A space for reflection in a sea of marchers - Rise for Climate in San Francisco

A space for reflection in a sea of marchers - Rise for Climate in San Francisco

On September 8, 2018, the Climate Ribbon showed up in multi-colored force in San Francisco for the Rise for Climate mass mobilization. As 30,000 marchers poured through the streets, the Climate Ribbon was there to help remind people what they were marching for.

For one woman it was “Coastal Louisiana: My culture & people.” Patricia from Sacramento, CA, told us how her Unitarian Universalist church community had already woven the Ribbon into their congregation’s meditation labyrinth. As we were still setting up, local Californian Guido stopped by and shared his story of seeing the giant tree we built for the COP21 on display at an eco-village in Southern France.

The Climate Ribbon — this time installed in a striking 12-foot-high two-panel installation, adorned with eucalyptus branches and leaves — was a familiar sight to some marchers, and a novel discovery for others. It provided a space for everyone to ground themselves, go deeply inwards, and reckon in a personal way with what each of us has at stake.

(See our short time-lapse video of the creation and take-down of the Climate Ribbon.)

Some teared up when they realized they were being invited to become the guardian for what someone else most treasured in the world that was under threat by our changing climate — and caught their breath yet again, when they realized some sympathetic stranger would eventually be doing the same for them.

And that was just Day One of what was to be a long week of climate activities, inside the halls of power, on the streets, and in countless people-powered spaces around the Bay. The following day, the ribbon was woven beautifully into a human hummingbird mandala aerial action by the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge (see a 90-second video created by Spectral Q, Dancing Without Borders, and partners).

The Ribbon was also featured at the Multi-faith Service of Wondering and Commitment at Grace Cathedral with our partners at Greenfaith, who launched their new initiative, Living the Change, with commitments from all major faiths to sustainability and renewable energy.

Next up: We’re taking the Ribbon to SOCAP18 (a major socially responsible investment conference in SF) in October, and then the massive Parliament of World’s Religions in Toronto in November.

Love and solidarity,

—Andrew & Rae and the whole ribbon team

A Tree Grows in Boulder: SOCAP meets the Climate Ribbon

A Tree Grows in Boulder: SOCAP meets the Climate Ribbon

On June 20, 2018, SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) convened investors, entrepreneurs, and social impact leaders at the Highland City Club in Boulder, Colorado to encourage the funding of climate solutions. As part of the proceedings, SOCAP invited the Climate Ribbon to install a Ribbon Tree and lead a ritual of climate grief and hope. Ribbon co-creator Rae Abileah brought a Ribbon Tree first created by residents of Estes Park, CO. At the SOCAP 365 Chasing Solutions event, over 70 participants had the opportunity to make ribbons and engage with the stories on the Tree. 

Climate Ribbon co-creator Rae Abileah first spoke about the importance of storytelling and art to create cultural change. She was followed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Coral, Chasing Ice) who shared what he has witnessed on the frontlines of climate change, and how his films have sparked conversation on climate chaos in faith communities, especially in the South. The presentations complemented each other in highlighting the importance of narrative and visuals in prompting action.

The Climate Ribbon Tree became a sacred space for people to share their climate griefs and hopes. Participants wrote on ribbons what they love and hope to never to lose to climate chaos (Matt from Denver, CO, wrote: “If temps continue to rise, the trout that I love to fish for cannot survive. You can only protect what you love.”). People then tied their ribbons onto the Tree, found another one that moved them deeply, and became the guardian of that person’s story. This last step helped to build an “intimate solidarity” that now — with thousands of people having shared ribbons at hundreds of rituals  — spans the globe. 

Since the Climate Ribbon was so well received, it may make an appearance at SOCAP 18 from October 23-26, 2018 in San Francisco, CA.  Stay tuned!

The experience at SOCAP 365 brought an interesting lesson home. While we often use the Climate Ribbon to engage communities who have not yet activated around climate change, time and again we see how important it is for people in the movement - from climate experts to seasoned activists - to reconnect with what’s personally at stake for them. The Climate Ribbon creates a meaningful space to do this, helping participants renew their commitments to action and forge relationships with strangers they may never meet again yet with whom they feel a common destiny. This is as true at the huge climate mobilizations (NY 2014, Paris 2015, etc.) where the Ribbon has been displayed, as it is at the many smaller funder and investor gatherings to which the Ribbon Tree has been invited, such as the Climate & Energy Funders Group Meeting, the Tides Foundation in San Francisco, and the Compton Foundation funders’ gathering in Paris

Invite the Climate Ribbon to your next event or conference! Be in touch with us at mailto:climateribbon@gmail.com.

