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Rebus: Where Words and Images Meet: Ecology

In the world of the Arts and Sciences, we value words and things. And we value the interplay of both to gain meaning, insights, and new perspectives. Though we offer no puzzles here, in this inaugural edition of REBUS, we do offer various observations on

Water as a Path Toward Freedom

Ever since their forced arrival upon American shores, Americans of African descent have exercised creative agency to persevere despite repression. Whether in search of freedom during slavery, in search of equality and identity during the turbulent era of segregation and the struggle for Civil rights, or in search of righteous pursuits amidst corruption in the contemporary period, water recurs as a symbolic element – a conduit between oppression and both figurative and literal freedom.


1.  How is water important to people in the different places the author visits?

2. What role does the preservation of nature play in providing clean water for society?

3. Think about your own interaction with water for a moment.  How important is water to you on a daily basis? Obviously, water is essential to life and you consume it every day, but can you think of ways you use water you take for granted each day?  (How many gallons do you think you use daily—in other words, what is your water footprint? Remember: Everything we use from paper to cell phones to clothes, requires water).