A Women’s Congress Companion for Political Change is a comprehensive “kitchen table study guide” intended to support community members’ political engagement as guardians for future generations. It encourages citizens to collectively move from grief or numbness over the destruction of the Earth, into the moral authority to act on behalf of the Earth and future generations.
Readers learn how to give or withdraw their consent to an activity, how to identify common cause with their neighbors, and how to determine effective points of intervention for political engagement. The Companion examines current approaches to environmental policy-making, and an alternative policymaking approach known as fore-caring, the practice of caring for future generations by making sound policy decisions.
Read more about some of the ideas outlined in the companion. Continue to visit our website for updates as we pilot our first study group. We will share our experiences and lessons learned.
“While working on a letter to land owners from one of our allies, MN 350, I noticed a reference to Canadian law that requires early and informed consent to all parties who will be affected by pipeline abandonment. Because I’m studying the Companion for Political Change, that phrase leapt out at me! I was then able to use the knowledge that I gained to incorporate that important information into the letter to landowners.”
– Barbara Draper, Participant in Companion for Political Change Study Group
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The Science & Environmental Health Network and the Women’s Congress for Future Generations offer a set of legal principles to serve as one basis for organizing. The intent of these principles is to provide common talking points, a common legal agenda, and an entry point for organizing.
We have entered the Age of Extreme Energy. Every region is facing threats. New destructive techniques for mining, drilling, and transporting fossil fuels are swarming across the land like locusts. The reason legal principles are important is that governments make decisions within a legal frame, and the current legal framework does not account for all of the facts. The old legal principles that permitted exploitation of land and people have failed us, failed to protect the necessities for life — air, water, land, water, plants, animals, and public health. To protect our communities and the natural world, we can establish new legal principles.
Based on the successful implementation of our First and Second Women’s Congresses for Future Generations, we anticipate holding a third Congress in the twin cities in 2017. In the coming months we will begin to envision with allies what this gathering will look like.