Or, learn how to build your own Climate Ribbon Tree: here and here.

Download our DIY kit here.

A big thanks to SOCAP 365 event coordinator Liz Maxwell who made this installation in Boulder happen, and was an integral team member for the Climate Ribbon’s first-ever installation at the People’s Climate March in NYC in 2014! And thanks as well to volunteer help from Micha Kurz and Munq DeVoe. Finally, our gratitude to the Highland City Club for hosting this powerful evening in their beautiful garden amphitheater.

Elementary Kids Exchange Ribbons Across the Country

Elementary Kids Exchange Ribbons Across the Country

In April 2018, we had our first long-distance exchange of ribbons between elementary school classes. We received an email from teacher Jennifer Doolas, who made Climate Ribbons with her students at a school in Chicago and wanted to exchange them. This prompted us to get in touch with another teacher, Dena Maple, who teaches at a Jewish day school in Encino, California, and she was inspired to do a lesson plan with her students on climate change, and to have her kids make and exchange ribbons with Ms. Doolas’s class. 

Pictured above are some of Ms. Maple’s students holding up their ribbons. 

Would your school like to make Climate Ribbons and exchange them with other classes? Download our Climate Ribbon DIY kit to learn how to do it. And email us at climateribbon[at]gmail[dot]com if you have questions or want help finding a class to exchange with!

Junior Ranger Day at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Junior Ranger Day at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Over 150 children and their families added climate ribbons to a pop-up exhibit during Junior Ranger Day in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Participants were inspired by a baby sequoia tree from the park's native plant nursery to think about what they'd like to protect from climate chaos. They were invited to tie their ribbons to a trellis surrounding the sequoia. By mid-day the trellis was completely covered, the ribbons ran out, and rangers substituted pink flagging material--normally used as markers during resource management projects--for the rest of the event.

A big thank you to Emily Zivot, Subdistrict Interpreter at Sequoia's Foothills Visitor Center, for coordinating the Climate Ribbon activity!  We look forward to more Ribbon activities at future national park events.

 

The Climate Ribbon as an Activity for Art Teachers

The Climate Ribbon as an Activity for Art Teachers

On April 19, 2018, Megan Stevens led her class in the Climate Ribbon art ritual, and students tied their ribbons onto a living tree at Metro State University in Denver, CO. Megan led her fellow 14 classmates in Intro to Art Ed: History and Philosophy in the ribbon, as part of a presentation on how to use art in the classroom to talk about social justice themes. 

This is a text that one of her classmates sent her after the presentation: "Can I just tell you how much I appreciate you. I loved your presentation and thank you for including us in something so important. ️” 

We agree that the Climate Ribbon can be a meaningful project to do in art classes with students in the 4th - 12th grade. Download our Climate Ribbon DIY kit to learn how to do it. And emails us at climateribbon[at]gmail[dot]com if you have questions!

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How to build a tree and facilitate a unifying ritual for a group of 50+ participants

How to build a tree and facilitate a unifying ritual for a group of 50+ participants

Here's the story of how the Estes Valley Indivisible group used the Climate RIbbon project to create a Tree of Unity in the Colorado Rockies... and how you can too. 

By: Rae Abileah and Jasmine Holan

On Sunday, April 8, the Climate Ribbon was invited to Estes Valley Indivisible (EVI), as a main feature at their one year anniversary special event. After an inaugural year of many success, a major challenge that could have split the group was overcome. To mark the anniversary and celebrate coming together, Jasmine Holan and Rae Abileah co-created the ritual presentation, and in the process dreamed up a new version of how to make and assemble a Climate Ribbon Tree, that you can use in your community. The ritual went beautifully and the group brainstormed ideas for how to use the Climate Ribbon in their local outreach, renewable energy campaigns, and community engagement moving forward. They formed a steering committee with eight people to put these ideas into action… stay tuned for more!

Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth invites participation with Climate Ribbon Chalice

Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth invites participation with Climate Ribbon Chalice

Following a successful Climate Ribbon event back in 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly, featuring a 5-foot tall “Climate Ribbon Chalice” made from a discarded patio umbrella, in April 2018 the UU’s Ministry for Earth renovated the Chalice and invited members to create new ribbons.  They invited UU climate activists to use the Climate Ribbon to engage members of their congregations in climate justice ministry by creating an interactive community art installation that would stand throughout 2018 and beyond.

