First CA Earth Democracy Tour Workshop a Huge SuccessPublished on April, 46 2013
By Nancy Price, Earth Democracy Coordinating Team
The first CA Earth Democracy Tour Program, hosted by the Fresno Branch on Friday, March 22, World Water Day and Saturday, March 23, was an inspiring success. Many kudos to Jean Hays, Anne Caruthers, Kayla Mitchell, Ellie Bluestein and Barbara Reed for their work and dedication and arranging for the workshop to be held in the new Arte Americas Museum. Here’s the Fresno flyer.
On Friday evening, as part of the on-going Fresno State University CineCulture film series, “Chasing Ice" was shown to a packed auditorium of students and community members, who were invited to Saturday’s Guardianship workshop. Saturday, about 40 people of diverse ages, socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicity attend the workshop from 9:30 am-1:30 pm. One concrete outcome for first steps in local organizing will be creation of a list serve to share ideas among workshop participants. The second outcome will be to organize a “coordinating council” to bring together the different groups working separately on peace and social, economic, and environmental justice issues to build stronger collaboration on shared problems and goals. This maybe named “Sustainable Fresno.”
A delicious Mexican lunch allowed time for people to continue to meet each other and talk. Then, participants were treated to a special guided tour of the Museum’s special “The Green Art Project” exhibition and collections.
In Fresno, on Friday afternoon, the film “Chasing Ice” was shown at Fresno State University to a packed auditorium of students and community members. For years, the Branch has collaborated with Professor Mary Hussein on selecting the movie for World Water Day to show in her CineCulture. Nancy and Jean made short presentations about the Saturday program, so that about 40 people of diverse ages, socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicity attended the workshop.
Two concrete outcomes for first steps in local organizing will be creation of a list serve for sharing ideas among workshop participants and organize follow-up meetings, of a “coordinating council” to bring together the different groups working separately on peace and social, economic, and environmental justice issues to build stronger collaboration on shared problems and goals.
These outcomes in Fresno made clear that for every community holding an Earth Democracy Program, it is worth considering recent community experiences, needs and turning points that can provide opportunities for further organizing taking into account the workshop materials and concrete actions we offer.
For Fresno, two such points might be: First, the 2012 defeat of the Fresno County Supervisors’ plan to permit CEMEX Corporation to mine hard rock aggregate for construction from nearby Jesse Morrow Mountain, a sacred site to the local Choinumni Tribe. Tribal and county and community members worked together to defeat this.
And second, the recent success of Fresno City residents to qualify a referendum of the City Council’s vote to “privatize” residential waste and recycling operations. Learn more about the “No on G: Trash This Risky Deal” Campaign.
We look forward to the programs in San Jose and Santa Cruz, and working more with the East Bay, Sacramento and Branches in the south to finalize dates.
Jean, Randa, Mathilde and Nancy
Image credit: participants at the Fresno Earth Democracy California tour, held Friday, March 22