For Californians who care about the environment, the rager of the year is most certainly Rainforest Action Network’s annual benefit REVEL.
Naomi Klein and The Yes Men were honored with World Rainforest Awards as the California Academy of Sciences glittered with stingray pools, stiltwalkers, and California’s most cutting-edge minds getting in some serious bonding time.
It was a gorgeous affair.
Before dinner, revelers took a jaunt through Cal Academy of Sciences’ lush four-story rainforest alive with Golden Helicon butterflies, Turquoise Tanagers, Rocket Frogs, and Wolf Snakes.
Amidst the elegant beauty of the African Hall and a fantastic three-course dinner, executive director Rebecca Tarbotton spoke eloquently about the crucial work that RAN is doing around the world for forests, human rights, and the climate.
The indelible co-founder of CREDO, Michael Kieshnik, introduced journalistic luminary Naomi Klein. Fresh from OccupySF just that morning, Klein reminded the Rainforest Action Network of what we’re contributing to the world: “When you model radical action, it wakes something up in people.”
The Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and someone who looked nothing like Mike Bonnano yet oddly claimed he was) then reminded everyone to have a good time doing it all — to revel in our victories, no matter how big or small.
While the dinner crowd clinked glasses and listened to the brilliant keynote speeches by our honored guests, the dance party revved up in the Swamp Lounge with beats by DJL.
The bar flowed with all kinds of amazing cocktails, including my new favorite drink: the Purple Forest from San Francisco’s superfood cocktail masters Lifted Spirits: ORO Pisco, Sambazon Acai elixir, elderflower liquer and ginger agave over ice and copious amounts of mint leaves. Uh huh. Then two gorgeous men (just sayin) from Fearless Chocolate made us 100% Brazilian confections right on the spot: Brazil nuts dipped in Brazilian cacao and dusted with everything from acai to mango to red banana. Yummmm.
One of the best things about this Network, no matter what the age, is that these people know how to get down. So when the dinner guests and party guests merged on the dancefloor, REVEL got raucous. Brooklyn funk legends The Pimps of Joytime laid down some incredible music that kept the party going alllllll the way until midnight.
The REVEL photobooth was obviously another huge pile of fun. The images certainly speak for themselves. For the complete set, head over to SarahMaren.com.
It was really beautiful to see activists and supporters taking a moment out of their lives to celebrate together, to feel joy, to remember what we’re all fighting for when we fight for human rights — for peoples to survive, to eat, to have clean drinking water — as well as what we’re fighting for even more: the security and freedom to celebrate this existence together, to sing, to dance, and to laugh as a community.
Thanks everyone who came, you really made it a night to remember! Many of us are still basking in the afterglow a week later. For those who didn’t make it, we sure hope you join us next year, because in this work — whether it’s raising crucial funds or confronting corporate CEOs head-on — the more the merrier!
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For the full collection of photos from REVEL check out our Flickr set.