Come to the Sankofa World Market today (Wednesday, 7/17) for fresh vegetables, live music and Climate Anxiety Counseling. 2-6pm at the Knight Memorial Library (275 Elmwood Ave). Today’s weather is kind of like being in someone’s armpit, but I hope you won’t let that stop you.
Come and visit me at the Sankofa Market today (Wednesday, 7/10) between 2 and 5:30pm. The market is outside the Knight Memorial Library (275 Elmwood Ave, Providence), which now has air conditioning on the ground floor!!! You can talk with me, buy vegetables and baked goods from neighborhood farmers and vendors, and then step inside and cool off.
At the Climate Anxiety Counseling Booth, can share your climate-change-related and other anxieties, get a little piece of art to keep, and potentially find some paths to action that work for you. There are also a couple of things you can do TODAY to contribute to climate and environmental justice:
TODAY, 12-2pm, 234 Thayer St, Providence: Community rally to protest Chase Bank’s practices of bankrolling fossil fuel industries and contributing to climate change. Details at the link; email shutdownchaseri AT gmail DOT com for more information.
TONIGHT, 6-7:30pm, CCRI, 1 Hilton St, Providence: The Shell Oil terminal is reapplying for an air quality permit that they shouldn’t have: the legal limits for chemicals released into the air are higher than the quantities of those chemicals that make people sick. Let’s go to the RI DEM hearing and point this out to them. Childcare, snacks & talking points provided.
My sister and I found these Rhode Island neighbors, (what we think are) black trumpet mushrooms, on a walk in Roger Williams Park. Send me pictures of the mushrooms & fungi near you, if you want!
[IMAGE: Black, brown and gray mushrooms shaped sort of like curly funnels, growing on the ground among moss, dead oak leaves, grass, and tiny broadleaved plants.]
Today I’ll be at the Sankofa World Market (275 Elmwood Ave, Providence) 2-6pm, and so will my youngest sister. (We may be a little late getting there if her bus is late.)
My sister is the best: a maker of theater, an educator, a noticer of plants, a mender of clothes, someone who through care contributes to justice. I learn from her and look up to her every day. Here’s the pea fence we put up in her front yard planter boxes.
[IMAGE: a wooden planter box on a city street, with garlic coming up on one side, and a pea fence made of old curtain rods and yellow yarn.]
I’ll be at the Sankofa World Market (275 Elmwood Ave, Providence) 2-6pm today (Wednesday 6/26) to listen to your climate anxieties and other anxieties and connect you with opportunities for action. You can also buy delicious fresh vegetables grown nearby, slightly fancy tacos & vegan baked goods at the market, and go to the Knight Memorial Library. This is a picture of a small market visitor last year, when the market ran into the fall..
[IMAGE: picture of a small Black girl wearing a black parka with a furry hood and drawing a big face on the whiteboard map of worries, next to the sign that says “Providence Community Library: Knight Memorial.”]
Also, for people who live or work in Newport: Starting on MONDAY, JULY 1, I will be at the Miantonomi Farmers’ Market in the North End, 2-5pm. Come visit me there!
I love doing the Climate Anxiety Counseling booth at the Sankofa World Market: I’ll be there for the fifth time this year and am excited to see my fellow vendors, buy some fresh and extremely local vegetables, hear live music (sometimes, including today) and good DJs, and talk with people from or passing through the Elmwood neighborhood. Come see me today outside the Knight Memorial Library (275 Elmwood Ave) and you can do all those things too, as well as sharing your climate anxieties and other anxieties.
If you stop by, you can also fill out a Postcard against the Plant, urging the Governor, the RI Dept. of Environmental Management and the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the fracked-gas power plant in Burrillville from moving forward. And if you’re free this afternoon or evening, I strongly encourage you to go to the public hearing about air quality that the RI DEM is holding tonight as part of their permitting process for this plant. Spoiler: they shouldn’t grant that permit!
Public Hearing: Draft Air Quality Permit
3-5pm AND 5:30-8:30pm
Burrillville High School Auditorium, 425 East Ave, Harrisville, RI
Here, too, are links to the permit application and the draft permit, as well as information about how to submit comments by email or postal mail. I can’t help much today with preparing comments for the hearing, but if you want suggestions for submitting a written comment, please get in touch with me at my gmail address, publiclycomplex.
Come visit me downtown today! It’s my last day at the entrance to Burnside Park, across from Kennedy Plaza, and I’ll be there 2-5:30 approximately.
Bring me your climate anxieties and other anxieties, write a postcard to a regulatory agency to stop a fossil fuel project, and take home a drawing of one of our nonhuman Rhode Island neighbors.
I’ll also be at the Sankofa World Market this Wednesday, June 19, 2-6pm, and most Wednesdays throughout the summer. Come see me there, too! A Newport slot is in the works as well, probably for Mondays.
[Image: Detailed line drawing of a cecropia butterfly by CJ Jimenez.]
If you have anxieties about climate change and its effects, you can come talk with me at these times and places in Providence. These are the ones that are for sure right now; I will add more if I can set up more.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park (opposite Kennedy Plaza)
Thursday, June 6th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park
Saturday, June 8th, starting at 12pm and going till… in Burnside Park as part of PVDFest
Wednesday, June 12th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park
Thursday, June 13th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park
Friday, June 14th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park
Saturday, June 15th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park
Sunday, June 16th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park
Monday, June 17th, 2-5pm, Burnside Park
Wednesday, June 19th, 2-6pm, Sankofa World Market (275 Elmwood Ave)
Wednesday, June 26th, 2-6pm, Sankofa World Market
(I’ll also be at the Sankofa World Market in July and August!)
