by Melinda Kramer, WEA Founder, Co-Director
As we talked, Casey looked at my pregnant belly and said, “Right now you’re creating a child, and your child is creating you simultaneously. Your baby is creating a mother.” These few words, for me, captured the soul of our work at Women’s Earth Alliance: we recognize that our lives are inseparable from one another and that only in connection with and service to others can we reach our fullest potential and offer our greatest gifts. Casey’s comment echoed the South African term “Ubuntu”, which loosely translated means, “I am because you are.” This wisdom reminds us that we are inextricably linked. Our choices and experiences, our triumphs and pain are bound together in a web of reciprocity.A year and a half ago, when I was still pregnant with my son, Dune, Ponca Elder and movement leader, Casey Camp, said something to me that I’ll never forget. It was Day Two of our IEN/Women’s Earth Alliance Advocacy Training, linking 60 advocates and activists from around the U.S. for collaboration on indigenous women-led environmental justice campaigns. Casey, a life-long advocate for environmental justice and founder of the Coyote Creek Center for Environmental Justice, sat with me in the WEA office as I interviewed her about her work, her vision, and the power of coming together across cultures for collaboration.
Today, as I reflect on my journey of motherhood and at WEA, I appreciate once again the truth of Casey Camp’s statement. I am humbled by the teachings my child has already bestowed on me: patience, presence, endurance, compassion. And I am proud to stand in solidarity with women worldwide, who are doing the essential work of mothering – for their own families and for other families; for their homes and communities; and for the Earth.