Below is the first of five Roots To Resistance Blog postings which will present to you the information from our Global Postcard Campaign honoring the amazing Wangari Maathai. We are honoring her work and legacy by choosing Organizations on each continent doing profoundly important work to protect life on the Planet. Here we present the seven amazing Orgs chosen from the U.S. Enjoy and please pass the inspiration forward!
Wangari Maathai 1940-2011 Kenya:Tree Planter, Women’s Rights Champion and Justice Activist “You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself, that values itself, that understands itself.”
Dr.Wangari Muta Maathai is one of the most important people to have walked among us, inspired us, and encouraged the belief that a single person, that one small group of people, can have a profound and earthshaking effect on this Planet. Her accomplishments are many; The first Woman in East Africa to earn a PHD, founder of the Greenbelt Movement, Member of Parliament, the first African Woman and the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet the qualities that stood out most in Wangari Maathai were her fierce and unrelenting beliefs in herself, her goals, her principles, and in the actions she took in defense of Women, her Community and the Natural World. Wangari accomplished all of this during a time when it was inconceivable for Women to be out in front making demands and leading Communities to rise up. Let us give profound thanks and gratitude to a truly irreplaceable Woman, Activist, and Partner to all Trees and Creatures.
Please take the time to visit Wangari’s Greenbelt Movement: www.greenbeltmovement.org
One of the best ways to meet Wangari Maathai and to understand who she was is by watching the Documentary Film called “Taking Root” directed by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater. It is a profoundly moving portrayal of Wangari Maathai’s life path and it will inspire you to do amazing things! www.takingrootfilm.com
To honor the work and memory of Wangari Maathai we have chosen twenty Organizations doing Earthshaking work in every continent on this Planet. We begin below with a brief overview of seven Organizations doing amazing work to protect environments and the creatures and people living in them. Please take a look at their websites, learn about them, join them, let them inspire you and you in turn can inspire many!
Sacred Land Film Project: California: www.sacredland.org
Sacred Land Film Project is one of the most stunning Organizations I have been introduced to in my search for those who are doing unique and powerful resistance work in defense of our Planet and its People. Their films, shorts and photographs are breathtakingly beautiful, as is the website they are housed in. You can watch their films by visiting the site and it’s guaranteed you will be deeply moved and inspired if you visit and view their work.
Mission Sacred Land Film Project produces a variety of media and educational materials — films, videos, DVDs, articles, photographs, school curricula materials and Web site content — to deepen public understanding of sacred places, indigenous cultures and environmental justice. Our mission is to use journalism, organizing and activism to rekindle reverence for land, increase respect for cultural diversity, stimulate dialogue about connections between nature and culture, and protect sacred lands and diverse spiritual practices.
“Traditional lands represent the greatest remaining sanctuaries of life on earth — the most unspoiled forests, mountains and grasslands — and constitute one-fifth of the earth’s land surface. With a deep understanding of the land’s importance to their physical, cultural and spiritual health, some 5,000 indigenous cultures work to protect their homelands against resource hungry corporations trying to commercialize and destroy these biological arks. Our fate will depend on how we understand and treat what is left of the planet’s abundance — its lands, waters, species diversity and people.” Paul Hawkin
The Xerces Foundation: Oregon: www.xerces.org
|Xerces Society, an amazing Organization located in Portland Oregon, is doing vital work across the country and Planet by bringing attention, educational outreach, support and protection to some of our most important creatures. These are the creatures who pollinate our plants and fruit trees, create our rich soils and recycle the waste created by all living things on this Earth. These Pollinators and waste recyclers are our magnificent Planet mates; the Invertebrates, and life on Earth is not sustainable without them. The Xerces Society is doing amazing work by bringing some long overdue attention, education, excitement and inspiration to us all about a group of animals that literally keeps the ground under our feet.Mission The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.Of the more than one million species of animals in the world, 94 percent are invertebrates. Bees, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Beetles, Moths, Sea sponge, Worms, Starfish, Mussels, and Crabs are but a few of the millions of invertebrates at the heart of a healthy environment. Invertebrates build the stunning coral reefs of our oceans; they are essential to the reproduction of most flowering plants, including many fruits, vegetables, and nuts; and they are food for birds, fish, and other animals. Indeed, without them whole ecosystems would collapse. The Xerces Society is fighting for Creatures, Humans and our Planet to address the importance of protecting the invertebrates and their habitats through advocacy, policy, education, applied research and publications. PS: The Xerces Society is especially focused on the challenges being posed to pollinators so please Check out their special seed store which sells seed mixes that specifically grow plants which will support Pollinators in your area.Indigenous Environmental Network: Minnesota: www.ienearth.org
Indigenous Environmental Network is one of the most important Justice Organizations in the U.S. They are an alliance of grassroots Indigenous Organizations fighting to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth. They are working in all areas of Global concern with a focus on North America and Canada. They are Demanding Food and Seed Justice and Resistance to; GMO products, toxic contamination of the Planet, and excessive unsustainable development. They do all of this as they continue to demand decolonization while addressing symptoms of internalized oppression and racism.
