Heard on the Street and in the Forest | January 2021 Newsletter
EAN activities are only possible through the support of individuals just like you. Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you to Nancy Margulies for your inspiring art – and thanks to all of you who have shown up in the past year, and are committed to showing up in 2021.

Courageously we shall journey together into this New Year, with our mission of co-creating a movement of elders addressing the environmental and social justice issues of our time.

And, just for FUN...be sure to watch the video at the end of this newsletter!
From the Street to Inform Us
Racism & Insurrection

Seared into our memories are images of American insurgents battering the Capitol's façade, ransacking desks on the Senate floor, and vandalizing the offices of elected officials. Then, these white Americans were allowed to leave the Capitol without being arrested.

It is so indisputable that we must ask ourselves, “What if these dissidents had been Black Americans? How would they have been treated?” We need only to look to the action taken towards Black Lives Matter demonstrators last summer, who were shot with rubber bullets and attacked with tear gas while peacefully protesting in the streets.

Elizabeth Wellington (Philadelphia Inquirer, January 7, 2021) speaks to the absolute contrast between these incidents. "What do you think it does to Black people to be constantly vilified for exercising our right to live while we watch a white mob breach the Capitol and walk away?"

This is what happens when a nation collectively believes in white people's inherent goodness, no matter what they say or do. This hypocrisy is at the core of Black people's pain and anger.
The People's Inauguration

On Inauguration Day, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the Oath of Office.

On January 21st – We the people will make a commitment, to do our part in reclaiming our nation and building a society that is anti-racist and sustainable – with liberty and justice for all.

We know that sound government is necessary – but it is not sufficient to heal and transition our country into a place where all of us are free. We need a shift in culture and consciousness, a new way of being together, a revolution of the heart.

We invite you to join Elders Action Network and Sage-ing® International as we hold the People's Inauguration, affirming our role as change agents, bridge builders, and citizens committed to healing, creating, and fighting for justice while staying anchored in love.

Let's Birth a Future Together Where Love Is a Force for Justice!
As rising hate, violence, pervasive social injustice, and an isolating pandemic threaten to drive us further apart, we must root ourselves in a culture of love that extends in three directions: to others, to our opponents, and to ourselves.

Join us on Thursday, January 21, 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET. 

The People's Inauguration is a free series, part of 10 Days to Activate Revolutionary Love. More information is available HERE.
FDR’s advice to A. Philip Randolph:
You got me elected, now go out and force me to fulfill my promises.

Too much of politics has become about the politicians rather than the issues…
We can't outsource our democracy to our politicians. 
–Senator-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock, GA
HELP WANTED: Are you a creative writer? A marketing professional?
EAN is seeking one or two volunteers to write provocative, compelling posts for our social media channels to spread the word about EAN.
Please contact Lynne Iser: lynnei@eldersaction.org
Do Just One Thing...
Sustainability Team suggests:
As winter sets in, harvest the stems and twigs off your rosemary and thyme and make a tasty 'balsamic' vinegar. Fill a jar with these finely cut up stalks, add apple cider vinegar, put a piece of wax paper over the jar, then screw on the lid. Let sit at room temperature away from sunlight for 6 weeks. Decant into another jar and enjoy!
Anti-Racism Team suggests:
Consider this: “The core of the Black Lives Matter and Civil Rights movements was not overthrowing the government. Collectively, Black people want to be listened to. We want to be treated like our lives do matter. And at the very least, we don't want people to feel like they can kill us with impunity. Black people built and fought for this country, too. These are rights of every American.” –Elizabeth Wellington, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/7/2021
What's Happening Within EAN?
Spotlight on: Regenerative Sustainable Living (RSL)

"Regenerative" and "sustainable" are words used to promote a healthy planet. But sometimes, they are used interchangeably and not always well understood. "Sustainable" means equitably meeting the needs of all life forms now and in the future. The goal of "Regenerative Living" is to create a more abundant and healthier environment.

