Convergence Newsletter December 2022

12/21/2022A Monthly Newsletter from the Romero Institute
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Romero Review

A letter from the leaders of the Romero Institute

"I think calling it climate change is rather limiting. I would rather call it everything change."

Margaret Atwood

Dear friend,

Join me, for a moment, in a simple thought experiment: how would the future be different, if, on January 1st, 2023, everyone on the planet decided to make love for one another the guiding principle of our lives?

By replacing fear and selfishness with trust and compassion, the need for militaries, police, and all other systems of violent oppression would instantly vanish, freeing roughly half our economy to finally be put to use building humanity up. Homelessness, poverty, discrimination, environmental destruction, and other policy choices would be corrected as our leaders collectively used their power for the greater good rather than for self-serving purposes. Corporations and businesses would strive to provide the best services to society instead of chasing maximum profit regardless of the cost. Root causes of social ills such as racism, greed, and crime could finally be eradicated and their rotten fruits disposed of for good.

Imagine what such a society could achieve! A universally-high standard of living measured in happiness instead of dollars, care and respect for all people, healing of intergenerational wounds, unprecedented prosperity and innovation, and, unique among all Earthly life, precise control over the climate and biodiversity of our shared planet. We could make this world, and all the amazing people on it, blossom! Not only could we ensure our joyful survival for millenia to come, we could take the next great step together to spread peace and wisdom among the stars. Our love would be an eternal gift to the universe.

This is, as of today, fantasy… with one thrilling caveat: Every single person on this planet has the capability to choose to be an embodiment of love, at any moment. When we do, we create a flicker of light and comfort in the darkness of pain and confusion, which guides and heals others. As hate breeds hate, so too does love spread more love. The great struggle of humanity is that of bringing forth such positivity and hope in spite of the pain each of us experiences from living in a world filled with suffering. What can we do to make it easier for every one of us to live the life all the world’s great spiritual traditions call us to live?

That is precisely the question, and the answer, we at the Romero Institute and its predecessor the Christic Institute, have fought to bring into existence for the past 42 years. From our beginnings with the quest for truth and justice for Karen Silkwood, struck down trying to protect her country and her fellow workers from nuclear harm, all the way to today as we are working tirelessly to protect both human and environmental rights through policy and education, we have tried our hardest to embody the spirit of love and compassion in all we do. In fact, we were just honored as one of the top-rated nonprofits in the country by GreatNonprofits.org!

This past year has been one of profound impact for our small but mighty organization. Not only did we pass our first bill through the California legislature, but the Supreme Court is debating the law governing the fate of Native American foster children we were instrumental in strengthening. We’re also in the final steps for a major television series based on the history of the Christic and Romero Institute’s work over the last four decades, something we’re tremendously excited to share with each and every one of you. And we’ve got so much more planned for the upcoming year!


Dancers and an induction cooktop cooking show from two of our Electrify My Life! events earlier this year.

Throughout all these many years, one thing has allowed us to do this work: the support of people like you. We’re funded exclusively by individuals like yourself who see the love and compassion we are trying to bring into the world and want us to keep going. We literally would not exist without you! So if there is anything we are doing that you support, I personally appreciate every dollar you can contribute to allow us to keep fighting for a future where all are welcome.

That future, which I attempted to illustrate at the start of this letter, is not something beyond our grasp. I sincerely believe that we can achieve such a society within the lifespans of our grandchildren - if we believe in a future of love. And as the consequences of humanity’s selfishness become increasingly impossible to ignore, more and more of us are awakening to the fact that love is the answer, and we are choosing to bravely shine out in the darkness.

All of us at the Romero Institute thank you for any (tax deductible!) contribution you can give to help us start 2023 on the best footing possible. Those who gift a thousand dollars or more annually are invited to join our Membership program, which gives you access to exclusive online member events, biannual strategic briefings, access to all projects’ membership programs, and more! Learn more by clicking here.

Thank you for standing alongside us. Together, let’s fight for a future of love!


Yours always,

Sara Nelson



P.S. Looking for ways to start conversations about climate change over the holidays? Check out our new Cards for Humanity!

Your Support Makes Justice Possible

You can change the world — and now is the time to do it. We must tackle the climate crisis head on, while we still can. That’s why your gift today is so important. Your generosity empowers the Romero Institute to win justice for Native communities and enact timely, tangible solutions for our planet. Thank you for standing with us!

Learn More

Romero Report

Current events, new perspectives on history, and more

In today’s report, Romero Institute President Dan Sheehan reviews everything we’ve done in the past year, with your generous support, to make that future a reality. This video also includes a brief clip from our recent Romero Roundtable digital town hall, where all of our donors from throughout the year were invited to participate in a conversation of our accomplishments and what lies ahead. Thanks to all who joined us, and keep an eye out for our next event!

Romero Reads

Highlighting important writings from around the world

Credit: Amelia Bates

For this month's reading, I wanted to share this beautiful story about a young Cherokee woman discovering the history of her fossil fuel-free world from the mouths of those that lived it as she travels across the country in search of one of the last surviving coal miners. There is both hope and sadness as she comes to terms with what humanity had done to ourselves and the planet, and the great sacrifices that were made to reach a better future. What will our grandchildren, and their grandchildren, think about us when their time comes?

-S.N.

Additional Resources

Interesting and noteworthy finds

Credit: Ana Latese

1.

This report from EarthJustice shares the true stories of real life climate heroes working on the frontlines in Florida, embodying the passion and compassion we all need to steer the future back to safety. I hope their actions can inspire you to take action in your own community!

2.

In this brief eulogy, Margaret Atwood provides a more somber vision of a future where the great experiment of humanity failed through the final farewell message of our species. This lens provides an interesting perspective through which to contemplate what it really means to be human.

3.

Ernest Callenbach’s classic novel Ecotopia (available for purchase online and in stores) explores an alternate timeline where the Pacific Northwest states succeeded from the U.S. to become the nature-first nation of Ecotopia. The story follows the first outsider, a reporter, allowed into Ecotopia to tell the rest of the world about the love, beauty, and challenges he finds in strange and wonderful society Ecotopians built.

Thanks for reading! Join us again next month, and please follow us on social channels @RomeroInstitute for up-to-date coverage of our justice work.

- Danny Sheehan, Sara Nelson, and the rest of the Convergence team

Your Support Makes Justice Possible

You can change the world — and now is the time to do it. We must tackle the climate crisis head on, while we still can. That’s why your gift today is so important. Your generosity empowers the Romero Institute to win justice for Native communities and enact timely, tangible solutions for our planet. Thank you for standing with us!

Learn More
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