Who We Are

We are a group of long time friends, artists, educators and activists passionate about the common ground where we connect, learn and grow together. We look forward to gathering in community (in the after-covid-world) for convivial conversation, shared experience, and solidarity-based engaged action for the ground we share in ever widening circles of community.

The Hummingbird Center is affiliated with the Ecoversities network (ecoversities.org), a global body of experimental learning spaces, which enables learners and communities from around the world to reclaim diverse knowledges, cultivate egalitarian relationships, and re-imagine new approaches to learning and education.

If you are interested in helping to evolve the Hummingbird Center you are welcome to contact us. Your ideas and dreams for diverse programming will help make the Center a rich and meaningful open meeting space.

Suzanne Richman-founder

Suzanne is an educator whose teachings and facilitation encompass community, environmental and spiritual health. She is an interfaith wedding officiant, a Hospice volunteer and a spiritual caregiver (chaplain intern) in health care settings and community spaces. Suzanne came to Vermont in 1984 to teach community health at the Institute for Social Ecology. Soon Goddard College became her workspace for over three decades where she founded, directed and guided students in the Health Arts and Sciences: Bridging Nature, Culture and Healing program. For over 40 years she has been deeply involved as one of the organizers of the bioregional movement, a place-based movement rooted in the creation of healthy and just social and ecological futures. As the founder of the Hummingbird Center as well as obsessive gardener, she dreams of creating big gardens for tiny hummingbirds.


Peter Bingham

Peter Bingham is a professor in the departments of Neurological Sciences and Pediatrics at the University of Vermont and a musician.  He was a Fulbright Scholar Awardee in 2013, which enabled him to go to Armenia and study the oud when not co-learning alongside Armenian pediatricians.  As a singer-song writer, Peter’s interest includes sound and healing, sound therapy, and playing guitar in the neonatal unit and halls at the UVM medical center. He can also be found composing music and singing for weddings.

Kathleen Kesson

Kathleen Kesson is Professor Emerita of Teaching, Learning and Leadership at LIU-Brooklyn.  She is the former Director of Education at Goddard College, and was the founding Director of the John Dewey Project on Progressive Education at the University of Vermont, a research and policy organization. She has written extensively in books and academic journals about democracy and education, teacher development, spirituality and the curriculum, unschooling, environmental education, arts in education, and educational futures.  She currently works with Vermont networks dedicated to the transformation of schools and communities to be more sustainable, equitable, just, and joyful spaces. When winter snows melt back into the ground, she can often be found tending her perennials, pulling weeds in her fruit and vegetable gardens, or making a mostly fruitless effort to learn the languages of plants and pollinators. (www.Kathleen.Kesson.org)

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 24 books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam’s Well, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. Founder of Transformative Language Arts, she leads writing workshops widely, coaches people on writing and right livelihood, and consults on creativity. She makes her home in Kansas but has a long-term relationship with Vermont. Her collaborations include YourRightLivelihood.com, Bravevoice.com, and ArtofFacilitation.net.

Chris Wood

Chris Wood is the founder and Director of BALE (Building A Local Economy), based in South Royalton, Vermont. In addition to serving on numerous community boards and organizations, Chris has founded or co-founded many nonprofit Vermont organizations over the last 40 years including Rural Vermont, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Rainbow Coalition of Vermont, Vermont Resource Cooperative, Vermont Community Reinvestment Association, Onion River Arts Council, Vermont Committee on Southern Africa, Focus on Film, Vermont Jobs with Justice, Vermont Consumers’ Campaign for Health, Green Mountain Film Festival, Studio Place Arts, Royalton Community Radio, and Gross National Happiness USA. His strength is networking, collaboration, and working with diverse groups/participants to strengthen community goals. His only recognizable relaxation is hiking, following his wife Sylvie on skis, and happily taking control in the kitchen. He also co-founded the quirky and beloved Horn of the Moon Café in Montpelier over 40 years ago. (www.BALE.org)


Gratitude to Breadloaf Mountain Zen Center for their Zen Peacemaker teachings on not knowing, bearing witness, and taking action, which inspires our work at the Hummingbird Center.

Special gratitude as well to AB and AJK for their deep and vast commitment to social justice and community healing work, which inspires transformative practices, new learning, and also the Hummingbird Center. Together we seek to honor and help protect the next generations of humans and the non-human world. And another gratitude to the whizzing world of hummingbirds. More information here.

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