Gail Mandella

ARP, West Berkeley, California

After Diane’s powerful report in April 2016 on the role of our organization at the Paris Climate Talks of December 2015, our West Berkeley Area held a summer 8-week community class on Care of the Environment in Summer 2016. I led it, assisted by Julie Saxe-Taller and Bikku Kuruvila.

I am attaching the overview of the class. It went very well, and moved all of us forward. We had about 8 or 9 people who attended regularly despite changing summer schedules.

I found that it helped so much to focus on our human connections and on early pleasant memories of the environment, and then early defeats, before diving into current distresses about current climate change. It was important to notice sources of hope and power, and to know that we are not alone. I appreciated the flexible class outlines offered as part of SAL, and the vital perspective about oppression it offers.

One of the best resources I found outside of SAL,was Al Gore's 16-minute updated TED talk explaining the environmental crisis and offering hope. We all discharged so hard, given some hope! As a group, we also listened to online environmental and climate change information, did mini-sessions, and then did a"jigsaw" process where each person would retell to the group a preassigned portion of the important scientific information we had all just listened to. This helped the speaker and others present to gain an understanding of the specifics of the problem, to be able to describe it in our own words.

In our region and area, we had also discharged effectively at many workshops, classes, and gather-ins about the Care of our Environment since the World Conference Goal was decided upon, but the strength of this class was that it was sustained over 8 weeks and therefore provided more in-depth discharge and a group moving together.

As a direct result of the class, I personally started riding a bike again after 30 years. Very hopeful! Others in our class moved forward in our commitment to ensuring the Care of the Environment, both in choice of work and in social action.


Sara Schoonmaker

ARP of the Inland Valleys area, east of Los Angeles, California, USA

Since the last World Conference, we have done fundamentals and ongoing class sessions on COE. We used the poster with the goal on it to discharge on the goal, and to think about how we want to take action in this area. We have done two listening projects, each at a local sustainability festival that is held each year. We had a table at the festival with information about RC and a sign saying "listening for a change." Counselors offered to listen to people talk about their thoughts about the environment and what sustainability means to them. We also asked them to tell us about a favorite place in the natural environment when they were growing up, and what it would be like if they were to take us there. Quite a few people were interested in being listened to on these topics.

Chris Selig

ARP San Francisco Area 2, California, USA

Our Area work on care of the environment  - San Francisco Area 2, California, USA

We have had a weekend Area workshop every year for the last 4 years where we have focused on care on of the environment and ending/healing from racism and genocide.

We have been working on starting a fundamentals class that will take place in an environmental justice organization for staff and members and other people interested in the class. That is starting soon.

People have worked on it regularly every year for the last four years in our twice monthly teachers and assistance class and our weekly ongoing classes.

Some people attended the Northern California care of the environment and ending racism workshop.

We have spent some time and worked on this at all of our Regional workshops.

We have been discharging about doing more projects at events that happen in San Francisco around care of the environment. There are a number of conferences that happen here on this topic.

We have also been discharging on the end of capitalism, alternatives, and community building.

One of the biggest things that has shifted is that everyone has take the work on as theirs.

Also just generally visibly caring about the environment in our families and at work and amongst friends has been fun.

It's been good to face the current situation, and be able to pay attention to the details, but also to face that we can think and have agency in what happens moving forward. Also to know how closely connected this work is to ending oppression and creating a new economic system. We have people in our area who work paid and unpaid in a range of diverse work environments.

It has been fun and useful to discharge and think about making changes in our own lives. The City of San Francisco has a goal of zero waste by 2025. So discharging about what waste we still create and how to end that. It connects to so many topics - what we eat, what we wear, how we get around, what we store things in, how we consume, what toxins we bring into our home, how we live, what we carry things in, what medications we take, how to even reduce compost, tidying, beauty and order, what brings you joy - each small aspect of our lives has provided for so much to discharge about and notice in terms of the environment. Of course environmental justice is about industrial changes, but the individual changes are fun to think about and provide great opportunities to discharge and a way to think about the current situation. I recently bought a plain wood dresser and thinking about how to protect the wood with out bringing toxins into my home or adding them to the environment has been a tiny but complex project, as well as the decision to even purchase the dresser.

I think facing our hardest material makes this all more possible. But we are still facing it, so we still need to see how that turns out.

This work has been another great opportunity to make friends with people.

