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Healing the Hurts
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Azi Khalili &
Mike Markovits
Sunday, July 28

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Sunday, August 18

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Sustaining All Life at the United Nations Climate Talks (COPs)

Sustaining All Life has attended the UN Climate Conferences (Conference of the Parties or COPs) annually since 2015 in Paris.  Our goal is to bring the tools and understandings of RC to climate activists and to increase our understanding of the global impact of the climate emergency.  We do that by bringing a delegation of RC leaders, supported by volunteers. We present workshops and forums, and hold support groups, caucuses, listening projects, and introductory classes. 

Our events have been very well attended. Each year we build upon the momentum from the year before.  

At our workshops the presenters share their perspective on current environmental issues and how we have used the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling to free ourselves and others from emotional hurts that have interfered with our functioning. Our workshops are interactive, giving participants the chance to share their experiences and be listened to. 

At the forums, activists sign up for a 3-5 minute turn to speak about the impact of climate change on their people, stories of hope and courage in activism, young activism, and more.  Periodically the flow of speakers is paused for the opportunity for the audience to exchange listening with one another in pairs. 

Many, many listening projects are held, where small groups of SAL members encourage passers-by to share their thinking on key climate change issues, using questions such as:

  • What do you think about climate change?  What should be done?
  • How do you feel about fossil fuels? Should we "leave them in the ground"? 
  • Do you think wealthy nations should help less developed nations pay for environmental damage caused by climate change? 
  • What gives you hope as a climate activist?  What's hard for you about it?
  • What are you worried or scared about losing to climate change?
  • How can we build the movement we need to change everything?

Support groups and caucuses are offered daily, offering people a chance to be listened to about their feelings connected to climate change.  Having the chance to share their anger, their discouragement, their hope in a mutually supportive group refreshes people and gives them fresh ideas for action.  Group leaders also helped people think about how to set up support groups in their home communities.

An Introductory class in Re-evaluation Counseling is also held daily.

We are building relationships with climate activists in many countries, and many people are joining RC or starting local Communities after their contact with SAL. 

Sustaining All Life at COP25 in Madrid, Spain (español)

Sustaining All Life (SAL) has returned from COP25 in Madrid, Spain (moved from Santiago, Chile). We attended with a 30 person delegation. Our goal was to bring our tools of listening and emotional healing to the COP and to make clear the connection between climate change and capitalism, racism, sexism, classism and oppression of indigenous peoples and young people. We also held daily forums highlighting the voices of Latin Americans on issues of climate change and the intersection with social justice. 

At COP25 SAL offered a series of events where we shared our understandings, and our tools of listening and healing. We had our own exhibit booth, which served as a focal point for our work.  We  offered workshops on the following themes: Eliminating the Effects of Racism in Our Work, Young People at the Forefront of the Climate Movement, Indigenous People and the Fight for the Environment, Climate Change and Institutional Violence, Women and Climate Justice, Sustaining Ourselves as Activists and Organizers, Parents Take Action for Climate Justice, Expressing Climate Grief, and The Environment and Health.

We also held forums (inviting people to come speak from their own experiences) for young people, Indigenous people, Latin Americans, and addressing the impact of climate change in Latin America.

Daily we held meetings for young people, and at the end of our time there we gathered interested people for a more detailed introduction to RC.

We held one event in the Blue Zone (the governmental area), in partnership with some other groups.  Our three speakers spoke about our basic theory and oppression in Latin America, under the umbrella of “Expressing Climate Grief.”  (We offered this workshop “climate grief” workshop a number of times.)  Iliria Unzueta, RRP of Mexico, leader of the delegation (along with Diane Shisk) gave a very inspiring talk at the end of the event, and I want to share it with you all here.  The other two people from our delegation on the stage are Nancy Callañaupa, a Quechua woman from Cusco, Peru, and Daniel Vela, young adult man from Baja California, México.





When COP26 was rescheduled to 2021 because of the COVID pandemic, Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) changed our plans and instead participated in two key events in the fall of 2020 where we offered our workshops, forums, and classes. Our first week of online events was at Climate Week New York City 2020, the week of September 21-27th, 2020. A listing of the events we offered there is here. (In Spanish/español, in French/francais) All were offered in multiple languages.

In November, we offered workshops and a forum in coordination with Coalition COP26's Global Gathering for Climate Justice (video trailer here) and other climate justice groups in Glasgow, Scotland between November 12 and 22, 2020. The list of SAL/UER events is here.

In early 2021, we held events on Women and the Climate Emergency (March 2021) and events during Earth Week 2021 (April 17-25, 2021).

SAL is offering follow-up online classes and support groups here.

