Call for Submissions: Share the Stories about your RK Community Resilience Leaders

Call for Submissions: Share the Stories about your RK Community Resilience Leaders

Call for Submissions: Share the Stories about your RK Community Resilience Leaders 

2015 Community Resilience Leader

Timothy Burroughs, Chief Resilience Officer for Berkeley

We welcome your nominations for the 2nd Annual Random Kindness Community Resilience Leadership Award. The award will be given to members of the community who embody the principles of Random Kindness and are working actively to develop change at the regional scale. The Random Kindness Community Resilience Award recognizes leaders who embody the vision and values of community-driven planning for climate change adaptation and resilience. We honor those who:
  • Strive to ensure that frontline communities, those who are most directly impacted by climate change processes, are engaged in public policy and participatory planning
  • Conduct research in partnership with vulnerable communities and listen deeply to embedded community knowledge
  • Build bridges across sectors, issues, and social divides to create a true movement for sustainability and justice
  • Demonstrate that equity, environment and economy are mutually reinforcing in an interconnected world.
Please send a photo of the person and a picture of him/her in action, a description of what the action is, and why you’re nominating him/her in 300 words or less. Submit nominations here or send an email to with the subject line “RK Leadership Award Nomination,” the nominee’s name and the date you submitted it. Recommendations are due by March 20th. See last year’s awardees here for inspiration.

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.

Join Us For Two Celebrations and Community Dialogues: Dec 13th and Dec 17th

Sunday, Dec. 13th, 5 – 7PM,                                                                                                                 Modern Times Books                                                                                                                               2919 24th St. San Francisco                 

Thursday , Dec. 17th, 5:30 – 7:30 PM                                                                                                  Laurel Books in Oscar Grant/Ogawa Plaza                                                                                               1423 Broadway Ave, Oakland


Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty with Foreword by Desmond Tutu, co-authored by Anne Herbert and M. Paloma Pavel, and art by Mayumi Oda. We are dedicating as a bold celebration of light returning at the solstice and within our communities during the dark times of climate crisis. Our own, beloved living legend, Carl Anthony, will open with an inspiring message on the state of the world from his forthcoming book, The Earth, The City and the Hidden Narrative of Race: New Foundations for the Great Work of our Time

Following live music and poetry, we will share stories and groundbreaking work building resilient communities from the Bay Area to Fukushima, as well as reports from the Paris UN Climate Talks.

The groups we serve through the Random Kindness Community Resilience Project have been an inspiration and resource for community engagement, participatory planning, and organizing. Celebrate with us and our beloved community in this transformative moment in history.

Special Thanks to our Host Committee: Salote Soqo (EJCW), Jill Ratner (New Voices are Rising), Bradley Angel (Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice), Andrew Baskin (UC Davis), Rev. Earl Koteen (Sunflower Alliance), Colin MIller (Bay Localize), Public Allies, Hank Herrera (Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy, New Hope Farms Cooperative Inc, Indigenous Land Access Committee, Sacred Community Land Trust), The Resilient Communities Initiative, Antonio Diaz (Poder), Margaretta Lin (The Dellums Institute)



National Random Kindness Week — Thank You for Celebrating with Us!

What an incredible week we had celebrating the 20th anniversary of Random Kindness And Senseless Acts of Beaty and acknowledging our Community Resilience Leadership awardees. It has been truly awe-inspiring to watch our phrase go viral over the last 20 years, and to see the concept of radical kindness proliferate. Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony kicked off this historic celebration by speaking with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa, who wrote the new forward for the 20th Anniversary edition. Part One ( is online now, with Part Two on the way. Join us as we reflect on our other National Random Kindness Week activities, and be sure to keep an eye out for more events and announcements to come as we continue into the 20th Anniversary year!


Paloma Pavel (center) with Dennis Rivers (left) and Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth (right) at the Global Random Kindness Day Press Conference.

Global Random Kindness Press Conference 17 Feb 2015

We hosted a press conference with some of our Community Resilience S/Heroes, who shared transformative stories from their life and work to an audience tuning in from around the globe.

Missed the live event? Click here for the recorded version! Paloma Pavel facilitated a series of 5-10 minute presentations from these amazing community leaders:

IMG_1617Carl Anthony architect, author, urban/suburban/regional design strategist  Carl Anthony is a co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project. He has served as Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, responsible for the Foundation’s world wide programs in fields of Environment and Development, and Community Development.  He directed the Foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the Regional Equity Demonstration in the United States. Carl funded the national Conversation on Regional Equity (CORE), a dialogue of national policy analysts and advocates for new metropolitan racial justice strategies. He was Founder and, for 12 years Executive Director, of the Urban Habitat Program in the San Francisco Bay Area. With his colleague Luke Cole at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, he founded and published the Race, Poverty and the Environment Journal, the only environmental justice periodical in the United States.

londonDr. Jonathan London Director, Center for Regional Change
Jonathan K. London directs the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, which serves as a catalyst for multi-disciplinary and action-oriented research that informs efforts to build healthy, prosperous, equitable, and sustainable regions. He also is honored to serve on the board of the California Institute for Rural Studies and is the immediate past President.

vlove-1Valerie Love
 No Tar Sands Campaigner
Valerie Love works with Center for Biological Diversity as the No Tar Sands Campaigner. She is passionate about stopping tar sands expansion everywhere, and works towards a safe, livable planet for all. She also worked with Generation Waking Up, engaging and training young people as social change leaders; managed campaigns at Clean Water Action; and coordinated Buy Fresh Buy Local programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College, where she studied environmental, international and intercultural issues.

hqdefaultChina Galland Producer, Love Cemetery Project
China Galland, M.A., is the author of several widely-acclaimed books. Her newest non-fiction work is The Keepers of Love, bringing us into the heart of America’s most searing dilemma: how to choose love when there’s reason to hate, forgiveness, reconciliation and race, the story of Love Cemetery in East Texas. Founder and Director of the non-profit, Images of Divinity (IOD), Galland is also a Professor in Residence at the Center for Arts, Religion and Education (CARE) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley where she teaches periodically.

susangriffinSusan Griffin Eco-Feminist Author
Susan Griffin describes her work as drawing connections between the destruction of nature, the diminishment of women and racism, and tracing the causes of war to denial in both private and public life. In addition to her many published writings, Griffin co-wrote and narrated the award-winning 1990 documentary, Berkeley in the Sixties. She received a MacArthur grant for Peace and International Cooperation, an NEA Fellowship, and an Emmy Award for the play Voices.

