[music and background chatter] ♪♪ Good evening everyone and welcome to the launch of GPSEN. And my name is Karen Kitchen and I’m a member of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, and I was asked to be here tonight to sing a blessing song for this launch event on behalf of my friend Rose High Bear, from Wisdom of the Elders who was not able to be here tonight. So I’m very excited to be here and very honored to be here. And the song I’m going to sing is from the Osage Nation, my people from Oklahoma. So I hope you enjoy it. [drumming] ♪♪
[singing in osage] [clapping] Thank you. And thank you for all the wonderful work that everyone in this room is doing on behalf of Mother Earth and in appreciation of the gifts of our creator. So again I am very honored to be a part of this event tonight, and I would like to introduce our next guest, and her name is Jayna Gieber, and she is going to read a poem. Good evening, it’s wonderful to be here tonight, my name is Jayna Gieber. I am director of People of the Heart, we’re an inclusive community that welcomes all people and all paths. Tonight I am going to offer a poem by Alice Walker. Would you take a breath in with me? [breathes deeply] Coming to Worship at the 1,000-Year-Old Cherry Tree “Life is good. Goodness is its character; “all else is defamation.” “The Earth is good. Goodness is its nature.” “Nature is good. Goodness is its essence.” “People are also good. Goodness is our offering; “our predictable yet unfathomable flowering.” “Thankful and encouraged “Infused with our peaceful inheritance “May we not despair.” “For the earth is good. Goodness is its nature.” [clapping] Hello, good evening, my name is Kim Smith and some of you know me be email, right. Um and I am so glad to have all of you here and to get to celebrate this evening. Um you have in the programs um your schedule and the folks who will be speaking, I’ll be serving as your MC this evening, as and in there as well are some descriptions of our vision and our mission. So I just wanted to make sure that we were all just clear as to what we’re hoping to achieve with the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network. And we are so honored to have the blessing of the United Nations University system to acknowledge our region for all that we do. For everybody in this room who has done so much to create programs, curriculum, relationships across the four country region. So I’m just going to give a little bit of background, and we have a few welcoming speakers, and then we’ll have dinner and um the show will begin. Yeah, and so thank very much Karen and Jayna for your beautiful music. And Skip vonKuske over here on cello. [clapping] Thank you Skip, that was really amazing. I hope that you had a chance to see all the exhibits in the children’s room, all of the animals and different things that are going in there, it’s lots of fun. Alright, so our intention, right, what does it mean? So when we talk about sustainability, we’re an E4 model, so education is really key in this, but also how can we create a healthy and sustainable environment and economy, right, as well as equity, right? How can we create a socially sustainable, economically sustainable, and environmentally sustainable community for ourselves and also of course for the future? This is very blurry, so I apologize, we just received this last night, from Tokyo. [giggling] But what- these are all the RCEs around the world, so you’re going to hear us say Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network or GPSEN, right, that’s going to be our local name. But we are formally a Regional Center of Expertise on education for sustainable development. So anything formal or international you’re going to see RCE Greater Portland, alright. So I apologize that it’s blurry, um jpeg etcetera etcetera. But the reason I used this one instead of the one that I had yesterday is because look at the little spot right there, woo! [clapping] We- we’re on the map, we’re on the map. And so there has only been one active one in the United States, and that was in Michigan, and um then just this year RCE Shenandoah Valley in Virginia was accepted, and then Portland. And if you’ll notice the orange- I’m just going to be a teacher here, so let use my little- right, gotta do the laser thing. Look at how many are in Asia and how many are in Europe, and really strong in Africa. Ooo, but what’s going on in the Americas? [giggling] Not so many, right? But strong in Canada. So we’re going to have a major shout out to our Canadian friends who are here with us this evening. Um yeah, and then so Portland is really being looked to as- we already are a leader, but they’re looking to us to be a model and to be able to share our good work, um anything models that can be replicated. Um but also just to be doing the good work here in our own communities. That you know in the ideal world of thinking globally, acting locally, right. So this is really an invitation this evening and this is just the start, right. This is our launch. So what does it mean to be able to move forward together? And through formal education though, so we have our schools. Big shout, who are our schools? Yeah yeah yeah, ok. And then who are our higher ed, right the colleges, right? And the members who were all going through in our slideshow. Ok non formal, really talking about those are all the government agencies, and the non profit groups that do curriculum and education. So who do we have here in all these sectors, right? Yeah, great, thank you very much. Informal education, that’s through the media, right, and all these different ways in which we educate. So we have a few media folks out here too right? Who do we have, a couple? Not so many. Kate, you can raise your hand, you’re media. [giggling] Ok, as well as the people filming, thank you very much. By the way Portland Community College does have a t.v. channel, so this going to be filmed. Um, so anyway what’s our intention: transformative education and research, outreach, anything that can be done to support your work, sharing the information you have. And then of course collaboration. If we can find ways to leverage our resources, finding ways to um, you know all of the words, efficiencies, right, all those kinds of things that we talk about, because we want to increase our collective impact. And hopefully together we really can achieve that vision of having a healthier, more just, and thriving community. So um we’ve created a slogan. “Educate, Inspire, Engage” And so we just have a couple of pictures, and again you’ll be hearing about folks who are doing all this good work this evening. Um the Coalition for a Livable Future, I’m sure most of you a very well aware of their good work. They have the equity um, the Regional Equity Atlas, right, if you haven’t looked at that yet be sure to check it out. They also have the Equities Stories Project. So this is an exhibit that’s now available if you want to take- have these um in your community. Um this is Marion over here, right.