Our Sustaining All Life website (in English, Spanish, and French) is the best way to introduce your friends and family to our work.

We have edited the Zoom videos of the following Climate Week events and posted the videos here .

  • Eliminating the Effects of Racism in Climate Activism
  • Expressing Climate Grief
  • Sustaining Ourselves as Activists and Organizers
  • Subversive Catwalk: Women, Fast Fashion and Climate Justice
  • How to Lead Listening Circles
  • Pacific Island Voices
  • Jews and Climate Justice
  • African Voices
  • Voices from the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis
  • How to do a Listening Exchange I
  • How to do a Listening Exchange II
  • Increasing Our Effectiveness: Teaching SAL/UER/RC in the Wide World

Related handouts are here.


Sustaining All Life (SAL) at COP24 in Katowice, Poland

After our experiences In Paris, Marrakech, and Bonn in the last three years, Sustaining All Life attended COP24 in Katowice, Poland in December. Our goal continued to be to make clear that there is a connection between climate change and capitalism, racism, sexism, classism and oppression of indigenous peoples and young people. We made space for people from the different oppressed groups who are often denied a voice in the mainstream climate movement and in the media, to share their experiences, their activism, their hopes and struggles, while being listened to with respect.

One of the most important tasks of the 24th Session of the of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) was to work out and adopt a package of decisions ensuring the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, in accordance with the decisions adopted in Paris (COP21) and in Marrakesh (COP22). Moreover, COP24 included the Facilitative Dialogue intended to support the implementation of national commitments.

SAL Slideshow Showing at COP24


SAL Events at COP24

At COP24 we offered a series of events sharing our understandings, and our tools of listening and healing. We hoped to be present with our own exhibit.

We held an official COP24 side event, together with The Global Peace Initiatives of Women and Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA).  The theme of the event was ‘To stand United for the Climate, Overcoming Divisions’.

In addition, each morning Sustaining All Life offered an open workshop where members of the audience were listened to about their experiences connected to the topics below. Each afternoon we followed-up with meetings for people who are interested to learn more and try out our tools.

Our international delegation consisted of 18 people representing Poland, Kenya, England, Hungary, Russia, Denmark, Friesland, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Basque Country, Serbia, Sweden and the US. Our activists included young and older people, Indigenous people, people from African and Asian countries and people of European, Roma/Gypsy and Jewish heritage.

Four volunteers from The United Kingdom and one from Poland supported our delegation.

Susanne Langer (Denmark) and Violeta Vajda (Hungary) led the delegation. Marijke Wilmans and Goof Buijs (both from the Netherlands) were the organizers.

Sustaining All Life (SAL) at COP23 in Bonn, Germany

The delegation to COP23 in Bonn was led by Wytske Visser (ICRP for Care of the Environment) and Teresa Enrico (ILRP for Filipinas/os and Pacific Islanders).  Anne Helgedagsrud (Norway) and Marijke Wilmans (The Netherlands) organized.  

The COP was  from November 6 to 17, 2017.  The nation of Fiji organized the COP, but determined that it would be too expensive (financially and CO2 emissions) for everyone to travel to Fiji.  So it was held at UN facilities in Bonn, Germany. Again we held workshops, forums, and more.  Two years since the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN climate talks in Bonn came at a pivotal moment for climate action and vulnerable states. After Paris signaled the intent to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, COP23 must now achieve real progress on the Paris Agreement's implementation guidelines.

The Sustaining All Life (SAL) delegation held our series of Forums and Workshops, Fundamentals classes, support groups, and caucuses.  Once again we were well received.  You can see reports from our activities below, as well as a listing of our events and flyers and handouts that we used there.



When the above doesn't play you can download the video-file by clicking this link: 

Sustaining All Life at COP22

Sustaining All Life again sent a delegation to COP22, November 7-18, 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. The conference was to an important step towards implementation of the Paris Agreement. There was ongoing work on the mandates arising from COP 21, and attempts to strengthen the "voluntary" provisions of the accord. Climate finance was also a pressing issue.  

Sustaining All Life (SAL) was present for the two full weeks of COP22. Because we had NGO status, we were able to have our own booth, and we were allocated spaces for ten workshops and forums (see below). It made a tremendous difference to have our own spaces in the middle of the "Green Zone" (the non-governmental section, open to the public). We did many of the same things we did in Paris: workshops, forums, caucuses, fundamentals classes, support groups, and listening projects. But because we could hold our events in very public spaces that were announced, people could find us easily. More and more people came to know us and appreciate us as the days went by.  

All of our events were translated in to French and many were also translated into Arabic.

