We can convert the planet to renewable energy sources and disarm the world, but if we do not do the deep infrastructure work to address and heal the basic instincts that produced colonialism, capitalism, and war, humanity’s capacity for brilliant evil will inevitably make more malignant systems and even more lethal new weapons. We’ll keep investing in retaliation rather than restoration. History has shown in South Africa, Ireland, and elsewhere that mercy and reconciliation are effective approaches for soothing old wounds and seeding new futures. History has also shown hate breeds hate; war breeds war; and failing to forgive breeds illness, rage and a desire for retribution. Revenge is a shotgun, not a rifle.
Working with The Forgiveness Project and Indigenous caretakers of sacred sites in North and South America, Phase One convenes a community conversation with a map of the impacted areas (sacrifice zones). Concepts to be explored include:
Phase One informs the creation of a Forgiveness Map by a local/indigenous artist(s). Art transforms statistics into creative images depicting realities of ecological devastation and war. Our long-term vision is to explore and promote macro-level forgiveness and inspire a place-based movement through organizing, direct action, advocacy, and lobbying; storytelling and communications that advance forgiveness and build public will and cultural power; and coalition building with the original caretakers to preserve, protect and reclaim sacred land in climate refugia.
Comprising less than 5% of the world's population, indigenous people protect 80% of global biodiversity. According to the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, “Indigenous and local knowledge can contribute to overcoming the combined challenges of climate change, food security, biodiversity conservation, and combating desertification and land degradation.”
Forgiveness Maps is a project of Women’s EcoPeace, an IRS 501c3 non-profit corporation founded by Chief Executive Stacy Bannerman in November of 2017.
We are dedicated to unleashing the power of women to protect the planet, promote peace, and preserve sacred land in climate refugia: Areas relatively buffered from modern climate change over time that enable persistence of valued physical, ecological, and sociocultural resources.
Refugia are increasingly being recognized as critical responses and resources in the face of looming Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD).
Our work is centered in Peace Ecology that links the essence of peace and nonviolence with the tenets of spiritual ecology and the principles of environmentalism.
Before starting Women’s EcoPeace, our founder, Stacy Bannerman, lost everything she loved because of the Iraq War. Her journey of healing, of walking the path from war to peace, led directly through forgiveness.
Forgiveness breaks the karmic cycle of violence and war, but is seldom mentioned by climate justice and peace groups. Stacy found it much easier to forgive individuals who had harmed her. Forgiveness on a macro scale for a country that launched a war based on lies was far more difficult. (The Forgiveness Project https://www.theforgivenessproject.com/stacy-bannerman) But that work must be done even amid the endless wars as we call for peace. Even amid ecosystem degradation and climate collapse as we strive to mitigate and reverse that.
Intervenor with FERC against the proposed Jordan Cove/LNG Pipeline.
Co-signer the historic Secwepemc Women’s Declaration Against Man Camps.
Ten days in the Heart of the World for experiential education in Indigenous spiritual ecology and meetings with the Kogi, Kankuamo, Wiwa, and Arhuaca tribes of Colombia to discuss partnership for coffee sales to sow the seeds of peace and protect tribal lands in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world’s most important nature reserve. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/14/colombia-misty-mountain-nature-reserve
We were part of a small group of women who supported the tribes working to secure funds and file paperwork returning 35 acres to tribal ownership, preventing dam construction on the Guatapuri River and protecting the ecosystem.
Launched nation's first-ever statewide Divest From War Campaign in Oregon.
Heart2Heart Tour: Veterans and Their Families Speak Out About Love, War, and Enough Folded Flags.
Co-signer of the Global Appeal for Peace, which seeks to build a popular movement that supports peace and respect for sovereignty and international law and opposes acts of aggression whether economic, military or otherwise.
Attended No War 2019: Pathways to Peace Annual Conference hosted by World Beyond War in Limerick, Ireland.
Participated in the November 8th #FireDrillFriday on War and the Environment with Jane Fonda in Washington, D.C. Joined the December 20 #FireDrillFriday on Climate and Health.
Integrity: We must be true to who we are and honor the work we are called to do. “The duty of privilege is absolute integrity.” (John O’Donohue, 2007)
Perseverance: Systemic change includes dismantling the structures of oppression and that is a multi-generational marathon. Slavery wasn’t abolished the first time out of the gate; it took centuries of organizing to bring the institution down. Nearly 100 years of activism had to happen before suffragists secured the passage of the 19th Amendment. We’re in the Third Wave of feminism and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) drafted in 1972 has yet to be ratified. We had fifteen million people around the globe marching against the Iraq War on February 15, 2003. We didn’t stop the war, but we reinforced the pattern for peace in the morphogenetic field. We wove one more golden thread for a world beyond war into the fabric of the future.
Faith: Every genuine devotional path calls upon the follower to serve humanity and the healing of the world. If we have a spiritual, moral, and humanitarian mandate to alleviate suffering, then surely, we are ordained not to inflict it.
Courage and Love: Soulforce is the twin flames of courage and love. Mahatma Gandhi called it satyagraha, and it is the energy behind every person who ever spoke truth to power, every person who has worked to advance justice with mercy. That force ─ and you can call it truthforce, loveforce, Godforce ─ is the most potent energy we have for changing the world.
Beauty: Creation is the basilica of God. In the end, that is what our work is for. We seek to find and create beauty in the ugliest of moments and most painful events. Perhaps especially then.