Mark Nelson wrote up an excellent introduction to the work of the Cape Ann Climate Crisis Action Meeting. It appears on sweepingheartzen.org's website here, and we are placing it here as well. Thanks, Mark.
Organizing to Respond to the Climate Crisis
Along with the Associated Clergy of Cape Ann, TownGreen2025, and others, Sweeping Heart Zen is at the forefront of organizing collaboration and coordinated action to respond to the climate crisis on Cape Ann. The organization that is at the heart of this shared organizing effort is called the Organizing Committee.
The Organizing Committee (OC)
The OC is an unincorporated nonprofit association of organizations and individuals who volunteer to participate in its work. The OC began to take shape in May 2019 when Rev. Mark Nelson approached the Associated Clergy of Cape Ann and the TownGreen2025 Steering Committee about organizing more collaborative and coordinated action on the Climate Crisis on Cape Ann. The OC holds weekly planning and business meetings that are open to the public.
The OC’s meetings focus on two things. First, the OC’s meetings and work are focused on how to increase Cape Ann’s human, network, and resource capacity to mitigated and adapt to the Climate Crisis. Second, a portion of the the OC’s meeting time is focused on how to increase the effectiveness of the OC itself.
Cape Ann Climate Crisis Action Meeting
As the first step in the OC’s work, it organized the exciting and highly successful September 25, 2019 Cape Ann Climate Crisis Action Meeting. The meeting was held at the Rose Baker Senior Center in Gloucester.
Thanks to every organization and person who participated in the September 25, 2019 Cape Ann Climate Crisis Action Meeting.
Cape Ann Climate Crisis Action Meeting Sponsors
TownGreen2025, Gloucester Meeting House Foundation, the Associated Clergy of Cape Ann, and Sweeping Heart Zen sponsored the Cape Ann Climate Crisis Meeting. In total, 80 Cape Ann organizations and many Cape Ann individuals gathered for this important event.
Special thanks to Jane Panicucci. Jane is the owner and principle of The Active Learning Group. Jane’s pro bono guidance in designing and facilitating the Climate Crisis Action Meeting (and follow up meetings) has been invaluable to the work of the OC.
Cape Ann Climate Crisis Action Meeting Goals
The goals of the meeting were to:
- Share what attendees are currently doing to address the climate crisis
- Build relationships among attendees working on climate crisis solutions
- Share and prioritize the actions that attendees believe can make a difference for Cape Ann citizens
- Explore how a formal coalition of those attending can develop coordinated and more powerful actions to address the climate crisis as well as leverage coalition member networks
- Develop next steps for our work together
The First Follow Up Meeting
In the wake of the Cape Ann Climate Crisis Action Meeting, the OC planned a fellow up meeting. The follow up meeting took place in the vestry at the Gloucester UU Church. As a result of this October 23rd, 2019 follow up meeting, there are now 6 Working Groups of individuals and the representatives of various organizations from around Cape Ann focused on setting goals and taking action on:
- Carbon Sequestration
- Communication/Spirituality/Personal Action
- Community Building/Education
And these Working Groups are exploring their potential to add capacity and energy to the Cape Ann community’s ability to mitigate and adapt to the Climate Crisis in manifold ways.
The Second Follow UP Meeting
The Organizing Committee is planning the second follow up meeting. It will be held at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church on Thursday, December 12th from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.