Building community

Today's art for The Phoenix was created by Laila Arêde

Welcome to Week 1 of The Phoenix 2.0.

This week is all about community. Specifically: How do we collectively struggle together to transform the places we live into thriving embodiments of a global society that exist for everyone? There are better, shorter ways to say it, but you know what I'm talking about.

And you know it when you see it:

Photo by Callum Shaw / Unsplash

Photo by juan pablo rodriguez / Unsplash

Community is a place where your voice is heard, where you matter, and where you're working with others for shared goals that help make life better for everyone.

Nothing happens without community. And right now we need a lot to happen.

And we need a lot to happen soon. This is such an important moment. In the United States, these next few days are especially important because this is when we'll put ourselves on the crash course for transformative change as a country.

But we also need to remember that moments like this come from somewhere. Moments like this don't happen without continuously building community through centuries and millennia of struggle.

On the surface, it might not feel like it, but those who've come before us have done the work to get to this place. And we're carrying that work forward, every day. On the surface, it make feel like the world is barreling toward climate chaos, and we’re haggling over top-level palace intrigue in Washington, D.C. — but we have communities living in the middle of the just transition that are waking up every single day to get to work right now, today.

That big picture stuff is important, but it’s not as important as the real lives that are in need of a better future, right now.

These past few years have been a crossroads for climate movement. We are building public power for achieving racial, economic, and environmental justice in our lifetimes. We are realizing and re-realizing that everything is truly interconnected. We are learning from our elders and our youth that everyone's voice matters. We are holding people to account and demanding real change.

In this era of lockdowns, shortages, and trauma, we are remembering that the world doesn't just work top-down, it works by neighborhoods. Everyone lives somewhere. Everyone shares space with others. We all are physically dependent on each other and on the physicality of the world we are co-creating.

How do we move away from tokenized "empowerment" and towards authentic solidarity?

This week, on Tuesday at 5pm ET, I'll be hosting our first-ever The Phoenix Twitter Space to chat about building community within the climate movement and in our neighborhoods. I'd love for you to join me!

For Thursday's members-only post, I'll be publishing our first The Phoenix 2.0 feature story, an interview with Elizabeth Yeampierre that I did almost a year ago, but is still critically relevant today.

And speaking of building community, that's what I'd love our conversations to focus about this week.

Since there's no native comments section on Ghost, we have an opportunity to build a new way of interacting with each other that produces lasting change.

Here are some options I've been thinking of:

We could build a Discord channel, and join together with other climate communities to pool our resources.

We could move all of our conversations to Twitter's new Communities feature (where I'm moderating the Climate and Weather Community — DM me for an invite)

We could do something completely different.

Let me know by email or in the replies to this tweet:

 Twitter friends, what is the best way to build community online in the year 2021?

Discord? Twitter's new 'Communities'? Slack? blog post comments sections?? Something else entirely?— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) October 4, 2021 

Until next time! <3