All life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny….I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be–this is the interrelated structure of reality.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The most vulnerable human beings are already the most effected by climate disruption, often impacted first and worst, despite less contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. We acknowledge that the voices and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and other under resourced and marginalized communities are not heard and supported adequately in the Earth Holder Community. We are learning that as a spiritual community caring for Mother Earth and each other, there may be important understandings we do not yet have. We’re doing our best and hope to continue to grow in our inclusivity, healing and liberation. On this small and precious planet we inter-are.
The reason we continue to degrade the earth is that we continue to degrade each other.Rev. angel Kyoto williams
We are inspired by our colleagues at the Climate Justice Alliance who support a just transition to a carbon neutral future–a transition that redresses past harms and creates ecological and social well-being through democratic processes, cooperation, and a regenerative economy built on the principles of ecological resilience.
In the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, Pope Francis expresses our convictions beautifully:
Every ecological approach needs to incorporate a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged.Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome
As a network of mindful advocates, the Earth Holder Community is inspired by the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing. We aim to:
- Be inclusive
- Emphasize bottom-up organizing
- Let people speak for themselves
- Work together in solidarity and mutuality
- Build just relationships among ourselves
- Commit to self-transformation
To This End…
The Earth Holder Community Care Taking Council and Community have
- Benefited from the wisdom of three Plum Village people of color practitioners on the Mindful Way Forward development committee of a total of eight people.
- Reached out to people of color Dharmacharyas and asked for their input into how to skillfully proceed in changing the culture of the Earth Holder Community.
- Launched an Action Team called Racial Justice in the Earth Holder Community. For more information, contact Simona Coayla Duba at
simona [dot] coayladuba [at] gmail [dot] com .
- Hired a very skilled person as the Earth Holder Community Coordinator, a woman of color.
- Committed to having a roughly equal number of people of color and white folks serving as Care Taking Council members
- Committed to a study of racial equity issues, beginning with reading Ruth King’s book, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out
- Committed to the development of 1) a racial equity organizational self-assessment tool, and 2) an optional demographic and interest survey for everyone in the Earth Holder Community
- Benefited from the perspectives of numerous people of color practitioners and Dharma teachers who accepted the invitation to facilitate the Earth Holder Community Online Sangha. See our YouTube Channel here.
- Offered scholarships to people of color, youth, and LGBTQIA at all Earth Holder retreats. Anyone who asked for a scholarship received what they requested
- Created relationships with local Indigenous Tewa elders and asked permission to have our retreat on their ancestral homeland at Ghost Ranch, Fall 2017
- Committed to explore Healing: the Inter-being of Racial and Climate Justice during the Earth Holder Online Retreat program (in development, registration open Fall 2019)
- Sent a multi-racial team to represent the Plum Village Tradition and the Earth Holder Community at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018
- Arranged a delegation of people of color to represent the Earth Holder Community at a cross-Buddhist retreat
- In 2014-2015, in conjunction with Sr. Chân Không and the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, Earth Holders raised more than $25,000 to offset the catastrophic social and economic harm of a massive fish kill in Vietnam from factory pollutants
- Support the Climate Justice Alliance and other people-of-color-led organization