Mission Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an informational clearinghouse, organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness, building the capacity of community and tribes to address EJ issues, development of initiatives to impact policy, and building alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women groups, youth, labor, environmental organizations and others.
“The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have lived for over 500 years in confrontation with an immigrant society that holds an opposing world view. As a result we are now facing an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of all natural life.”
Greenaid is doing amazing and innovative work in L.A. to support their Community and to further the Urban/Guerrilla Gardening movement. What could be cooler than creating Seedbombs and making them available on the streets in repurposed self serve gumball machines? Guess what? You can order your own package of seedbombs from anywhere in the country or watch their tutorials that show how to make your own!
Mission Greenaid is an emerging design practice and small business engaging in interdisciplinary approaches to objects, systems, tools, and spaces with an emphasis on issues of urban ecology, social enterprise, and adaptive reuse. Greenaid started as a design idea in 2010 and has since blossomed into a full scale social enterprise with a growing line of seedbomb products and services.
Greenaid seedbombs are hand-rolled in Culver City, CA using local materials, sustainable packaging, and socially responsible labor. Working in partnership with Chrysalis, a local non-profit, Greenaid offers employment opportunities and a living wage to formerly homeless or economically disadvantaged men and women from the Los Angeles area. Every seedbomb you purchase is an investment in our shared future on a greener, more equitable planet.
Green Guerillas: NYC: www.greenguerillas.org
The Green Guerillas have been helping Communities reclaim urban spaces in NYC since the early 70’s and have done truly groundbreaking work by helping to unite and strengthen People within those Communities through the introduction of Urban Ecology. Their Organization and website offer some amazing resources such as listings that help people find vacant lots for new gardens, listings of Urban Farms and Farmers Markets and locations where Community Composting happens. Visit their site and be amazed!
Since 1973 we have been cultivating partnerships between people who care about the earth and believe in the power of community gardening to transform neighborhoods.
Green Guerillas provide targeted services to 300 community garden groups to help them sustain their community gardens, strengthen their collective action, and provide important services to thousands of people in New York City.
Today, more than 600 community gardens serve as testaments to the skill, creativity, and determination of New York City’s community gardeners. They grow food for their families and neighbors, create partnerships with emergency food shelters and provide small grants to Communities who want to create Urban Garden spaces . They connect city kids to the earth and have created a program that sees Crown Heights students running a one acre farm and using the harvests for a Community Farmers Market. They give seniors cool green spaces to pass summer days and they allow people to kneel down together and garden in the city.
Beacon Community Food Forest: Washington: www.beaconfoodforest.weebly.com
Beacon Community Food Forest is in the process of creating an edible Community Forest Garden just 2.5 miles from downtown Seattle, Washington in one of the most diverse zipcodes in the U.S! The Beacon Food Forest has the potential to be one of the largest Forest Gardens created on Public Lands and will provide food security, and a deep understanding of how to plan, plant, grow and harvest foods as a Community. They are planting Fruit Trees, a nut grove, berry patch, herbal medicinal plot, vast array of vegetable gardens and more, all of which will be planned, planted and harvested by the very people that the Food Forest will be sustaining.
A Food Forest is a gardening technique or land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes in edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Fruit and nut trees are the upper level, while below are berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals. Companions or beneficial plants are included to attract insects for natural pest management while some plants are soil amenders providing nitrogen and mulch.Together they create relationships to form a forest garden ecosystem able to produce high yields of food with less maintenance.
“Our goal is to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.”
350.org is perhaps the most important and powerful Organization addressing climate change in our time. Everyone reading this should be visiting their site. It is in the interest of us all.
350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries. We operate at a large scale to take on the world’s greatest challenge. In October of 2009 we coordinated 5200 simultaneous rallies and demonstrations in 181 countries, what CNN called the ‘most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.’ On 10/10/10, we organized the “Global Work Party” — a day of climate solutions projects, from solar panel installations to community garden plantings–and changed communities from the bottom up with over 7000 events in 188 countries.
With over 4000 languages spoken around the world, words don’t always get the point across.To transcend the language barrier we made this wordless animation that explains 350.org in 90 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5kg1oOq9tY
Join The Roots To Resistance Movement in honoring 12 Global Women Activists: Raise Your Voice With Us: www.denisebeaudet.com