Climate Week 2020 September 21–27
Introduction to the Tools of Sustaining All Life
Online Classes and Support Groups
Participants will learn our theory about the nature of human beings: our inherent intelligence, goodness, and cooperative, caring, and enthusiastic nature; the negative feelings and rigid behaviors we develop as a result of early hurts and societal oppressions; and our natural ability to heal from hurtful experiences using the process of emotional release.
Participants will be paired together to listen to each other in equal turns. One person listens with respectful, non-judgmental attention while the other talks about the topic of their choice. Then the two switch roles. In the safety and confidentiality of these short “sessions,” we can access past hurts and current upsets, including experiences of oppression and environmental injustice; and the burnout, discouragement, and stress sometimes felt in working on the climate emergency. People will be encouraged to appreciate themselves, take pride in their accomplishments, and set goals for themselves and for the world.
*Optional support groups after every class*
Support groups based on shared experiences follow each workshop and forum. Support groups provide people a chance to be listened to about feelings connected to climate change. Having the chance to share feelings of grief, fear, anger, discouragement, and hope in a mutually supportive group can refresh and give us new ideas for action. Group leaders can help people think about how to set up support groups in their home communities.
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.