That's what I can think of for now. We haven't yet ended destruction of the environment or created the conditions where we have ended oppression and exploitation and people have healed and have their minds back fully and have thriving joy filled connected lives - but hopefully we are headed there.

Thanks for all you have done on moving this forward in and out of RC. The work on being hopeful about what can happen is so good. And it's so much more fun and also needed to do this as a group.

Ellie Brown

ARP Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Our Wilmington I Area has had a class focused on something related to CoE (often racism and CoE) each cycle. In the summers, we've held an open evening for our area on this topic. Apryl Walker and John Irwin have taken the lead with this. Both of them as well as some others from our area are engaged in important activism work on these issues outside of RC as well. 

Louisa  Flanders

ARP Melbourne Australia

We have an active COE support group that meets monthly. We have a gather-in for the Area/Region every year. And this year we hosted Wytske for a workshop for three regions, 

Michael Levy

ARP Santa Cruz, California, USA

Here is a rough report of what we've done in the Monterey Bay Region: We had a 1 day WS on COE led by Roland Saher. We have had one fundraiser for SAL post-Paris and are now getting ready for a second one. There have been a number of ongoing class meetings focused on COE. I think that's about it.

Marcy Morgan

ARP Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

In my area (Spruce Area, Philadelphia, PA, USA) part of our last annual area workshop was focused on COE, as well as a teachers and leaders class.  Both were based on Tim's class on COE at the East Coast Leaders' Workshop. Other teachers in the area have also done similar classes.  Most of our COE work is happening regionally, with a group that meets monthly led by Eurhi Jones and Pamela Haines.  That group organized SAL contingents or RCers that joined several local marches, including one for clean energy last summer and two in support of Standing Rock. 

Pamela Haines

ARP Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

In the Philadelphia region, we continue to hold regular 5th Monday gatherings on Care of the Environment.  This summer, in an attempt to deepen and expand our reach, we invited co-counselors to participate in a big clean energy march.  We got together in advance to discharge and make artwork--including a big Sustaining All Life banner--and gathered immediately before and after the march for additional discharge on the feelings that come up about going public.  About thirty co-counselors of all ages participated.  We have had smaller groups go to other public events since then, and are working to build our capacity to decide and act as well as discharge in this area.  It's been wonderful to have Eurhi Jones step up to take leadership in this work.

Chioma Okonkwo

ARP Lagos, Nigeria

In all Regional, states, and community workshops that happened in Nigeria from last year we discharged and had extensive discussion on the nexus between colonialism and climate change and its adverse effects. I led three RC Regional workshops where we discharged on the environmental issues and possible ways to reduce or stop further damage. As a result, our Northern Regional members went public to clean up public parks, which were littered with plastics and empty nylon water sachets. These clean up exercises attracted some working class people as RCers because people were inquisitive to know who they were.

We were privileged to have been given contacts of some environmentalists who attended COP21 & COP22 who are now full RC members because Seattle financed introductory RC workshops in their parts of Nigeria. They were also invited to Nigeria this November to meet with Diane and team during our National workshop. One of them is from Cameroun I am writing this from Cameroun as we hold a workshop to follow up on the great work he has been doing here. 

Nigeria is walking the talk all of our 31 and more communities. One of our AARPs in the Eastern region works with the environmental ministry in his state. An article on erosion was written and circulated by yet another AARP. At the first Nigerian young adult workshop it was clear that most participants are presently working tirelessly on environmental issues by co-counseling, discharging and creating awareness of the need to stop further destruction. Our Benin contact has been educating us on dangers of deforestation as that is her work. Another RCer has been educating us on how to make our farm produce safe and how to have more yields. Our Ghanian contact has been educating us on need to reduce carbon emissions during cooking by the use of "Clay stoves." And our Cameroon contact has been educating us on how to plant more trees, minimize litter, and positively engage our youth with this project. Thank you.

Judy Tilsen

ARP, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

We have area workshops twice a year.  There are always topic groups and  topic tables at these workshops.  We do not have an ongoing COE support group.  We do have groups of people who get together to discharge regularly. 

I am writing from Minnesota. We are one state away from the Standing Rock Sioux land.  As a result, many of our co-counselors are involved in the environmental efforts of the water protectors.  This is a wide-world effort.  However, there are formal phone discharge times and in person sessions scheduled for people to discharge and to do their best to stay clear on what their role they play.

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00