Environmental identity is defined as, “one part of the way in which people form their self-concept: a sense of connection to some part of the nonhuman natural environment, based on history, emotional attachment, and/or similarity, that affects the ways in which we perceive and act toward the world; a belief that the environment is important to us and an important part of who we are.” -Clayton, S. (2003). This concept is based from those physical and non-physical interconnections we experience in life and how we react to those environmental changes. In this episode, guest, Mele Martinez tells her story in a way were one particular thing has become an ongoing story told in variations of experiences that all started with family, food, and culture. I have known Mele for several year’s and have followed her work overtime.
Born and raised in Tucson, Melani, “Mele” is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Arizona’s Writing Program. She has created and developed her self-identity knowingly and unknowingly as an individual, wife, mother, flamenco dancer, storyteller, and an educator. One of the most prominent influences in her life go back generations, before her time, as she records her family’s history in a memoir titled “The Molino,” which translates to mill; grinding machine. Mele takes a deep dive into her childhood memories, that eventually reveal the power and effect a physical thing can have on one’s life. Her stories keep you captivated and invested from beginning to end.
Here is the mini program version of the interview with Mele Martinez