Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor, and culture.

Our Story

Movement Generation was birthed in the early 2000s in unceded Lisjan Ohlone territory, what is now known as the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It was conceptualized and built by a planning committee of grassroots organizers, movement builders, and popular educators organizing in community-based organizations across a vast array of issue areas. In its first two years – housed by SOUL (the School of Unity and Liberation) and the Movement Strategy Center, and under the leadership of founding director Zak Sinclair – MG convened young movement leaders from more than 30 organizations into a series of critical movement strategy discussions.

The Justice & Ecology Project developed out of this work. Amidst the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, organizers felt a deeper collective need and urgency to better understand the opportunities and challenges facing working class communities of color in relationship to ecology, sustainability, and the global ecological crisis.

In 2007, in collaboration with the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, MG developed and hosted our first set of ecological justice training retreats and evening strategy meetings for grassroots organizers. We came together looking at issues of peak oil, peak water, losses in biological and cultural diversity, climate change, environmental toxins, sustainable agriculture and food systems, as well as new opportunities for the development of local, regenerative, socially-just economies and participatory democracy.

We carry on that important work and legacy today. Since the initial meetings and retreats, we have engaged hundreds of organizations and thousands of community leaders, activists, and organizers through intensive retreats, political education, hands-on skills workshops, peer exchange, campaign development, alliance building, strategic support, and fostering MG as a political home.

Theory of Change

At Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, our work is rooted in the belief that by bringing ourselves into right relationship with seeds, soil, each other and the ecosystems that hold us, we can create a better way forward.

It has become clear we face two distinct possible futures: economic and ecological transition or collapse.  If we stay the current course of a globalized industrial economic model, collapse is inevitable.  We must, instead, create an intentional pathway – a Just Transition – towards local, living, loving economies.  Movement Generation is working hard to build, secure and defend this Just Transition. Politically, the questions of climate disruption, water security, land security, and food security are inextricably linked to race, economic inequality, gender oppression, and ableism.

To usher in a just and equitable transition towards the economies that meet our needs, leadership must come from communities on the frontlines of ecological disruption. These frontline communities know that solving one problem while creating another is no solution at all. The new economies that our communities construct must take a holistic approach and foster equity, democracy, and ecological restoration.

We believe that a main part of being prepared for this transition is a commitment to getting ourselves organized – more deeply and more authentically. Our work is most effective and powerful when grounded in deep relationships; relationships where we work, grow, and transform together. We feel the importance of consistently and collectively advancing our understanding of the moment and what it calls for: sharpening our analysis of the crisis we face and building community together in the process.

Deep, continual work within and across relationships comes together to make our political home. In these relationships, we develop and apply our ecological justice politic and practice transformative self governance to manifest bold visions, meet our needs, and fiercely oppose the extractive economy. Centering sacredness and caring brings us into right relationship with each other and the web of life that we depend on. And we must usher in this transition through a deep cultural shift that reimagines dominant narratives and transforms culture towards economies based in deep relationships.

MG works to build political home across many different spaces, and works to bring that strategy to scale through translocal organizing across the US. Through political education, we are nourishing and building the rich soils of analysis and strategy that our movements need to activate, strengthen and grow our shared politic and practice. Through movement building rooted in the principles of ecological justice, we nurture, strengthen, and build the movement ecosystem of organizations and alliances that are achieving a Just Transition. We commit to growing and building powerful, thriving movement vehicles that implement visionary and oppositional strategies locally and nationally. And through cultural strategy we are making this work irresistible and rooted in the wisdom of our ancestries, while creating and defending culture that will hold us through the transition and that will move society toward a vision of ecological justice.

if we’re not prepared to govern, we’re not prepared to win

Collective Governance

At MG we aim to live into our values by seeing and honoring everyone’s work and centralizing the sacredness of our relationships. We know that, “if we’re not prepared to govern, we’re not prepared to win.” This Just Transition principle is woven into the fabric of our organization through practicing and shaping our collective governance. We are a collectively run organization. Each collective member equally participates in and is responsible for the daily work and strategic direction of the organization through co-directorship, while holding distinct organizational roles. We set organizational direction and collective work plans together through consensus and then implement them through programmatic and operational teams. Some key operational roles are also held by non-collective staff members.

In place of traditional supervision and bosses, we have a Peer Support structure to provide accountability to our program goals and organizational priorities as well as support for our personal development and goals. We continuously shape structures for collective growth processes to share critical feedback and surface tensions.

We center care, trust, integrity, and joy in our workplace and in every aspect of our governance. Through this structure we are able to lead with our values and political goals rather than conventional, extractive, ableist expectations of production. We have an active board that helps steward our organization to meet our purpose. We gather with our board periodically with deep check-ins, visioning and courageous conversations to ensure the holistic integrity of our organization and to strategize on MG’s critical role in the ever-changing political landscape.

In accordance with our values, MG is committed to rejecting extractive labor practices, and instead creating a transformative workplace where our labor and contributions are honored and our needs are met. We do this by providing a thriving wage and a robust benefits package.