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Draft Program on Climate Change, for your comments (updated March 5, 2019) (short version now available)

 

POSTINGS BY REGIONAL REFERENCE PEOPLE

Cathy Picone
Apprentice RRP for South Australian region

Over the years, here in South Australia we've discharged in many workshops, ongoing classes and support groups on our connection with the natural world from the time when we were very little, our connection with other humans, and on the destruction of the environment under capitalism. Since we've had the beautiful three-part goal on CoE, we've discharged on that consistently. At the time of COP21, we held a half-day workshop as an introduction to RC; RCers brought friends and family members to that event. We sold posters and encouraged people to contribute financially to support the SAL delegation in Paris. Community members marched in the big local rally with a banner that said, "A Better World Is Possible" and we liaised with the march organisers to hold a listening post stall at the point where the march ended in the centre of the city. We hosted a very well attended weekend CoE workshop led by Rod Mitchell from Western Australia, and a year later we held a one-day CoE workshop led by Klaus Frohlich. We continue to do this work along with the allied work on ending genocide, racism and classism. Although most support group leaders focus on CoE work in some of their scheduled support groups, one of the Areas has a dedicated support group for activists, most of whom are environment activists and two of them are leaders in the environment movement in Australia. Most recently, about twenty of us travelled to Melbourne, Victoria to participate in the CoE workshop led by Wytske. 


Jennifer Wexler
RRP part of Boston, Massachusetts

*Some of the efforts in my region over the past period:*

Encouraging teachers in classes and support groups and ARPs at Area workshops and gather-ins to consistently, in every class, put attention and create contradiction to work on the current climate crisis and to work on feelings that inhibit stopping the destruction of the environment.

More recently promoting and using material Diane Shisk posted on RC website.

In May 2015 Wytske Visser led a day long workshop for RCers in the Eastern MA and RI regions. At our annual regional workshop we put attention on care of the environment and ending the destruction.

Use the posters as a way of drawing attention to the issue (also hankies, T-shirts).

*Contradictions** at Regional Leaders Classes, Regional Workshops and Multi-Regional Ending White Racism Leaders Class*

Noticing your caring about and connection to all life and relationship with the natural world and environment. Humans are part of the natural world. Our care of the environment includes caring about all humans and the water planet we inhabit.

Discharging on the goal and doing the work to make the RC goal your personal goal.

Facing and discharging current and early fears and terror related to the climate conditions.

Discharging on deciding to act and the fears that came up about being active and visible and communicating what we know.

Panels inviting People of the Global Majority to communicate and discharge about the effects of environmental destruction and climate change on their lives and communities.

Holding Topic Group meetings for environmental activists to work on racism and bringing what we know into the environmental movements.

Review how and why class societies developed, and how oppressions work to maintain economic systems based on exploitation.

That this stage of capitalism, an irrational economic system based on long-standing patterns connected to survival and greed, have led us to the brink of patterns of genocide being acted out on the level of the destruction of the planet.  Fracking of natural gas and oil in the US has caused major economic  and health destruction in economically exploited communities.

How communities of People of Color have been at the forefront in fighting to stop environmental destruction.

The relationship between this level of exploitation of the planet and racism. Historically and currently the disparate impacts of environmental racism and the catastrophic health and life impacts of climate change (air quality, heat, sea level rise, extreme weather events, etc.) on communities of People of Color. And because of economic exploitation and racism, these communities have less resources to mitigate the effects.

Discharging on taking a two-legged stance of leading the discharge work both in and outside of RC and discharging on becoming active in environmental groups. 

Discharging on engaging in local efforts to stop segmented pipeline projects of oil and gas companies and on the leadership and attacks by the Lakota Nations at Standing Rock. 

Building Alliances in the environmental movement by working on racism and Genocide, and on internalized racism and genocide.

*Based on encouragement from Diane Shisk, we have had a proliferation of activities under the banner of SAL*. For about a year, I led with a group of people along with Gladys Maged, to discharge on bringing RC to environmental activists and organizations with an emphasis on ending racism and internalized racism as a key inhibiting factor in the environmental justice movements. In the spring of 2016, Jenene Cook, assisted by Nazish Riaz, Jean Charles, and Elizabeth Saunders led two wide world workshops for environmental activists on Eliminating Racism in the Environmental Movement.  The first was at a large environmental conference and was attended by about 60 people.  The second was a stand alone event and was attended by about 10 people.  Four of those who came are now in fundamentals classes taught by Elizabeth Saunders. In January 2017, Nazish Riaz (with a team from the group I have been leading backing her) will lead a day of anti-racism training for the New England staff of the wide world organization Clean Water Action (which Elizabeth Saunders works for).

There have been other efforts by ARP's in my region including listening projects on care of the all life and ending the destruction of the planet and our environment.


Diane Shannon
RRP New Zealand

In our region we have a COE Skype support group which meets regularly online.

Hemaima Wiremu has been involved in the COP 21 and COP 22 RC delegations to Paris and Morocco as part of the Sustaining All Life Project.

