Today is the day an event happens that I’ve been planning for a long time. I’ve been imagining a version of this event for the last two years you guys. I thought of it originally as an arts event called Earth, Art, Soul. It was to be an earth day event but with the most Black and other POC that you’ve ever seen at an environmental event in your life!
There would be actual food, music, poetry, and we would be sharing and showing how we have been in relationship with this earth for centuries and showing new ways we can improve that relationship today.
I submitted a grant for it (which sadly, I did not receive). But this year- TODAY- it is happening.
I want to shout out a couple people who are making this possible. The first is Martha Mutale. Thanks to her involvement in this initative called the STAGE IT series, we have space at the Bus Stop Theatre! A month or two back Martha posted that the Theatre was offering FREE! space at the Bus Stop for young people who wanted to present something- a show, an event, whatever could take place on a stage.
The next person I want to thank is Emma Norton from the EAC. She took my request to organize this event to heart and suggested different grants we could apply for. One day, she e-mailed me saying ” we got some money and I want to give you some, do you still want it?”
Yes! Of course I did. It became Earth, Art, Economy to add a practical component for people in addition to the arts.
Emma has been calling organizations, volunteers to take photos and make the poster, ordering food and being my feet on the ground since I’m out of the city.
And it’s happening!
I’m already thinking of ways it could be better:
I should have called this person to speak
I should have invited that person to sell their products.
Could we have had it on another date so that it doesn’t conflict with other key events?
I probably could or should have one at least one of those things. But this is a starting point and I hope people are gracious about that. I’m going to be gracious with myself.
Event planning can be nerve-wracking with all the logistics plus the nagging thoughts. Someone told me a good way to handle fear or nervousness is the turn it into excitement.
So I’m excited.
I’m excited to see if people see anything that interests them with the five Green Jobs organizations and schools that will be there.
I’m excited to hear what people have to say about environmental education for their children and themselves.
I’m excited for the flowers and chai tea – and for the food- we got Ariel’s and Alter Egos catering!
I’m mostly looking forward to seeing who will come and discovering why. Who else is “Cocoa and Green” out here?!
Years ago I asked on social media why I don’t see many Black people at meetings or events that have to do with the environment. There were a variety of answers from there being bigger things to think about to not knowing when they are happening.
So, with the help of Martha, Emma, our invited speakers and artists coming through on a Sunday, we have the opportunity to explore and re-imagine ways to build jobs, community, and connections that are better for the earth we live on and people we live with.
And the opportunity to not the the only POC in the room!
And to eat a meal together on a Sunday.
You are invited.