350Vermont is creating a five-day, 53-mile sacred walk for climate justice, called Next Steps. Together we will celebrate the solutions to the climate crisis already underway, while also grieving the pipeline, ecosystem destruction, and the ever-growing, multi-faceted injustices of the “Industrial Growth Society.” We invite you to take this journey with us to to deepen—to remember—our connections with each other and the land. We acknowledge this is the original homeland of the Abenaki people and what is now called Vermont is one small portion of what the people term Ndakinna. In solidarity with the indigenous people of the area, we hope to join them as stewards of this place.
Our plan is to walk from Middlebury to Montpelier, April 5 to 9, 2019. Along the way, we’ll witness the pipeline’s impact on land and lives and witness the creative solutions and changes being implemented–from homesteads to solar panels, from mass transit to mass compost. When we land at the State House in Montpelier, we will escalate our call for a ban on fossil fuel infrastructure. Each day will offer unique opportunities for activism, reflection, and community-building; each day will have a focus connected to place and to healing our world and ourselves.
We’re walking because we’re in an emergency—a climate emergency, a justice emergency. We’re walking to center this situation in a new way, both for ourselves and the broader community. At this moment, the communities along the Addison County pipeline are at risk because of safety violations by VT Gas. At this moment, legislators are not acting swiftly to pass a ban on fossil fuel infrastructure or other policies commensurate with the crisis at hand. And, also, at this moment, youth are striking across Europe, the Green New Deal is shining brightly, and people across Vermont are seeking fair and equitable alternatives.
Why this walk?
Especially when the crisis is so urgent? Because creating strong ties between us, the changemakers, are essential in this movement. Because we need to practice working collaboratively in challenging situations. Because we know that our collective power is stronger than our individualist pursuits. Together, we will co-create an interdependent community dedicated to collective liberation, personal transformation, and realizing and reclaiming our power. We’ll share our stories; we’ll listen to each other; we’ll engage in real dialogue and consensus process. We’ll join together in ceremony and shared meals, in silence and in song, with laughter, tears, intimacy, and blisters.
Curious about joining?
We are committed to inclusivity, and all people are welcome in building this beloved Next Steps community. You are welcome to join for one day, five days, or for as many days as you are able. If you are unable to join the walk in body, we invite you to join in spirit – in prayer, in sponsorship, in silent vigil, or in some meaningful act of solidarity. And if you want to support but are unable to join yourself, we invite you to sponsor a walker!
We welcome the public to join at our events along the walk:
Next Steps kickoff, Middlebury Green: April 5th, 1 pm