Climate Week 2020 September 21–27

Expressing Climate Grief

 

Online Workshop

Wednesday, September 23

1:00 — 2:30 PM EDT
17:00 — 18:30 UTC

Followed by optional support group

In English, interpreted into Spanish

For Zoom event

SAL/UER
Resources

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Unhealed grief, fear, and frustration about the climate emergency affects our initiative and hope for the future. Our unexpressed emotions interfere with our ability to bring our intelligence and energy to effectively respond to the climate crisis. The opportunity to openly express emotions about the damage to the earth and its inhabitants can release enormous thinking and action.
In this workshop we will:
★ Listen to each other in groups and pairs with awareness and caring
★ Learn the approaches used by Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism to heal from the emotions we experience in reaction to the climate crisis, increase our effectiveness in the climate justice movement, and prevent burnout
★ Learn tools to take back to their home communities and organizations to help others notice, feel, and release their climate grief and other emotions

The Work of SAL and UER

It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment—and some big changes are needed if this is to happen. Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions. The impact of environmental destruction and climate change falls most heavily on the groups targeted by these oppressions, and on other vulnerable populations (including populations of people who are elderly, disabled and very young).

To build a movement powerful enough to resolve the climate crisis, SAL and UER believe that the following barriers must be overcome: (1) longstanding divisions between nations and between groups of people caused by oppression (especially by racism, genocide of Indigenous people, and classism), (2) wide-spread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness, (3) a too-slow response to the escalating damage to the earth’s climate, (4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of our economic system.

We have found that these barriers are most quickly overcome as people heal from the mental and emotional harm caused by oppression. SAL and UER events provide opportunities for people to take turns listening to each other while encouraging emotional release. We become better able to think, speak out, organize, unite, and lead others in building a sustainable world.

SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.

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