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Liz Jenkins & Beverly Ward At Florida ICAN Assembly
Liz Jenkins & Beverly Ward at Florida ICAN Assembly

Notes from the Field: FL-iCAN Assembly

The Florida Interfaith Climate Actions Network convened its fourth assembly 29 and 30 Sixth Month. The opening day’s theme, “Cultivating Health Climates for Resilient Communities” invited participants to

  • Experience civic engagement
  • Discover dynamic new partners
  • Strengthen relationships and emerging networks
  • Form bioregional nodes
  • Synergize FL-iCAN! Affiliates
  • Explore pathways for policy strategies
  • Signup for FL Climate Actions Alerts
  • Be prepared to be surprised

Attendees met others from their bioregions, which included participants from across the State. There also was a celebration of the 18th birthday of the Earth Charter. Lynn Ringenberg, MD, spoke about the World Health Organization report on health and climate, global health, and climate change challenges. During the afternoon, a World Café—a set of small group conversation rounds—focused on reflections from earlier events, e.g., bio-regional experiences; Earth Charter celebration; health challenges, etc.

Liz Jenkins & Beverly Ward at Florida ICAN Assembly

This was followed by an Open Space period where participants self-selected to lead discussions to organize actions. Liz Jenkins, Orlando Monthly Meeting, led a discussion on “The World of All Our Great Grandchildren.” I led a discussion on Passion (Asset) Mapping. After dinner, a memorial campfire was held honoring Miccosukee-Simanolee clan leader Bobby C. Billie and a leading resource to FL-iCAN.

On Seventhday, the theme, “Welcoming Community in Changing Climates” provided opportunities to

  • Hear how people came together to work on brownfields, air quality, and sea level rise
  • Share disenfranchisement and environmental justice histories
  • Learn about solutions from neighbors who live there now
  • Brainstorm about how to cultivate resilient communities
  • Hear examples for policy education and actions
  • Experience civic engagement
  • Share stories of inspiring collaborations
  • Choose to commit to health and resilient communities throughout Florida

There were presentations from communities around the state on efforts to address climate disruption. Dr. Shanta Barton-Stubbs and Stevenson Bassy of New Image, Orlando, spoke the work the organization is doing in the Parramore area with youths; Crystal Johnson and Joan Marshall, discussed the environmental issues in the Dunbar community of Fort Myers. Jan Booher, John Heimburg, and I discussed levels of collaboration using the Shorecrest, Miami example. Chris Castro, City of Orlando Greenworks, provided information on the City’s efforts “…to transform Orlando into one of the most environmentally-friendly, economically and socially vibrant communities in the nation.”

The Great Red Oak, Mary Coelho

Following lunch, I made a presentation, “Sowing a Culture of Peace” on dynamic governance or sociocracy. Lawanna Gelzer, a local advocate, spoke on the environmental challenges facing the Parramore neighbor—site of the assembly.

On 28 Seventh Month, participants from the four assemblies will reconvene to discuss the future governance of the assembly, including developing a timeline or calendar of actions. As provided by Liz Jenkins (Target Your Earthcare Activism), Friends can sign up for Florida iCAN Action Alerts. More information regarding the Climate Action Network will be provided through the alerts and, of course, I have a dual role in keeping you informed.

Thank you, Friends!

—Beverly Ward, Field Secretary for Earthcare