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This past weekend Transition Los Angeles (TLA) participated in a street fair in South Los Angeles.  As I stated in my "Diversity" article, we have plenty of work to do on our TLA team to bring ethnic and racial diversity on board.  The South LA fair was our first major attempt to begin bridging that gap.

(Video from the South LA EarthFest is online here.)

As we enter the season of Earth Day events, and Transition Los Angeles finds itself and its pods invited to or hosting (count them) SEVENTEEN events over the course of the next week-and-a-half, it might be handy to have some "elevator talks" handy. 

Elevator talks are the answer to how you would explain Transition in about 30 seconds, for instance explaining it to a fellow passenger in an elevator in the time between when he hops in at one floor and hops out at the next.  Advertisers are quite polished on the concept;  people's attention is fleeting, and you have only those few brief seconds to hook them in to your idea.

Earlier this week I spoke about the Transition movement as a guest on Southern California's leading National Public Radio affiliate.  It was a big opportunity that came to us completely out of the blue.  The show is archived (the producer tells me "in perpetuity"), so you can listen to it here.

In preparation for the show, the host described her audience to me as "fairly mainstream."  She said it would be the first time most of her listeners had ever heard about the Transition movement.

The host's introduction is quite remarkable.  She reveals her personal journey, starting with a disclaimer that she never considered herself to be "radical" or "a hippie."  But as she became aware of issues like global warming, peak oil, and environmental devastation, she began to make changes in her lifestyle.  She describes driving less, growing a few vegetables, and thinking differently about consumerism.  I think that her candid statement gives validity to the journey many listeners might be on as well.

This spring, my children's school is finally starting a food garden. You may have heard of the many projects nationwide to get children interested in "real food", and if you have school-aged children, you may have wondered what it takes to get one of these going.

October 10, 2010 is the "global work party" for global warming solutions.  It is the latest move from our friends over at 350.org.  And in my opinion Transition Initiatives (TI) are perfectly situated to take major action.  Begin plans now to host a local project in your hometown, and have your TI be the hosting organization.

Why?

Firstly, #7 of the 12 Steps of Transition is physical projects.  We TIs aren't "talk shops." We're about real action and real preparation.  Finally 350.org has gotten around to real, physical, solution-oriented projects.  Let's partner them and host local sites.

It was with great anticipation and excitement that the Transition US Team gathered on February 12th for an intensive retreat at the Angela Center in Santa Rosa, California. Both new and old Board members met together for the first time, for 3 days of in-depth discussion, creative thinking, heartfelt sharing and celebration. Our intention was to generate ideas, and share thoughts and feelings on the future of the Transition movement in the States, and to determine the role played by Transition US.

How do we juggle parenting our children with the work we know we must do to facilitate a livable world for them when they are grown?

In Part I of this three-part post, I considered things from a Transition Initiative’s point of view – what we could include in our programming to welcome kids into our circle. In this segment, I’ll discuss issues specific to parents of young children – children below school age. This falls into two general categories: at T.I. meetings, and in the home environment.

At Transition Initiative meetings

Despite all that I wrote in part I of this post, it’s likely the members of your steering group who don’t have young kids won’t spend much time thinking about how to involve kids in T.I. activities. That will be up to you, the one who is in the parenting life-phase.  As you design it for your own needs, you will open your T.I. to other families.

How do we juggle parenting our children with the work we know we must do to facilitate a livable world for them when they are grown?

In this first of a three-part post, I’ll discuss what Transition Initiatives can do to be more welcoming to parents and children.

This past weekend I had a telephone conversation with one of the board members at Transition United States. As moms, we naturally swapped stories about our offspring. I realized that we have a void within the Transition movement as far as stories about parenting.

Here in the U.S., when we think about the term "diversity," perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is race.  A second thought might be ethnic culture.  Thus it came as a surprise to me to see that a UK-based post seeking diversity projects included "faith groups." 

Maybe it's like "petrol" versus "gasoline" ... another one of those UK/US differences.

If you asked our core team here at Transition Los Angeles whether we're a diverse group, our answer instantly and unanimously would be "we have quite a ways to go."  Like many other initiatives within the Transition Network, we're still grappling with that crowd-of-white-faces issue. 

But when I started to think about the UK diversity project's definition, I realized that Transition Los Angeles already has quite a bit of diversity to celebrate and experiences to share.

For Winter Solstice, I attended a warm and wonderful fireside ceremony lead by a Native American healer at the site of one of our Los Angeles local Transition pods. As part of this ceremony, we were invited to release the year passing, and to presence dreams for the year ahead.

I thought back over the whirlwind year of setting up Transition initiatives here in Los Angeles. In Dec. 2008, we were hosting Los Angeles' first Transition training; in Jan 2009 we held the first core team meetings of the group that became the Transition Los Angeles City Hub.  We had yet to meet many of the people who are vital and active today.

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