Detroit Mercy to host a Bioneers Pollinator Event, “One Earth Community” Conference

September 21, 2021

University of Detroit Mercy will host a Bioneers Pollinator event, the 16th annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit (GLBD) Conference, titled “One Earth Community,” Oct. 15-16. The event will include a tour of several green initiatives in Detroit, speakers Ventra Asana, Victor Carmona and Nancy Tuchman, musician Joe Reilly and a community panel addressing inequalities to create a One Earth Community.

The goal of the “One Earth Community Conference” is to promote a sustainable, racially-equitable and inclusive community that fosters life-giving relationships, nurtures connections and celebrates solutions for restoring and healing Earth.

“This conference is a great opportunity to learn more about challenges to our environment and possible solutions,” 2021 GLBD Conference Co-Chair and Detroit Mercy Professor of Philosophy Gail Presbey said. “We need both science and spirituality to transform our world to the extent we need to, to save it from the climate change crisis.

“It's also a chance to network and join with others who are committed to action to save the environment from further destruction. But the Bioneers vision is more than just environment: it is concern for the human community, for holistic health, democracy, an end to racism, a championing of the wisdom of women and indigenous people and the appreciation of immigrant voices, youth voices, African American farmers and fighters for justice. The problems the world is facing now are so dire, it can be disheartening. But if you come to the Bioneers conference, you'll find yourself energized and heartened.”

The Friday morning tours include:

  • GSI-Informed Urban Groundwater Monitoring Networks at Wayne State University
  • Natural Connections: Palmer Park Habitat Restoration Initiative
  • Parks, Streetscapes and Community Space: Perspectives on Neighborhood Development along McNichols
  • Green Storm Water Infrastructure at Gesu Church and School
  • Evolution of SDEV’s Cadillac Urban Gardens as a Living-Laboratory

Asana will lead an Eco-Labyrinth Meditation on Saturday morning of the conference. Asana is an urban environmentalist eco-minister, a United Methodist deacon clergy and an ordained elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She is the CEO and founder of Spiritual Kinetics.

Carmona is director of Sustainability and associate professor of Biology at Detroit Mercy. Carmona and Detroit Mercy alumna Cynthia Gutierrez-Navarro will present "Recovery of Ecosystem Services via Urban Green Spaces." Carmona and Dolores Perales will lead a tour to the Cadillac Urban Gardens, where Carmona and his students are researching improved agricultural practices by working with Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision.

Tuchman is the Founding Dean of the School of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola Chicago. Tuchman is an Aquatic Ecologist, who studies invasive species in the Great Lakes and their coastal wetlands. She will speak on “Laudato Si and the Challenge to Jesuit Universities.”

Reilly will perform Friday afternoon. Reilly draws on his Cherokee heritage and engaged Buddhist practices to craft and deliver his unique, environmentally educational songs.

The event will also feature plenary speakers from the Bioneers National Conference.

Award-winning Chef Phil Jones and Farmacy Foods will be catering the vegetarian, locally-sourced food for the event.

For questions, please contact 2021 GLBD Conference co-chairs Gail Presbey ( or 313-993-1124) or Nicholas Schroeck (

All interested individuals will be required to register to attend. Visit the GLBD webpage at for links to registration and more conference information.

Bioneers Pollinator gatherings/events are independently organized and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Bioneers organization. For more information, visit: