Pachamama Alliance - Iowa
Arundhati Roy described it poignantly: “Historically, pandemics
have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal,
a gateway between one world and the next.”*
Three members who identify with the Unitarian Universalist values and principles became aware of the resources offered by the global Pachamama Alliance Community and were inspired by the Drawdown Course, Awakening the Dreamer, the Game Change Intensive, and Pathways to Reversing Global Warming. They quickly became aware of how the mission, vision, and purpose of Pachamama Alliance aligned very well with the Unitarian Universalist values and principles and decided to create a Pachamama Alliance - Iowa community. Would you like to go on the journey with us to transition and experience a new world view? Bring your interests, passions, concerns, and talents to the next Pachamama Iowa event.
Our Shared Purpose
Pachamama Alliance - Iowa is part of a global movement focused on building a thriving, equitable, socially just, life-affirming future for all, through an informed reallocation of our resources.
The immediacy, uncertainty and chaos of the present global crises of the pandemic, climate crisis and political polarization demand our attention. Clearly, the maintenance of current structures reveals complicity with a military economy, poverty, racism, ecological degradation, and a disparate response to public health care. This forces us to break with the past and imagine a new world view.
A basic precondition for being able to cross the threshold is a radical acceptance of what is, and a determination to come together through the power of relationships and connections to build a new world view based on ecological restoration, community resilience, and social equity. It will take all of us working together, sharing our gifts and talents, to envision and clarify the next steps based on a world view of love, caring, regeneration, deep democracy, social equity, and ecological and social well-being.
With gratitude and hope, we create space for people to come together, build connections, and come to an agreement about the way we want to be in relationship and action together.
We offer information, presentations, and discussions regarding the global Pachamama Alliance Movement, thus serving as a resource to help us be open to learning how we can transition into the future. We are committed to the Pachamama Alliance global purpose and mission. We collaborate with and support other movements and groups who also endorse our vision for our future. We endorse the use of technology including social media helping us to experience an interconnected web of life that values our diversity and the ongoing learning of skills to manage and learn from conflict.
Actions, focuses of change, and projects occur at the individual, family and friends, local institutions and community, state and national legislative bodies, as well at the global community levels. In contrast to operating from a dominance, hierarchical, industrial position, where success is based on endless and unsustainable growth and consumption, we strive to create a life-oriented culture explicitly designed for the protection, flourishing and sustainability of the human species and all living plants and animals.
We value experiencing the interconnected web of all existence. We acknowledge we each will be continuing to change and evolve as we all transition to an ecological restorative, resilient, life-affirming world view, where we are accountable for how our actions impact both ourselves and others.
*Nafeez Ahmed (May 11, 2020) “The Light at the End”, YES! Magazine Summer 2020 Retrieved from https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/coronavirus-community-power/2020/05/11/coronavirus-community-power-survival /Issue 94
Ways To Build Connections and Community
Pachamama Alliance Iowa strives to offer a supportive framework that empowers everyone to follow their natural desires to connect, create, and collaborate. We believe that people contribute to community efforts that ignite their passion and provide opportunities or openings to share their talents. Thus creating community is an ongoing evolutionary process.
We actively seek to identify and undo barriers, that inhibit the opportunity for developing greater self-awareness, interconnection, deeper understanding, and nourishing relationships. Through our working together, we strive to create and experience democracy. Believing that none of us is as smart as all of us, we strive to harvest the collective wisdom of everyone. Learned power structures often inhibit many people from sharing their gifts and skills, therefore, we offer the following shared working agreements.
Shared Working Agreements
Lead with Presence and Awareness. Focus on being engaged and fully present in the meeting.
Practice being aware of self: Share your thoughts and reactions from your lived experience.
Practice mindful deep listening: Listen with your whole self, and gently bring your attention back to listening when you find yourself planning a response or wanting to jump in and speak before someone is finished talking. Be willing to be surprised.
Remember Your Right to Pass, Pause, or Remain Silent: It is okay not to have a response or clarity about how one would like to respond. If you are aware you are becoming overly upset or intense, it is helpful to deep breathe, and practice slowing down to help you make connections and be understood by others.
Requesting Confidentiality. We are here to build community, so please be open to acknowledging and sharing your gifts and talents with others, and also having them acknowledged and shared by others. We also acknowledge some meetings may need an agreement of confidentiality so that members can share deeply. Thus we honor and respect requests for confidentiality.
Respect Tension and Disagreement when it Is Expressed: If conflict arises, focus on slowing down to use your ability and power to choose your response and make sure people have been heard. Practice ways to use your anger constructively. Remember one can table making an agreement if some space and time is needed. Work to stay engaged to resolve the tension.
Refrain from blaming or shaming self or others: Practice giving skillful feedback,
focused on speaking from your heart and how you are being impacted.
Encourage Full Participation by All Present: Take note of who is speaking and who is not. If you tend to speak often, consider “moving back” and allowing others space to speak.
Stretching One’s Comfort Zone: Be willing to try on new ideas, or ways of doing things that might not be what you prefer or are familiar with. All growth and personal evolution require taking risks and stretching one’s comfort zone. We make better decisions when we approach our problems and challenges with questions and curiosity. Allow space for play, curiosity, creative thinking, and multiple points of view.
Be accountable to the group, If you are struggling to follow these agreements or following through on completing an action one agreed to do, acknowledge to the group or a member of the group the barrier or problem. Allow others to help provide support and problem solve.
OUR SHARED PROTOCOLS
Shared Core Leadership Team
Leadership for Pachamama Iowa is facilitated by a core leadership team, which is comprised of no more than 7 people who are willing to take responsibility for the effectiveness and well-being of the group. The membership of the core team evolves as members are motivated and passionate about wanting to lead. Members are not elected by the group but rotate on or off of leadership based on their willingness to serve, and their availability and interest in leading.
Expectations of core leadership members include regular attendance at agreed-upon meetings, a commitment to follow the ways of being in community, and who follow meeting protocols. Members of Pachamama Alliance are welcome to attend Core Leadership Meetings to present their ideas and to gain support and feedback regarding an event they may be planning. The strengths of a shared core leadership are that the roles of leadership are shared, the history of the team is maintained as new members join and learn the process, and it allows for fresh perspectives and opportunities for others to assume leadership roles.
Group decisions are based on the consensus of the members present at the meeting. Decisions can be tabled if additional information or consultation is needed. Some decisions maybe just to provide support and the endorsement of another member to take action.
Subgroups can be formed to address specific issues, congregational, community institutional needs, or regional needs. Subgroups are to follow the shared working agreements and protocols.
As we practice shared leadership, the following assigned roles rotate each meeting. Depending upon the size and comfort level of the members, a chart can be kept and each person knows when it is their turn to take a defined role. As the group grows and new members join, members are invited to volunteer for a role they feel comfortable to fulfill.
The roles are as follows:
- Sacred Space Facilitator: One person is prepared to complete a centering exercise to open sacred space and to close sacred space.
- Moderator: Person who is responsible for keeping the meeting flowing and on track. Each person is encouraged to assist the group moderator by working to stay on track and keep the meeting flowing. Moderator will acknowledge our shared purpose, shared working agreement, facilitate check-in, the group discussion, and closing round/takeaways, and decisions for the next meeting and assignment of roles.
- Time Keeper: Person who keeps the group aware of the time, so we can stay focused on the decision or next steps to be taken.
- Note Taker: The person who keeps track of the issues discussed and decisions made and types them in a shared google document that all members have access to.
Our Meeting Format (90 minutes)
- Centering Exercise and Opening Sacred Space
- Acknowledgment of our Shared Purpose and Shared Working Agreement
- Check-In, Stating What You Hope to Get from the Meeting and agenda items.
- Group Discussion
- The moderator of the meeting focuses on addressing the defined agenda items and keeping the meeting on track. Depending upon the particular focus or agenda for the group, the moderator has different options for how to manage the meeting. Members please remain aware of shared working agreements.
- Closing Round / Takeaways Please reflect on the following questions and briefly respond to the group.
- Did you get what you wanted from the group today?
- How are you feeling about the meeting?
- Are you taking something with you to work on before our next meeting?
- Logistics for Next Meeting: Confirm assigned roles, time, and date of next meeting.
- Closing Sacred Space
Scheduled Dates for Reflection
Although new agreements can be made at any time as concerns arise, we schedule meetings every 6 months specifically to review and reflect on progress toward our shared purpose, in following our shared agreements, and to consider any changes of focus or correction. New agreements are based on consensus.
The following questions help us reflect on our agreements.
- How are we doing overall in our meetings?
- How well are we doing in meeting the markers or goals of our shared purpose?
- What agreements are most difficult to follow?
- What do we need to focus our attention on?
- What support or advice do we need to obtain from an outside resource or person.
Membership In Pachamama Alliance - Iowa
One can become a member of Pachamama Alliance - Iowa by joining as a member of the Pachamama Alliance Global Commons. There are no dues to belong to Pachamama Alliance - Iowa. The issues of finances and resources to implement actions will be problem solved and addressed when planning the project. The link to Pachamama Alliance Iowa on the Global Commons is https://connect.pachamama.org/group/iowa.
Date Implemented: 11/25/20