brontë velez (they/them) is the Creative Director of Lead to Life design collective. They are a black-Latinx transdisciplinary artist, curator, trickster, educator, jibarx, and wakeworker. Brontë’s eco-social art praxis lives at the intersections of black feminist placemaking, abolitionist theologies, environmental regenerations, death doulaship, and the necessity of comedy. brontë partnered with For The Wild on a trip to Southeast Alaska and Sitka Conservation Society's Sea Pony Farm Property with their partner Jiordi Rosales, a cellist, composer, and lutherie. To compliment the music and spoken word, Stephanie Hewett, a dancer from New York City, also joined them. For The Wild’s production team included Molly Leebove and Jade Begay. The team produced a film project related to the Tongass and Roadless Rule issue entitled, Can I Get A Witness.
Upon their emergence from the wilderness of West Chichagof, news that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and decision to remove protections on the Tongass was announced. The group brontë was a part of so moved by their recent experience they immediately mobilized to spread the word on social media, posting videos and even creating a mini film to inspire and connect people to the Tongass. They included a link to an SCS commenting tool and we had more than 100 new action takers practically overnight.
Reflecting on this experience, brontë says, "this new invitation to Alaska felt clear to follow that dream into the waking; to trust that the watersheds and bioregions that nurture me, and that I in reciprocity protect and defend in California, are not separate from Alaska; to trust that these lands and stories signified by extraction, be it water or old-growth, indigenous displacement or racial injustice, are all deeply connected."
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