They recalled that the Climate Ribbon ritual at the 2015 assembly was particularly moving, with hundreds of participants weaving their ribbons into the chalice. Together, their ribbons created a collective testimony to Unitarian Universalists’ connection and commitment to climate justice, and were used in a worship service organized by the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice, as shown here:

Climate Ribbon Chalice -- Worship Service @ General Assembly 2015 (Portland)

We are so happy to hear that the UU has renovated their beautiful Chalice, into which they will continue to weave their heartfelt thoughts and emotions!

2017 Year in Review

The Climate Ribbon team hopes you’re having a wonderful holiday season. However, we understand if sometimes it’s hard to maintain a cheery face amid the onslaught of national and global crises.  And since you’re reading this, you surely understand perhaps the greatest crisis of all: ever-quickening climate chaos.

We at the Climate Ribbon believe the best way to approach this alarming new reality is head-on – and together.  Much like the AIDS Memorial Quilt galvanized its generation, the Climate Ribbon uses art and ritual and to help us witness our mounting losses, and turn our grief into action.

In 2017, people across the country — from the People’s Climate March in DC to Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder to the Climate & Energy Funders Group Meeting in San Francisco — created climate ribbon installations and committed to using their life force in this unique moment in history to turn the tide on climate change.

In 2018, we’re taking the Climate Ribbon to the next level, with several exciting partnerships in the works, which we’ll tell you more about in the new year.

Here are some highlights from 2017:  

Climate & Energy Funders Group Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 14

People's Climate March, Washington, DC, April 29

Native Plants & Prairies Day, Dallas, Texas, May 6

Get Organized BK, Brooklyn, NY, July 25

ARISE Music Festival, Loveland, CO, August 4-6

Rosh Hashanah prayer service, Congregation Nevei Kodesh, Boulder, CO, September 21

5 Years After Sandy: We Remember, We Resist, We Rise, New York, NY, October 28

The Climate Ribbon inspired the youth-led Sunrise Movement to launch a nationwide Climate Time Capsule campaign in fall ‘17.

And here are some of the beautiful thoughts people wrote at these events:

  • “Wildlife, birds, trees, flowers, my sanity, soil, recreation, walks by the lake, my joy.”
  • “I will miss the opportunity for my grandson to enjoy nature as I knew it.”
  • “Hope – I pray to never lose hope, no matter how dark it gets.  And, fresh peaches!”
  • “My state – Florida – and all of our unique flora and fauna. The Everglades!”

If you’re inspired to put together some ribbons yourself, you can do so with the help of our new 1-page DIY toolkit!  Let your imagination run wild. And if you do put a ribbon display together, please tell us about it at climateribbon@gmail.com!

And, if you’re inspired to contribute to keep this project going into the new year, please support the Climate Ribbon’s work towards environmental sanity and sustainability with a tax-deductible contribution. Only with your support can we continue our work into 2018 and beyond.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

If you'd prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to "Backbone Campaign” (our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor). On the memo line, please indicate "Climate Ribbon." Mail your check to: Climate Ribbon, ℅ Backbone Campaign, PO Box 278, Vashon, WA 98070. Thank you. 

Thank you so much for your consideration!  Again, we wish you and your families all the best as our precious home Earth makes another trip around the sun.

For future generations,
Andy, Andrew, Gan, Kate and Rae

5 Years After Sandy: We Remember, We Resist, We Rise

5 Years After Sandy: We Remember, We Resist, We Rise

The Climate Ribbon participated in an important event commemorating the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy in New York City – “We Remember, We Resist, We Rise” (#Sandy5). Over 3,000 attendees gathered to honor the people affected by one of the worst storms in U.S. history, and to demand bold climate action from Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and Senator Schumer.  Following a rally in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza Park and a march across the Brooklyn Bridge, attendees congregated at the Alfred E. Smith houses, a housing complex that was severely impacted by the storm.

Upon arriving, attendees participating in an art build – painting the tarmac, drawing banners, and writing on & hanging ribbons on our screen!  In response to what people love and hope never to lose to climate change, people wrote messages such as:

“Hope – I pray to never lose hope, no matter how dark it gets.  And, fresh peaches!”   - Daniel, 24, Boulder, CO

“My state – Florida – and all of our unique flora and fauna.  The Everglades!”   - Sharon Brown, St. Petersburg, FL

“Earth, water, wind and fire – for all”   - Anonymous

We wish to thank our four incredible volunteers who helped set up, explain the CR to interested passers-by, and close down shop afterward: Sally Gellert, Becca Lynch, Brenna Cohen, and Caron Atlas.  It was such a great help to have you there.  Thank you again!

