The Town Hall Meeting, “Rise Up and Green Up” of the Hecho en Califas festival at La Pena that we co-sponsored in Berkeley was a huge success
It was one of those special moments in my organizing career where everything was just kind of amazing. People were wildly participating, the dialogue was rich and solution oriented, and everyone left wanting to know what was next – how can we all stay connected and do concrete things to build sustainable communities here at home in the Bay Area.
Bay Localize, the Indigenous Permaculture Program, DIG, Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative, Farm Fresh Choice, Ecology Center, and of course RYSE and RAN tabled in the back and a number of other allies and folks new to green movements were in the audience. The evening began with a participatory forum theatre piece about climate justice. About half of the room at one point or another ended up getting on stage to intervene in the piece and act out their solutions on stage. What became apparent through the process is that we need to organize to take direct action to change the system that is causing climate injustices and at the same time build our own alternative green economy, re-localize, grow our own food and take care of each other and the earth.
Following the forum theatre we broke out into discussion groups for 30 minutes to take the proposed solutions from the stage and turn them into concrete next steps and actions. We ended the night with a report back, a discussion about staying connected and words from each participant about what they will commit to.
Many thanks to Gera Marin from Farm Fresh choice for co-organizing, Rosa Gonzales from Headrush for helping to write and facilitate the theatre piece, all of the actors and co-sponsors, and especially to La Pena!