[giggling] Our Portland State has the sustain- Social Sustainability Colloquium and we were connecting and thinking about how we can work together. And this group here, Hands On Greater Portland, we had our first teamworks team this year, um and lots of students from Portland Community College going out and doing service projects and then learning about sustainability. And if you haven’t been- done Potluck in the Park I encourage you to do so, it’s every Sunday, it’s amazing serving the homeless downtown. So again, social sustainability, economics sustainability too, right? Not just about the environment. Ok, so those are a few my main i- main thoughts and we’re also going to also have a few presenting sponsors share a few words. So I’d like to invite up um Dr. Jeremy Brown, our illustrious president of Portland Community College. [clapping] Well, good evening and welcome. Thank you to Kim and the entire GPSEN team. Kim, thank you so much for all that you do, which as much as the light shines on you, it also shines on PCC. We’re extremely proud of you so thank you so much for doing everything like that. [clapping] You know as a relative newcomer to Portland I continue to be impressed in how Portland’s leadership and the greater community upholds sustainability as an important value and they somehow find immeasurable ways to work together to solve a myriad of problems. And it’s easy to take such collaborations for granted, and sometimes we assume that other U.S. cities are like-minded in this area, but for someone like me who has lived elsewhere and clearly is not from Portland, Oregon, um allow me to say that this is not the case. Portland has an amazing ability to partner, to do things what it sets it mind to do, and to engage leadership at all levels to make things happen. So to be named a Regional Center of Expertise on sustainable education by the United Nations university is really a tremendous honor. Then again, this is Portland. And all things green, sustainable, and environmental flourish here. What a better place than Portland to launch such an undertaking? GPSEN’s goal is really multifaceted, to advance sustainability education and build a diverse regional cross-sector network of individuals and organizations. To increase public awareness of about regional sustainability issues and to educate the next generation of environmental stewards. Really important that we never forget that. It’s natural of course for Portland Community College to be involved in such an effort. Since joining PCC nearly a year ago, I’ve gained a more thorough understanding of the college’s commitment itself, it’s commitment itself to sustainability. In 2009 we crafted a climate action plan which was updated in 2013. We’ve developed green course outcomes, a sustaina- sustainability focus award, and numerous training to build capacity amongst our instructors. And then there are the green team, it’s not what you imagine, and service learning activities for students throughout the college. PCC is part of the Sustainability Purchasing Leadership Council, a national organization working to advance sustainable purchasing in both public and private sectors. We are the only community college in the nation involved in this project, and only 1 of 5 higher educational institutions in its founding circle. All of this energy and passion underscores GPSEN’s objective to harness the power of education to creatively find solutions for the environmental issues that we face. And again it demonstrates just how special Portland is in terms of the value placed on relationships and partnerships. So I’m delighted and proud that PCC can join forces with so many dedicated individuals and organizations across the region in such an important topic. And on that note I’d like to introduce one such partner on the GPSEN project, Dr. Steve Kolmes, professor of environmental science and the Molter Chair in science at the University of Portland. Thank you again for coming out tonight, thank you. [clapping] We’ll run with that, it’s all improv. Um, actually we’re inviting Waste Management up because um Steve- so your introduction was beautiful, and yes Steve thank you for being here as well and the University of Portland, um but we’re having Adam Winston with Waste Management, who’s actually um also a presenting sponsor and we’re very grateful for everybody’s support tonight. [clapping] Good evening. Again, my name is Adam Winston, I’m the director for operations of Waste Management. On behalf of Waste Management it’s my privilege to be here tonight, to salute you as educators and sustainability leaders. Whether you’re a teacher, a student, an elected leader, or an advocate for sustainable education your work is critically important to our- for our community’s future. Thank you for your stewardship and your focus on the future. Waste Management is proud to be one of your partners as we work toward this promising future. You know, it’s interesting, I think that everyone, when I figure everyone knows what this symbol is, Waste Management, and I came here tonight speaking to my colleagues and people didn’t-
there was people tonight that had not- woah, excuse me-
had not heard of Waste Management. Again, we’re a waste removal and recycling company, and we do a lot of recycling. Again, Waste Management isn’t a diet company, it is not about “waist”. [laughter] So what I thought I do maybe is talk to you briefly about some of the things that we do, things that are a great fit for your organization here tonight, some of the things that we do in Portland and really in the metro area. The first thing I want to talk about is clean air and quieter streets. Which you may not be aware of, but in 2006 in partnership with the Portland Public Schools, um we put the first alternative fuel garbage truck in Oregon. It was that burned 20 percent biodiesel, very exciting for the time. Um and we didn’t think it would happen but we started with one truck back in 2006. Well in 2012 here at our Portland district in north east, um uh we put in a compressed natural gas fueling station and now we have clean burning compressed natural gas trucks going through the neighborhoods. Very very exciting and we’re going to see more and more of that. In fact by the end of this year in the Portland metro area we’re going to have 60 clean burning compressed natural gas trucks and 2 fueling stations in the Portland metro area. [clapping] Some other things that is very unique to the Portland area is that at our Hillsboro landfill, co-located there, we have a construction and demolition recycling facility. It’s one of the only ones in the country. Again this is in partnership actually and to support the metro’s requirement that all waste destined for landfill that’s dry waste has to be recycled or what we call MRFed before it goes to landfill, and at this facility waste that use to go to the landfill such as wood, cardboard, plastics, metals, what have you is now being-
we’re getting the value out of that and getting those materials before it goes to landfill. It’s been enormously successful, and I think it’s a great example also of the public private partnership that can happen. And we’re very very proud of that facility. Um lastly, there’s another important example of neat partnership, and that’s with green schools. Waste Management is a proud sponsor to green school regional coordinators, and we also provide financial support. So again those are just some of the things that we do, we’re constantly looking at ways that we can continue to get value out of the waste stream, because obviously if you get a higher and better use, that’s what we want to do. Lastly, I’ll briefly talk about recycling. Recycling obviously is a huge and strong ethic within the Portland metro area. And it’s going to continue. But as people want to recycle more and more there’s kind of been a little bit of question what really is recyclable. There’s more and more restrictions on what you can send to other countries to recycle How many of you in all your plastics see a number on it that says- that has a recycling symbol on it? Everyone see that? Some of those numbers, there’s very few markets for it. And so what happens, people throw those away with the recycling, the other recyclables that have a really strong value to it, it can cause contamination. And so what our company is really doing is really promoting to recycle often to recycle often, but recycle right. In fact if you google that here tonight
“recycle often, recycle right” you can see a little bit more about what our company is trying to do. But again, it’s great to be here tonight, really looking forward to the evening Thank you for the opportunity to be a sponsor, and have a great evening. Thank you. [clapping] And on the back of your program, of course, you’ll see the variety of sponsors and all the good work that people are doing. And during the slide show, of course, we were sharing their logos as well. So this evening you are also going to have lovely dinner. Of course this is just a whole scale of recognition, right, of the life cycle of all the parts of our lives. And so understanding that this as an environmental sociology professor, I always have my students do an exercise, a homework assignment where they have to pick one item that they consume and do a full life cycle analysis of it. Where it’s like, where does it come from, right, and what’s required to consume that item, and of course where does it go in the end. It’s not just about our moment, this present moment where we are, right. So it’s important to think about with public services and waste management, it’s like where do all of our things go, right? It’s not just away. And so that’s part of the awareness for all of us, it’s like we exist in this time, we have consequences on our planet, we have consequences on each other, and those can be really positive, right, in the sense of creating this spiraling up of the triumph of the commons together, or the little negatives add up too, and we certainly don’t want to spiral down into a tragedy of the commons. So I hope that the things that we learn tonight, and the opportunities we have in the future to work together in this partnership, that we can be aware of who we are, how we’re interconnected with our own local communities, with- I appreciate you talking about recycling and sending things abroad too, right- also with other species, and of course with future generations. Yeah, so, and I say this partially also to, a little shout out to the biology friends out there in the room, Hi guys!
[giggling] Ok, so Vibrant Table lives by this standard as well. So your caterers this evening have an environmental stewardship model and operating clean and green, and all of your food, most of your food is local so we’ll have a few things on the slides there. I have one last thing that I want to add, and this is an activity, you might be like
“What’s this little blue card on the table?” And if you didn’t notice, I hope you did, or if you have an opportunity before you leave, Did you see the beautiful wooden pyramid outside, did that catch your eye? Where’s Johnny? Is Johnny in here? There you are! He’s over there. Sorry, you were behind the waiter. Johnny Furlow over here, one of my environmental sociology students, built that. That is based on a model by a UNESCO consultant Alan Atkisson, and it’s called an I.S.I.S. pyramid. And the work is a process of engagement and reflection on what are the challenges that exist in our world, and how can we address them. And within this we have I.S.I.S, so at the basis the Indicators. What are the foundational issues that create the problems that we face, right? Second, the Structures, right. What are the kinds of things the way our society is organized that might be creating the challenges that so many of us are trying to address? And then of course transitioning into solutions. Next Innovation. So I.S.I.S. right? Acronym. Innovation. What innovative ideas can we come up with, each and every one of us at our tables, it’s like these are some ways that we could probably address things in a different way And then the last S, Strategies. What would be some of types of things that we could do in whatever sector we’re in to come up with a world that is hopefully, you know, as sustainable as we can possibly make it. We know we’re facing some urgent times and some challenges, right? But we certainly see this as an opportunity to work together. So the blue cards are actually for our architects in the room Ok, who are our architects? Including the youth architects in here. Waving at you, ok, good. That’s the capstone, so pyramids have a capstone, right. The actions at the top, if you can, if you want, during the evening we’ll pass some pens around, if you have something that you would want to do what is it that you do that makes a difference? And on your way your way out put the capstone into the pyramid, ok. Put those into the pyramid, we’re gonna collect those and we’ll have that as a public record from our evening. Sound good? Ok, so that’s what those little cards are, please do fill those out. And it’s also a discussion question, in case by chance you feel shy and have nothing to talk about, which I highly doubt. So enjoy your dinner, and we’ll come back in a little bit and continue our program. We have a very lovely national blessing for us from um, an official blessing from Debra Rowe, from the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. Unfortunately we are not for some reason able to get the video coming through, but she is on audio. And so she has a few words to share. So if you would be so kind as to welcome Debra Rowe. [clapping] Thank you everybody. I’m sorry that I can’t be there in person tonight to celebrate with you all the progress that you’ve been making in terms of education for sustainability, and even more so to envision what the future can bring, and to plan for the actions that will really make a difference in terms of high impact, shifting societal norms, so we can have a more sustainable future for everyone. I want to share with you first parts of a letter that came from Dr. Takemoto the director of the United Nations University at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability. And he says to all of you tonight “I sincerely apologize for my inability to be with you physically “and trust that my absence is in no way diminishing “the importance and significance of this event “On behalf of the United Nations University “I extend to all the RCE stakeholders “our profound congratulations and warm wishes. “The acknowledgment of RCE Greater Portland is well deserving “as reflected in the quality of it’s submission. “I take great pleasure and pride in welcoming RCE Greater Portland “to the global RCE community. “The task ahead for your new RCE “is to actively engage as multi-stakeholders, “to work closely together, “to deliver education for sustainable development “in the Greater Portland region “and at the same time participate in the global RCE community “processing and collaborative initiatives. “It is heartening that RCE Greater Portland envisions “a just, healthy, and thriving region “where sustainability education is prioritized “and integrated across sectors, “and where everyone has the opportunity to shape a more sustainable future. “We at UNU, through the global RCE service center “look forward to working with you “and the Greater Portland RCE in the years ahead.” So that’s a message from Dr. Takemoto, and I’m glad to be able to deliver it tonight. But I want to add a few words from the US Partnership of Education for Sustainable Development. You know the country often looks to Portland for the models. You got that west coast reputation as a place that’s been trying to create sustainability for a longer period of time and with more thoughtfulness and in depth analysis and action. While there are shining examples of other parts of our country, we still have not come close to shifting the societal norms in the United States so that we really can get to a future of a higher quality of life with sustainable abundance, the title of a preface I just wrote to an encyclepedia about how we really can reach sustainability in a way that’s going to create not only quality of life and healthy economies, but also healthy ecosystems for many generations to come. The U.S. partnership has seen great growth in the higher ed sector, thousands of colleges and universities committed to sustainability not only across the curriculum and on campus, but in the community as well. We’ve also seen growth in the K-12 sector, and the business and non-profit sectors, and even in the government sector. We’re now starting to see a growing momentum of cross sector collaboration, as the RCE model advocates for. And also an increasing conversation of quality across political and cultural divides. Coming from a place of the tragedy of the commons it looks like we may be able to build the strength of the commons instead. So as we start a new initiative in the U.S. partnership around course conversations, campus conversations, and community conversations to build a more sustainable future, we look forward to working very closely with you as a key partner, who’s already well on your way to setting those models, and precedents, and principles, and tools for the rest of us. So good luck to you and your upcoming work, and I look forward to the pleasure of sharing your precedents with others around the country. Thank you. [clapping] That worked ok, didn’t it? May I have your attention, please? So our program, that was our official beginning of obviously a formal- if she could have had a fairy wand, right, she would have been like touching our shoulders right then. And thank you so much to Dr. Takemoto, the director- they’re in the process of moving all their offices to Tokyo right now, so again he was sorry he wasn’t able to make it. If you would like to actually see the whole letter, it’s out at our GPSEN display table and also we can send if by chance you are interested in his very insightful words. Debra is also a lovely woman, so I’m sorry you didn’t get to see her. But she will be here at the AASHE conference, So those of you who are involved or interested in higher ed- sustainability in higher ed, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the North American group is having their conference here, the international conference in October. So it’s gonna be fabulous and thankfully the RCE’s GPSEN presentation on the good work we’re doing is actually accepted on a panel presentation. So that’s good news too. So, she gave our blessing on an international level we also have a few guests from abroad who are here. So we’re going to welcome up our incredible mentor from RCE Saskatchewan. Lyle Benko has been involved with United Nations University for 7 years, correct? 9 years, 9 years now. And we wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t received his guidance, and kind humor, and wit, and wisdom from the mighty plains of Canada. So, thank you. I’m gonna invite Lyle up and he’ll be able to share a few words with you. [clapping] Well good evening, ladies and gentlemen I will prove that I am from Canada, I say “roof”, I say- what are the other words I should- no I better not say any other words. [laughter] Kim has me on the clock but I have to also make sure if Debra’s still on the line, I did see her, she was fixing her hair just before, and then realized she didn’t have to worry about it so now I’m now fixing my hair, so I guess this what you get stuck with. I do a lot with skype and actually I’ve been meeting so many good people over the last 48 hours that I would only see on the screen like that through skype, through many meetings. So it is a great opportunity to be here, and thank you very much distinguished guests, and especially our new friends at the RCE Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network GPSEN I like better. I used to think introducing myself as the co-coordinator of the United Nations University Designated Regional Center of Expertise for Education for Sustainable Development Saskatchewan, Canada was more than just a breath and a mouthful of words I now can shorten it to the UNUIASRCESKDESD. [laughter] [clapping] And if you’re wondering about the spelling of RCE Saskatchewan, it is R-C-E, just like RCE GPSEN. Actually our good friend that I’m bringing greetings also, our UNESCO chair Dr. Chuck Hopkins is either in China, or I don’t know Asia, or somewhere today has joked that, we’ve been doing work since 1990 together, that I should wear a t-shirt and all it has to say is “Saskatchewan, hard to spell but easy to draw” Just check in your geography. So I do bring greetings and a very warm welcome on behalf of the United Nations University and the global network of 129 RCEs. My beautiful wife Donna knows we have a map in my office, very similar, that we had presented to us in New York 7 years ago, that’s where you’re getting the lucky 7 year itch. But it took us 2 years, ok, so that’s 9 years to get where you guys were. And it was very interesting to see Saskatchewan spelled correctly on that map, and we were the second one in Canada And I have to give credit, we also have some of our BC RCE guests here with us, we’ll meet them later on. But it is interesting that both Donna and I came to Oregon and Portland 42 years ago, almost to the day, on our honeymoon. So when we got the invitation from Kim and the team it was more than just an invitation, it was just meant to happen. So we are so very happy to be in the Rose City with you tonight, and to see all kinds of things. Where’s our waste management senior official? There you are. We were following your truck this morning, [laughter] as we were going to the Rose Test Gardens, and my wife was the one who read it while I was trying to find the GPS lines saying
“You’d like this, it’s propane driven” Was it propane that you read? It was just the way that he had described it, so we know that you’re serious about this here. As the UN mentor, I have seen the original ideas and the concept and the possibility of an RCE for Greater Portland develop from a similar question that was posed to myself and the co-coordinator of RCE Saskatchewan, Dr. Roger Petry 9 years ago at our kitchen table when Dr. Chuck Hopkins said “I wonder if-” And we still bug him about that “I wonder if-” And now you are part of not only of that “I wonder if-” to now I wonder how we did it. And Kim, you and your team, I’ve met several of them over the past few days, and especially even tonight, it’s not hard to realize how you have done it. It takes good people. Dr. Chuck Hopkins was with us not too long ago, and we were sitting in a room like this, we had an event in Saskatchewan, when I was the lieutenant governor as patron a government house, we had about 200 people, and Chuck said “You know, it doesn’t matter wherever I go in the world, “it’s always so nice to come to a function like this “because you know that these are people that are much like us.” And it is very evident that when I hear from the previous meetings through skype, and I had to go through all of the paperwork that you guys created as a mentor, it was phenomenal to see where you were. And it’s very interesting that to get this official designation, even before it was considered, it was an extensive process, for us it took 2 years I don’t know, Kim, what it take you guys? About a month? [laughter] Ok, she’s good, but not that good. And there was more than 1 revision, but it wasn’t because the UNU or myself as a mentor was demanding it, it was because the team wanted to make sure that they had a strong foundation. I said at one point before the application went in “You guys are ready because you have things that you have worked on “that we wish we would have accomplished after 2 years of being designated.” You already had it before it went in. and it was very interesting that it was almost flawless, as the words that I heard, when we moved to actually review it in January. And I was happy to get the same message that you did. So congratulations, RCE Greater Portland, you truly have moved that process from paper to reality with your focus on educate, inspire, and engage. It’s evident by your partners and collaborators and supporters in the room tonight. And it’s also written in the document that Kim has invited you to see, take a look at it, from the director if the United Nations University. It’s really interesting what Dr. Takemoto wrote on June the 4th, and I’m taking a different quote than Debra did, because this meant a lot to me. “It’s heartening that RCE Greater Portland envisions a healthy, just, and thriving region “where sustainability education is prioritized and integrated across sectors, “and where everyone has opportunities to shape a more sustained future.” Boy, if that’s not why you’re here, enjoy the meal because there’s a lot of hard work for us all to do. [laughter] Thinking about my work and experiences over the past decade of learning and sharing ESD locally to globally, I remember commenting that it’s not that it’s just good work, it’s a team work. We have about a 150 in RCE Saskatchewan not actively engaged each day, nor are any of them paid like myself it is all volunteer. But it’s the kind of volunteer work that makes things happen. So, seeing 2 minutes left, I’ll make it- make sure that we end on time. We are constantly learning from each other, and that’s not just in RCE Saskatchewan, that’s part of what I learned from you people and our RCE Saskatchewan was privileged to have Dr. Kim Smith on, similar to what we just had here, with 5 continents, you represented the Americas, we had Africa, we had the RCEs sharing what they were doing for our event. So the technology does work and we don’t always have to have a big carbon footprint, but what is really I think the significance of tonight is that you you guys are moving from awareness to action. And with that, you know the event tonight is only the beginning. In closing, I’ve been often asked why I do this work, My response is always
“For Emma and Andrew Benko” I think my grandson is just finishing his baseball game in Regina. They’re two beautiful grandkids that deserve a chance to also achieve our goal of well-being for all, forever. Baba Dioum, a Senegalese poet, one of my favorite quotes that he wrote was “In the end we can serve what we love, “we love only what we understand, “and we will understand only what we are taught.” Welcome, teachers of Portland RCE and of the global village. Thank you for this neat honor. And I have a little something special, Kim, for you on behalf of the recognition for tonight, if you’d come up, please. Look at that, she didn’t even have to give me the last minute. [polite chuckles] [unintelligible banter] What is it? Well, you’ll have to take a look at it. [more unintelligible banter] There we go, something very special for you. For your RCE to share. Well that’s just paperwork, here I’ll take that out. [giggling] Is that yours?
Here we go, here we go That’s actually for you to keep. I was going to say how nice of him to give me his notes. [laughter]
These aren’t my notes. These are your marching orders from the UNU, sorry. A beautiful book about Saskatchewan, if you’re not from the prairie [more unintelligible banter] and then all the ideas around the concepts of living there And I also enjoyed- I also shared the other one you gave me yesterday, a smaller one. Ok, thank you very much, Lyle. You’re welcome.
[clapping] I need a hug. You get a hug. There you go. Remember, you get to stay up here. You get to stay up here.
Ok. He actually scheduled in time for ooo’s and aaa’s Isn’t that funny?
[giggles] Very good, obviously a public speaker. So, move a few things, excuse me. It’s all recycled paper. [polite chuckles]
Of course it is. Ok, so
[giggles] If we didn’t live our talk, we would be hypocrites. And we are not. Nobody here is a hypocrite, right? Yeah, or at least forevermore after tonight. Alright, so we have another activity, a brief activity that we’re going to do, um, with our dear friends from Canada. And that is- so tonight is our launch, right. We are identifying ourselves now as the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, aka RCE Greater Portland. And we are very very inspired by RCE Saskatchewan’s logo, and they have done beautiful work in identifying the symbols of their community Relationships with each other, as well as um their native plant- their native flower What is the name of the flower, do you want to say it? [unintelligible banter] The prairie tiger lily. Excuse me, you got to say it right, right. Prairie tiger lily. And so therefore given their work, and you can go to their page and you can read about the symbolism and all of the work that they’ve come up with in terms of of identifying who they are through their art and through their relationships. Um, those are hands, right, the tiger lily as well as hands, holding hands. So we are also tonight unveiling our own logo And I want to um honor and thank Amy Livingstone, sitting right over here, yes. [clapping] And you will see her again, um, she- you will- many of you I’m sure engaged in her mandala work, and then her art is over here. She also shared her art with us in creating our logo. So the big unveiling will be done by two Canadians. [giggles] We also have David Vensley from RCE Vancouver. British Columbia, RCE British Columbia, actually, full title, right. So he wants to say a word or two and then they’re going to reveil the logo to you, ok. So come on up, you can say a word. I had to guarantee I would tattoo this on me. Absolutely. Did y’all hear that? So- He’s guaranteeing if he likes it, he’s gonna tattoo it on himself. [laughter] So I’m here from Vancouver, and that’s Vancouver, British Columbia, not Vancouver, Washington. I heard a lady coming in just arguing about the traffic from Vancouver, Washington, and I said
“Ha! I can beat that.” Um, Kim and I collaborated a little bit during the process of their RCE formation, And we met in Nairobi in November, and we pledged to collaborate in the future. And I thought, well if there’s gonna be a party then RCE British Columbia and North Cascades is gonna be here. I want to acknowledge my colleagues, Carlos Orman and Josh Coward. You want to just stand for a moment? So there’s three of us here from RCE British Columbia. [clapping] And we take that Cascades part of our name quite seriously, so we are quite excited that Oregon and Portland are. Plus we love to visit Portland, so kindred spirits. And I want to acknowledge Lyle’s good work. Lyle was our mentor when we proposed our RCE in British Columbia in 2010 and I went to visit Saskatchewan. A great man, a great collaborator, and I’m very excited to be here on the stage with him, and with Kim and with all of you. Thank you for the invitation. Thank you, David. [clapping] So he’s gonna pull the green, you grab the blue. But hold the side so it doesn’t fall off, ok. [confused banter] [clapping] Look at that. How did we do that? I don’t know. Magic. Technology. We’re Canadian, what can we say? [laughter]
We can do anything. I’ll make us disappear. Ok.
[laughter] Alright, we better get off.
