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November 4, 2014

 

Dearest Friends,

            Deep breath - election day is here. Even the top story on the AP News wire says, “Many holding their noses as they cast ballots.” The stakes for the Senate, and some of the Governor races are high in this election, yet more often than not, voting has turned into a frustrating and often disempowering process. I know so many of us experience a sense of futility, as well as overwhelm, and under-whelm too. That said, I still hope you get out and vote. Seriously, hold your nose and do it. Most polls are open until 7:30pm tonight.

            As a direct antidote to the cynicism that can rise on election day, I want to share with yall a project that I have the honor of participating in: the North Carolina Climate Justice Summit. This upcoming summit is so direct and intentional in its approach to the connections between racial equity, youth empowerment, and climate justice, that it fills me with positivity.

Two weeks ago at the Radical Compassion Symposium at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, Joanna Macy pointed out that while our national leaders seem to be failing us on so many levels, there is genuine change happening on the local levels. This is so true! If you are willing, I would love to hear back from yall about projects you are working on, or know about, which fill you with inspiration too.

The North Carolina Climate Justice Summit is coming up soon, November 21st -23rd. It is the brainchild of phenomenal organizer Jodi Lasseter, who I am so proud to call a friend. The idea for this summit is to bring together youth and adults from all over North Carolina into a self-organizing space to re-imagine and re-create systems – resiliency hubs if you will, to insure our survival in the throes of climate chaos. There are all sorts of workshops and events, all being held in a popular education model, with a lot of open space, where all of us participants will co-create whatever comes of it, and out of it, together.

The idea is to make explicit the links between social justice and climate justice, by exploring how climate change impacts our food, water, energy, housing, transportation, health and economy. We will begin with a pre-summit basecamp on racial equity for a whole day, and then we are spending three full days together to share wisdom, skills, and create resiliency hubs to support our work going forward. From the beginning, Jodi, and the organizing team, have made sure that youth make up at least half of the attendees! The vision, and all of the hard work of the team makes my heart sing! If you want to learn more, and/or are willing to contribute towards this great work, please go online to: http://acespace.org/ncclimatejusticesummit. 

I would really love to hear what makes your heart sing. No matter what happens in this election cycle, all of the local work will continue, and often with the kind of enthusiasm our national politicians can only dream of. And if your enthusiasm is flagging, well – you all know a good Eco-Chaplain to call for some back up. :)

It is such a joy working as an Eco-Chaplain for so many activists and organizers. Keep up the good work everyone.

In strength and love,

Sarah

The Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative is 100% funded through personal donations like yours. All donations are tax deductible. If you are able to contribute, please go online to www.ecochaplaincy.net/donate.html, or send checks in the mail to the Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative, PO Box 1114, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Thank you so much!

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