Elder Activists for Social Justice
3rd Thursday of each month
9:00 - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 - 1:30 pm EST
We participate together over Zoom video conferencing in a lightly-facilitated, educational and interactive conversation. We have time to deep dive into our topics using an Elder and social justice lens...always provocative, meaningful and community-oriented.
We began, three years ago, by looking at issues related to racism, white privilege, wealth inequality and Islamophobia, and have recently studied Native peoples' history, reconciliation and the moral voice of an Elder. Each month’s topic grows from the previous month's and the interests of those attending.
Approximately two weeks before each meeting we may post resources about our subject which include relevant readings, videos, articles, and introspective questions. Our meeting format is participatory, and everyone has a chance to interact and share. All meetings are via Zoom video conferencing. Click for instructions and access to Zoom conferencing. ALL ARE WELCOME.
Our next Community Conversation will be on
Thursday, April 18
9:00 - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 - 1:30 pm EST
Exploring the "just transition" of the Green New Deal
We in the Elder Activists for Social Justice group look at the world through a social justice and elder lens. Listening to the Indigenous and Frontline communities' reservations about perpetuating "market rationalizations" that do not deal with the underlying crisis of the destruction of Mother Earth, do we need to take a stand with them? Is this a moral stance demanded by us being elders in this culture, realizing our responsibilities and obligations?
Read the responses by Climate Justice Alliance and Indigenous Environmental Network who represent those most affected by the current injustices today, particularly climate crisis effects. They have a very clear understanding of what they think is unjust about our world today and what actions need to be done to shift our paradigm to more fairness, equity and ecological values. And read the two other articles that could be called touching on a "Just Transition" and the two other articles that are in support of carbon taxes etc.
We are considering adopting and publicizing a Resolution of Support for the Green New Deal. A draft is posted here. We’ll also talk about the actions we are doing now to support the changes needed and offer the gifts we are realizing as elders are needed for our continued existence on our Mother Earth.
In our Community Conversations we draw on the experience and wisdom of our group to better understand the critical issues we are facing and discern what actions we would want to take as elders in our society today. We offer moral support for each other as we grapple with the issues and challenges of our times and discern how to best support the activism that we are each engaged in.
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations into a formidable force. Our translocal organizing strategy and mobilizing capacity is building a Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies. We believe that the process of transition must place race, gender and class at the center of the solutions equation in order to make it a truly Just Transition.
February 13, 2019 - More insightful input on Green New Deal from the Climate Justice Alliance: Green New Deal must be rooted in just transition, workers, communities and those impacted by climate change-from the grassroots.
February 13, 2019 - The Indigenous Environmental Network applauds the Green New Deal resolution for its vision, intention, and scope. With this resolution, Representative Ocasio-Cortez (Resolution House of Representatives) and Senator Markey (Resolution US Senate) have begun a critical process to change the national conversation in regards to addressing the climate crisis at hand. From sea level rise to loss of land to food insecurities, Indigenous frontline communities and Tribal nations are already experiencing the direct impacts of climate change, and we are encouraged to see these congressional leaders take charge to help Indigenous communities and Tribal nations protect their homelands, rights, sacred sites, waters, air, and bodies from further destruction.
However, while we are grateful to see this support by the Representative and Senator, we remain concerned that unless some changes are made to the resolution, the Green New Deal will leave incentives by industries and governments to continue causing harm to Indigenous communities. Furthermore, as our communities who live on the frontline of the climate crisis have been saying for generations, the most impactful and direct way to address the problem is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. We can no longer leave any options for the fossil fuel industry to determine the economic and energy future of this country. And until the Green New Deal can be explicit in this demand as well as closing the loop on harmful incentives, we cannot fully endorsee the resolution We remain supportive of Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey’s aspirations and hope to be constructive partners in actualizing the goal of generating radical change in the fight to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth.
CLICK HERE to read the entire detailed assessment of the main problems we see in the current language of the Green New Deal
This paper by Michael T. Lewis, published alongside three others, is one of many proposals for a systemic alternative we have published or will be publishing here at the Next System Project. You can read it below, or download the PDF. We have commissioned these papers in order to facilitate an informed and comprehensive discussion of “new systems,” and as part of this effort, we have also created a comparative framework which provides a basis for evaluating system proposals according to a common set of criteria.
Next System Project - We connect designs for a better future with the networks that can make them real
By approaching issues systemically, we believe we can move our degraded political conversation beyond current limits and catalyze a substantive debate about the next system and how we might go about its construction. Despite the scale of the difficulties, we are cautiously optimistic. There are real alternatives. Arising from the unforgiving logic of dead ends, the steadily building array of promising new proposals and practical experiments and institutions, together with an explosion of ideas and activism, offer a powerful basis for hope.
January 23, 2019 - So, in sum, a Green New Deal that would fully address the climate/energy crisis would have to be far broader in scope than what is currently being proposed. Ultimately, we will need to mobilize society as a whole with a World War II-level of effort. Again, what’s required is not simply to provide jobs to the un- or underemployed while building large numbers of wind turbines and solar panels; we will all need to live very differently and make some sacrifices. Given the already dangerously high and increasing level of economic inequality in the country, it would make sense to ensure that sacrifices fall mostly on those who are currently well-off, while the benefits of job creation are targeted toward those who are already feeling the pinch.
A Green New Deal is needed. It’s an idea that deserves support from politicians and advocacy organizations. That said, it will be a difficult policy to negotiate in detail and much tougher to pass into law. But, in such a volatile political landscape, almost anything is possible—even a practical version of a Green New Deal that addresses our shared crises with the most equitable rules and institutions we can muster.
From our member Art Mitchell
A follow-up article (I do not necessarily agree with every little thing, but the big picture is valid):
I have been working with these mechanisms in several countries, mostly REDD+. The intention sounds good, makes sense intuitively, but rarely goes as planned, governments and big polluters get plenty of feel-good advertising - and the core problems persist - and are conveniently ignored (unintentionally - or maybe intentionally, it gives the appearance of seriousness, that something is being done) - IMHO it is part of the "business as usual" scenario, although at first glance it would appear not to be.
We will be using Zoom video conferencing, which is very easy to access by computer or regular telephone. If you choose to use your tablet or smartphone, be sure to download the Zoom app ahead of time. We will be starting each meeting on time so please connect 15 minutes before the call so that the host can help with any technical difficulties or questions you may have. Once the call starts the host will be not be able to help with connection issues. Once you are connected via Zoom you are welcome mute your microphone and turn off your video until just before the meeting starts, or you may enjoy chatting with others in the meeting while you wait.
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Learn more about what we have been discussing: See our Examining the Roots of Injustice webinar (watch it HERE)
And see our Elders in Right Relationship with Today's World two session webinars (watch them HERE)