For many of us it has been hard to cling to a sense of hope when we see basic human rights such as clean water, clean air, and freedom of religion under attack. Our work here at the Institute often requires courage as we seek to create a Living Future for all. Van Jones has been on the forefront of making positive change for our world, from founding Green for All and DreamCorps to his current role with CNN. As a changing political climate was brewing, my intuition told me that we would need courage and the genius of brilliant ideas to keep our work moving forward this year. Having Van agree to keynote the Living Future Conference almost a year ago cemented this vision.
Genius and Courage is the theme that Van will open for us when we gather in Seattle this May. We will come together to regain hope and continue the momentum that we have built toward creating living, healthy, and thriving communities.Leading up to Living Future we are committing to 10 courageous actions.
- Get outside—get engaged with those who support and protect our precious natural treasures. Visit one National Park with a child, pass on your appreciation and reverence for our uniquely American landmarks, and support the National Parks Foundation.
- Write a letter to support the diversity that makes our country the richest in the world. For letter-writing advice and other ways to support refugees, visit OXFAM.
- Engage in a #messytruth conversation with someone you care about today, get inspired about how to do that with the #LoveArmy—the organization founded by Dream Corps and our LF keynote speaker, Van Jones.
- Sign the petition to #FixFlint so that we can combat environmental racism in cities like Flint, Michigan.
- Go Net Zero – support the rapidly growing market by making your home or business Net Zero Energy.
- Join our volunteer network of engaged, global citizens who are working to bring sustainable design to their city.
- Contribute to an organization that provides political empowerment for underrepresented communities. We like Presente, the largest national Latinx online organization advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture, co-founded by our LF artist in residence Favianna Rodriguez.
- Ask your employer to make a commitment to transparency by disclosing social justice and equity policies through JUST.
- Get out of your bubble by organizing your neighborhood to perform a (nonpolitical) day or afternoon of service to a local organization.
- Make a commitment to lighten your personal footprint by choosing to buy less stuff, eat less meat, and take alternative transportation.
I invite you to join us in this commitment and share your actions and courage with us by using #CourageousFuture. Join us at the Living Future unConference in Seattle, May 17-19.