Alright. I want to get the dessert. [background chatter] Isn’t it pretty? For all you local folks, you recognize the symbology, correct? What bridge is that? Yes, it’s the Tilikum! It’s our new bridge! And which means, um, the bridge of the people, and recognizing friendship. And it’s the first in the nation, correct? that’s only available for trains, bikes, and pedestrians. Ok, so there you go. Um- and again the four Es and our name. So thank you very very much for being a part of this. We have a few more speakers and we have some music for you, so we’ll want to honor, um- everyone’s time. So next up we have Senator Michael Dembrow and um- which I had prepared in my notes, where’s my little sticker? [whispered]
I’m sorry, Michael. Of cou- oh here it is! I’m sorry. It’s on top of the prairie book. [giggles]
If you’re not from the prairie, you’re missing your sticky notes. Ok, Michael Dembrow. So Michael, um, has taught- actually still teaching Teaching. Has taught at Portland Community College for 32 years, also has served as our faculty federation president for 16 years. And you might well know him as a legislator. He’s been with the legislature since 2009 and we are so thrilled, I mean of course Jackie Dingfelder did a fine job as well, but she’s now working for the city with Mayor Hales. And so now Michael is the chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. In the Senate. [clapping] Which is a major coup for all of us, right? Cool, I’m so glad you’re here, thank you. [clapping] Thank you, Kim. Thank you all for being here. Welcome. Welcome to our friends and brothers from Canada I’m so proud to be representing the state of Oregon here tonight You know, before I was ch- before I started chair in the Senate Committee on the Environment and Natural Resorces, I chaired the House Higher Education Committee. And so I want the thank Kim for bringing it all back together again, you know at least briefly, because that is what GPSEN really is all about. I’m so pleased that this evening has come, as those of you who work with Kim know, you know once those teeth get on to your wrist, they just don’t let go. And you know she started talking to me a few months ago about this- this GPSEN and you know I thought she was asking me to set up a hearing on gypsum mining You know and you know, I just- and I’ve been trying to stay away from mining as an issue. You know we have all these controversial natural resources issues in my committee. But fortunately that’s not what we’re talking about. It’s a real honor for me to see the role that Portland Community College has played in this, thanks Dr. Brown. Jim Harper from the board is here. And the contribution of the college has really been inspiring. I do want to give my own shout out to Waste Management, it really is a wonderful organization. In fact just last week in my committee somebody- I wrote his name down Chuck White from Waste Management came to my committee to speak in support of a really important program that we have here in Oregon. It’s called the Clean Fuels Program. And it’s designed to create more incentives for us to be using lower carbon fuel in our vehicles. And it’s something that was created back in 2009, but with a sunset on it. So that next year the sunset’s going to have to be renewed. And I can tell you, this is very controversial. And there are a number of businesses you know who’ve been saying- seeing this as their opportunity as to let the thing go away and die so that they don’t have to transform themselves and really invest in a new sustainable economy. Waste Management has done the reverse, you know, as you’ve heard by really focusing on low carbon fuel, locally sourced fuel. This you know, they’re really looking to the future and I really thank them for that. So you can applaud them. It really is-
It’s great [clapping] So right after I was appointed to the Senate, in fact it was the day I was sworn in as a Senator, I got an invitation to go to England to go on a tour of energy facilities in England. It was actually I think, I think the invitation was really for my predecessor. But you know what the heck? She wasn’t there anymore so I grabbed it.
[laughter] Anyways, it was a great tour and it was organized by an organization called Globe, Globe International. Globe International is an organization of legislators international organization of legislators who are commited to issues of sustainability, and you know to creating good policy within their respective countries to insure a more sustainable future. And you know what’s interesting about Globe is they are leaders, just right now the chair and the president of the organization are both British from the Conservative party. Right, sort of an analog to our Republican party over here. But you know they did not see this as a partisan issue. They saw this as you know an issue that rather than something that should be separating people it’s something that should be bringing people together. And I really admired that vision that they had. Until our trip Globe defined legislators as people who were legislating at the national level So here in this country that would mean our you know congressional senators and representatives But they had come to realize that in this country, at least the action really is at the local level. Right, it’s the states that are leading the way on sustainability. And so they wanted to reach out to state legislators, asked people to come share their expertise and be part of a large network. And I was thinking about that on my way over here tonight because really that’s what GPSEN and this organization really is all about. It’s about people in a locality coming together, sharing their resources, you know inspiring one another, embarrassing one another, you know whatever it takes to keep people on track. Um, it’s you know the old mantras, you know as Kim said, think globally act locally. You know really we-we think both globally and locally, we need to act both globally and locally. And so I’m really pleased to be part of this. Um you know here in this state one of the things we’re trying to do with health care is to coordinate the various aspects of our health care. You know we call it coordinated care organizations. Well I see this GPSEN not as a polluting mining operation, but rather as something that really is encouraging coordinated care for the environment. That is all of us working together in solidarity to make this a better- a better place for us, for our children, for our grandchildren Thank you very much. [clapping] Thank you, such an honor to have you here. So if you can’t tell that we’re doing this in a sense of the international, to the national, to the state, right. Which brings up to the county [giggles] So, um, I’m going to now introduce Ben Duncan And he has, um, inspired me many- no really, every time you speak, I’m just always like
“Wow! This guy’s amazing!” And of course, now where is your business card, which you gave me? [whispered]
Oh goodness gracious. [clears throat] Excuse me, I apologize that, right all you PCC folks how fun was it today to have the internet and all of our printers go down? [laughter] That’s actually what’s going on up here and why this has been such a struggle. Anyway, thank you PCC for- tech people for trying to get it all back together again. Anyway so, Ben I’m going to let you um introduce yourself and some of the words, but he’s uh been working with Equity he’s one of the- he’s the director of Equity and- Diversity- Equity and Diversity with Multnomah County and also um, the director- the board director- You’re the director, aren’t you of OPAL? You’re the board director though? [unintelligible conversation] The founding board member! Excuse me, we gotta do it from the side, excuse me. Anyway, founding board member of OPAL and we really want to um recognize, again always going back to um what sustainability means and the pointer on equity and social sustainability. And um so I am very proud to introduce Ben Duncan, thank you. [clapping] Well, good evening. [crowd replies] So thanks for the introduction, so Ben Duncan, I’m the Chief Diversity and Equity Officer with Multnomah County, and I’m sure they’d pretty happy to see our logo in this space. I want to just also mention OPAL, environmental justice Oregon, I was told by a mentor, I’m a board member and I think anytime that you have a microphone and a captive audience you should ask for money, so www.opalpdx.org [laughter] We actually- it’s great work, and I’m really proud to have been, almost going on 10 years now, with that organization. It’s really an honor for me to have the opportunity to- to speak today at this launch of the GPSEN, I’ll just say GPSEN. And I really want to take a moment to thank Dr. Kim Smith for her work. I think it was a few years ago I came and talked to one of your classes and you had this visionary idea of this regional center of expertise and education. And tonight celebrating it’s realization is incredibly exciting. So I want to formally say thank you.
[clapping] I spent today at the Oregon Equity Project, which is a group that consists of the Oregon Health Equity Alliance, which is a consortium of community based organizations community organizations led by people of color, who’ve done amazing work at the state to move health equity work forward. They were joined be a lot of the coordinated care organizations such as the Senator mentioned talking about equity and health care transformation. And I did 2 workshops today around equity and so now I’m exhausted, but it was really moving. And one of the things that came out of those discussions that really resonated with me and resonated with a lot of the participants and it’s one of the things that in the Office of Diversity and Equity, and I work around equity, we think about was a clarity of purpose. And purpose being important because it clarifies the vision around equity. And it clarifies our vision around equity and sustainability. So not that you should ignore me while I’m going to talk the rest of the time, but in the back of your mind think about what drives you to be here. Think about what that purpose is that that puts you at this table, that drives you to think and be committed to sustainability. And as I thought about what I was going to talk about this evening and knowing that I only had a few minutes, I’m already seeing the first sign, Um you know that’s a challenging exercise in any way for me, I reflected on the mission of GPSEN and wanted to kind of pull out a few concepts to expand on because my purpose is really focused on equity, and that’s the frame through which I’ll speak. So first the idea of collaborative partnerships and supportive outreach that equity and sustainability demands that the voices of those most impacted by the negative effects of historical and contemporary injustice those that’ve experienced the burden of environmental hazard and the oppression of social policies that exclude them have a voice in decisions that impact their lives. There’s an environmental justice adage that says communities that speak for themselves best protect themselves. So to carry that goal and vision for GPSEN is incredibly important. Second, their research and development that is participatory and takes place in both formal and informal settings that identifying and recognizing and honoring the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of both the academic and non academic community is paramount to moving forward opportunities that leverage diverse ways of knowing. We stand here with you know 12,000 years of history of our indigenous brothers and sisters that have taught us about what sustainability looks like. We need to honor that wisdom, and honor that experience, and honor that knowledge Community based participatory research is an ever expanding field that keeps getting more participatory. And it’s critical for moving this work forward and critical for the scholarship around sustainability and equity And third, and I really love the language you know that reflects that this work is transformative. And transformative education and training, you know to meet the visions of regional sustainability, I love that frame. And being transformative means that we are mindful in our approaches. That we understand the relationships of power and race. That we consider cultural responsiveness, trauma informed approaches, historical context. That we do this work from a relational worldview that honors the complete and whole self, the mind, body, spirit, and context in which we opporate in this world. And finally I’ll close by reflecting really what brings me here. Three and a half years ago my wife and I had a child, who’s in the back probably on the iphone, distracting him while he’s not yelling. He’s completely adorable if you can see him.
