Green Festival Speakers
Gills has pioneered the idea of Green Recovery, a concept that combines stewardship and restoration of blighted urban areas with an engaged dialogic process designed to restore the integrity of souls wounded by the crush of modern urban reality. His work incorporates the principles of sustainability, ecological design, environmental awareness and the greening of the inner spirit as critical aspects of the recovery and healing process. For the past ten years, Gills, a certified anger management facilitator and a certified addiction specialist, has worked with people victimized by efforts at survival in our modern urban environment, including people who are homeless and those suffering from drug addiction and incarceration. He also serves as a surrogate male role model and mentor to young men growing up in these challenging urban environments. During the same period, with a certificate in permaculture, he lived in an intentional urban environmental communitythe Los Angeles EcoVillage. An active member of the antiwar and Black Student movements of the 1960s, Dedan, at the time, thought of himself as a revolutionary. He now likes to refer to himself as a soulutionary, which he defines as one who explores new paths by using the wisdom of the soul, guided by compassion and mercy instead of confrontation and dogma. Dedan is a writer and poet and associate producer of Watts Up! a documentary film (in progress) about a young mans transformative journey. He has traveled extensively and has participated in international conferences on conflict resolution, peace and global healing in Russia and Bali. He recently returned from a twomonth trip to West Africa, spending time in Ghana and Senegal as part of an ongoing exploration into the intergenerational impact of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade.