Justice & Ecology Retreats

Justice & Ecology Retreat:
Once a year, MG hosts a vision and strategy retreat that brings together a selected cohort of 25-30 local and national leaders of racial, economic and environmental justice movements for a five-day retreat at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in Sonoma County, California. Each year, the retreat is designed to:
1) explore the depths and connections of the current ecological, economic, and social crises and
2) discuss, study and design key strategic movement interventions that will inspire a Just Transition towards healthy, life-affirming economies.
This retreat is MG’s flagship program, which we have hosted since 2007.


Our Moment in Time:
We live in a time of planetary emergency. Ours is the era of rising waters and super storms, of refinery fires and foreclosed futures. It is the age of mass incarceration & mass deportation, of mass unemployment & mass extinction.

We also live in a time of great possibility. Traditional issue “silos” in organizing are breaking down. We see, for example, strong coalitions across labor, environment, and racial justice.  We’ve seen climate forces mobilizing in support of Ferguson October, and the most diverse climate mobilization in history at the People’s Climate March.  Broad alliances for systemic change are forming around the recognition of the shared root causes and mutually reinforcing consequences of social inequity, ecological disruption and the erosion of democracy.


Retreat Content:

MG’s Justice & Ecology Retreat combines in-depth discussion with interactive presentations and trainings by organizers and innovators on ecological, economic, and social justice. We explore the following themes:


What are the economic, cultural, political, and ecological contours of the systemic crisis we face? Together, with the cohort, we grapple with the scale, pace and implications of the crisis through multiple lenses such as water, food, climate, work, democracy, race, and biocultural diversity.

What can we learn from struggles for people and planet around the world? What are the lessons and inspirations we can draw from diverse domestic and international social movements?

What role do organizers, activists, and cultural creatives, play in making those connections?



Retreat participation is chosen through a selective application process each year, which is announced through our email newsletter, as well as targeted outreach to key partners. We prioritize organizers and activists that are rooted in and/or engaged in racial, economic, and environmental justice issues, and that are interested in exploring the cultural and strategic significant of these ecological questions.



My relationship with Movement Generation has revolutionized my organizing approach. As a result, taking land to grow our own foods, house our families and create our own jobs has become one of our core strategies.  By providing the thinking and acting space to intertwine smart political organizing with resiliency-based practices, MG is forcing us to grapple with the question, “are we ready to govern?”

Oscar Grande, People Organizing for Enivronmental & Economic Rights (PODER)

“The MG retreat series was one of the most mind blowing experiences of my life.  I can no longer look at the world and my social justice work without an eco-justice frame.  MG provides a critical role in sharpening the analysis of many movements – they give hope for what our future could look like.”

Armael Malinis, Asian Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership (AYPAL)

“I love Movement Generation!  MG works with base-building groups and broader alliances to build alternatives based on resilience and transformation, grounded in local realities and connected to regional, national, and international social movements.  This is truly one of the most important things our movements need, and I’m so grateful for MG’s leadership and vision.”  

Sara Mersha, Grassroots International

“The MG retreats have changed my life – they have changed how I see myself as an actor in the world. I can no longer compartmentalize my commitments to environmental, social and, racial justice from my commitment to creating a life sustaining earth.”

Nile Malloy, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE)