Redesigning Our Communities for Life After Fossil Fuels November 12

Redesigning Our Communities
for Life After Fossil Fuels

A series of virtual and in-person community events
in 6 locations in the U.S. and Canada

Second Event: KANSAS CITY • on Zoom

Saturday, November 12

1:00 – 5:00 pm CST  •  on Zoom

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate is partnering with the Post Carbon Institute and many local community groups to bring you a series of events on transitioning our communities to manage our ecological crises. These events are taking place virtually on Zoom and in-person at community events in 6 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Our second location is in Kansas City and the surrounding area.

We would like to thank our local community co-hosts, MY REGION WINS! and The Resilient Activist, for their invaluable time and support in hosting this upcoming event.

Our Local Hosts

Please join us for our virtual event on Saturday, November 12 as we share resources, expertise, and actionable solutions to build resilience for these rapidly changing times.

National Hosts

It’s time to scale way back, redesign how we’re living and roll up our sleeves to restore our ecosystems, soil, biodiversity and connections with our neighbors.

As we learn and take action on how to live within the Earth’s limits, it’s vital that we co-invent and redesign our new lifestyles with every member of our community, especially our underserved community members, and even look to them for their expertise on how to be resilient.

Too often, communities of color and low income communities have been left out of the conversation, the plans and the funding, despite often being the most seriously impacted by the climate and other crises. Let’s move forward by coming together, learning from one another, and supporting each other as we strengthen our resilience and face the challenges ahead.

Join us!

Saturday, November 12
1:00 – 5:00 pm CST • on Zoom

Keynote Address

Life After Fossil Fuels

Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute

Richard Heinberg is a Senior Fellow at Post Carbon Institute and is the author of 14 books, including POWER: LIMITS AND PROSPECTS FOR HUMAN SURVIVAL, along with hundreds of essays and articles, some of which have appeared in NATURE, WALL STREET JOURNAL and THE AMERICAN PROSPECT. He has lectured on 6 continents and has appeared in numerous environmental documentary films.  

Main Session

Event Moderator

Richard Mabion, Founder / Operator, Building a Sustainable Earth Community

Richard Mabion is the Founder/Operator of the environmental literacy organization Building A Sustainable Earth Community. Born and raised in Kansas City, followed by a 2-year tour of duty in Vietnam and obtaining a BS in Education and a minor in Psychology from Phillip University, he then spent the next three decades as a self-taught urban/inner-city human behaviorist in Kansas City and St. Louis, MO.

In 2007 he founded the literacy organization and has since then been recognized for his commitment to involve more people of color in environmental causes, a responsibility that led to the creation of an Environmental Literacy conference called Breaking The Silence from 2007 – 2012. As a result of his efforts, the Pitch News organization selected Richard as their 2008-Activist of the year for Kansas. In 2011, Building A Sustainable Earth Community was one of two organizations selected by the Midwest Sociological Society for its annual Social Action Award, given to exceptional grassroots organizations working to further social justice in the Midwest.

In January 2012, the Kansas Sierra Club elected Richard as their first statewide Black Board member. Then in 2013, the National Sierra Club selected Richard as their 2013 Achiever of the Year. In 2014, the Kansas City, Kansas NAACP Branch elected Richard as the president of their Branch. Then in 2016, he was selected as the “Man of the Year” for the EPA Region 7 Environmental Justice department. In 2019, Richard was selected as one of 40 people out of 600 applicants to the first online climate action course at Cornell University. On September 1, 2022, he was selected as the Region 7 representative on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) for the EPA.

The Power of Ecosystem Restoration

Tania Roa, Former Digital Communications and Outreach Manager, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

Tania Roa graduated from Tufts University with a Master of Science in Animals and Public Policy. Her academic research projects focused on wildlife conservation efforts, and the impacts that human activities have on wild habitats. During her internship with World Animal Net, an international animal welfare organization, she administered comments for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 global biodiversity framework and managed campaigns for the High-Level Political Forum, a conference organized by the United Nations. Tania emphasizes the connections between planet, human, and animal health. She loves hiking, snorkeling, and advocating for social justice.

Why Growing Food Must Be Our Top Priority

Philip Bogdonoff, Board Member; Director, Bio4Climate’s D.C. Chapter, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

Philip Bogdonoff is a co-founder of Biodiversity for a Livable Climate’s Washington DC Chapter.  He is a past trustee and board chair, Friends Community School; Co-founder, Sustainable Washington Alliance; Vice President, Millennium Institute; Consultant, World Bank Environment Department; Research Assistant, Section of Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University.  Philip and Jim Laurie constructed Washington, DC’s first “Living Machine” more than 15 years ago.

Resilient Activism: Addressing the Emotional Impact of the Climate Crisis

Sami Aaron, Founder, Board Chair and Treasurer, The Resilient Activist

Sami Aaron’s enduring concern for the world around us inspired her to found the nonprofit, The Resilient Activist. The organization’s mission is to build resilience, optimism, and hope in response to the impact of the climate crisis, fueling the movement from the inside out. She is a Climate Reality Leader, a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance, a meditation teacher, an Extension Master Naturalist, and author of “Climate activists and psychological distress” in Ecopsychepedia.  Reach Sami at

Breakout Sessions

The 3 Essentials to Starting an Urban Farm: Land, Infrastructure, and Systems

Alan Young Sr., Yolanda Young, and Alana Henry, Owners, Farmers, Young Family Farm KC

In operation since 2010, Young Family Farm KC was more formally established in 2019 and is run by 3 generations of Young family members. At the core of their work is the belief in social justice, community empowerment, and collective action. The 3/4 acre farm (1/2 acre in production) is located in the Ivanhoe Neighborhood, which is currently a “food insecure” area — and is one of the only urban farms owned and operated by black farmers in the Kansas City area. Our mission is to empower residents to control their own destiny and health by encouraging them to grow their own food, shop locally, and choose healthy foods over junk foods.

The farm uses bio-intensive agricultural methods (no-till, high density, spin farming, no pesticide/chemicals). Young Family Farm is highly diversified and grows a variety of veggies, herbs, flowers, and honey. Currently, all produce is sold through an on-farm stand located on Wayne Avenue to make sure healthy food options are easily accessible to residents. In keeping with its mission, the Young Family Farm regularly provides free field trips for youth, workshops, and tours, and produce to community members and families.

The Importance of Seed Diversity in an Ecosystem

Nancy Kost, Co-Founder, The Buffalo Seed Company

Nancy Kost is from the Altiplano of Bolivia and grew up growing quinoa, potato, and llamas in a resilient and sustainable system that predates the Inca Empire. She has extensive farming experience throughout the Americas and deep knowledge and wisdom of seeds, seed systems, culture of food, diversity in agriculture, food system, and adaptation.

In 2018, Matthew and Nancy along with their two kids launched The Buffalo Seed Company. She holds a bachelor degree in agronomy from Earth University in Costa Rica and a Master of Science degree in tomato breeding from Ohio State University.

Soil Microbes: Growing Rain and Nutrient Density

Hilary Noonan, Microbe Wrangler, Mad Hatter Compost Tea

Hilary Noonan is Principal of Syntax Land Design and Mad Hatter Compost Tea. Her work focuses on issues of resilience, soil health and climate change. She holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University, a BA from Yale University and has certification as a Permaculture Designer. In her quest for climate mitigation strategies she has studied with soil microbiologists, farmers and researchers. That work has helped her define regenerative, healthy soil and how to get there. She continues her education at every opportunity and has had the good fortune to study with some of her heroes.

Using the Arts, Nature and Neighborhoods to Address Environmental Racism, Misogyny & Warfare in 2023

Carl Stafford, Founder / Visionary, Artist, Neighborhood Leader, MY REGION WINS! (MRW!), Kansas City’s creative nonprofit organization

Carl Stafford received the 2022 Cultural Producer Grantee from Charlotte Street Foundation to help turn a once blighted/vacant property owned by Land Bank into BOON AREA 1, an environmental, nature-based, interactive, functional art installation that acts as a contemporary community garden. The goal with BOON AREA 1 is to be a pilot project that addresses land ownership and generate revenue to help neighborhoods fund projects and programs, compensate residents who take on roles in neighborhoods and ultimately stipend every household in the neighborhood to help residents best deal with gentrification.

In 2021 Carl was Recognized as the  “Innovator to Watch” by Grinnell College for this approach. Graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, Carl realized the importance the Arts have in society and how it and nature along with neighborhoods are poorly represented. MRW!’s ‘vision’ is for a larger influence of the Arts & Nature in society.

Saving Money and Energy: The Power of an Energy Efficient Home

Mary English, Program Manager, Building Performance, Metropolitan Energy Center

Prior to joining the Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) in 2021, Mary English worked in the sustainable built environment industry conducting energy assessments, testing, consultation, and overall experience in the field of building performance in both the residential and commercial sectors.

Mary founded Small Step Energy Solutions LLC which became a leading home energy assessment provider, as well as a building consultant for sustainable new buildings and homes. During this time, Small Step worked with municipalities – including the Kansas City, MO codes department – to review and update building energy codes. She also worked closely with area developers to create sustainable developments and multi-family housing based on equity goals. Mary then moved into commercial-business sustainability, helping start-up businesses in passive house panel construction; energy benchmarking; and efficiency upgrades in commercial HVAC systems. She currently serves on the Programs Committee for the USGBC Central Plains Community; and the Equity Committee for Climate Action Kansas City.

