An Amazing Year of Kindness and Building Community Resilience

An Amazing Year of Kindness and Building Community Resilience

The 20th Anniversary celebration of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty and the Community Resilience Project has been a great success.  The release has provided us with the opportunity to honor Desmond Tutu, whose words have inspired our work this year and whose friendship we have enjoyed for many years. (Watch the interview we conducted with him for National Random Kindness Week, 2015.)
We also enjoyed celebrating with our community at a number of local Random Kindness events, including:
  • Book signing at Buddhamouse Emporium, Claremont, CA
  • Community dialogue at Gill Tract Farm, Albany, CA. We used Pope Francis’ encyclical,”On Caring for our Common Home” to enter discussion about strengthening individual and community commitment to environmental and social justice.
  • Community resilience dialogue and solstice celebration at Modern Times Books, San Francisco, and Laurel Bookstore, Oakland. We heard from some amazing leaders at these events. We received updates on regional equity advocacy in the Bay Area and international social justice work at the Paris Climate Talks (COP 21).

Margaretta Lin, now co-director of the Dellums Institute for Social Justice, speaking about promoting affordable housing in Oakland at the Gill Tract community dialogue event in Albany.

Hank Herrera and Revered Dorsey Blakeoffered opening invocations, remembering our Black and Native American ancestors at the Gill Tract community dialogue event in Albany.

Community resilience presenters Josh Willis, Colin Miller, Hank Herrera, Gera Marin, Kaily Heitz, and Andrew Baskin at Modern Times Bookstore dialogue and celebration in San Francisco.

Ms. Margaret Gordon, director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, Sheila Jordan, former superintendent, Alameda County Office of Education, andCatherine Sutton of Transition Albany, joined us for the Laurel Books dialogue and celebration in Oakland.

Random Kindness Movement Builders
 
Gerardo Omar Marin is a powerful storyteller. At our Modern Times event in San Francisco, he transported the audience to Paris to understand his role in advocating for indigenous rights at COP21. He is a healing justice worker, currently serving as Co-Director of Rooted in Community National Youth Indigenous Leadership and Food Sovereignty Network and is President of a Cooperative Housing hub for Artivists in North Oakland.
Fuifuilupe and Loa Niumeitolu have been our friends and partners in work around issues of climate justice and rising tides. They presented powerful words of wisdom at our event at Laurel Books. They are Tongan/ Indigenous Pacific Islander Story-tellers, and activists on the founding committee of OCNC (Oceania Coalition of Northern California) a Pacific Islander (Melanesian, Polynesian and Micronesian) Social Justice organization that collaboratively links local and global social justice issues facing Pacific Islander communities.
Yuka Saito presented on her engagement with climate refugees from Tohoku and Fukushima, Japan. Her work involves restoring communities through a people-to-people lens. She is also thinking about the bigger picture, creating a new, post-nuclear village. She encountered Joanna Macy’s work a couple weeks after the Tsunami hit Japan, and since then she has been studying with Macy intensively, offering The Work That Reconnects workshops in Japan.
Belvie Rooks gave a heartfelt talk at our Gill Tract Farm community dialogue on Oct 4 in Albany about the importance of mentorship. Together with her partner, Dedan Gills, founded Growing a Global Heart, an international initiative to plant trees along the paths of enslavement within the African diaspora. She has been an active participant in the anti-apartheid and national liberation movements in Africa, and is a creator whose work weaves the worlds of spirituality, feminism, ecology and social justice. We honor her lifelong commitment to and leadership in social and environmental justice.
John Claassen spoke with us and our communities at Laurel Bookstore in December.
He is President of Genesis, the Bay Area faith based community organizing network affiliate of Gamaliel. We respect his leadership in successfully advocating for transportation justice with the passage of Measure BB and approval of the free youth bus pass, and working with transportation officials on an innovative, environmentally positive, implementation.
Our climate resilience leaders at Laurel Bookstore, Oakland, Dec 17, 2015.

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