January 2017

OP-ED: Community Resilience in the Face of Adversity


From Earth Care–New Mexico


We at Earth Care are honored to partner with Green Fire Times to bring you this edition, focused on community resilience in the face of uncertainty and adversity.


As an organization, we work with young people—supporting their exploration of social and environmental issues impacting their lives, connecting them with resources they need to make a positive impact, and advocating for spaces where opportunities for their authentic and meaningful leadership in creating solutions is celebrated honored, and effectuated. Each young person we work with, like each of you reading this, has unique gifts and talents to discover and nourish—and a unique part to play in social transformation—the critical work of our time.


We organize at the intersections because we recognize the connection between social and environmental issues, between systems of oppression, between upstream and downstream causes and impacts. Our work to help young leaders discover their unique paths requires diverse mentors and expertise. As a result, we work alongside and collaborate with many amazing community organizations and leaders—from social justice organizations to artists to farmers. It takes a village to raise a child, and it certainly takes a village to support the development of young leaders for social change.


For a long time we’ve dedicated a subset of our work to the cultivation of these relationships and resources for our programs and for the wider community. We were proud presenters of the Sustainable Santa Fe Guide, which led to the development of Green Fire Times (GFT). We worked with the City of Santa Fe to host an online website, which is now housed on our own website. We send out monthly e-newsletters with Calls to Action and resources for local social and ecological justice work.


Since the election, our work to inform our youth, and by extension, families and communities, of opportunities to stand together and take action, has never been so relevant and widely appreciated. We chalk that up to the fact that people know—in the face of fear and uncertainty—our community’s greatest strength is People Power and the commitment to stand alongside one another in solidarity.


The antidote to depression is action, and the solution to our world’s problems is to grow our grassroots movement and solutions for justice and sustainability from the ground up with leadership from those most directly impacted. For this reason, in this edition of GFT we have invited folks from frontline communities to share their thoughts on the challenges that lie ahead and their calls for solidarity and action.


We now have an unprecedented opportunity and responsibility to confront the policies, sentiments and institutions of injustice that have a long history in our country and ultimately hurt us all. It will take deep internal work as well as courageous acts, standing up, speaking out and working together. As an organization, Earth Care is interested in working with the community to unpack the notion of standing alongside one another—because we don’t think it’s something we can take for granted. We know it will take a lot of work, attention, awareness, actual skill development and tools, as well as a shifting of power.


We need to acknowledge that this broken system is harming some much more than others and that the fear, hate and bigotry of these times is, once again unevenly distributed—putting some in grave danger while others may see their lifestyles virtually unchanged. That is how injustice self-perpetuates—by granting privileges to some at the expense of others. We need to acknowledge that institutional oppression impacts our communities differently, and that our communities are in part shaped in relation to the struggle to overcome injustice or the privileges and comfort we have taken for granted. 


This relationship to power, struggle and privilege shapes our community identities along with the richness of culture and heritage we all carry. This means that we are not all the same. We are not all one. We are different. The diversity of culture across communities is a beautiful thing—something to celebrate and cherish. The difference in rights, resources, safety, access and opportunity is extremely harmful, and it’s got to go. In order to understand the obstacles we face and come up with appropriate solutions, it is important that we organize in our communities. If we learn how to do so in a way that redistributes power to address inequity—we can then be called upon to stand alongside one another in true alliances based on mutual respect and dignity.






Earth Care—New Mexico


Earth Care is a community-based organization committed to social justice and youth-led social change. EC’s programs are based on a commitment to support leadership from those most directly impacted by the issues including youth who are disproportionately impacted by regressive policies and the grave environmental and social challenges of our time. Earth Care invites you to join in standing in support of young leaders and other frontline community members. To sign up for EC’s monthly Calls to Action or to learn more, call 505.983.6896, email info@earthcarenm.org or visit www.earthcarenm.org





A Sample of Earth Care’s Calls to Action


Jan. 7: Progressive Action Summit in Albuquerque

Jan. 8, 1-3 pm: Refugees Speak – Q&A panel discussion at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe. Hosted by the SF Refugee Collaborative

Jan. 8: Retake Our Democracy Planning Meeting

Jan. 10–11: Defund Dakota Access Pipeline Days of Action 

Jan. 16: Earth Care Youth Action Network MLK Day of Action

Jan. 17: Chaco Lease Sale Protest at the BLM Office and the Legislature in Santa Fe

Jan. 20: Inauguration Day Pop-Up Actions culminating with Free Food Not Bombs Meal & Vigil at DeVargas Park in Santa Fe, 4:30 pm

Jan. 21: Women’s March on Washington at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe

Jan. 25: Coal and Nuclear Replacement Power Case Appeal. Oral Arguments at the New Mexico Supreme Court


To sign up for Earth Care’s Calls to Action eblast, visit www.earthcarenm.org or for more information, visit: FB: EarthCareNM.




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