Meet our new Community Weaver!
As I mentioned last week, we just hired our second full-time employee – a Community Weaver! And I. Am. Stoked 🙂
Before you meet this amazing human (and before we ask you to help us by taking a quick survey), let me put this milestone into perspective with a quick peek behind the scenes.
The purpose of Crowdsourcing Sustainability is to help save and improve as many lives as we can by reversing global heating as quickly and equitably as possible. In short, the idea was to do this by educating, inspiring, connecting, and empowering people to help build a better world.
From the beginning CS always had a two-part “master plan” to do this:
- Build a “following” of awesome people by writing a sustainability newsletter. Get to know the people reading it and provide as much value as I can to them toward our shared goal. Trust, credibility, and authentic relationships are everything.
- Connect the community to build relationships, enable collaboration, and multiply our collective impact by working together.
I tried to do part 2 with slack but quite frankly CS outgrew my capacity to do everything that needed to be done.
I wasn’t able to give all the time and TLC that y’all deserve and that is needed for a community to thrive.
This is why I’m super excited to have Rachel Taylor join us. As our new Community Weaver, she’s going to help us bring this vision of greater connection, collaboration, and collective impact to the next level!
So, without further ado, meet Rachel:
Hello to the wonderful Crowdsourcing Sustainability Community! My name is Rachel Taylor and I am truly honored to be the new CS Community Weaver. I am so excited to start getting to know all the exceptional people who are already a part of this community, and to welcome our new friends and co-conspirators who are yet to join us!
I carry a core belief that community is both an unconditional human need and a central solution to the intersecting crises we are currently facing as a species on this beautiful planet. Cultivating and nurturing community, especially community that empowers us to work together to make the world a more just, vibrant and regenerative place, is a primary passion of mine. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to do this with you all.
Where am I coming from in this work?
I was born and raised on a small, rural island in the Salish Sea of the Pacific Northwest, the homeland of the Squababsh and S’Homamish peoples, as well as a site of community convergence, celebration, and sharing of resources for the Duwamish, Puyallup and other Salish Sea tribes. I was deeply privileged in my upbringing to be strongly embedded in both nature and community. I hardly remember a time when I wasn’t concerned about the state of both society and the ecosystems that support it, although my orientation to and understanding of “environmentalism” has changed significantly throughout my life. An abiding love for Nature – all expressions of it, human and otherwise – is a, perhaps the, central tenant of my life. To me community is an active expression of that love and a living commitment to the vibrant, just and regenerative world that is possible when we work together.
While in many ways I have always been a weaver of community, my professional journey with this work began through co-founding The Joyality Project in 2015 with Australian ecopsychologist Dr. Eshana Bragg. I was a simultaneously distraught and ambitious college student, motivated by my personal journey with grief, anxiety, depression and hopelessness about the state of our world (climate and ecosystem crises, political and economic corruption, social, cultural and spiritual dis-ease and collapse), as well as my foundational love of life and my belief that change and healing are always possible.
I could see the impact that the lack of integrative support for these co-existing realities was having on our individual and collective ability to act well on climate. I felt that we were all so deep in what was wrong, what was broken, and the complexity of it all that our imaginations began to shrink, our joy shriveled up, our action became less bold. Making change began to feel like an impossibly heavy burden. And while that is a truth, it’s not the only truth. There can be joy in it too. I was desperate for a way to reconcile these experiences – horror and hope, grief and joy, death and life. I couldn’t find one, so I set out to create one.
So, we started The Joyality Project, a non-profit dedicated to bridging the gap between activism and ecopsychology, and to creating tools for the internal and external changes we need to make to be successful in addressing the climate crisis. Over my seven years there, our team provided holistic support for hundreds of people to transform overwhelm and despair into connection, purpose, and empowered action.
Through The Joyality Project, I learned how to weave community for myself and others in ways that empower us to be courageous in both how we show up to what is and what we imagine is possible for the future. I saw the immense positive impacts that occur when people feel connected to others and actually experience that they are not alone. When we’re trying to do the work of remaking a world gone mad, being in community with people who share our goals and fears, and have different experiences and perspectives, is invaluable both to our experience of doing the work and to the quality of the solutions we’re able to create.
After seven years at The Joyality Project I am ready for a new chapter, and am so thrilled to be a part of the Crowdsourcing Sustainability team and to get to work with and for all of you.
My Vision and Goals for this Community
My vision for this community is to build and tend relationships with one another that actively enrich our lives and our climate action. My goal is to create a community experience that fosters creativity, collaboration, imagination, joy, growth and effective action. It is also important to me that the relationships we build can handle disagreement and challenge in generative ways – ways that help us divest from systems of oppression, and practice being and working together in ways that are safe and life-giving for all of us. I hope that the CS Community becomes (if it’s not already!) one of your favorite and most trusted places to come for education, connection, support, inspiration, fun, and strategic action in the climate movement.
I personally work from a perspective that climate change is rooted in the ideologies that colonialism, White supremacy, patriarchy, and extractive capitalism espouse. I am therefore committed to climate solutions that work at these roots. If the climate crisis is a set of symptoms, these systems of oppression are the deeper diseases. I see equity not as a sidebar to climate action, but as a primary lever we must pull in order to effectively address the climate crisis. I look forward to exploring these intersections with you and I hope the CS community can be a place where we all learn and practice how to build solutions and become people who make a thriving and just world an inevitability for all beings.
I am excited to bring my experience in weaving a balance between the internal and external work that is required of us in order to truly mitigate and adapt to the intersecting crises we are facing. Transformation is not easy work, and yet, in community, it becomes not only possible but possibly even joyful. I subscribe to the theory that thriving people create thriving systems, and that it is not possible for us to thrive alone. And so I am excited to do all that I can to help you thrive. I know each and every one of you has a unique story, a unique perspective, unique strengths and weaknesses, things to learn and gifts to offer the world. I look forward to getting to know you and harnessing our collective power to make big change!
This is an exciting new chapter for CS. And we need your help to write it!
Please fill out this quick survey so you can help us design a community that is genuinely supportive and valuable for you. This is your community and that means you get to help shape it!
We cannot wait to see what we are able to create together in service of one another and this beautiful planet we get to call home.