[laughter] I’m a little biased, obviously. But that’s a child who’s gonna, you know- so he’s half latino, quarter white jewish, quarter african american, right, nice diverse kid. He’s a child who’s going to examine his identity as he navigates this world, a child that will inherit the outcomes of decisions that we’ve made and that we will make in these years to come. He’s a child that will experience the benefits and burdens of the vision that we collectively engage in, and a child who relies on us to make the world a better place to live. He’s a metaphor for movement that must be multiracial and inclusive, and will also be a measure positively or negatively of the choices we make. I’m really excited to be a part of this work, I’m excited to join all of us on this journey as we move forward. And I appreciate the opportunity, thank you. [clapping] Rudy is darling. [giggles]
If you get a chance- Hi Rudy So um Nancy? We- Nancy is co coordinator, amazing friend and leader of this whole event, [clapping]
planned all the catering and um but- at this moment um we have a lot of- we’re going to be moving into just a couple other recognitions of- we’re shifting in age, shifting in sectors. Um but I also- you’re kind, you guys are kind to say my name. It’s not about the work that I’ve done, this is so much about the work we’ve done. And I’m just trying to hold a container for all of us, right that we’re all doing great work. But it’s all about the coordinating committee. And so if you- if all the coordinating members could stand up and just be recognized. We have a whole table of folks over here, all two tables worth.
[clapping] All of the-
[clapping] [clapping] For a year and a half now, just connecting and creating space, and serving all of you as stakeholders, identifying what are the needs in our community, how can we address them, how do we move forward, and um, and Nancy has just been there from the beginning and I just adore her, and I just- and um she’s gonna be introducing a few folks now who have also just been um stars in our community, I’m really really proud of them. [clapping] I am so excited to be here. Those of you who’ve been watching this journey know that this is really a great time for us. And I’m utterly proud to have the opportunity to introduce a couple of rockstars. The reason that I got involved in this journey is the opportunity to transform the lives of our youth and help them understand really locally and globally what’s happening. I work at Portland Public Schools, I’m all about- I’m all about K12 education. Um, oh
[giggles] Ok so, so there are two shining examples here tonight of how the RCE leverages the educational process. Outside you saw some models of schools that were part of a design competition of middle schools through the CEFPI, the Center for Education Facilities Planners Incorp- International. Sorry, Katrina, it was close.
[groans] So they offer a competition for students to think about green building aspects and to design the schools of the future that they want to inhabit. And we have a local team who won the 2014 chapter competition, and they are our regional winners. And this is really exciting, we’ve never competed in this before and these guys won. So it was- they’re rockstars. And is their model out here? Their model is the one that you see with the um- with the turrets and such. So, so just thinking about what the building is, because most kids don’t think about the building, right, they’re there for the educational purpose, but this is life skills, Ok, rockstars. Rockstars. Oh, clap.
[clapping aggressively] The other thing that’s been super exciting to me- [unintelligible banter]
Woop, don’t close your eyes. Was um we were invited to participate in an international virtual youth conference. And we had students from the PLACE Program at Catlin Gabel and Rex Putnam High School um participate in- in this opportunity. So it was- we were invited to be one of- Are you guys gonna talk about the- the other participants? Who was there? Ok. So they’ll tell you who was there, I’ll tell you who was in the audience. This was a virtual conference, we had folks from of course Portland, and Grand Rapids, and Madagascar, and oh yeah Bangladesh, and Montreal, and Japan, and Germany, and um Brazil. So this is- this is about food security, which they’ll tell you about. and thinking about a local issue and then scaling up to an international level. So I would like to introduce to you two of the participants in that, Sophie and Jubilee. [clapping] [unintelligible conversation] Hello. First of all we’d like to thank Kim Smith and Nancy Bond so much for letting us speak here. We weren’t initially allowed to but now they let us have this opportunity and so we’re really really grateful. We’d also like to thank George Zaninovich, the director of the PLACE project and Jocelyn McIntire for um, a science teacher at Putnam, for kind of organizing this whole event for us and allowing us to participate in it. So the reason that we’re up here today is that in the past year we were part of two youth led programs that pushed Portland to be a more sustainable and more equitable place. And the first was PLACE, which stands for Planning and Leadership Across City Environments. And in PLACE we worked to design a greenway over the summer and it was youth leadership and civic engagement program, and it was it’s fifth year with 17 teenagers from 5 different schools. So the first two weeks were kind of learning about Portland, we talked about gentrification and urban growth boundary and got to know some people in the community who participated in the community and were active in pushing for sustainability So we learned about Portland in the first two weeks, and then the second two weeks we worked more with our client Mark Raggett from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, to create a greenway that would connect the Portland park blocks to- from Johnson, which are bookended at the post office, which will eventually be leaving in that whole space is gonna open up for a store or a school, something that will gain community interest into that area. And so our project was to create a greenway that would connect those two sections of our city, ultimately going into North West. So Mark gave us our, kind of our task and so the second two weeks we worked with the knowledge we had gained from the first two weeks to plan and design this greenway for him. And so we came up with 2 different designs. And so that process that we did in PLACE helped us, one, looking at the task he had been given for International Youth Conference. And so in that conference we were given the question “Does Portland have a sustainable food system, “and who has access to it?” And so we had 3 students from Rex Putnam partner with us to answer this question that we would eventually share with the different groups via skype. I keep hitting it. And so each group was given a similar question that they decided themself, and so we created a short presentation that we shared with them. Yeah, and then we got to hear from around the world the different students talk about sustainability in the context of their city. And it was really great to work on this project because it was similar yet a smaller scale project than PLACE and PLACE was just so great I was so happy to come back to do something else related to sustainability in Portland. From working with the different school as well as interviewing people around the city we gained a lot of new perspectives that we wouldn’t have gained just from our own information And so this was something that was a common theme in PLACES while we surveyed a lot of people who our plans would ultimately be affecting to get feedback and new ideas. And so we have been looking at sustainability from kind of 3 different perspectives: economic, social, and- and equity. And so in PLACE and the International Youth conference we really looked at kind of equity more under the microscope and so we think that this is really important because in our findings we found that Portland is sustainable, but it’s kind of sustainable to a point. For people who don’t have access or the resources to buy organic foods and go to the local farmer’s market it becomes much more difficult to be sustainable and live a sustainable lifestyle. And so we need to push to have more farmer’s markets that will take food stamps and things like that to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be sustainable. Because the people who have been given the opportunity have really taken that chance, but the people who don’t have the chance to be sustainable are really whats kind of bringing our city down. I think it’s really excellent that Portland has been acknowledged as a Regional Center of Expertise, I’m proud to live in a city that really values sustainability and we really look forward to what Portland will do in the future. Thank you. [clapping] It sounded so harsh that we wouldn’t allow them to join us. [laughter] That was only because of time. So if anybody in here actually does event planning and is paying attention to the program, just throw it out the window, because we’re so off time. [laughter] We really tried, Nancy, we really did. Anyway, so anyway these- they didn’t get to show a couple of their slides so we’ll just show a few more. That’s really great you guys, congratulations. So those are juniors and seniors in high school from Rex Putnam and um Catlin Gabel. And then of course all of our different middle school folks So you can just see the work they did, right, nice job, looks really good. Um so again the designs out here were from middle school students, Correct, Katrina? Yup, middle school students. So all different ages. Very very proud of them. Now so um- if you- and you are still competing or you won actually? You’re going to the national level now right? International level! Isn’t that cool? [clapping] Visionaries. This is what it’s all about, being innovative and seeing a vision for the future. Alright, we are going to do a little shift in energy now so that’s what was up next on our agenda, we’re gonna do some music. So there’s gonna be a little bit of a shift, if y’all wanna do a little seventh inning stretch. Don’t run to the restroom necessarily, because we don’t have time for that. But-
[giggles] Amanda is a Grammy nominated singer, one of the coolest people I know in town, and has a big heart for the environment. And if any of you by chance, do you remember seeing Washed Ashore? Do you guys remember seeing the big- it’s all about the plastics in the ocean in the- on the Oregon coast. Amanda was really involved in that, and she and I helped coordinate those events in bringing it to Portland and um her music it just touches my heart, and I am so grateful that you’re here. So anyway, take a moment, they’re gonna set up. Alright well I want to thank you, Kim, for inviting us out tonight, it’s really an honor to be here. My husband and I had the privilege of walking 75 miles through the jungles of Guatemala last December to participate in a Mayan ceremony for the end of the Mayan calander and they did a ceremony for sustainability and peace throughout the world. And this is a song that I have known since childhood and found appropriate for that event as well as this one, so I’m gonna share that with you. [singing acappella]
♪In this world there’s a whole lot of trouble, baby♪ ♪In this world there’s a whole lot of pain♪ ♪In this world there’s a whole lot of trouble♪ ♪And a whole lot of ground to gain♪ ♪When you spend your whole life wishing, wanting and wondering why♪ ♪It’s a hard enough life to be living, why walk when you can fly♪ ♪In this world there’s a whole lot of sorrow♪ ♪In this world there’s a whole lot of shame♪ ♪In this world there’s a whole lot of sorrow♪ ♪And a whole lotta ground to gain♪ ♪Why take when you could be giving, why watch as the world goes by♪ ♪It’s a hard enough life to be living, why walk when you can fly♪ ♪In this world there’s a whole lot of cold♪ ♪In this world there’s a whole lot of blame♪ ♪In this world you’ve a soul for a compass♪ ♪And a heart for a pair of wings♪ ♪There’s a star on the far horizon, rising bright in an azure sky♪ ♪For the rest of the time that you’re given, why walk when you can fly♪ [clapping] [guitar sound check] It should be number 3. It’s- it’s number uh- Oh wait, turn it down for one second. That’s right. [guitar sound check] Hanging on.
