“By what name will future generations know our time?
Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when profligate consumption exceeded Earth's capacity to sustain and led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental systems, violent competition for what remained of the planet's resources, and a dramatic dieback of the human population?
Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the time of the Great Turning, when their forebears embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, turned crisis into opportunity, and learned to live in creative partnership with one another and Earth?”
Activist, authors, indigenous elders, and philosophers from many countries and backgrounds describe this point in human and natural history as The Great Turning. Essentially, it is a term that recognizes that we are at a crossroads, and that continuing the path that we have been on for the last 100 years will lead to unmatched devastation of human and natural life. However, there are actions, alternatives, and solutions springing up in areas of human rights, economics, the environment, (and so much more!) that are actively combating these crises. The best news is that the folks participating in these actions are having fun in the meanwhile!
The Great Turning Trip’s goals will be two-fold. Part of the experience will include a tour of some of the fantastic organizations located in the San Francisco Bay, a mecca of terrific visionaries for a more just and sustainable future. But, much of the time will also be spent in interactive workshops with leading activists, using internationally acclaimed methodology for helping us to get in touch with our own individual roles in The Great Turning. Being an activist means something different to each of us and the hope is that through experiencing and being introduced to a range of activism and alternative systems, we will be able to see how we might each use what makes us happy in life to make the world a better place!
If you would like to learn more about The Great Turning, here is an article by David Korten:
Below is the tentative schedule for the week with brief descriptions of both the activities and the organizations that we will be working with:
Sunday late afternoon: Arrive in the bay--Picnic at Golden Gate Park, then Golden State Slam Poetry Event
Learning our Secret Angels and Setting Intentions
Before the week begins, we will make each person a Secret Angel to someone. Make sure you don't tell the person.
Each person's Secret Angel will do nice things for her/him during the entire week in secret. These might include having someone else give the angel receiver a hug or shoulder massage, or a present or flower "from your secret angel," or a nice note or picture, or anything else conjured up through creativity and caring. There is NO expectation of purchased gifts; in fact anything bought should cost no more than $2. Under no circumstances should anyone tell anyone else whose Secret Angel is whose.
At the end of the week, Secret Angels reveal themselves.
Global Exchange: 10-12
What: Global Exchange is an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world. Representatives of the organization will be there to speak about their work on their Elect Democracy campaign and the Caravan for Peace this summer with victims of the drug war in Mexico/U.S. Chie Abad, a former GAP sweatshop worker will also be able to speak with the students again about her work around sweatshop organizing. Students will also hear about Community & Nature's Rights movements against corporate power.
Mission District Walking mural tour: 12:30-2:15
What: Walk through the alleyways interpreting and experiencing the immense amount of expressive and often political murals in the Mission.
SAGE (The Standing Against Global Exploitation Project): 3-4:30
What: Learn SAGE history and services, Human Trafficking 101, case scenarios, and success stories.
The Canticle Farm: 9-1:15
What: The Canticle Farm is an intentional community based off of the values of The Great Turning and the ideas of nonviolence, service, and sustainability. The community and its urban farm are located in downtown Oakland. Please click link to read an article about the community:
We will be touring, learning about intentional communities, and engaging in activities.
Movement Generation: 2-5
What: The Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project provides in-depth analysis and information about the global ecological crisis and facilitates strategic planning for action among leading organizers from urban Bay Area organizations working for economic and racial justice in communities of color.
Grassroots activism workshop with Levana Saxon: 9-4
What: Learn more about strategic planning for activism and specifically we will plan, execute, and film a Flash Mob!
City Slickers Urban Farm Site 4:30-5:30
What: City Slickers was founded by West Oakland residents to increase food self-sufficiency by creating sustainable, high-yield urban farms and backyard gardens. We will be visiting one of their main sites that was formerly a trash covered park where people hung out and dealt drug and is now a farm stand on Saturdays!
GLBT History Museum:
What: Located in SF’s Castro District, the GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States. The museum celebrates 100 years of the city’s vast queer past through dynamic exhibitions and programming.
American Friends Service committee 9:30-12
What: AFSC San Francisco coordinates staff, volunteers, and resources for programs in peace-building, counter-recruitment, Middle East peace, healing justice, and public education about issues of homeless people. We will participate in workshops on these issues.
Time Bank Workshop at Noisebridge (a "hackerspace"): 1-4
What: Bay Area Community Exchange (BACE) a collaborative network that supports the development of alternative means of exchange in the San Francisco Bay Area, will host the event. They will introduce us to the Gift Economy concept and the idea of the Time Bank. The Happiness Institute is a space where community members collaborate and work on social projects.
Trash Mash-Up: 10-12
What: Trash Mash-Up is a community art project. Using disposable materials, collected before they enter the waste stream, participants construct “Maskostumes” which are original pageant masks and costumes inspired by traditions from around the world. TMU reduces waste and inspires people to see each other and our environment in a new way.
Pizza Party and Secret Angels revealed
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Gardens
What: Using actual bird species as inspiration for her sometimes grotesque forms, Djurberg explores physical and psychological transformation as well as pageantry, perversion, and abjection in avian society. In addition to the wild flock of more than eighty freestanding bird sculptures on view, the exhibition also includes five animated films, in which avian psychology is superimposed upon human behavior with extraordinary results. Her clay animations are set to music and sound effects by her partner and collaborator Hans Berg.
Nayland Blake was one of the pioneers of performance art in the Bay Area in the 1980s. His work often explored aspects of the queer urban lifestyle. Though now based in New York, his most recent work is a return to his earlier processes from that period, where materials and spontaneity generate sculptural works that are informal, precarious, nonsensical, and odd or uncanny. For his upcoming solo exhibition at YBCA, Blake will create spontaneous sculptures using his life as the catalyst. Also included in the exhibition are a DJ booth stocked with Blake’s collection of over three thousand LPs, which visitors will be invited to spin; and the recreation of a mural by Chuck Arnett (1962), which decorated the wall of the Tool Box, a leather bar in what is now San Francisco’s SoMa district.
Head home for dinner on campus!
Spring 2012 students at the Trash Mash Up Workshop