“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
Ten years ago, Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project (MG) was born in study, analysis, relationship and conversation. MG was born in a space we nurtured where collective grief and a sense of overwhelm were made into fertile ground for transformative visioning, strategy and relationship building.
MG has grown as an extended family and we are honored to have been able to make important impacts in our movements. As the Just Transition frames have been taken up, we are called into many exciting and expanding spaces, and we are thrilled to see greater scale and seriousness in building out a proactive vision. However, as a team we are facing the limits of our energy being dispersed across too many different fronts. In the spirit of natural seasons and cycles of reflection to inform praxis, now is a time to harvest what we’ve learned, make new assessments, and set a new course. MG is embarking on an 18-month process of strategic visioning and engagement with our comrades.
This means we’ll be saying “no” or “not now” to most requests for trainings and new collaborations. In lieu of the many workshops, trainings, and collaboratives we often engage in, we will package our best tools so others can take them forward. This spring we will be sharing a curriculum packet that folks who’ve gone through MG retreats can use to lead workshops and innovate their own versions. We will focus deeply on a few ongoing commitments, but not take on new collaborations until we have fertilized our ground and are ready for new plantings. Specifically, we will not hold our Earth Skills workshops during this period, and we look forward to how our many comrades and extended families keep this work alive independently of MG.
We’re excited for this new season of reflection and creation. A season for generative strategy and building our collective capacity to leverage and provoke crises that shift decisions about land and capital toward the workers and communities impacted by those decisions.
We want to share some of the thinking that’s helped us get to this place:
We’ve learned a lot from 10 years of transformative retreats, trainings, actions and more with hundreds of organizations and many thousands of activists and organizers annually. We’ve experimented with strategies to reclaim land, capital, and our labor as core to a just transition, through initiatives such as Climate Workers and the Black Land & Liberation Initiative. We’ve contributed to building needed movement infrastructure such as the Climate Justice Alliance and Reinvest in Our Power. With over 10,000 copies distributed, MG’s Just Transition Zine is being widely utilized to ground our movements and frontline communities in a shared strategic framework. And we’ve worked to inspire and align our peoples around ecojustice through cultural interventions such as The North Pole web series. We are inspired to see larger and more diverse sectors of society recognizing the crises, rejecting false solutions and advancing just and restorative strategies.
Since MG carried out “Bay Area 2030” in 2011, a project that laid out different pathways to the future, the conditions have shifted much more rapidly than we anticipated. We see disaster capitalism in the aftermath of hurricane-hit Puerto Rico. And we are witness to the wholesale denial of the human rights of houseless, undocumented, queer, gender-oppressed, Arab, Muslim, and Black people. Cruel attacks on life abound. As the margins get thinner, we see capital extracting from people and place in new ways. The result is greater social inequity. More polarization. More ecosystem disruption. But also an opportunity to shift the balance of power to the local and regional, and to spur the local living economies and people-powered changes that work, even in the face of climate chaos. Just Recovery and Just Transition do provide pathways for our peoples.
Amidst these conditions, we see expanded opportunities to contest for power — the right to self-govern our labor and the resources required to make it productive. We are already seeing this emerge with the local victories to stop fracking that directly challenge federal laws that say localities have no right to regulate fracking because of the “Halliburton loophole” in the Clean Water Act. We see it with Sanctuary Cities and States challenging the right of the federal government to single out undocumented people for human rights abuses. With visionary leadership, these openings are leverage points to shift power toward a just transition.
We are excited to take this time to strengthen ourselves in body, mind, and spirit. Over the next period, MG will be developing projects to:
- Deepen our analysis and understanding of the situation we’re in and the rapidly shifting terrain;
- Carry out strategy labs that build our movements’ capacity to harness the shocks and direct the slides towards the shifts we need, rooted in healing, decolonization, and ancestral and land-based wisdom;
- Disseminate expanded curriculum and communications tools to engage frontline communities in taking leadership of the transition;
- Create spaces to deepen relationships between folks in MG’s extended family as we learn from and innovate action strategies to transform the systems that are attacking all that we love and rely on.
- Select bolder, more strategic interventions to invest in over the next 10 years.
We have such deep gratitude for our network– family, alumni, partners, homies, community — and we plan to engage this wider family in collective study. Like Octavia Butler taught us, there will be no just future if we don’t build and organize our collectives / formations / crews and hone our earth skills.