Student Loans: Jason Brown Goes to Yale

Jason wanted his student loan to support permaculture values. more>>>

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Jason Brown goes to Yale - Student Loans at PCU

Upon receiving his PCU Student Loan, Jason Brown is now immersed in the study of sustainable land management in Latin America and the United States, looking for clues that will help him build bridges between divided worlds, including what Jason calls “the cultural divide between dogmatic environmentalism and dogmatic capitalist forestry.”

Conventional forestry has also marginalized indigenous peoples from the forests they used to care for. Jason is exploring how to empower indigenous peoples to care for their forests once again. “There tends to be a contrast in the ways that indigenous peoples relate to landscapes. They tend to relate to the land as a bundle of subjects, while we tend to see the land as a bundle of objects, with only us as subjects,” says Jason.

The School of Forestry is teaching Jason different forestry management paradigms and how to shift what we have into more sustainable systems. At the same time, the Divinity School is helping him understand the cultural and philosophical roots of the different management paradigms.

The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) with Scott Pittman of Permaculture Institute that Jason attended has also had a big influence on his education at Yale. I’ve really enjoyed thinking about forestry through the lens of permaculture, and my PDC has given me a great perspective on academic learning, knowledge and applicability to the real world.”

What might Jason do with his education? He has recently returned from the Solidarity Economy Network conference, where he was reminded that co-ops and credit unions have tremendous power to create a new economy. Jason left the conference with a vision for a co-op combining land management, ecological restoration and community-based research for solving local problems. “This is one of many things I would love to do,” says Jason.

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