In April 2016 Hemaima came to Christchurch to lead a wide world forum event called Climate Change and Environmental Activism - An Indigenous  Perspective. Nikki Berry organised the event in conjunction with 350.org. Carmen Carkeek assisted Hemaima. She talked about the Sustaining All Life project and the environmental work she does in her own community. It was also an introduction to RC.  

This event was very successful with 33 people attending, many of them environmental activists. We have followed this up by inviting interested people into fundamentals classes.

In October 2016 Wytske led a COE workshop in Christchurch with people attending from around New Zealand and a few from Australia. The workshop was excellent and was another step forward in our work on COE.


Guy Wood
RRP New Hampshire and Vermont, USA

Some steps for the COE goal in our rural region (the states of New Hampshire and Vermont, USA) in the last four years:

An ongoing practice of having specific classes, that have gone from a couple classes in the season, or for extended periods time, on the COE. This practice is happening in all of our communities, often including a focus on the links between environmental issues and racism. It’s my impression that the teachers leading these classes usually remember to include counseling on our memories of how we have cared about the environment;

In some of our communities, different persons in that community take on becoming an expert and advocate for each of the RC goals, including having one person being a leader about COE;

A one-day regional workshop on COE;

When appropriate, my encouragement of Leaders from outside our region to include it in the weekend workshops they have do in our region;

Keep trying to find better ways to include it as a topic in our open regional weekend workshops that I lead;

Having a listening project in our region on it; 

An RCer, Laurel Green, having a successful fundraiser with her friends for the SAL presence at COP 21 in Paris 2015; and Laurel attended the COE Leaders International Conferences in the Netherlands and British Columbia, Canada. 


Karl Lam
RRP for Cambridge, England

This is a picture of what we have done in our local community, to address Care of the Environment.

In almost every class and workshop I've led, I've said variations on this:

"Everything we do in RC should relate very directly to the wider context in which we do RC – and that the destruction of the environment is now the most important (negative) aspect of the wider context."

In our local community class, four different people have led classes on Care of the Environment.  Others have led 7am groups at Regional workshops.

These addressed:

 ● Our early connections to the natural world

 ● Noticing what we love about the natural world now

 ● Showing videos for information

 ● Go rounds asking people to share their current understanding of the problems

 ● Working on worst fears and how these related to early memories

We've also worked on:

 ● Passivity in the face of danger

 ● Deep disappointment with other people

We've also done classes on joining mass movements and building relationships (as a necessary part of all wide world change),

Two people did a listening project at street festival. They talked with around 50 people.  They report: “Several of these encounters moved people's thinking on, some into taking action.”

Over the last few years, it's noticeable that several people in our local RC community have become active politically for the first time, or renewed activity that they gave up on a long time ago, with care of the environment being a significant focus.

However, this is clearly still only a small fraction of what we need to be doing. 


Phyllis Beardsley
RRP Interior of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada

In this region there is one small organized area surrounding Vernon, BC (the Okanagan Shuswap Area); a group of co-counsellors in Calgary, Alberta; and several counsellors spread sparsely throughout the region doing most of their counselling via phone or Skype.

Here are some COE activities from the past four years:

1. Three members of the Okanagan Shuswap Area participated in a support group for a co-counsellor from Victoria BC (Beth Cruise) who was a SAL delegate at the COP21 talks in Paris in 2015. As well as having the support groups ahead of time we also arranged a roster of people who took turns being "on call" for her during the conference (letting her know she was being thought about and being available for sessions if she could find the time and the internet connection).

2. The last area workshop for the Okanagan Shuswap was on the topic of COE.

There are also some individual co-counsellors who are using RC to help them be effective in wide world action for COE:

1. Bill Horne who lives in the small town of Wells, BC says:

"I did discharge a lot about COE in the last year in the course of mounting my solo exhibition of political artwork in Prince George last winter. One highlight was being the one white male on a panel about Art & Change at the gallery, with two First Nations women that I had proposed to the organizers, along with another young GM woman they had selected. I also had many sessions while backing people in the Peace River Valley and Treaty 8 (a First Nation's area in northeastern BC) who have been resisting BC Hydro's Site C dam. I've helped raised thousands of dollars for their court cases, but best of all, I've made some wonderful new friends who love me and Claire and say so. That's been a remarkable gift. My sessions and RC's theory and practice of liberation have made all this possible."

2. I (Phyllis) and my husband Bill Darnell:

We have worked with an environmental group in Vernon called "Vernon in Transition". Part of this group held meetings called "inner transition" where we did some naturalized RC for listening and discharge. We also introduced "listening pairs" and appreciations in the general meetings. People found this valuable saying they left the meetings feeling energized and hopeful!  One of the "Vernon in Transition" leaders has since taken a fundamentals course and become part of the local RC community.

We also belong to a group called Vernon Climate Action, which is mainly an email list to advertise events such as rallies. The most recent rally was one was protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline which is a project to "twin" an existing crude oil pipeline to transport bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands to the west coast near Vancouver. This rally was also to support a local indigenous woman who was raising money to go to Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access pipeline in the United States.


