Healing Our Movement Ecosystem (HOME) Jam 2018
March 26-31, 2018
Quaker Center, Ben Lomond, Santa Cruz Mountains
The HOME Jam brings together 25-30 environmental change-makers from diverse backgrounds, passions, ages and regions for five days of connecting, growing, dreaming, and deep learning. As individuals we gather to restore the transformative potential at the heart of our projects and organizations so affected by burnout. As colleagues and friends in the movement, the Jam aims to strengthen the synergistic ecosystem of our greater movement plagued by fragmentation, build deep community and strengthen our ability to act collectively.
As a culture, we gather to change the system at the root through questioning our own assumptions and worldviews. We strive to take our learnings home to transform our efforts and our lives.
We invite you as a key leader in this movement to bring all you got. Let’s be the change we wish to see.
What’s a Jam?
In music, a jam is a creative, live gathering of musicians who together spontaneously create a new sound, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Like that, jams are places where diverse leaders and visionaries bring together their passion, openness, and unique perspectives. In spontaneous connection, we weave layers of experience, wisdom, heart, and spirit to create some real magic. The jam asks that all the players are present and ready to listen deeply to each other.
To date, more than 135 jams have been held on six continents, bringing together young and intergenerational leaders from more than 80 nations.
The HOME Jam is being co-organized by a diverse group of leaders (see below) working for environmental justice, with the support of YES!
What is the HOME Jam? Why gather? Why now?
The environmental crises of our time are present, they are real, and they are daunting. Indigenous communities are fighting pipelines across the country, and across world. The President of the most powerful country in the world is a climate change denier. Forests are burning due to drought and palm oil.
Some of the same capitalist and separatist ideologies that destroy the earth are also permeating our movement cultures, creating infighting and causing burnout. Our own experiences and interviews with folks across the environmental sector reveal common challenges with personal and organizational sustainability in our struggles to defend the earth: lack of time, overstretched capacities, and limited resources. At every level, we call for earth renewal, but it’s rare for folks from across the environmental movement ecosystem to come together in a spirit of healing for personal, interpersonal, and systemic transformation.
In this light, we need new venues, new modalities, and new conversations to uplift disparate and marginalized voices and to collectively re-imagine solutions for our planet. This is the purpose of the Jam, and why we are interested in “healing our movement ecosystem.” In the HOME Jam, we share in a lived experience of the transformative potential at the heart of our organizations, our movements, and our world.
We are guided by these inquiries:
- How can we honor our own unique gifts and develop practices to empower creative expressions in our movements?
- How can we shift the desecration and fragmentation in the external world — the “environment” — and in our internal world? How can and does our personal healing impact collective liberation, and vice versa?
- How can we apply our collective wisdom to join forces across boundaries and catalyze transformation at all levels?
What is the HOME Jam structure?
A jam is not a conference, seminar, or a typical meeting. It offers multiple opportunities for deep, holistic exploration, in which each person has something to offer and something to receive. Through activities like facilitated dialogues, sharing circles, artistic expression, games, movement, participant-led workshops, outdoor adventure, community play, and lots of free time for spontaneous interactions amongst the participants, we will together explore our own experiences, questions, and dynamics.
We will draw upon the power of collective visioning, new storytelling, self-awareness, breath and movement, systemic analysis, and integrative practices. Through activities, exchanges, and just plain hanging out together, we get a chance to take stock. To see things from new perspectives. To activate our imaginations, creativity, and curiosity. To align our vision and values. To face our fears and overcome our blocks. We get to heal and to find new friends and partners in our journey. Ultimately, a jam is the fire where connections are forged. A sense of genuine community allows us to forego intellectualizing issues and allows us to explore the depths.
Ethos and Impact of the Jam
In the Jam we will address three interconnected levels of transformation: the internal, the interpersonal, and the systemic. Our aim for gathering is to:
- Rejuvenate – At the internal level, we aspire to give ourselves space to reflect on our personal stories, learn and unlearn, take off our masks, seek our next growing edge, recharge, and renew. We want to nurture our own spiritual health to fire our activist spaces.
- Build solidarity – At the interpersonal level, we want to make and take time for authentic conversations to emerge, to discover common ground, and to celebrate differences. By taking an honest, loving and transformative look at our conflicts, we seek to move beyond allyship towards building deep friendships that will sustain us through these times.
- Foster collective liberation – At the systemic level, we aim to link issues that are not commonly linked, to find new intersection points and to gain a clearer vision of the whole. We want to critically examine the tools and lenses we apply in our work in order to decolonize our imaginations and to examine the ways in which our individual liberation is contingent on the liberation of the whole, and vice versa.
After five solid days, we hope to emerge renewed: bringing back grounded passion, spiritual fortitude, new relationships, and re-imagined solutions to our home communities and projects.
Who We are Looking For
We are looking for diverse leaders in the environmental sector and strive for intergenerational participation, approximately between the ages of 20-70. We welcome indigenous voices, members of displaced communities, clean energy engineers, food justice advocates, social entrepreneurs, environmental lawyers, policy wonks, members of communities affected by environmental racism, conservation biologists, community organizers, biomimicry designers, social permaculturalists, brujas, high-tech wizards, queer ecologists and anyone who wants to be the change in how the environmental sector operates. We look for a vibrant diversity in:
- Identities and worldviews (e.g. class, race, religion, sexuality, gender, age, dis/ability, ethnicity, etc.)
- Experience (from “just starting out” to “been at it for years”)
- Roles (from “person on the ground” to “founder and director”’)
- Passions & focus (waters, forests, wildlife, energy, climate change, waste, etc.)
