Benjie Howard is the founder and executive director of New Wilderness Project, a wilderness based education program on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. He is the co-architect of Youth Equity Stewardship (YES), an arts based inter-generational process preparing youth to be full partners in the work of school transformation. Benjie is the managing Deep Equity consultant with Corwin Press. He is the author of Separation Point, At the Edge of Wildness, Poems and photographs from the American Southwest. He’s a touring singer-songwriter with 3 albums, including his collaborative release BORDERLESS with Wade Antonio Colwell. Benjie is a river guide and wilderness educator and has been designing and leading educational expeditions for teachers, leaders and youth since 1999.
Watch the author consulting video: Meet Benjie Howard
Areas of expertise
New Wilderness Project
Boarderless - On Being Creative Stewards of our Learning Communities: At the crossroads of folk and hip hop musical expression, the keynote engagement weaves original song, spoken word and video storytelling together to engage audiences in a journey beyond our cramped headspace into the endless landscape of the heart. BORDERLESS™ is designed to encourage and empower educators and students in learning communities from K-12 to university-level as a passionate re-vision for how we can thrive in the 21st century; how we heal our relationships across our many differences, how we can overcome the myth of separation between humans and the natural world and how we revitalize a soulful commons.
Creative Stewardship and the Seven Principles of Culturally Responsive Practice: This series engages school professionals in an in-depth creative approach to effectively implementing and enhancing the seven principles of culturally responsive practices from Gary Howard’s Educator’s Guide to Equity: We Can’t Lead Where We Won’t Go. Using an intersectional model of stewardship rooted in the attributes of creativity, compassion, courage and community, participants come away with a useful assessment tool and skills to guide and inspire youth in their learning journeys and socio-cultural experiences in school and beyond.
Youth Voices Stewardship Session: This session is designed to inspire and inform young people, and to help them in their efforts to become powerful change agents in their communities. The session can be adapted for middle school, high school or junior college level students. It can be designed to work as an all day school workshop, or a multi-school youth summit or institute. The content combines musical performance, structured dialogue, creative expression activities, and experiential learning.
Youth Voices Stewardship Series: This signature program is rooted in arts-based methods that aims at bringing the youth perspective, vision, creativity and passion to the forefront of policy and progress for the 21st century school system. This series engages students in a process of understanding their personal journey and social accountability through a critical social justice lens and creating a living example of commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It been effective and influential as a sustainable creative facilitation process for youth to engage enthusiastically in their learning and advocate for an inspired culturally responsive learning environment. All youth programs can be adapted to be age appropriate for middle school, high school, college undergraduates, and pre-service teachers. They will acquire tools and resources they can apply toward taking action as stewards – willing to act courageously, compassionately, and creatively in support of a more equitable community.