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Transition Santa Cruz: The Power of Community

Thursday, October 23, 2008
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Michael Levy
Location Details:
Native Sons Hall, 239 High St.
At the very bottom of High Street, next to the pedestrian bridge

Transition Santa Cruz, the local grassroots movement that aims to prepare Santa Cruz for living well without fossil fuels, is presenting the documentary film "The Power of Community" this month as part of their awareness-raising campaign. "The Power of Community" portrays the groundbreaking (literally) response of the people of Cuba to the loss of imported oil after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Cuba rapidly developed an extensive system of organic gardens and farms in both urban and rural areas, and recovered from what could have been a famine-inducing crisis. The members of Transition Santa Cruz hope we can learn from their example.

Transition Santa Cruz was started by a small group of concerned citizens last summer as part of an international network of "Transition Initiatives," begun several years ago in England. These initiatives aim to foster "resilience," the ability of a community to thrive despite major challenges such as climate disruptions and the loss of fossil fuels as usable energy sources. "What makes the Transition approach stand out, among all sorts of schemes for sustainability, is that it so thoroughly and enjoyably involves the community in addressing the very problems that most of us have been feeling so hopeless about," says Michael Levy, one of the members of Transition Santa Cruz. "The enthusiasm in the room is palpable when people hear about the Transition approach," he adds.

Although the Transition Initiative idea seems custom-made for Santa Cruz, it has actually caught on in a surprising number and variety of localities. In the US there are now about 120 cities working on Transition Initiatives, out of nearly 800 worldwide. Santa Cruz is the 99th officially recognized Initiative; number 100 is Fujino, Japan. The Christian Science Monitor recently did a story documenting the spread of this unique movement:

The October movie screening, like all Transition events, will be participatory. Audience members will be invited to get to know each other by pairing and conversing for segments of the evening, and to share their ideas for a resilient Santa Cruz by speaking out in the group or writing down their thoughts and posting them on the wall.

For more information on Transition Santa Cruz, go to their website at, or call Michael Levy at 427-9916.

Added to the calendar on Wed, Oct 8, 2008 12:17PM
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