From Consumer to Producer: How to Start Growing Your Own Food for Self Sufficiency

Staroyce Nealy, Co-Founder, Global One Urban Farming

Staroyce Nealy is a co-founder of Global One Urban Farming, an organization that grows over 25,000 lbs of organic vegetables and fruit on over an acre of urban farmland, distributing the food, for free, to thousands of individuals within the inner Kansas City urban communities. Star’s passion for health and wellness began when she became a Licensed Massage Therapist, and continued in her home tomato garden, which grew into a home vegetable garden and neighbors’ gardens. The large volume of gifted vegetables demanded organization into a charity. Star is grateful to her grandmother for teaching her good manners and persistence, and to her husband for his vegetable-loving encouragement of her drive to help others.

Strategies for Building a Successful Community Garden and a Resilient Community

Dan Krull, President, Manheim Park Garden Conservatory

Dan Krull is the president of Manheim Park Garden Conservancy and the author of the Farmer Fastrack; a program to teach new farmers basic principles of regenerative agriculture.  Dan has a life-long  passion for self-sufficient agriculture, ecosystem mimicry, and animal husbandry. Dan is also a father of six, an avid outdoorsman, and lover of all things natural.   

Withering Extractive Systems and the ROI of Paying It Forward
Nature as Co-Collaborator in Mutual Healing

Joy Ellsworth, Director, Clement Waters

Joy Ellsworth is a co-founder and acting director of Clement Waters, an organization that elevates healing spaces by restoring a cooperative balance between humanity and nature, to empower us all. Joy has supported efforts in Kansas City’s nonprofit sector (and in everyday people’s living rooms) to make sustainable lifestyle choices more attainable for more people across geographic, ethnic and income divides. As a nonprofit sector consultant she has acted as lead researcher on a USDA food hub feasibility study, she has helped over a dozen grass-roots nonprofits achieve federal tax exemption, and she has advised funding and growth strategies for established mid-sized organizations in Kansas City.

She is a certified Nature Therapy Guide. Her parents, grandparents and ancestors taught her how to cooperate with nature to manage land, and how to grow, forage and preserve her own food, herbs and medicines.

The Native American Way of Living Without Fossil Fuels
Harvesting Food from the Wild Tends to Mother Earth

Tom Wáŋbli Lúza (Swift Eagle) Zeigler, Community Organizer, Kúl Wičáša Lakota Tribe, Očéti Šakówiŋ

Tom Wáŋbli Lúza (Swift Eagle) Zeigler of the Kúl Wičaša Lakota Tribe grew up on the Lower Brule Reservation of South Dakota, spending his summers learning the traditions of land and animal cooperation from his grandfather and other relatives, as well as song, dance and natural crafting. He especially felt drawn to care for the Šuŋkawaḱáŋ (‘holy dog’ or horse) because he could compare their modern lives spent in captivity to the experiences he and his classmates suffered in boarding school. He graduated from Sinte Gleska University.

Tom is an educator of Lakota culture and tradition, teaching at schools and youth camps for over 20 years. Tom now lives north of Topeka, where he spends his time promoting whole-person solutions for good health which honor Maḱáŋ (Mother Earth.) 

From Housing to Villaging: 5 Essentials

Beck Mordini, Founder and Director, Villaging

Beck Mordini has been a chicken farmer, co-houser, commune crasher and biofuel brewer, though not all at the same time. She is the past founder of Climbing for Life, Smart Build ICF supplies and Mythic Journaling. Always studying how community works, she most recently used Sociocracy to organize a faith based Climate Action Team of seven daughter circles and over 1000 participants in its first year. She is the founder of Villaging, a collective effort to shift our view of the American Dream.  

Food Sovereignty: Take Your Power Back and Grow Your Own Food

Nicolette Paige and Darrian Davis, Co-Founders and Urban Farmers, Kansas City Urban Farm Co-Op

The Kansas City Urban Farm Co-Op is building a locally-owned, member-operated, economic engine that is fueled by sustainable urban agriculture. Darrian Davis and Nicolette Paige are both passionate leaders in the community that work together to educate people on growing food, self sustainability and how to maintain optimal wellness. In 2016, they launched their urban orchard and it has become the largest urban orchard in Kansas City, Missouri. They tend to over 200 fruit trees producing peaches, apples, pears and cherries. They also produce blackberries, raspberries, and fresh vegetables and fruit that they grow in their raised garden beds to feed the community.

Resilient Activism: Addressing the Emotional Impact of the Climate Crisis

Sami Aaron, Founder, Board Chair and Treasurer, The Resilient Activist

See Sami’s bio above.

Imagining Sustainable Communities for Kansas City

Richard Mabion, Founder / Operator, Building a Sustainable Earth Community

See Richard’s bio above.



If your organization or business would like to become a sponsor, please contact us at or at 443-257-3209.