Writers, teachers, listeners, learners.
The Earth Hope team owes much of what we know to our teachers in communities that have known hardship: from the inner-city, African-American housing projects of Kansas City, Missouri and New Orleans to the Crow and Cheyenne communities on their ancestral lands. Our experiences have led us to explore, synthesize and champion earth justice and social justice.
Marya Grathwohl, OSF
Founder and co-director
An activist and writer for a flourishing earth community, she worked to revitalize a 350-acre farm in Indiana for natural food production, and to create a women’s center in Northern Cheyenne country designed with wind and solar energy, ground-source heating and cooling, water catchment, raised-bed gardens, passive solar greenhouse, composting and native prairie restoration. She is writing a book to be published by Riverhead Penguin.
Helen Prejean, CSJ
Sister Helen Prejean is known around the world for her tireless work against the death penalty. In 1982, she became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers. In the months before Sonnier’s execution, Sr. Helen came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. At the same time, she came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute him — men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing. When it was first published in 1993, her book Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty sparked a national debate about capital punishment. Sr. Helen’s third book, River of Fire: On Becoming an Activist, was published by Random House in 2020. As well as speaking across the country about capital punishment, she leads workshops with Marya on the intertwining of social justice and earth justice.
Teacher, Earth Hope Prison Program
Read more about the Earth Hope Prison Program.