Mission and History
Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor, and culture. We are rooted in vibrant social movements led by low-income communities and communities of color committed to a Just Transition away from profit and pollution and towards healthy, resilient and life-affirming local economies.
Under the leadership of founding director Zak Sinclair, the Movement Generation concept was built out by a planning committee including grassroots organizers, movement builders, and popular educators. Housed by SOUL (the School of Unity and Liberation) and the Movement Strategy Center, in it’s first two years Movement Generation convened more than 70 young movement leaders from more than 30 organizations into two cycles of ten-month movement strategy discussions.
The Justice & Ecology Project developed out of Movement Generation’s strategy training work among Bay Area organizers of color. As Hurricane Katrina hit, organizers wanted support in better understanding environmental issues and the opportunities and challenges facing working class communities of color in relationship to ecology and sustainability. These organizers were working in community-based organizations in communities of color, but were not working on environmental issues.
In 2007, Movement Generation, in collaboration with the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, developed a set of two three-day training retreats and evening meetings to address this set of questions. The training and discussion sessions were designed to develop practical strategies to address the increasing economic and social impacts of global environmental problems on urban low-income communities and communities of color. We came together looking at issues of peak oil, peak water, losses in biological and cultural diversity, climate change, environmental toxins, food security, sustainable agriculture and food systems, as well as new opportunities for the development of local, sustainable, socially-just economies and participatory democracy.
Since the initial meetings, we have engaged over 150 organizations and thousands of change agents (community leaders, activists, and organizers) through intensive retreats, political education, hands-on skills workshops, peer exchange, campaign development, alliance building, strategic support and more. Our work has expanded to include the integration of an ecological lens onto existing work within organizations, as well as ongoing work to develop shared strategies that harness the collective power of participating organizations to advance a justice-based approach to ecology.