skip to content
By Brigette and Shay, RAISE 2022 Co-Chairs; and Dakota, H2OO Co-Founder and RAISE 2020–2022 Chair


Unearthing Intersectional Learning With the RAISE Initiative

“Hello, my name is Dakota Peebler, and I’m an H2OO Co-Founder and former Co-Chair of the Regenerative Agriculture and Indigenous Systems for our Environment (RAISE) Initiative. This is a youth-led initiative dedicated to raising awareness and educating about the benefits of learning from traditional ways and Indigenous systems in growing food to move away from harmful industrialized agricultural practices. The focus of the Initiative this past year has been on growing our movement and developing youth connections nationally and globally in purpose. Read on to hear insights from Brigette and Shay, who served as the youth Co-Chairs of RAISE in 2022!”

Dakota, H2OO Co-Founder and RAISE 2020–2022 Chair, California USA

“The most valuable lesson I learned this year as co-chair of the RAISE Initiative is how to effectively collaborate and build on each team member’s strengths to create meaningful projects that the entire group is proud of. I am, admittedly, a very independent person and in the past I have typically not enjoyed group projects; however, leading the RAISE Initiative and having a team of individuals who are as passionate as I am taught me that collaborating can allow a group to combine their individual skills to generate a final product that could not have been accomplished by any one individual on their own.

The greatest example of this within the RAISE Initiative throughout my time as co-chair was our submission for the magazine The Disruptive Quarterly. For our submission to the Ocean, Environment, and Impact edition of The Disruptive Quarterly, RAISE co-chair Shay Muñoz Barton and members Jet Lien, Lydia Latifah Nansubuga, and Dakota Peebler worked together to produce the written piece “Growing Solutions: Three Sisters Method”. Each author also included a personal statement about their experiences with environmental action in connection to the farming method. Finally, I created a piece of digital art illustrating the Three Sisters through a collage to accompany the article. Our submission was truly a beautiful accumulation of each of the RAISE Initiative members’ talents and experiences put together to tell a story of preservation and cooperation in nature.”

Brigette, RAISE 2022 Co-Chair, California USA
Shay processes the RAISE Initiative goals at the RAISE Retreat 2021.

“As a co-chair of the RAISE initiative, one of the most impactful lessons I learned was the importance of localized solutions. This is applicable to many different issues facing our world, but learning more through interviews, spending time on farms, and connecting with community leaders about how different “regenerative agriculture practices” look from farm to farm in just one county, let alone all over the world has helped me internalize the importance of this concept, especially with respect to agriculture. Food that heals the earth and feeds people must be grown with respect to climate, culture, and many other deeply connected local factors. The different perspectives of the RAISE team also helped me understand how many ways there are to farm, as I learned about their research and practices in their communities during our meetings. During my time as a RAISE co-chair, after every meeting, I had a new idea to think about and a way of farming I’d never heard of before.”

Shay, RAISE 2022 Co-Chair, California USA