Hello, my name is Running-Grass. In the late 1980’s, I led a group of educators, cultural and community activists in creating Three Circles Center for Multicultural Environmental Education to help shift environmental education towards a broader, more authentic and inclusive, community-based approach to environmental learning. Three Circles Center introduces, encourages and cultivates multicultural perspectives and values in environmental and outdoor education, recreation and interpretation. We are dedicated to assisting environmental and outdoor educators and interpreters in making a successful transition to teaching in a multicultural society based on the principles of environmental sustainability and social justice.
While working in the Bay area as outdoor and environmental educators with low-income urban and rural communities in the 1980s we found a gap between conventional environmental and outdoor education and the diverse cultural, racial and economic backgrounds of the students, teachers and communities. Three Circles discovered useful applications of critical theory and multicultural education in bridging and addressing these gaps.
In 1991 I joined colleagues as one of the 300 delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. The Summit launched the Environmental Justice movement onto the national stage. In the 1990’s my colleagues and I published the Journal of Culture, Ecology and Community, held workshops, training sessions, and policy discussions.
Since the late 1990’s I have worked on Environmental Justice issues in communities and at various levels of government including federal, state and local with a focus of identifying and addressing these issues at the grassroots level.
Initially, a nonprofit, membership organization, Three Circles Center currently consults with environmental organizations, programs and communities on issues of multicultural communication, staff development and diversity, curriculum, program design and evaluation, and authentic multicultural community involvement in environmental programs.