Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West
Some Principles for Shaping Meaningful Programs
I have always believed in the power and the potential of bringing people together in a safe and beautiful environment and empowering them to engage in thoughtful and creative ways. In the fall of 2009, in my work as Executive Director of the Redford Center, we convened a “Summit” at the Sundance Resort in Utah on the growing Water Crises in the Colorado River Basin. At the end of our two day Summit (Retreat) the participants expressed a unanimous desire for a creative documentary that would educate more people about the growing Water Crises in the West and inspire them to get involved.
Prague, Czech Republic
December 23, 2011
The feelings of sadness, loss, grief were palatable as I walked around Prague and went to the Presidential Palace. Today was Vaclav Havel’s funeral. At noon a siren sounded and everyone stopped to reflect for a minute on his life. I looked at the faces of the people around me. It was clear that for many this was personal; so many had their own stories to tell about him. The loss was more than that of a past president, but of a man who had provided hope and moral leadership. A man who was so much more than a political leader; he was a philosopher, a dissident, a playwright and a man who stood by his convictions. For his humanistic beliefs and writings, he spent nearly five years in prison.
Nature is indiscriminate; We are not.
Port–au–Prince, October 15, 2011
Some personal reflections
I will never forget that moment: 4:31 a.m., January 17, 1994. Like millions of others the Northridge earthquake shook me to my core. The ground which always seemed so anchored and firm was now was in turbulent motion. The Northridge earthquake (6.7) devastated so many people’s lives in the Los Angeles basin. The economic toll was enormous, the emotional impact was immeasurable, and the collapsed structures reflected the enormous damage that had been brought in just a matter of seconds. In a county of ten million people, it is estimated that 33 people lost their lives and 8700 were injured. For these families it became a tragedy. Thousands of people took refuge in shelters, schools and the homes of loved ones. As we know, life went on pretty much the same way it had before.
I recently moderated two seminars at the Aspen Institute. Both were on the Great Ideas – with a focus on issues like justice, happiness, a life of meaning and leadership. One of the seminars was for juniors in high schools. I found their writings quite inspiring and wrote an article for the Aspen Times.
Overview – All around the world IMC has thousands of men and women who are filled with compassion and are acting to help the lives of the most vulnerable. Here in these counties of Tambura and Nagero where 100,000 people reside, the life saving work that I described in my first note, is being guided and implemented by over 180 women and men, mostly from South Sudan.
I am spending a week in one of the most remote areas of Sothern Sudan. It is an area of great need for health services. IMC is the primary health care NGO working in Tambura and Nagero Counties – an area with approximately 100,000 people and an expanse of well over three hundred miles. The roads are treacherous, poverty permeates the region, and the illiteracy rate is very high.
We have a responsibility to “bear witness” to the extreme human suffering that is taking place in this region. I will be traveling there under the auspices of the International Medical Corps, an outstanding humanitarian organization – http://www.internationalmedicalcorps.org/ whose mission is: From Relief to Self-Reliance.