Onwards,

Andy

Andy Wanning, Climate Ribbon Project Coordinator

 

ARISE Music Festival

ARISE Music Festival

The 350.org Colorado booth featured the Climate Ribbon at the 2017 Arise Festival in Loveland, CO. Many concert-goers made ribbons, including dozens of kids and parents, and read through the collection of ribbons from around the world that hung from the booth. Photos and action were facilitated by CR co-creator Rae Abileah. 

The Climate Ribbon is a simple activity you can bring to your organization’s next tabling event. Download our toolkit on our Participate page to find out more! 

#GetOrganizedBK

Huge shout out to Caron Atlas, Arts & Democracy, for bringing the Climate Ribbon to Brooklyn! The #GetOrganizedBK Civic Festival took place on July 25 from 5-8pm at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The festival celebrated the great work being done by local community members and organizations. Around 1,500 Brooklynites were in attendance, and the Climate Ribbon was a moving part of the tabling activities. Councilmember Brad Lander, Advocate Letitia James, NY State Assembly members Robert Carroll and Jo Anne Simon made ribbons alongside many Brooklynites. Thanks Assemblyman Carroll for tweeting about the Climate Ribbon and thank you Councilmember Lander for posting about it on facebook! And thanks to Raquel de Anda for volunteering to help bring the Ribbon to Brooklyn! 

Thanks #GetOrganizedBK and thank you Caron!

Native Plants & Prairies Day in North Texas

Native Plants & Prairies Day in North Texas

Big thanks to the North Texas Master Naturalists who brought the Climate Ribbon to the Native Plants & Prairies Day in May, which they host annually at the Bath House Cultural Center grounds at White Rock Lake in Dallas. This free, family-oriented community event focused on Texas native plants and animals, and created time to celebrate the role the prairie played in Texas history. According to Ethel Stephens, a member of the North Texas Master Naturalists, a group of Aztec Dancers spoke about honoring nature, and there were over 30 booths showcasing animals, birds, bugs, snakes, and plants, and several guided walks around the lake led by experts focusing on trees, edible plants, healing remedies, wildflowers.

Ethel wrote to us:  

“The inclusion of the Climate Ribbon Tree was a wonderful and touching addition to the event.  During the day, as ribbons were added, the tree became a visually stunning reminder of our commitment to fight climate change, and at the end of the day, we had a beautiful symbol of hope.”

She continued:

“I can’t tell you how many people said to me that climate change is the #1 issue in our country right now, and they appreciated that we were addressing it. I was so touched by how seriously people took this. You could see how they were really thinking about what they wanted to write.  And I almost cried every time parents would speak so sweetly to their kids about it. I was humbled and honored to be a part of this.”

There were so many beautiful messages written on the ribbons, some of them are listed below:

  • I love lush...the joy and feeling of life around me in nature with a real connection

  • I love you owl

  • I will miss cool winter mornings, changing wildlife and insects and the pleasure a change of seasons bring

  • Want to see a coral reef and all the fishes - I still want to see a glacier

  • Wildlife, birds, trees, flowers, my sanity, soil, recreation, walks by the lake, my joy

  • Would be sad to never see a hummingbird. Please love the Earth.

  • I will miss the opportunity for my grandson to enjoy nature as I knew it.

  • Cocoa beans for chocolate!!!

  • The breeze, the clouds, sunsets and all the wildlife

  • White Rock Lake, trees in front yard, cat, water, whales, Arctic fox, oceans, vegetables

  • The dogwoods at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, monarchs, Mississippi kites, horn frogs

  • Bees and frogs and water and trees and turtles and flowers and good dirt and fish and grass and food and breath

  • The tender spring leaf reflecting life in the temperate lake!

  • Wetlands, freshwater, sea turtles

People's Climate March in DC

People's Climate March in DC

 Aerial image of the Climate Ribbon pathway at the People’s Climate March, taken by a camera on a kite.

Aerial image of the Climate Ribbon pathway at the People’s Climate March, taken by a camera on a kite.

Hi! I’m Andy Wanning, newest core member of the Climate Ribbon team. On Saturday, April 29, I traveled with other Climate Ribbon folks to Washington DC for the People’s Climate March – and it was a bigger success than we could’ve imagined!  We constructed a beautiful arched pathway of ribbons beside the cherry tree grove on the Mall, facing the stage where the post-march rally would be held, and waited for marchers to arrive.

As marchers arrived, they were drawn to the colorful ribbons fluttering in the breeze; thousands gathered to reckon with the biggest existential threat that humanity has ever faced, and share their stories of love and loss. Marchers tied their ribbons onto the “tunnel of ribbons,” and when they saw a ribbon that particularly moved them, they untied it and took it with them, becoming the guardian of another person’s story and fueling their own commitment to use their precious time on Earth to fight against the forces causing climate change.
 
