Jul 27: RAMP air monitors

Communities First Sewickley Valley is sponsoring a webinar "The RAMP Monitors Northwest of Pittsburgh" with CMU professor Dr. Albert Presto

RAMP stands for Real-time Affordable Multi-pollutant monitors.  CMU deployed RAMPS and PurpleAIr monitors in and around Pittsburgh and baseline data readings were collected in 2018-2019.  The communities that hosted the RAMPS northwest of Pittsburgh are Beaver, Sewickley, Bradford Woods and Emsworth.

Dr. Presto will give a brief overview of the CMU program and of the RAMP air monitors.  Afterwards the operators will have the opportunity to compare notes and ask questions.

Folks who are interested in air monitoring are welcome to attend to learn more about RAMPS.

12-1 pm. via Zoom.  Please RSVP by email to receive the conference information: communities1sewickley@gmail.com

Jul 26: White Accomplices: Deep Canvassing

White Accomplice Series - Deep Canvass Phone Bank II

Familiarizing ourselves with talking about race with other white people, using deep canvassing techniques, will help us break down stigmas, cognitive dissonance and fragility. This phone bank will include a 45 minute training, 2 hours of calls with ongoing support from trainers, and a chance to debrief together after.
2-5 p.m., online.  Please register here.  

Jul 25: Sustainability Salon on Local Economies

Following last month's "Econ 101" examination of the economics of energy, the 102nd Sustainability Salon will look at ways to keep wealth circulating in our own communities.  In the face of ever-more-powerful global corporations, there's a growing movement to shorten supply chains and bring attention, and business, back into local communities while enriching the lives and livelihoods of residents in all walks of life.
In contrast to the declining value of the fracking and petrochemical industries we looked at last month, the ReImagine movement envisions bringing jobs, prosperity, and resilience to an area and enable a truly just transition.  The first such initiative in our region emerged in Beaver County, and more have sprung up in Butler County, the Turtle Creek watershed and surrounding areas, and now scaled up to a 4-state collaborative called Reimagine Appalachia, which just released its blueprint for a Green New Deal for all of us.  We'll have Reimagine Beaver County co-founder Joanne Martin, now also working on ReImagine Appalachia, on the evolution of the movement in our region.
Ron Gaydos of Scenius LLC will talk about shared-wealth tools to stimulate and sustain local economic development, like cooperatives, community-owned real estate, and social entrepreneurship.  
A classic form of cooperative that has been building local economies for decades, by recirculating money within a community through banking services, is the credit union.  East End Food Co-op Federal Credit Union manager Daniel Webb will help us get to know our local credit union.
InvolveMINT builds local resource networks using complementary currency to ease the financial and logistical barriers preventing communities from tackling systemic challenges and inequalities.  CEO Daniel Little, who described the platform's COVID response measures at our Mutual Aid salon, will put local currencies into historical context, and explain how the involveMINT Community Exchange Network matches unmet needs with underutilized resources to develop local supply chains.

Next month (August 22) we'll continue our economics focus with an exploration of social investment.

Salons usually run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill -- but these days we're on Zoom.  Plan to join the call after 3 p.m., and we aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to (virtually) meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.  Talks and discussion will probably wind down by around 7.  Conversation may or may not continue into the evening, depending on the inclinations of the folks still in the call.  If you're new to Zoom, you may find my Zoom Reference Guide helpful.  Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your Eventbrite notice (if you're not already on my list, just email me with salon in the subject line to be added!).  

Please do RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways   (and with a virtual event, it's how you'll get the call-in info!).  Please make every effort to RSVP well in advance -- I'll be sending out the registration link manually, so could miss last-minute registrations while setting up and hosting the event!  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line if you email, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!  

Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events, as well as better formatting for this event description) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  
As always, I'll be sending out directions and such (in this case Zoom instructions), and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before (usually Friday night).  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient!  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's. 

Coronavirus update:   As you know, people in Pittsburgh and around the world are sequestered at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Social distancing is still the rule for most Americans.  That's a bit of a misnomer, though -- we need physical distancing to flatten the curve, but technology now allows for rich interactions even so!  I believe that community is one of our greatest strengths, so in March as events began to be cancelled, I hosted the first virtual  Sustainability Salon via Zoom teleconference -- rather than gathering our usual 50-80 people in a contained space.   It went quite well (even engaging participants from hundreds of miles away), and we're looking forward to June's salon!  Please be sure to RSVP (via email with "salon" in the Subject: line, or via Eventbrite) so you'll receive the sign-on information.  

For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  it's a mini-conference;  it's a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  fit's a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included the economics of energymutual aid networksocean healththe rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting STEM into Congresskeeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and food, foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  If interested folks are online and everything is working smoothly by around 3:30, perhaps I can conduct a virtual tour.

