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 often the most affected by climate change, global warming disrupting their lives first and worst, despite the fact that they’ve lived low-carbon lifestyles and have contributed little to the crisis. The Earth Holder Community believes the voices and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) along with other under-resourced and marginalized communities need to be heard and supported. The Earth Holder Community embraces values of justice and we aspire to continue to grow in our inclusivity, healing and liberation. On this small and precious planet we inter-are.
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 Earth Holder Community convictions when he writes:
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 Care Taking Council and Community are
- Launching an Action Team focused on Community Earth Holding and Racial Justice. For more information, contact Simona Coayla Duba at
simona [dot] coayladuba [at] gmail [dot] com.
- Offering scholarships to people of color, youth, and LGBTQIA at all Earth Holder retreats. (Note: everyone who asked for scholarship support in the past received what they requested.)
- Recruiting a roughly equal number of people of color and white folks in leadership roles, especially on the Care Taking Council.
- Offering a training entitled Healing: the Inter-being of Racial and Climate Justice during the Earth Holder Online Retreat (registration opens Fall 2019).
- Benefiting from people of color practitioners and Dharma teachers as they facilitate the Earth Holder Community Online Sangha. See our YouTube Channel here.
- Support the Climate Justice Alliance and other people-of-color-led organizations.
In past years, Earth Holders embodied Earth Justice when we
- Hired a very skilled person as the Earth Holder Community Coordinator, a woman of color.
- 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 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.
- Created relationships with local Indigenous Tewa elders and asked permission to have our retreat on their ancestral homeland at Ghost Ranch, Fall 2017.
- 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.
- Raised, in conjunction with Sr. Chân Không and the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, more than $25,000 to offset the catastrophic social and economic harm of a massive fish kill in Vietnam from factory pollutants (2014-2015).