Rick Moody, President of the Board, and I teamed up to represent Gray Is Green at the Peoples Climate March in Manhattan on September 21, 2014. In advance of the March, Rick and I convened a series of teleconferences to orchestrate partner groups we planned to join with at the March—Conscious Elders Network, Sage-ing International, Elder Activists, and Conscious Aging Alliance—giving shape to our Hub, We the Elders.
“I am glad to see you here at the March. I am so tired of hearing older adults saying, it’s all up to you young folks now—there is nothing I can do!” The college-aged woman spoke with deep sincerity as her friends’ heads bobbed along.
I was moved by the light in her eyes as I replied, “Gray Is Green is dedicated to mobilizing older adults to do our part. We share responsibility for both decades of damage and decades of improvement on the environment. Our purpose is to create a green legacy to leave for the future you will live in.”
response and adaptation in the United States.
The Peoples Climate March on September 21, 2014, may or may not go down in history as a turning point in that collaboration. What matters most is that we the 400,000 affirmed and celebrated this fact: To Change Everything, We Need Everyone—and Everyone was there.
On the weekend of the March, our Elders hub was clustered with Generations: We Can Build the Future and we had the privilege of stepping out as the second cluster in the March. The moment of silence was a stunning demonstration of intent and the advancing roar that moved down Central Park West was a wave of jubilant sound I will remember for the rest of my life.
I was heartened by the all of these activities, before and during the March, as we met people, expanded our network, and added people to our Gray Is Green newsletter list. Our enhanced visibility was perhaps most in evidence when, on Monday, September 22, the New York Times front-page cover story cited “Gray Is Green.”
Michael Lerner, Editor of Tikkun Magazine, attended the March and praised the event. He also captured the post-March sentiment eloquently with his piece, The Climate March was Great. Now What?
I am pleased that Gray Is Green has a response to Lerner: we will soon be field-testing our new curriculum with faculty around the country and later this fall we will announce our new Speakers Bureau. We are an educational organization, the only one of its kind, devoted to helping older adults become environmental elders on the critical issues that face all generations and will pass to the future generations we cherish.