Many people from Morocco attended the COP, enabling us to make many relationships with Marocains.  As a result we have started an RC Community in Morocco.  Their first weekend workshop was September 2017.  

Sustaining All Life at COP21

Sustaining All Life sent a delegation of 25 Co-Counselors to the COP21 negotiations in Paris, France, November 30-December 8, 2015.  COP21 was the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as "Paris 2015" from November 30th to December 11th.  COP21 was a crucial conference, with a goal of achieving a binding international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Centigrade. Sustaining All Life participated in the Civil Society events and events held by climate activist groups. 

Because of the attacks right before the COP, security was tight our plan to hold workshops nearby wasn't very successful. But we were able to use spaces that other groups hadn't claimed and we were able to share a booth with an African NGO. The workshops, forums, and flyers/handouts above were first developed for SAL at COP21, and we have expanded our presence every year.


SAL Handout Racism QR SAL Handout Racism spSAL Handout Racism QR spSAL Handout Racism sp COP23 Handout Racism DE (français)

SAL Handout Young people QR SAL Handout Young People sp COP23 Handout Young DE (français)

SAL Handout Young Activists QR (español)

SAL Handout Indigenous QR saluerhandoutindigenousspCOP23 Handout Indigenous DE COP23 Handout Indigenous FR

SAL Handout Supporting Indigenous QR (SAL Handout Supporting Indigenous QR sp)

SAL Handout Activists QRsaluerhandoutactivistsspSAL Handout Activists QR spsaluerhandoutactivistsspCOP23 Handout Momentum DE COP23 Handout Momentum FR

SAL Handout Building Movements QR

SAL Handout Labor QR saluerhandoutwarflyersaluerworkshopwarflyersp)

SAL Handout War QR

SAL Handout Climate Change QR

SAL Handout Healing QR(SAL Handout Healing QR sp)

SAL Handout Disability QR(español)

SAL Handout Women QR SAL Handout Women spSAL Handout Women QR spSAL Handout Women sp

SAL Handout Classism QR COP23 Handout Classism DE COP23 Handout Classism FR(SAL Handout Classism sp)

SAL Handout SCW Asians QR COP23 Handout SCW DE COP23 Handout SCW FR

SAL Handout Role US QR

SAL Handout Jews QR

SAL Handout Catholics QR (SAL Handout Catholics QR sp)

SAL Handout Parents QR (SAL Handout Parents sp)

SAL Handout Mental Health QR (SAL Handout Mental Health QR sp)

SAL Handout Work SAL (SALarabic (theworkofsalchinese) (saluerhandoutkorean) (saluerhandoutfilipino) (SAL Handout Work SAL sp)

saluerhandoutrctools (saluerhandoutrctools sp)

SAL COP24 Handout CEEuropeans (francais)


SUSTAINING ALL LIFE:  Overcoming the Destructive Policies of the Past (IN MANY LANGUAGES) 

English, SAL Pamphlet Spanish(Spanish), SAL Pamphlet Chinese (Chinese), SAL Pamphlet Japanese (Japanese), SAL Pamphlet Hebrew (Hebrew), SAL Pamphlet Arabic (Arabic), SAL Pamphlet Dutch (Dutch), 
Norsk (Norwegian), SAL Pamphlet FarsiSAL Pamphlet HindiFrançais (French), SAL Pamphlet Finnish (Finnish), SAL Pamphlet Polish (Polish), SAL Pamphlet German  (German), русский (Russian)


English, Español (Spanish), Tagalog (Filipino)


COP23 Workshop Racism

COP23 Workshop Young

COP23 Workshop Indigenous

War and Climate Change

Building United, Resilient Movements to End the Climate Emergency

Bringing Labor and Climate Justice Movements Together for a Sustainable Future

Workshop mental

Workshop activistsWorkshop youngpgmWorkshop women

Jews and Climate Justice: Building a United Front

Workshop parentsWorkshop grief

Migration is a Climate Issue

U.S. Back in Paris: Ending U.S. Greed and Isolationism

Workshop backingnative

Workshop philippines
Climate Emergency: Capitalism's Failure


COP23 Forum Climate Change

COP23 Forum Indigenous

COP23 Forum Young

COP23 Forum Voices

COP23 Forum Women


 Fundraising Help Needed!

 We need help fundraising for expenses at the COP and our followup work in Morocco and elsewhere. Below are some resources to help you in your efforts.  For more information email our fundraising coordinator: Katrina Wild <>

Sample letter to send to potential donors

Fundraising Guidelines and Strategies

SAL Donation Page (PayPal)


Last modified: 2024-05-27 17:01:51+00