Left: WEA Global Program Manager Dr. Annesha Chowdhury, PhD (middle) with friends at colleagues at the Climate March in NYC. Credit: Amira Diamond / Middle and Right: Frontlines of the Climate March in NYC. Credit: Amira Diamond
In the span of just two weeks—while we attended the Women’s Funding Network Conference in D.C. and Climate Week in NYC—the world changed. Businesses, philanthropy, and governments emerged with unprecedented climate commitments, totaling billions of dollars. The marches, announcements, and events reverberated with a renewed urgency and a narrative shift about who should be leading decisions and how we can protect life on our planet. Not only is it unacceptable now to deny that we are facing a climate emergency, it’s literally uncool for any institution to not participate in solutions.
The call for diverse leadership in all levels of government and civil society is loud and clear. And while WEA Leaders around the world have never waited for permission to implement solutions and build alliances across boundaries, nations, or traditional divides of religion or class—the recognition that community-driven solutions create lasting change is now widely understood.
Still, just as these important institutional commitments were being announced, two more weeks passed in which the people of West Maui, Hawai’i reckoned with the devastation caused by the deadliest wildfires in modern U.S. history; our colleagues in Kalimantan, Indonesia endured two more weeks of fighting ongoing fires without water, masks, or supplies; and the people of Morocco and Libya experienced unimaginable loss of home and life in the wake of a deadly earthquake and destructive flood. In just two weeks the world changed.
We urgently and swiftly need to shift more decision-making power and resources to groups working for, with, and at the grassroots. Listening to and trusting the visions and innovations of grassroots women leaders is an elegant and necessary alternative to spending months and years of time developing new—and less effective—strategies for how to solve the climate crisis. Grassroots alliances make it possible to shuttle resources to where they are most impactful, both in times of crisis and stability. These networks—these movements—are the lifeblood of this time.
Friends, let’s not become numb to what is now being called “the new normal”. This is our moment to first listen and then take collective action. The future is in our hands, and when we look out across the 37,000 climate projects catalyzed throughout Women’s Earth Alliance since 2006, thanks to your work and partnership, we feel confident that the future is in good hands.
Amira, Kahea and Melinda
In WEA’s latest WEAvings Newsletter, you’ll find:
- An invitation to RSVP for Ripple Week 2023--our annual Fall series of free virtual events, designed to inspire, mobilize and amplify critical grassroots solutions
- An announcement of the 2023 Cohort for our annual U.S. Grassroots Accelerator for Women Environmental Leaders
- A short film from WEA’s Women’s Ecopreneurs Fest, in partnership with Pratisara Bumi Foundation (PBF)
- An update on the new Partnership for Women in Sustainable Fisheries with the Environmental Defense Fund
- A short video on WEA and Filha do Sol’s Women and Tropics Accelerator in Brazil
- And more!
Check WEAvings out here and be sure to sign up to get all our latest updates.