23 Sep Victoria’s Transition From iMatter
After ten rewarding, exhausting, impossible, beautiful years, I have transitioned away from the important work of iMatter, leaving it in the capable hands of a team of youth and adults whose hearts are aligned with the original vision Alec and I had for this organization.
So wild. A decade ago, Alec and I started working with his middle school to realize this idea he had to construct poles throughout our coastal city, warning about the impacts of sea level rise. News of this effort had begun to leak out to national press and, while we never really had a plan, we were soon caught up in an intense public speaking schedule that required Alec to quit school by 8th grade, and me to quit my day job to figure out how to run a non profit. Olivia’s support and deep emotional intelligence allowed us to band together, embrace this vision, and figure it out as a family.
Many awards, conferences, news interviews, marches, websites, grant proposals, partnerships, meetings, airports, and strategic plan revisions later, Alec left for college and I was left wondering what to do with a youth empowerment organization without a youth leader holding the soul of it. I am grateful for Larry Kraft’s magical entrance into iMatter at the point where I didn’t think we could continue. He, and the team of incredible young leaders, mentored and nurtured by the remarkable Megan Sheridan (a miracle worker if I’ve ever met one), are turning Kid vs Global Warming into a vibrant community of support for young climate activists across the country. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and awe.
Looking back, it is hard to describe to anyone how we, as a family, survived it! As a single mom without savings or much support, it was not easy and all three of us will be sorting through the shadow side of those crazy years for a while. But we have all agreed that we wouldn’t want to do our lives over in any other way.
No. We didn’t solve the climate crisis. But, honestly, that solution is not something any one organization, or family, can ever take credit for. All we can do is listen deeply to the calling of our souls and respond with an improbable YES before anyone tells us it’s impossible (to distort a David Brower quote Alec often used!).
Plus, the story isn’t over. Alec, as a Spiritual Ecology fellow, is working on a film that documents his awakening, his emotional, intellectual, and spiritual journey, his improbable story of coming of age in a time of radical transition. I am focusing on the spiritual transition needed to relate to the land and air and creatures as inter-connected kin, going back to my roots as a pastor of Ojai Church of the Wild, organizing the emerging Wild Church Network, and helping to create the ‘field of practice” for Christian spiritual ecology by creating the Common Ground Network. We both are continuing with iMatter as Advisory Board members.
So much gratitude for all of the support from so many over the years. I started to write down everyone’s names…but it got unwieldy and I know I would forget someone and got all anxious, so I abandoned the gesture. Ha. But, seriously…wow. You, and so many others who won’t even read this have graciously and sacrificially contributed your time, energy, money, open doors, opportunities, connections, support to give young people the platform to speak up for their futures. We did a good thing. It’s not over. We are all still so desperately needed in this effort to shift the entire evolutionary human community to live, for reals, as if our collective future matters. I’m intensely grateful for all of you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
With love and blessings of courage and community to you all,