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NorCal Community Resilience Network Guiding Principles

The Earth has all the abundance necessary for life to thrive. We stand united for a world in which all life, human and non-human, is treated with justice and equality. A world where all beings are liberated to do what we love in service to a thriving ecosystem. We begin this transformation within ourselves, our homes, workplaces, communities, and region in the hope that it radiates out across the world.

Earth Care. We hold respect for the Earth. As fully as possible, we are mindful of environmental practices. We recognize the interconnection of all systems and species, working toward a healing balance of human systems in harmony with natural systems.

People Care. We practice radical inclusivity regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, age, disability, and religious belief or disbelief. We defend our right to healthy systems of food, governance, education, health, and labor. We communicate respectfully with one another, standing in solidarity through our work to build regenerative communities rooted in fierce belonging.

Fair Share. We are united in our vision of equitable systems that support us in flourishing as individuals, as communities, and as a planet. We actively engage in practices that allow all people to access the education and resources we need to thrive.

Our suggestions for effective collaboration are as follows:

  1. Communicate respectfully with each other, using Non-Violent Communication strategies whenever possible.
  2. Review the Four Agreements: Be Impeccable with your Word. Don’t Take Anything Personally. Don’t Make Assumptions. Always Do Your Best!
  3. Be willing to say “no” if asked to do something you are not wanting (or don’t have the time) to do.
  4. Be open to receiving feedback, if asked to do so. Be willing to give feedback humbly and respectfully, and ask permission before doing so.
  5. Please self-monitor in group discussions. Is there someone in the group who has less privilege than you?  Have they spoken in the discussion yet?  If you are used to speaking a lot, step/move up to listen more.  If you are used to listening a lot, step/move up and speak more.
  6. If conflicts arise, please try to resolve/integrate them by phone or in person. Practice using  “I” statements and deep listening.
  7. Consider drafting a Memorandum of Understanding if money is involved with your collaboration.
  8. For paying events, create accessibility. Options can include: reserved spaces for scholarships, offering sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds
  9. As fully as possible, be mindful of environmental practices with events and projects:
  • Practice the 4 R’s: Reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (compost!)
  • Encourage alternative transportation to events: set up a carpool and promote bike riding or taking public transit.

10. Carefully review and commit to working toward the embodiment of the Principles for Decolonization and Inclusion (as laid out by the Decolonizing Permaculture Working Group at the 2016 North American Permaculture and Building Resilient Communities Convergence)

11. Develop authentic relationships with individuals.  Do this throughout the year, not just to have attendance at an event or course.

12. Invite participation from marginalized, underrepresented and oppressed groups (eg. people of color, Indigenous, queer-trans, non-majority languages including Spanish and ASL, families with young children) from the outset.  Start when you begin planning your event/program.

13. Come out to events that are being organized by communities of color and Indigenous communities.  Support events that are already happening.

14. Leverage your privilege toward social good by being a strong ally (or a friend).

15. Go beyond tokenism. Use an “empowerment” model rather than a deficit-based “charity” model.

16. When we talk about “diversity,” it can mean diverse colors, diverse ways of learning, and diverse perspectives.

17. We encourage reading over the Environmental Justice principles.