The Regenerative Sustainable Living Action Group promotes climate-related education and actions through provocative monthly online presentations. Our workshop, Choices for Sustainable Living, is a highly interactive course that delves into topics including water, food, energy, transportation, consumption, and community. Our next course begins on Monday, March 1st. Get more information and register HERE.
Are you a new EAN member?
Welcome to EAN Webinar
Friday, February 5
10:00 – 11:00 am PT / 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Join us for a one-hour gathering for new EAN members to learn about the work we do and how you might participate. This will be an in-depth introduction to our different action groups, an opportunity to meet other Elders and EAN leaders, ask questions, and determine how you might like to get involved. Learn more & Register
Elders Climate Action (ECA)
Winter Workshop Series
Federal Climate Policy: You Can Change It
January 19
3:30 – 5:00 pm PT / 6:30 – 8:00 pm ET

ECA members and others working at the national level will share their experiences in contributing to the Vision for Equitable Climate Action and the Congressional THRIVE Agenda (Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy). You will learn how to set your priorities and target your efforts to have the most influence. Learn More & Register
Empowered Elder Workshop
Tuesdays: February 2 – March 16
10:00 am – 12:15 pm PT / 1:00 – 3:15 pm ET

Together we will grow a community of interconnected Elders during our seven interactive webinars. The Empowered Elder Workshop provides a safe space for Elders to explore and share deeply what is on their hearts about the world, the future and their roles as elders. We investigate what it means to be an elder, why the world today especially calls us to step up as elders to address the social and environmental challenges humanity faces. Learn More & Register
Are you interested in an equitable, fair democracy for our nation?

Elders for Sound Democracy, EAN’s newest action group, is responding to the many ways that our American democracy has been weakened by voter suppression, gerrymandering, the Citizens United decision, electoral college bias, and general corruption. This new undertaking has emerged from our very successful Elders Stand for Fair Elections initiative. Please join us and attend one of our bi-weekly meetings to learn what you can do. Learn More
Americans have finally woken up. Democracy is not a spectator sport, and people are now speaking up, demanding that our leaders listen to us, and insisting that officials, as well as ordinary Americans answer to the law.
–Heather Cox Richardson
From the Arts to Inspire Us
Beautiful young people 
are accidents of nature;
but beautiful old people 
are works of art. 

–Eleanor Roosevelt
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
by Isabel Wilkerson

A caste system "is an artificial construction, a fixed and embedded ranking of human value that sets the presumed supremacy of one group against the presumed inferiority of other groups on the basis of traits that would be neutral in the abstract but are ascribed life-and-death meaning."

Wilkerson brings this statement close to home with personal stories and disturbing similarities between the Indian caste system, Nazi Germany, and the American South.

A book group member writes, "This book has dug deep into my psyche by offering personal, psychological and social accounts that have informed me in so many ways."

–Thanks to Geoff Ainscow for this review
From the Forest to Awaken Us
What can an Elder do?

On the morning of my 77th birthday, I woke up wondering, "What can an Elder do? The pandemic has descended on the country, while the horrific murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests have been rocking the nation.

Serendipitously, I read about a woman who carried a Black Lives Matter sign onto a NY highway. I thought, "I can do that, even if I have to do it alone," So at 6 am I made myself a sign, "Elders support BLACK LIVES MATTER." Then I texted a few elder friends who might also be feeling powerless and insignificant and drove to the Zebulon Vance Monument. Vance was a Confederate Army Colonel, US Senator, slave owner, and a KKK Grand Dragon that helped to overturn Reconstruction. Ten elders showed up that first day. Then someone said, "We should keep doing this." We did! Six months later, on December 2nd, we celebrated the six-month anniversary of our almost daily vigils.

Everyday passersby, Black and white, thanked us, raised fists, gave us victory signs, and beeped horns. One young Black woman driving by leaned on her horn and shouted, "I MATTER, I MATTER, I MATTER. THEY SAY I MATTER!"

–Thanks to Steve Norris, Elder Activist, Asheville for sharing his inspiring story
Trees communicate and cooperate through subterranean networks of fungi. 
Fungal threads link nearly every tree in the forest – even of different species. Carbon, water, nutrients, alarm signals, and hormones can pass from tree to tree through these subterranean circuits. Resources tend to flow from the oldest and biggest trees to the youngest and smallest. …Seedlings severed from the forest's underground lifelines are much more likely to die than their networked counterparts. And, if a tree is on the brink of death, it sometimes bequeaths a substantial share of its carbon to its neighbors. The Social Life of Forests, NY Times, 12/6/2020
In Parting...
Just for Fun!
Ace of Cups: 50 years and still rockin'

“I wish I had a badass grandmother who used to be in a hippie band,” a comment on their webpage
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