A 7-year old girl from South Dakota wrote, simply, “Our river.” A middle-aged man from Maine wrote, “Confidence in the cycle of seasons.” Three women from Naples, FL held up a ribbon that had moved them, declaring, “We’re taking this one home and it will be the start of the climate ribbon at our church.” 

Later in the day, an MSNBC film crew showed up and shot a live segment with project co-creator Andrew Boyd. An hour later, a super-enthusiastic college student showed up to volunteer, saying “I just saw your ribbon project on TV and had to come help!”

The Climate Ribbon was founded at the first People’s Climate March in September 2014; we are deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to display it again at this follow-up March. We give a huge thanks to our volunteers — Cindi, Nadine, Jonah, and especially Mark; we could not have done this without you.

Please check out the great photos below!

By the way, you can create a Climate Ribbon - small or big - in your community by downloading our NEW 1-page DIY Guide.  And if you are enthusiastic about the potential for this project to affect changes in people’s consciousness, please donate to keep it going and showing up in movement moments. Feel free to email us anytime with your questions or to share your story at climateribbon@gmail.com. Here’s to connecting with each other and keeping up the fight!

 A woman ties her ribbon onto the Climate Ribbon.    

A woman ties her ribbon onto the Climate Ribbon. 

 

 Families and children interacted with the Climate Ribbon all day.    

Families and children interacted with the Climate Ribbon all day. 

 

 Marchers shared their own stories at our ribbon-making table.    

Marchers shared their own stories at our ribbon-making table. 

 

 Marchers shared their own stories at our ribbon-making table.    

Marchers shared their own stories at our ribbon-making table. 

 

 Ribbons fluttering in the wind, stories traveling the globe. Photo from the official  People’s Climate March album

Ribbons fluttering in the wind, stories traveling the globe. Photo from the official People’s Climate March album

JPNDC State of Our Neighborhood

JPNDC State of Our Neighborhood

In order to process and heal from the threats and negativity that had emerged since the disastrous outcome of the 2016 presidential election, the Jamaica Plain (MA) Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) modified the Climate Ribbon ritual to conduct a community building exercise for Jamaica Plain residents at their annual State of Our Neighborhood (SOON) event on April 27, 2017.  It was a great success, with around 125 community members separating into breakout groups according to five topic areas: Racial Justice, Immigration (two groups, Spanish and English), Housing, Faith and Community Engagement, and Arts and Culture.  Participants focused on the question, “What do you love and hope to never lose in Jamaica Plain?” They wrote their thoughts on ribbons and, upon returning to the main group, tied them to the Community Climate Ribbon Tree. All of the groups appeared energized and happy with the exercise.  The event was reported by a lot of media including several area newspapers such as the Jamaica Plain Gazette ("The 2017 State of Our Neighborhood: Community Climate" and "Affordable housing, racial justice discussed at State of Our Neighborhood") and the Jamaica Plain News ("2017 JP State of Our Neighborhood to Focus on ‘Community Climate'"), the JPNDC website, and the JPNDC Facebook page.  It was a great pleasure working with the JPNDC to make their event a success!

Climate & Energy Funders Group Meeting

Climate & Energy Funders Group Meeting

The Climate Ribbon was invited to the 2017 Climate & Energy Funders Group meeting in San Francisco, April 13-14, and our interactive ribbon sculpture greeted participants on arrival with an opportunity to feel into what they personally stand to lose to climate chaos,. Space and time constraints got us to innovate a new design for the ribbon, one you can easily make for your next event. We used a tri-fold screen as a base, weighted it with sandbags covered in natural-toned fabrics (remnants), and tied strings between the edges of the screen to use as the lines for the ribbons. 

 The Climate Ribbon Tree as a folding screen shape, and the accompanying table for people to make their own ribbons to add.    

The Climate Ribbon Tree as a folding screen shape, and the accompanying table for people to make their own ribbons to add. 

 

 Climate Ribbon co-creator Kate McNeely screws in hooks to tie string between the hinges of the folding screen.   Want to bring this design to your community? Email us (climateribbon [at] gmail [dot] com) if you have questions on how to build it, or if you would like us to ship this installation to you to use at your event, faith institution, school, or community!    

Climate Ribbon co-creator Kate McNeely screws in hooks to tie string between the hinges of the folding screen. 

Want to bring this design to your community? Email us (climateribbon [at] gmail [dot] com) if you have questions on how to build it, or if you would like us to ship this installation to you to use at your event, faith institution, school, or community!