Rachel-Bagby-192x236Rachel Bagby Artist, Author
Rachel Bagby, J.D. (Stanford Law School) is the originator of the poetic form she calls Dekaaz™; a form consisting of ten syllables in three-lines, which she speaks about during her recorded segment. Bagby has published several books and other recordings, as well as established Singing Farm, a solar-powered, 20-acre organic farm and musical learning center in Central Virginia.

AshEL_EldridgeAshEl Eldridge Climate Educator and Artist
Ashel Eldridge aka Seasunz, originally from Chicago is a frontman emcee, vocalist, producer, and the founder of Earth Amplified. Based in Oakland, he performs and presents his conscious music, poetry and spiritual activism nationally. His acclaimed CD release, Earth Amplified, is a fierce tribute to the Earth and peoples’ liberation. Seasunz is an educator with the Alliance for Climate Education in Oakland, CA, and a Green For All Fellow. He is a co-founder of United Roots – Oakland’s Green Youth Arts and Media Center, where he serves as the Health and Sustainability Coordinator. He is also a co-founder of CommuniTree, Oakland Resilience Alliance, and the father of a new baby boy.

4ef0f29c14a67.imageKirby Edmonds
Kirby Edmonds and Laura Branca are the managing partners of Training for Change (TFC) Associates, a training and consulting firm founded in 1982 and based in Ithaca, New York. They have worked in corporate as well as in not-for-profit environments, with unions, educational institutions, federal, state and local government organizations, and grassroots community organizations.

These people are such inspirations, and we have more Community Resilience Leaders on deck! Keep an eye out for recorded statements in the upcoming weeks.

Random Kindness Pop-Up Book Signing 15 Feb 2015

The Random Kindness Project had a pop-up book signing event at the Montclair Village Farmers Market, right outside A Good Great Place for Books. Paloma Pavel sold and signed copies of the 20th Anniversary edition of Random Kindness & Senseless Acts of Beauty. Many thanks to store owner Kathleen, and all the wonderful people who joined us on this beautiful morning.

Paloma Pavel Radio Interview on KPFA 14 Feb 2015

Paloma Pavel spoke with Kris Welch on KPFA last Saturday, about the Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty 20th Anniversary. Listen to Pavel’s segment here: Joining them in the studio were Jodi, Selene, and Srdevi, who spoke about One Billion Voices Rising.

One Billion Rising 14 Feb 2015

One Billion Rising continues to be an incredibly moving and empowering event, “the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.  The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.” Find more information here:

Random Kindness Conference Audio

Random Kindness We invite you to listen to the audio recordings of our Random Kindness Online Conference, held in February, 2015, celebrating the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, which includes a new foreword by Desmond Tutu.

February 9th-15th, 2015, was National Random Acts of Kindness Week, and February 17th celebrated Random Kindness day. This year we have launched the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty. The re-release of the book is accompanied by our global Random Kindness Community Resilience Project, building justice and resilience throughout vulnerable communities in the face of climate change. Book proceeds go to climate and nuclear refugees from Fukushima.



Conference Hosts: Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel, PhD

Post-production Media Team: Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth and Dennis Rivers

  Continue reading

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty 2/12/2015

On February 12, 2015, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu added his voice
in celebration of National Random Acts of Kindness Week. This year’s celebrations
include events highlighting the 20th anniversary edition of the book,
Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, with a Foreword by Desmond Tutu

Timothy Burroughs receives Random Kindness Community Resilience Leadership Award 2/11/15


The Random Kindness Community Resilience Award recognizes leaders who embody the vision and values of community-driven planning for climate change adaptation and resilience. We honor those who:

-Strive to ensure that frontline communities, those who are most directly impacted by climate change processes, are engaged in public policy and participatory planning
-Conduct research in partnership with vulnerable communities and listen deeply to embedded community knowledge
-Build bridges across sectors, issues, and social divides to create a true movement for sustainability and justice
-Demonstrate that equity, environment and economy are mutually reinforcing in an interconnected world.

This award grows from the 20th Anniversary of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, celebrating our ability to reach beyond our individual selves and recognize our fundamental interdependence. Our first recipient is Timothy Burroughs, Chief Resilience Officer for the city of Berkeley. As a part of Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities program, Burroughs is collaborating with community leaders across the Bay Area to make improvements in community resilience on local and regional levels. For more information on the project, visit its website:

“Ubuntu is the philosophy and belief that our humanity is inextricably bound up in one another, and any tear in the fabric of connection must be repaired for us all to be made whole. This interconnectedness is the very root of who we are.”

-Desmond Tutu, Foreword to 20th Anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty

“The steps we take now
Make new earth grow beneath our feet.
The steps we take now
decide what kind of
earth that will be.”

From Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty by Anne Herbert and Paloma Pavel.

This message is now more urgent than ever. In an age of climate crisis, this work is a call to community action to create the world we want, a world based on principles of sustainability with justice—including not only a call for collective visioning and power but also for beauty, imagination and creativity in the world we want to restore and grow.