[acoustic guitar with lap steel guitar] ♪The pins don’t need blood♪ ♪Holding it all together♪ ♪Out in the weather facing the storm♪ ♪♪ ♪These family ties, the strings I forget♪ ♪My puppeteer for a marionette♪ ♪♪ ♪The ends don’t meet♪ ♪But I’m holding it all together♪ ♪Out in the weather facing the storm♪ ♪♪ ♪And I really don’t know♪ ♪What’ll happen if I let go♪ ♪Might be to far over my head♪ ♪So I keep hanging on♪ ♪♪ ♪By a thread♪ ♪♪ ♪Ooo, ooo, ooo♪ ♪♪ ♪Ooo, I keep hanging on♪ ♪♪ ♪By a thread♪ ♪♪ ♪The ends don’t meet♪ ♪But I’m holding it all together♪ ♪Out in the weather facing the storm♪ ♪♪ ♪And I really don’t know♪ ♪What’ll happen if I let go♪ ♪Might be to far over my head♪ ♪So I keep hanging on♪ ♪♪ ♪By a thread♪ ♪♪ ♪And I really don’t know♪ ♪What’ll happen if I let go♪ ♪Might be to far over my head♪ ♪So I keep hanging on♪ ♪♪ ♪By a thread♪ [clapping] ♪♪
[acoustic guitar] ♪Oh it’s so good to see you again♪ ♪Oh it’s so good we can still be friends♪ ♪And then some♪ ♪I use to call you my love♪ ♪And you use to feel the same way♪ ♪Now it’s not the same, it’s not the same♪ ♪It’s better than it ever was♪ ♪♪ ♪Oh it went wrong, it’s out of our control♪ ♪It’s in our hearts to close down from the soul♪ ♪Then smolders♪ ♪Cuz I use to call you my love♪ ♪And you use to feel the same way♪ ♪Now it’s not the same, it’s not the same♪ ♪It’s better than it ever was♪ ♪♪ ♪Who am I kidding?♪ ♪Any fool could see, who am I fooling?♪ ♪Nobody, nobody but me♪ ♪Nobody, nobody but me♪ ♪♪ ♪Well it’s so good to see you again♪ ♪I’m so glad love is at an end♪ ♪It’s really better this way♪ ♪Cuz I use to call you my love♪ ♪And you use to feel the same way♪ ♪Now it’s not the same, it’s not the same♪ ♪It’s better than it ever was♪ ♪♪ ♪Who am I kidding?♪ ♪Any fool could see, who am I fooling?♪ ♪Nobody, nobody but me♪ ♪Nobody, nobody but me♪ ♪Nobody, nobody but me♪ ♪♪ [clapping]
Thank you. And Amanda now lives back in Portland, and Joe is here. They’re so great. So you can see them around town. Um thank you that was beautiful. Alrighty, and now if you kind of glance around the room do you see a little color gaurd? Which direction? Oh my, something’s going on over there, right? And, and Amy Livingstone, So blessings on everyone who had a chance to do the mandala Um, Amy’s going to share a couple words about the story and then um, share a poem and then 1 World Chorus is going to sing for you as our grand finale. Amy? And Aaron are you going to be able to share that microphone with her? Or do you wanna? Ok, thank you. I want to thank everyone who contributed to our nature mandala. It’s a really gorgeous offering to give expression to not only our gratitude for all the abundance that we receive from the earth, but an offering back to the healing of the earth. So I wanted to share a poem an excerpt, actually, from the late Irish poet John O’Donohue. And in general I would like to offer up this offering up from all of us to the children, our grandchildren, and future generations As so many have already expressed, it’s why we’re here, it’s why we do the work that we’re doing. So it’s with that spirit that I want to share this poem and then do a dismantling of our mandala that we will then offer to the Willamette river to send out healing in all directions. “Let us bless the imagination of the Earth, “Let us thank the Earth that offers ground for home “And holds our feet firm “To walk in space open to infinite galaxies. “Let us salute the silence and certainty of mountains “Their sublime stillness, their dream-filled hearts. “The wonder of a garden “Trusting the first warmth of spring “Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth for all our sins against her “For our violence and poisonings of her beauty. “Let us remember within us the ancient clay, “Holding the memory of seasons, “The passion of the wind, the fluency of water, “The warmth of fire, the quiver-touch of the sun “And shadowed sureness of the moon. “That we may awaken, to live to the full “The dream of the Earth who chose us to emerge “And incarnate its hidden night in mind, spirit, and light.” Thank you. Blessings. [clapping] ♪♪
[piano music] [unsure singing] Sorry about that. Sorry, it wasn’t plugged in. ♪♪
[piano music] ♪May the road rise up to meet you♪ ♪May the wind be always at your back♪ ♪May the sun shine warm upon your face♪ ♪And the rains fall soft upon your fields♪ ♪♪
[piano music] ♪Until we meet again, my friend♪ ♪Until we meet again♪ ♪May God hold you in the palm of His hand♪ ♪May the road rise up to meet you♪ ♪May the wind be always at your back♪ ♪May the sun shine warm upon your face♪ ♪And the rains fall soft upon your fields♪ ♪Til we meet again, until we meet again♪ ♪May God hold you in His hand♪ [clapping] [rhythmic clapping with drum and bells] ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪♪
[rhythmic clapping with drum and bells] ♪Welcome, we wish you peace♪ ♪Welcome, to the village, share a song with me♪ ♪Welcome to the dance, we love to move and be free♪ ♪Welcome to the melody now lets create some harmony♪ ♪♪
[rhythmic clapping with drum and bells] ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Ikabo alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Ikabo alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Welcome, we wish you peace♪ ♪Welcome, to the village, share a song with me♪ ♪Welcome to the dance, we love to move and be free♪ ♪Welcome to the melody now lets create some harmony♪ ♪♪
[clapping] ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Ikabo alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Ikabo alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪♪
[rhythmic clapping with drum and bells] ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪Funga alafia♪ ♪ashay ashay♪ ♪♪
[rhythmic drums] [clapping] [unsure singing] Sorry switch place. We’ll start over. ♪♪
[reggae rhythm] ♪One love, one heart♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪One love, one heart♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪Let’s get together to light the world forever♪ ♪One love♪ ♪We see a time when life is brighter every day♪ ♪One heart♪ ♪Can we all learn to sing a song all as one♪ ♪Can we shine around the world, light the light of the morning sun♪ ♪One love, one heart♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪One love, one heart♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪We gonna shine so bright everyday like the sun♪ ♪Let the rhythm of the drum, can we love everyone♪ ♪The chorus of our love to you it goes on and on♪ ♪Tell the rest to love the world, we go one by one♪ ♪One love, one heart♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪One love, one heart♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ ♪Let’s get together and feel all right♪ [clapping] That’s why we do it, right? It’s for the children, it’s for the future, and um thank you Aaron and the 1 World Chorus, it’s beautiful [clapping] That was our little sing-a-long part, did you sing? Yes!
