Member Spotlight: Sue Staropoli

Sue is an Awakening the Dreamer Facilitator, Game Changer Intensive Moderator, and Drawdown Initiative Convener with the Rochester Pachamama Community. You can learn more about Sue on her profile page.


SueWhere do you currently live?

I live in Rochester, New York. Rochester is a city that has a broad and active community of people who are working on issues of social and environmental justice. It makes collaboration a joyful part of our work in the community!

What are some ways you like to spend your time?

I love to spend time with my family - especially enjoying activities with many grandchildren (softball games, dance and piano recitals, ultimate Frisbee games, drama performances, etc.). Many are young adults and it's a joy connecting with them as they move into their own lives of service! I also love reading, walking in nature, playing pickleball, and engaging in awesome experiences with our Rochester Pachamama Community.

In the winter I am gratefully privileged to get away from the cold in Rochester to spend special time with my beloved husband of 52 years. He has supported me in this work every step of the way, and time alone with him is precious!

How did you first connect with Pachamama Alliance?

I received an e-mail from a friend - in May 2012 - inviting me to attend a "day of reflection to help create a world that is environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just." I knew I needed to be there! That Awakening the Dreamer Symposium was transforming - opening my heart and mind and broadening my worldview. I came home that night, looked at the Pachamama Alliance website, and saw "Journey into the Amazon." Within 4 months I was with the Achuar in the Amazon! What an introduction to this new Pachamama life!

What is a memory or experience with Pachamama Alliance that stands out for you?

One of the most impactful parts of my initial symposium was the video clip of the Nigerian woman who shared how her village was destroyed by the oil industry, and that she (and many other women) had had a miscarriage after going in the river to help clean it up. Her beautiful, pained face and story haunt me - and it was that story that opened my heart to see how my lifestyle is affecting others. I could no longer deny my complicity. I'm using the gas that keeps oil companies exploiting others, and the earth, all over the world. Every time I get gas in my car I see her face and say a little prayer to her, asking forgiveness and connecting with her and her village.

What is something you are proud to be doing in service of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet?

I am feeling such gratitude that I have had the opportunity to share the Pachamama vision and work in our Rochester community, starting with offering many symposiums and growing a vibrant powerful team. Within this community we offer each other hope (especially in these challenging times) and "as agents of change, devoted to healing ourselves and our society, we engage in transformative, collaborative actions in support of the Pachamama Alliance vision." 

What is something that you would like to see change in the world in the next 10 years?

I envision a world where everyone sees his or her value/importance in helping create a better world - giving meaning to their lives and empowering them into action! I am passionate about the Drawdown effort to reverse global warming, and the way it empowers everyone into meaningful action, based on their own interests and gifts!

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I am so grateful for the meaning this Pachamama Alliance work has given to my own life! And the Pachamama Alliance community (local, national, global) that supports me on this journey!

And I am so grateful for my husband Frank who has supported me on this adventure every step of the way. He understands and supports this passion in me that needs expression, as he follows the passions in his heart: addressing racism. I love sharing my life with him as we each do the work we’re meant to do – and enjoy spending time together. He is a presence of love and grounding as I move and grow through this work.

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