*!* time sensitive invitation third item down: full moon tea tomorrow! *!*
Hello! I write to you after a month back in Portland. Ive been noting my reactions to being here, ranging from pure joy at returning to TLC Farm and feeling so proud of how its grown this year to feeling sad at Portlands seeming bubble of beauty and flow. While I recognize and celebrate the leaps and bounds we are taking towards sustainability here, I also witness that we are still not truly acting on some of the most prescient issues in our world today.
This is exactly what I meant to happen to me: I intentionally put myself and made friends in hard places, asked impossible questions, and tried to tie it all together. So, yes, of course its been a rough transition back here; the daily contradictions are simply overwhelming sometimes. But I am happy to report that I am finding tangible avenues to direct my energy. Read on for some details.
* Slideshows *
First, I need to share my stories.
Starting in November, I plan to share slideshows and spark conversations in coffeeshops, homes and conference rooms across Portland. I will organize a few larger events, but I am also offering myself to be invited to a gathering of your choice: what interests you most about my trip? Is there a group of people who would want to hear about one particular aspect? Do you want to use a few slides/stories to initiate a conversation that has been cooking inside of you?
Some themes could include:
~ The Movement of Movements!! (big picture lessons and ideas for activism today; detailed strategies and levels of work)
~ Appropriate technology: permaculture, natural building, other fun ideas (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi)
~ Land and housing issues (Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa)
~ For kids: Life in Africa
~ Country specific stories (Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland)
~ Lessons from traveling as an activist and making meaningful connections (as a free white woman floating through East and Southern Africa discussing imperialism)
~ whatever else strikes you!
I look forward to co-creating storytelling opportunities with you! I hope that within all of these themes, we can connect the issues to our own work back here. Please also let me know if you know of a good venue (or three) for larger slideshows.
p.s. anyone have an LCD projector that I can borrow?
* Journey de Jenny continues in Portland! *
On a related note, I am continuing my investigation and cross-pollination here in Portland, using the seeds of my journey to spark new connections as I integrate Portlands fabulousness into my worldview. Ive actually done thisinformational interviews with an array of changemakers and organizationsevery few years to get/keep a pulse on things.
In this local journey, I hope to meet others who are moving along these lines of deeper connections between movements. Ive got some ideas that I want to bounce off people and hopefully fuel some action together. Portland has a unique role in the Movement of Movements.
Please suggest to me people, events or organizations that you think are doing something particularly exciting issues in ANY realm: social, ecological, economic, political, cultural, spiritual, etc. especially if its from the grassroots.
80% is just about showing up. Thats long been one of my personal mottos.
* Movement of Movements Book Group starting tomorrow! *
I have always wanted to start a book club! Of course, this one will have a theme: activism today and the movement of movements. I envision intentional gatherings to listen, share and analyze the implications of our evolving activism, and discuss ideas like the significance of dedicated movement connectors.
If you want to get together twice a month, sip tea and imagine the larger picture of our efforts you are welcome! My part will be to host cozy tea parties (or wine?) in the Tea Whale at TLC Farm every other Thursday night from 7-9pm. If you have a book, reading, short movie or person to suggest, please let me know or bring it/him/her along. Well see what happens!
The first gathering, this Thursday, Oct 25th, will begin with a twist: a field trip. We will gather and walk through the woods under the full moon light to attend the student musical concerts at Lewis and Clark (free). I figure that a good way to frame the movement of movements is with a night walk in the forest and some inspiring music. We can then have tea afterwards in the stunning full moon light at the farm.
Please show up at TLC Farm BEFORE 7pm! Call/email or go to www.tryonfarm.org for directions. Next Movement of Movements Book Group gathering will be Thursday, November 8th.
* Grant project sparked by Kufunda Village, Zimbabwe *
Exciting news! We (a broad we) made it to the top 100 of 5000 applications for the Make It Your Own award from the Case Foundation. This is a grant given to an individual with an innovative idea for long-term social change springing from the grassroots. So, I applied for an idea inspired by my visit to Kufunda Village in Zimbabwe, and based on a partnership between TLC Farm, The City Repair Project and other groups. The proposal is to facilitate connection and action in two low-income neighborhoods through the Intersection Repair process, new partnerships and TLC Farms resources (education activities, demonstration center for new ideas, and inspiring forum for visioning retreats and reflections). My hope is that this project can spark a place-based bridge between eco-movements and race/class/social justice movements, among others.
Kufundas inspiration is to work with a few communities over time to enact the transformation at home that one can learn at a demonstration center so that TLC Farm would become a place to step back from the daily neighborhood context, relate to each other in new ways and experience sustainable lifestyles/methods firsthand. And on top of that, I see a major missing piece in Portland as the connection between the ecological and social justice worlds we have so much to learn from and with each other! In other words, I want to bring TLC Farm directly to neighborhoods and bring race/class/justice issues directly to TLC Farm (and to the networks in which we are part).
Talk to me ASAP if you want to get involved or have ideas people or groups to connect with!
Whew! Thats a lot! Thanks for reading! I look forward to continuing all of these conversations with you, and more!