Yes? Good Nancy, good Ok, so we are actually going to finish on time, which is pretty amazing. Um but we have of course some final words and um some thank yous, and I want to invite Steve Holmes up from University of Portland to share a few insights. And he has also been a founding member of GPSEN very beginning and I’m just really grateful for all of his support and for the good work the University of Portland does. [clapping] So I um, I asked him if I could speak at this point, uh, cuz I like saying thank you. And also because I had a really keen idea of what your blood sugar levels would be like, [laughter] and that really takes the pressure off a lot. But um, I was- I was thinking about what the thank you should really be and I was looking at the list of the different sponsors here and I thought Portland Public Schools, well yeah, some of our students are your students, right? Portland Community College, some of our students are your students. PSU, some of our students go on to grad work and become your students. Metro, the zoo, the NGOs, the businesses, that’s where our students go for their student learning opportunities, their internships, their jobs. And really GPSEN is a network that makes visible the many moving parts that make up sustainability here. And I think that’s- that’s the wonderful thing about it, cuz when you go someplace and you say you’re from Portland, people take you- they take you really seriously, right? But it’s not- not because of what I’m doing, because we couldn’t do at University of Portland what we do if it wasn’t for all these other parts that were making up what is sustainability in Portland Um, and I think that GPSEN has the potential to help these more visible connections become richer and work- work even better. And that I think is- is a wonderful thing about it. Uh, I was also looking at that map of- of all the little RCEs, I thought, you know, we look like a bubble. [polite laughter]
You know, where it’s sitting out there in the little bubble And I looked at the whole map- you hear about the Portland bubble, right? Look at the whole map, and I thought if you look at the whole thing it doesn’t look like a bubble, it looks like carbonation. [polite laughter]
Cuz there’s lots them, and maybe that’s not a bad mission, right, for all the RCEs being some serious carbonation as a group. So thanks for coming tonight, um thanks of course to wall of the wonderful people who put this event on. And I wanted to invite Nancy Bond from Portland Public Schools up now to make an acknowledgment on behalf of all of us. [clapping] We are all in this together. And we really are so grateful for your support. And I’m so grateful for the whole team that worked so hard on tonight’s event, but also is working so hard on all the efforts of the RCE. You? So we wanted to give a special thanks to Kim Smith for leading this crazy, awesome effort to get RCE recognition and to put on this beautiful event to celebrate the start of what we see as a beautiful partnership across the globe and within Portland. So we have a sage plant for you, so your wisdom may ever grow as you meet more and more people, hopefully on your Europe trip to meet more RCEs this summer. And also some chocolate, cuz who doesn’t love chocolate?
[laughter] So thank you, Kim and you can come up and get these.
Thank you, Kim. [clapping] Ooop, I can’t even do that, so you- [clapping] [indistinct chatter] Who’s got the camera? Who has a camera? [giggles] [indistinct chatter] You can’t really see us, we’re all behind the podium. I have to be taller. [giggles]
Is it working? You can stand in front of the logo too. And will- there will be time for pictures later too if anyone wants to take pictures with us, and of course the gorgeous logo. Ok that’s it
Um, so this also is Angela Oliverio and I want to um recognize Angela as an AmeriCorp student with Portland Public Schools and also the incredible organizer of all the tickets through Brown Paper Tickets [giggles]
So thank you for all of your um- the tickets that you purchased as well as the um sponsors, and Angela helped run that. She also- we’ve just submitted a letter to UNESCO to have her hopefully serve as our Youth Delegate to the UNESCO World Summit in ESD in November in Japan. [clapping] Absolutely. And um this definitely is the point of the evening where it really is a yay team, right? Everybody want to say “yay team”? [crowd responds]
Yay team. [giggles]
Right? And um so and we also really wanted to not only honor all the different ages across our community and different sectors, um but to recognize the- the importance of beauty, the importance of design and science, the good work that we do across industries and schools um and in non-profits and government and we really just- we couldn’t- we- we don’t have to be experts, right. So it’s Regional Centers of Expertise, no pressure, hahaha oh we’re the experts on everything, right? No. We’re not, but we’re experts in what we specifically do. And um Rick he uh Riesling um the current President of PCC Sylvania was talking about what it means to have strength based leadership and to focus on what we do really well, right. To find what that is, let’s dig into that a little deeper, and then find the people, the gorgeous, amazing people that we’ve had a chance to work with who have their own strengths, right. And there was a proc- I was in this space I’m like “I don’t know how to run a non-”
We’re not even a non-profit yet. Anyone want to help us with that? Let’s get that going.
[giggles] Let’s go, wrap it up.
Ok. I just got kicked, did you see that? I’m like totally getting pulled off the stage. She’s like “Wrap it up” I am wrapping it up but I want to say something beautiful!
[giggles] Um, no, just the point being that what does it mean for each of us to know that we all can be teachers? If you didn’t see the 9 year old in the children’s room teaching about bees, you know, boy you missed out. She’s incred- all of us- so I just want us to each find whatever our strengths are. It’s like- and I was feeling like going “I can’t do this, I can’t do that, this is really hard. “But, boy it’s really fun to do the networking, or it’s really fun to do the outreach piece, or the curriculum piece, or the research piece” Right, whatever that piece is for you, that’s where- you don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. It’s hard, this is a lot, we’re being asked to save the world. Right? Hey Portland, what you gonna do? Every time I go anywhere, you know I’m like “Hey oh, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Madagascar, “you know, Malaysia what are you- how are you- what are you to do to save the world?” They’re like “I don’t know, United States, what are you gonna do?” And it has been tense and- and beautiful, but also like “Alright, lets rise to the challenge” And here we are, and we’ve been invited to this, we’ve been honored and recognized for who we have been and who we are. Um but certainly it’s not time to sit on our laurels. The sustainable development goals are being written right now, they’re being launched, and um being presented in November in Japan, UNESCO is looking to the RCEs to be leaders in the implementation of that and next year we will have a new global action program. And um we’re gonna focus on the good work we’re doing here in Portland but we are also being invited to be leaders in that broader effort and um if that’s something that intrigues you, you know, sign up, get involved, we’ve got our website with the engagement pledge, and all of us of course on the coordinating committee are happy to you know um give you some insights on um opportunities and ways to get engaged. Or simply just keep doing the good work that you’re doing. I- I’m so proud of all of you, I’m so grateful to get to be with this- with you tonight. And I hope this is the start of very beautiful friendship. Thank you. [clapping] ♪♪