By Pam Duquette
Another “feather” in SCA’s cap and a beneficial partnership was formed this year as we were welcomed as a new member to the United States Climate Action Network (USCAN). USCAN’s mission statement “is to build trust and alignments among members to fight climate change in a just and equitable way.”
This membership opens up the door for opportunities to collaborate with other national environmental organizations and become a recipient of grant offerings. We know successful grant writing is right up Amy’s “alley,” and vitally important to grass roots organizations. Also with this membership comes a requirement to attend their annual meetings. I was fortunate enough to be willing and available to attend this year’s annual meeting which was in New Orleans. Tough duty, but I rose to the occasion! I was surprised to find myself staying on the top 21st floor of Loews Hotel with a view of the city and the mighty Mississippi. Silly me, thinking I would take the stairs as I usually do for exercise! This whole conference experience was compliments of USCAN. They take good care of their members. Lucky me!
The purpose of the 2023 Annual Meeting was basically “to build intersections and relationships….” and to “provide an opportunity to show the power and impact of USCAN and to stand in solidarity with folks working on climate issues locally.” I definitely feel the purpose was achieved. About 150 people representing different environmental groups, ethnicities and localities from across the nation were in attendance. It was a refreshing, albeit it overwhelming week of sharing, collaborating, and learning. As a new member and a retired person, I felt a bit out of my element as I joined breakout sessions with actively employed members of these various groups. I was made to feel welcome and was delighted to engage with many young activists determined to make a difference in the fight against systems of oppression and climate disasters, all working together for a greater good! Justice, equity, diversity and inclusion were themes throughout.
Tackling the hard work, we were also treated to: amazing local entertainment and presentations; cultural field trips (I even went on a nighttime ghost walking tour); mix and mingle evenings complete with karaoke; short wellness offerings (stretch, massage, quiet rooms, art therapy); and diverse guest speakers. What a week!
Make sure to peruse USCAN’s website to see our Selkirk Conservation Alliance listed among the other member organizations. Their website is waiting for an update as there is a new strategic plan to be shared that was voted on and approved at the meeting. I was happy and proud to represent SCA at this conference!