Bring your noise-makers, drums, rattles, and bells. 

We will meet on the 11th day of each month, at 11 a.m. for 11 minutes.

Join spiritual groups around the country to ring the gong as a call for climate justice.

Participants are committed to this monthly gathering until the dangers of climate change, climate injustice, and threats to all beings have passed.

When: September 11, October 11, November 11, December 11th, February 11, March 11

Location: Arapahoe Campus on the Green (where the Naropa sign is)

Past Events

Seventy three years ago the US dropped atomic bombs on Japan. Twenty nine years ago the FBI raided the nuclear weapons plant at Rocky Flats for environmental crimes. Last year the UN formally adopted a treaty banning the manufacture, possession and use of nuclear weapons. Now the US Fish and Wildlife Service wants to open the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge to the public for recreation and our President is tweeting out threats of using nuclear weapons.  How do you make sense of all this? The Joanna Macy Center at Naropa University is hosting a nuclear guardianship event where you can learn about the deeper perspective of nuclear guardianship and how Rocky Flats is only one instance of the high price we are paying for our nuclear arsenal. Come hear experts talk about Rocky Flats in the larger context of a new nuclear arms race, the nuclear ban treaty, and global contamination from the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons.




Judith Mohling, MA, LPC, is on the staff and Spokes Council of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, is on the board of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, and is co-chair of the Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War. She writes a column every three weeks for the Colorado Daily. She previously taught third grade at Columbine School in Boulder and worked many years for the Boulder County Mental Health Center in a program for adults with major mental illness.


Rick Wayman is Deputy Director of the California-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and is a member of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability’s Board of Directors. Rick is a graduate of Marquette University’s College of Business Administration and has a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management and Political Advocacy from the School for International Training.


Jon Lipsky was raised at Anaheim, California and following high school was hired as a professional support employee with the FBI at the Los Angeles Field Office. In 1984 he was appointed to the Special Agent position with the FBI initially assigned at Denver, Colorado and retired as a FBI Supervisory Special Agent in 2004. In 2012 he received his Master’s Degree in Criminology, Law and Society from UCI.


Elizabeth Panzer graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Russian language and Central and Eastern European Studies. In 2017 she researched the controversy surrounding the land of Rocky Flats near her house and since then donates time to help publicize the safety concerns over Rocky Flats in her immediate community. She actively participates in several outreach initiatives to increase community support within the Jefferson County school district.


Michael E. Ketterer hails from the Buffalo – Niagara Falls, New York area, and his interest in chemistry and the environmental sciences was cultivated in part by his home’s proximity to the Love Canal and similar sites.  Michael received a BS in Chemistry from Notre Dame and a PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Colorado – Boulder. Dr. Ketterer has authored or co-authored more than 75 publications in his scientific career, and continues to collaborate prolifically with scientists in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Even if nuclear bomb and energy production were to end tomorrow, the Nuclear Age leaves a toxic legacy that will endure till the end of time. We can let this reality paralyze our will to engage, or we can use our moral imagination to unlock our caring and creative potential.  This gathering will include the words and voice of Joanna Macy transmitting the story of the “poison fire” as told to her by Buddhist monks.


In addition the co-founder of Downwinders, Tiffany Hansen, the director of the Nuclear Guardianship Project, Judith Mohling and Alesya Casse from Candlelas Glows will offer their own stories and insights about the contamination that still persists at Rocky Flats and in surrounding areas. There will be up to the minute information about the efforts to stop the opening of the Rocky Flats as a Wildlife Refuge to the public and how you can get involved. There will be room to process the impacts of these stories with the recognition that simply by showing up you are engaging and becoming part of the story that continues.

Facilitated by: Sherry Ellms, Associate Professor, BA Environmental Studies, MA Environmental/Resilient Leadership, Faculty Lead, Joanna Macy Center & Miki Fire, Miki Fire, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Professor and Chair, Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling


In the words of Joanna Macy, “Walk boldly through your life with an open broken heart. If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.”


We invite the Naropa Community to engage in the spirit of truth telling practices.


Let’s come together and both witness and participate in creative expression as a way to showcase what is real and vivid for us now, whether through music, movement, dance, spoken -word, performance art, sharing stories, rap or comedy.


This is an opportunity to bring your offering forward, whether prepared or spontaneous to share in community or simply come to offer your support through your presence. Creative expression is how we can BE out of the box, not just think out of the box!

To learn more about this exciting event, to register and to take action in aligning with Joanna Macy’s teachings as we venture forth with compassion, clarity and vigilance, view the event website.


Co-sponsored with The Joanna Macy Center at Naropa & The Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa.

The central purpose of the Work that Reconnects is to help people uncover and experience their innate connections with each other and with the systemic, self-healing powers in the web of life, so that they may be enlivened and motivated to play their part in creating a sustainable civilization. This is the aim of the Work That Reconnects: help us take part in the epochal shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.

These are challenging times. Especially if you live or have lived downwind from Rocky Flats. Or worked at the plant. How do you deal with the stress, fear, overwhelm or loneliness? In this workshop, you will experience a safe space to share your stories, build community, find inspiration and support, and share ideas for moving forward with your personal healing and with healing for the community. This engaging experience gives you tools for dealing with the challenges that Rocky Flats has brought into your life and into the lives of loved ones. This workshop is based on the work of anti-nuclear activist and eco-philosopher Joanna Macy.

From Standing Rock to Black Lives Matter to the alarming dimensions of this so-called election, these challenging times call us to find deeper ground—whether for our work to create to a more just world, or simply for the sake of our own sanity! Logic alone may not save us. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, numb, powerless, enraged; if you’re struggling with burnout, or feel the stirrings of a bigger calling: join us to commune and explore new ways of approaching our predicament while finding new sources of strength and resilience. We will gather in an inclusive, multi-racial, multi-gendered, multi-generational space to build with interactive tools paying special attention to:

  • understanding how the dynamics of privilege and oppression relate to ecological crises
  • honoring the pain of social and ecological injustice
  • growing our imaginative capacities for creating a more just and beautiful world


The best way to find out more about the Joanna Macy Center at Naropa is to join our mailing list and attend our events. For any other questions please contact the Director for Mission, Culture & Inclusive Community Seann Goodman.

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.