If you come and talk to me, I’ll listen, ask you some questions, possibly make some suggestions and give you a little piece of art to keep, featuring one of our nonhuman RI neighbors.
You can also mark your worries about specific places on a map of the state and nearby waters.
If you want me to come to your Rhode Island town (or even further afield, up to a point), email me at my gmail address, publiclycomplex, or talk to me on Twitter. (Climate Anxiety Counseling has a Facebook page too but I don’t use it very much.)
Some other things that are coming this summer and that I’ll post more about soon:
*Write to the Energy Facilities Siting Board and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to stop Invenergy’s fracked-gas power plant in Burrillville! You’ll be able to fill them out at the counseling booth, and I will send them in for you; you can also do them online for the EFSB (a petition with explanations and a comment that you can adapt) and RI DEM (instructions for submitting comments and the email address where you should send them).
*GUEST COUNSELORS! If you would like to be one, please let me know.
*Climate anxiety support group? Maybe? A couple of people have told me they’re interested; let me know if you’re interested too.
For the Food Solutions New England 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge; prompt here. I did the signup wrong so am starting late. (Some of this seems a little…potentially burdensome for people of color? “Consider talking with someone you know, who would be willing, who identifies as being of a different race”?)
I feel like the number of words that anyone wants to read from a white person about being white is limited, no matter what the words are, so I will try to keep it short (for me, this is short):
When I was a kid I knew I was Jewish, because my family talked about it (and so, occasionally, did other people). I didn’t know I was white; most of the people I knew were, and none of us talked about it.
Thinking critically about whiteness and white supremacy started for me mayyyybe ten, twelve years ago? (I am 40.) The work of a number of online writers, mainly Black women, mainly writing for readers of color, laid some groundwork and so did the act of participating in the conversation ONLY by listening. This enabled me to both read more deeply and learn more from people I know as well.
My sense of myself as a colonizer or settler, or at least as someone who reaps the benefits of those enterprises, is much younger, maybe three years. The pattern is similar: this is a lesson started for me by writers and thinkers online, on Twitter and elsewhere, in a way that has enabled me to continue reading more deeply and learning more from people I know.
Between these two, I would say that my present sense of white people is something like, “People who, when we live someplace, make things worse there.” One way I try to address this is by not going very many places, or into very many contexts, unless I am invited–though sometimes I ask for an invitation.
The prompt asks, “How do you think about your own racial identity and its relevance to your life, work, studies and/or volunteerism in the food system (or as an eater)?” Certainly my class, as shaped by my race, affects what I can afford to buy to eat. This also affects the time and energy I have available to volunteer with Hope’s Harvest RI, which I do from time to time (maybe you can too?). And the food that I eat is grown/raised on land shaped by colonization, genocide and enslavement, and in many cases grown by people who–partly because of white supremacist interference in their or their ancestors’ countries of origin, partly because of the way capitalism and white supremacy work together now–are trapped and depleted by the work that they do.
For four years now the Sankofa Market in Providence has kindly hosted the Climate Anxiety Counseling booth (they’re looking for gardening volunteers! Email dresendes AT westelmwood DOT org!)–and I infer that my being white, in a neighborhood mostly dwelt in by people of color (at a farmers’ market where most of the vendors are people of color, which is an offshoot of a housing development corporation that has a high proportion of both staff and participants of color) affects people’s willingness to speak with me–as well as activating my own background racism, though I try to be aware of it and not let it shape the way I’m interacting with people. Here is a picture of me, so you can see what people see when they look at me.
Passover is coming up, one of the two Jewish holidays that my family celebrates as a family. I love it; I love the way that my own family has made room to acknowledge the holiday’s complexities and complicities, and the format of the Seder has been a huge influence on the way that Climate Anxiety Counseling works. There is a long email thread about who’s going to cook what, which I have mostly been ignoring, but I just made a deal with my mom about the brisket (grass-fed, organic, expensive, probably from McEnroe Farm), on Matabesec Mohegan land–which, full disclosure, I never knew until I looked it up to write this): if she teaches me how to cook it, I will do the part she hates, which is slicing it up before putting it back in the gravy.
A rare winter booth appearance (indoors, indoors)! The Southside Cultural Center is holding a Holiday Market and Extravaganza TOMORROW, 12/15, and the booth and I will be there to listen to your climate anxieties and other anxieties as we stumble together toward the end of 2018. There will also be performances, craft vendors, and music. 12-4pm, 393 Broad St., Providence. Come on by!
[Image: tree roots that have displaced bricks and gathered soil, grass and moss, all in winter sunlight.]
Today is the last Sankofa World Market. I’ll be there starting at 3pm and going till sunset. Come and share your climate-change-related anxieties and other anxieties with me.
At the end of my stint I’ll lead a brief ritual honoring all the humans and nonhumans who have already died because of climate change and its effects, and inviting them to speak to the people who have knowingly caused the worst damage.
In the wake of FERC’s decision to allow the LNG plant in Providence to go forward, the FANG Collective is calling for people to participate in a range of direct actions to stop both this and the fracked-gas Invenergy plant in Burrillville, RI. Please read this pledge and see if there’s anything on it that you are willing to commit to; if you want to talk that decision through with me today, I will try to help.
[Image: a Black girl in a parka, drawing on the Rhode Island map of worries, next to the Providence Community Library sign for Knight Memorial Library.]