Refuge in a Changing World: Climate Change, Migration and Homeland Security

“If we do not change our negative attitudes toward climate change,we can count on worldwide disruptions in food production, resulting in mass migration,refugee crises and increased conflict over scarce natural resources like water and farmland. This is a recipe for major security problems.” ~Michael Franti

Dear friends,
Heartbreaking images are still emerging from the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where devastating flooding has impacted 2.6 million people. Eighteen months ago, Category 5 Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc in PuertoWorld Rico, leaving millions without power for months and causing many to relocate to the U.S. mainland. In November of 2018, 50,000 people were displaced by the massive Camp Fire which leveled the town of Paradise, California. Whether on the other side of the globe or right here in the Western United States, the frequency and severity of climate-related disasters, from droughts to wildfires to hurricanes, are increasing as global temperatures rise and impact human existence and security. It is estimated that one person is forced from their home by disaster every second!

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Necessary, Possible, Impossible

“Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible,
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~Francis of Assisi

Dear friends,
The first day of spring…an end and a beginning, the edge of death and rebirth. I don’t springthink any other season holds so much promise and hope for renewal. We clean our houses, buy new clothes, admire the budding new birth around us and refresh our spiritual life. Marveling at the ability of buttercups to push through the snow and shine always reminds me that I too can push through adversity and the world will renew itself. Seeing the tragedies and injustices of our world sometimes makes it hard to believe in renewal and keep hoping. Continue reading

“THE FIRST DUTY OF LOVE IS TO LISTEN.” – PAUL TILLICH

FIR“THE FIRST DUTY OF LOVE IS TO LISTEN.” – PAUL TILLICH

“I showed up at the shelter to do intakes one day…I spent the next three hours with little children screaming for their parents. ~Maite Garcia, a Florence Project attorney
Friends, we have all heard the heart-breaking news of children separated from their parents at our southern border. And I am sure we have all wondered what we can do to reconcile this national crisis. The Florence Project is an answer. In the last 9 months, they have worked with 661 children forcibly separated from their parents — children who Continue reading

Right and Left Hands

“Men and women are like right and left hands; it doesn’t make sense not to use both.” ~Jeannette Rankin

Dear friends,
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women throughout history and honor the women who hold special places in each of our womenlives. Beginning with Jeannette Rankin, we celebrate the many women whose contributions challenged and changed our society for the better. Women who have worked hard for reproductive rights, voting rights, labor equality, freedom from assault and many other issues. This year a record number of women stepped up to run for offices around the country. Still, we have lots of work to do to combat poverty and ensure that women have an equal seat at the table. We now know the staggering numbers of indigenous women and girls who disappear or are murdered each year. Women around the world bear the burdens of war, poverty, unfair immigration policies, poor health care and lack of education — and for women of color that burden is magnified. Tomorrow we celebrate all the women who struggle for a better world and we accept our responsibility to continue the work of our ancestors and comrades. In the words of Judy Fjell, “You ran for us; you stood for us; let’s face it you stuck out your neck for us…now we’re running in your name Jeannette!” And don’t forget to thank all those supportive men out there who run alongside us!!!

With honor and thanks, Betsy

PS: Fair Trade enables women all around the world to set and achieve big dreams. And we are so thrilled that our very own Jenny Zaso, has been elected to the board of the Fair Trade Federation. We are so proud of her — the future of fair trade is bright !!