**To leverage the movement-building impact of the jam, we encourage applicants to identify other individuals and organizations with whom you would like to collaborate more effectively and encourage them to apply as well.
Who is organizing this year’s HOME Jam?
Ashoka Finley works on issues concerning energy, food, and sustainability community scale. He works both locally and internationally in an effort to find shared best practices. In his life and projects, he seeks to connect diverse groups of people along common lines with dialogue and inclusiveness. His dedication to the empowerment and liberation of all people makes him determined to develop greater capacity within himself to be open and caring in every endeavor in his life.
Jodi Lasseter grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and currently lives in Durham, NC. Jodi is a trainer, facilitator, community catalyst and ritualist. She is the Founder and Co-Convener of the NC Climate Justice Summit and ongoing Resilience Hubs – an intergenerational process rooted in popular education, cultural work and frontline community engagement around the intersection of economic, social and ecological issues. In her previous positions as national program director with the Engage Network and director of organization development for the Amazon Alliance, she worked closely with hundreds of grassroots leaders in the U.S. and abroad. She continues to consult with environmental and climate justice organizations at the local, state and national levels. As a Social Change Change Fellow at Clark University, Jodi completed her master’s degree in International Development, Community and Environment. She delights in community singing, walking in the woods, playing frame drums and taking a dip in her favorite swimming holes.
Kyle Lemle is a community-based natural resource management professional with experience working for international and grassroots NGOs in Bhutan, Thailand and California. He is an inaugural recipient of the Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship and is currently working with leading practitioners from South Dakota to Northern India to empower diverse moral imperatives for conservation. Kyle is also a recipient of the Princeton in Asia fellowship where he conducted research with RECOFTC – the center for people and forests on community forestry and climate change adaptation across Southeast Asia. Kyle most recently has served as community project manager with Friends of the Urban Forest, where he organized over 30 neighborhood-level greening campaigns and the planting of over 2000 trees across San Francisco. When he is not planting trees, he is singing gospel as founding music and choir director for Thrive East Bay, a new purpose-driven spiritual community for social change based in Oakland, CA. He holds an honors degree in environmental studies and international development from Brown University.
Shilpa Jain is currently rooting herself in Oakland/Berkeley, CA, where she serves as the Executive Director of YES!. YES! works with social changemakers at the meeting point of internal, interpersonal and systemic change, and aims to co-create thriving, just and balanced ways of life for all. Prior to taking on this role, Shilpa spent two years as the education and outreach coordinator of Other Worlds and ten years as a learning activist with Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development, based in Udaipur, India, where she worked on a number of urban sustainability initiatives. She is passionate about dance and music, organic and natural farming, upcycling and zero waste living, asking appreciative questions, and being in community.
Dr. Rene Henery is an Ecologist and Eco-geographer who holds a joint position as California Science Director for Trout Unlimited (TU) and Letter of Appointment Research Faculty for the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Department of Biology. Rene’s work explores diversity and connectivity as pathways to freshwater ecosystem health and recovery in the US and abroad. Among Rene’s specific duties are oversight of TU and UNR’s joint effort to assess and restore California’s mountain meadow and stream ecosystems, as well as working collaboratively with other universities, NGO’s, and state and federal agencies on structured, forward thinking, science based approaches to the integration of conservation, flood management, and agriculture in California’s Central Valley. As a component of this, Rene participates in a diverse suite of collaborative efforts dedicated to the stewardship of California’s freshwater ecosystems and resources including the San Joaquin River Restoration Program Technical Advisory Committee, the Yuba River Management Team, the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta’s Collaborative Adaptive Management Team, the Lower San Joaquin River and Tributaries Science Evaluation Panel, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act’s Science Integration Team, The Central Valley Habitat Exchange Management Team and the Sierra Meadows Partnership.
Anwen Baumeister is a regenerative farmer and is currently creating an urban permaculture farm in San Rafael, CA. She is passionate about food sovereignty and community resilience. She recently graduated from American University, studying International Studies with a focus on food systems. She has spent the past four years working for Rising Sun Energy Center, a green energy youth development non-profit in Berkeley, CA. She recently co-created a tea house in Marin County, fostering a place where community members can connect to each other and to local plants. She is currently studying to be a professional herbalist with the East West School of Planetary Herbology. She spends her time in modern dance classes, leading high schoolers on educational backpacking trips, cooking, yoga, and gathering with her community.
Dates, Venue, and Contribution
The Jam will be held from the afternoon of Monday, March 26th, until the morning of Saturday, March 31st, at the Quaker Center in Ben Lomond, Santa Cruz Mountains (90 minutes south of San Francisco). It is a naturally beautiful place, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, both inspiring and rejuvenating.
It takes resources to organize this event, but do not let cost be a barrier, we will work out a solution together. The total cost of the jam is $900 per participant ($450 for food, lodging, and local transport; $450 for program costs, including organizing support, childcare, materials, and facilitator honorarium).
We ask that participants consider contributing a minimum of $450 to cover their food and accommodation. This may be still a significant expense for many people, and we do not want money to be an impediment to your participation. We can offer a monthly payment plan, as well as combination of scholarship and work-trade to make it work for you. We also encourage applicants to seek support from their organizations, as many people find a lot of leadership skills development and other professional development happens through their learnings and experiences at the Jam. And, if you are able to contribute more, wonderful! The extra amount will go towards our scholarship pool.
Also, we welcome children to the Jam; we love having whole families sharing the Jam experience. We will work out childcare (provided) and other expenses with you.
Please feel free to contact us at <email@example.com> if you have any queries. We eagerly look forward to hearing from you!
With gratitude for who you are and what you do,
Ashoka, Kyle, Jodi, Shilpa, Rene, and Anwen