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well.  (with a virtual event this is less likely to happen, but we can share music by turns, reminisce, chat online, and look forward to the post-COVID era!) 

Jul 21: Attorney General on fracking failures

"PA’s Fracking Failures" Webinar

Join Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and PennEnvironment to learn more about the AG’s recent report that uncovered egregious activity by fracking companies in the state--and the failure of state officials to rein them in and enforce basic environmental and public health protections. Get the inside scoop on the development of this report, and hear about the report’s recommendations to better protect public health & the environment from fracking.

1-2 p.m. online.  Register here for sign-on details.  Sponsored by PennEnvironment.  

Jul 20 How to Be an Antiracist

2019 Guggenheim Fellow and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi will discuss his renowned book “How to Be an Antiracist” on Monday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College. Dr. Dukes is the first African-American woman to serve as president of the College and has 30 years of progressive leadership experience and administrative responsibility in higher education. The conversation will be streamed live online on Crowdcast, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter/Periscope, and will air on PGCC TV on a later date. 
Praised as “The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind” (New York Times), Kendi’s groundbreaking work has provided a major new counterpoint in the national conversation about race in America and resonates in this, our collective moment of reckoning. 
Ibram X. Kendi is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, a professor of history, and the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is a columnist at The Atlantic and a correspondent with CBS News. He is the author of five books including “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction; “How to Be an Antiracist”; “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and “Antiracist Baby,” illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky.
7 p.m. online;  more info and RSVP here.

Jul 16: Extend Your Harvest

Summer Planting Tips To Extend The Harvest

4-5 p.m., online.  Register here ($20 fee;  discount for entire series).  Check out the series on Facebook.  Hosted by Buy Fresh Buy Local/Farm to Table Western PA

Jul 15: Last day to order BLM signs

Given the recent desire to visibly show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, friends have created a fundraiser that will provide a lawn sign, funds for organizations working locally in the Black community, and a resources doc of 24 pages (and growing!).  

NOTE: If you already have a sign, please note donations w/o sign purchases are also gladly received. Thank you!
            Also please consider checking out the resource doc referenced on this sign! 

Jul 15: AQ and COVID

Air Quality and COVID-19: Connections, Health Impacts, and Racial Disparities

Wednesday, July 15, 2020: 3 p.m.-4 p.m. CT
This webinar will discuss the preliminary implications of findings that suggest higher death rates of COVID-19 in individuals who have faced long-term exposure to poor air quality (PM 2.5). It will also focus on the findings that communities of color, especially African Americans, are especially at risk from the health impacts of both air pollution and COVID-19. Speakers will include researchers and experts from both the health and public policy perspectives working to understand and combat these synergistic health threats.
Moderated by Kelly Crawford, MS, the Associate Director of DC Department of Energy & Environment, Air Quality Division and Chair of DOEE's Equity Working Group.  Speakers include Francesca Dominici, PhD. Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative, Harvard University and the Clarence James, Gamble Professor of Biostatistics;  Tesfaye Mersha, PhD., Associate Professor in Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; and Claudia Persico, PhD., Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University.
4-5 p.m. online.  More information and registration here.  Sponsored by the American Lung Association.

Jul 13: White Fragility discussion

Webinar discussion of Part 1 of White Fragility (48 minute listen). The discussion will be led by Elizabeth Denevi, PhD, Co-founder of Teaching While White. See how white fragility shows up in our work and what we can do to become less fragile and more proactive when it comes to challenging racism advocating for racial justice. 

Please listen to the podcast here prior to the webinar  — especially helpful since copies of the book are currently sold out!

Introductory remarks by Randolph Carter:  As both a parent of a student with dyslexia and an educator, Randolph will open our session and frame the important intersection of race and ability. He will discuss why racial identity matters when thinking about students, teachers, and service providers.
Randolph Carter As both the founder of East Ed and a member of the Black Panther Party, Randolph has devoted his career to promoting equity and diversity in education and communities. Most recently, he directed the campus diversity efforts at Portland Community College, Cascade Campus. He was a Fellow in the Harvard University School Leadership Program, Graduate School of Education, where he received a master’s degree in education with a school leadership qualification. He is currently a doctoral student in the School of Education Leadership and Change at Fielding University. He was a middle school reading specialist, a school administrator, and while at the National Association of Independent Schools, he directed their equity programming and founded two of their signature projects: People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Randolph has also served on numerous school boards, including Fielding Graduate University and the Institute for Community Enrichment. He is a member of the Education Committee of the New Press. His publications include peer-reviewed articles and book reviews published in national journals.
Suggested donation of $5 to assist with meeting costs.  More information and RSVP here.

Jul 3: White Accomplice training

Thomas Merton Center is hosting a weekly training series for white accomplices and allies;  this week's topic is "What is a White Accomplice?".

7-9 p.m. online;  register here for sign-on info.  There's also a Facebook event page.