Chuck Esser
RRP for New Jersey, USA

I have led an ongoing class series on our goal and care of the environment in Philadelphia.  We worked on the goal, choosing a part of the environment to become an expert on, being part of a Sustaining all Life group going to demonstrations we have been doing in Philadelphia around supporting Standing Rock.  We also did a one-day workshop in NJ for the community on Sustaining All Life. A highlight was people showing their passion in connection to each other and all life when we were little and reclaiming that wonder and passion.  


Catherine Evilsizor
RRP for Arizona, USA

I have been leading a monthly Care of the Environment group in Tucson and have made the connection to that Goal when we have worked on things in Teachers & Leaders class that are related to the Goal. People have told me that they are finding themselves better able to think in this area, and are doing things differently.

Many neighborhood, friends gatherings and RC happenings in Tucson occur in my house, and I am making my home into a kind of learning museum to interest/inspire people to think about things they can do personally within their own living environment.

We had a fundamentals class made of of COE activists a few years back, and several of them have stayed involved and contributing to the Tucson RC community. There has been good work among Tucson RCers in the broader community around coal burning power, water use, solar power, community and school gardens, public transportation and bicycle pathways.

A counselor in Prescott is leading a Care of the Environment group in the Phoenix RC community, and that group is planning a listening project there.


Debo Powers
RRP for Florida, USA

This issue is very important to me.  For several years, I have been including a Saturday night class on COE in my annual (weekend) Florida Community Building Workshop.  In addition, I recently taught an 8-week class on COE and UER for the Tallahassee RC Community in February/March.  As a board member for several environmental organizations, I have led some COE activities outside of RC with activists.  

Activities within my reach are:  

(1) To lead a COE workshop for activists (outside of RC) in the near future with hopes of starting an RC class focused on this issue and the work that they do.

(2)  To lead a weekend COE workshop for my region---It may be a few years before I can find a spot on the calendar though!!!

Thanks for asking these questions.  I look forward to hearing from other RRPs about what is happening in other regions.


Horace Williams
RRP, Los Angeles, California, USA

We've taken some discharge time in our teachers and leaders class after watching the video "Disobedience".  We had a Friday evening to Saturday evening  regional workshop on ending classism and COE.  At this workshop, Victor gave a report on COP22.  Jujlian Wessglass has done work on COE at his annual weekend workshops for the Southern California Regions.  One person in our Region has attended a few local wide world COE events, learned about local organizations, did a listening project, and shared RC.  We need to encourage all of our teachers and support group leaders in the Region to do this work in their groups, so it is not just one leader or class taking initiative. 


P. Xabi Ezeiza Odriozola 
RRP, Basque Country

Here last year we had Wytske with us and since then we have been discharging on personal level on this subject.

I have led a couple of classes on it last year and one class this year

I use some time of my workshops to have people discharging on that and Itziar and I are planing to lead a whole workshop this year.

We are still having fights against imperialism ecocide factors here  I told you about them when you were here) like a Nuclear Power Station in the area where I live,  and a big motor-train way imposed by Europe, which will cross our country, and different attacks to our mother Earth here; it takes a lot of time and organization to work against those things, so we are pretty occupied in action but not so much in discharging.


Pam Oatis
RRP for Michigan, USA

We have done a few things in our region though not as much as I would like.

1. We had an afternoon making SAL posters with teens to oldsters that was great fun.  Mini sessions, creativity, lots of laughing, messiness and produced gorgeous posters and cards that we sold at a big tri-regional workshop before Cop 21 which our very own M'Lis Bartlett went to.

2.  Our hospital based Creation Care Team focused on sustainability invited M'liss to give a report back on the event which she did with a swell introduction to SAL and we did listening turns that the medical residents and students particularly appreciated.

3.  I incorporated COE in a recent women's workshop right after we went outside into the spectacle of Midwest spring for a physical power activity.  We noticed connections to environment, I spoke briefly about key issue related to ending racism and invitation to work on early discouragement/defeats then did one demo with a woman working on environmental issues in Flint and then all had huge sessions in 3 ways. They actually needed a mini after I spoke ever so briefly before we did the demo and then their sessions.  Such big feelings.

4.  this month our leaders class will be focused on COE so leaders can do the work in their classes. Next planned is a regional gathering in and then inviting our friends in wide world organizations to an event.

Thanks for asking Diane.  Hearing about other people's work really helps encourage me/us and have ideas to try. M'Lis Bartlett is key to this work as are 2 other leaders in Detroit and Lansing who are active in their work and communities.


Jo Perry
RRP, Queensland, Northern New South Wales & Victoria, Australia

 

In Melbourne, we have an active support group led by Lisa Rasmussen,
and we have had gather-ins around the COP 21/22. One had folks not in RC, the other was just RCers.
 
We hosted Wytske last year for a weekend COE workshop.
 
Our annual winter Teachers and Leaders workshop is coming up in a few weeks, 
we always have a class on COE.
 
My next plan is to put a one-day workshop on our annual calendar,
led by Lisa. 

Last modified: 2018-05-01 14:38:08+00