From Chiddie to children’s gardener, Nat Mengist returns as CHID’s Outreach Coordinator after two years in nonprofit environmental education. After completing a senior thesis on the comparative history of alchemy in 2015, Nat pursued a master’s in education policy at the UW College of Education, where he cultivated a mind for organizational equity. Since then, he has become the board president of an imaginative, place-based nonprofit called The Common Acre. Nat has also presented research on “Thinking with flowers” at the 2017 Society for Literature, Science and the Arts conference alongside UW faculty, including his CHID thesis advisor Phillip Thurtle. Nat will continue researching and organizing, and he ultimately plans to apply to the Stanford Graduate School of Education. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, gardening, and dancing!
An excerpt from “Thinking with flowers”:
“In this era of eco-political meltdown, the most vulnerable lives are at stake. Both academics and organizers will have to forge alliances between creative scholarship and social/environmental justice movements that reach beyond all boundaries. Fortunately, there is still time to tune into the beat of the vegetal kingdom—the first rhizomatic territory—where the movements of our green friends have always already been animated by rhythms that sustain life and love among inhabitants of the earth.”
- Ecopoetics Along Shorelines got a shout-out in Perspectives! - April 24, 2018