Earth Law Center to Partner on "Invisible Hand" Youth International Screening

The Screening Will Include a Panel Discussion with Youth Activists

Boulder, CO, February 13, 2021 --( Earth Law Center is pleased to partner with Mark Ruffalo, PublicHerald, Pearl Remote Democratic High School and youth organizations for a Youth International Screening of "Invisible Hand," a documentary film covering the Rights of Nature movement. This special event, taking place Saturday, March 13 from 1 - 4 p.m. ET, will include a discussion with environmental youth activists and other influential voices following the film screening.

“'Invisible Hand' offers an alternative, a paradigm shift occurring across the world that’s healing, not just symptoms of environmental disaster, but the actual disease,” said Ruffalo. “This movement changes everything. It honors indigenous wisdom and shifts our priorities. It restores balance by placing Nature at the center of our decision making processes and gives the power that corporations stole back to our communities. It enshrines the long-ignored laws of Nature inside of our legal system.”

Produced by Ruffalo, "Invisible Hand" takes viewers behind the scenes of four defining legal battles related to the Rights of Nature movement, a subset of Earth Law. The documentary follows legal challenges that address local communities’ rights to self-governance, Indigenous rights and sovereignty, and the rights of natural communities and ecosystems. In one such effort, award-winning directors Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman followed the Pennsylvania community of Grant Township on a journey to protect itself against the disposal of toxic fracking waste threatening their water supply. To do so, the community passed a Home Rule Charter that recognized the community’s right to a clean and healthy environment, as well as the rights of natural communities and ecosystems to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.

“Our legal system is rigged to commodify Nature, to favor private property above Life,” says co-director Melissa Troutman. “It’s a system that makes it perfectly legal to harm innocent people without their consent and threaten the survival of the planet.”

“The climate emergency is now and the science is clear,” added Joshua Pribanic, Co-Director of "Invisible Hand." “We have less than eight years to change everything we know about our economy, our government, and our laws. This film is about the first step on that path to a livable future. Rights of Nature is the next stage in the evolution of our democracy.”

Elizabeth Dunne, who now serves as Earth Law Center’s Director of Legal Advocacy, was honored to provide counsel to the community of Grant Township throughout the multi-year legal battle followed in the film and to be part of the litigation team that helped secure the Lake Erie Bill of Rights a place on the ballot.

“The film does a tremendous job of depicting the courage and determination it takes to protect water from corporate power and advance systemic change,” Dunne said. “Protecting water is protecting ecosystems, and protecting ecosystems is protecting human health and well-being. At its core the Rights of Nature movement reminds us that if we do not live in the right relationship with the Earth, we will neither thrive, nor ultimately, survive. Making Rights of Nature a reality demands multi-faceted and dynamic approaches that evolve depending on the time, place and circumstances.”

Participants of the panel discussion include Michelle Bender, Earth Law Center’s Ocean Campaigns Director. “I am honored to be invited to participate in the screening, and thank the producers for focusing on youth engagement and involvement in the movement,” said Bender. “Environmental activists of all ages must be given more platforms to have their voices heard. We are the ones that are inheriting the Earth (along with the future generations of all species and ecosystems), and therefore should have an equal opportunity to lend our voices to the decisions and processes that are altering our future, such as climate change policy.”

Anyone wishing to attend should reserve their tickets at the "Invisible Hand" website (tickets will be free for anyone but adults are encouraged to donate). The film starts at 1:00 p.m. EDT on the day of the screening, with the youth panel beginning at 2:45. Audiences will have the opportunity to discuss the latest Rights of Nature ideas with Mark Ruffalo, youth leaders, The Pearl School, and filmmakers.

"In order to reverse the global environmental crisis, we need transformational change in not only our society and legal systems, but our values and ethics that underlie these systems. Legal rights for nature is one way to do so," added Bender. “I encourage you to not only watch this film, but to learn more about Earth law and the Rights of Nature movement and how you can be involved. We cannot change the status quo if we continue to work within the system that has led to and fueled the growing environmental crisis. Our lives, health and well-being depends on the health of the larger Earth community.”

Other partners of this event include: Earth Advocacy Youth, GARN Youth Hub, OtherWise Wageningen, Great Plains Action Society, We R Native, Center for Native American Youth, Polluters Out, Youth Vs. Apocalypse, Greenpeace, Mark Ruffalo. You can also visit the website for a full list of quotes from the participants.

About Earth Law Center
Earth Law Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental law organization working around the world to advance Earth-centered laws and community-led movements that respect and protect all life on the planet. ELC partners with frontline Indigenous people and communities to challenge the overarching legal and economic systems that reward environmental harm, and advance governance systems that maximize social and ecological well-being.
Earth Law Center
Grant Wilson