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"Be the Change" Environmental Leadership Program

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  • Richard Kos
    From Don Weden: I m writing to tell you about an environmental leadership program called Be the Change , offered by Acterra, a nonprofit organization located
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2010
      From Don Weden:

      I'm writing to tell you about an environmental leadership program
      called "Be the Change", offered by Acterra, a nonprofit organization
      located in Palo Alto. The "Be the Change" program consists of about
      10-11 day-long sessions -- one per month over the course of almost a
      year -- aimed at providing people with the basic skills needed to
      improve their effectiveness in promoting sustainability
      (environmental, economic, and social) within their local communities.

      The program is just entering its sixth year and has received rave
      reviews from past participants -- who have ranged in age from their
      late teens to their seventies. Many have found it to be a
      transformative experience in their lives and some have even embarked
      on new green careers after taking the class.

      Part of each class session is devoted to presentations by experts on a
      variety of subject issues, including water, waste, environmental
      justice, land use and transportation, sustainable agriculture, etc.
      The rest of the day is devoted to group discussions and various
      activities to help the participants improve their leadership skills.

      Each student is required to undertake a project of their choosing
      during the course that will give them the opportunity to test and
      develop their leadership skills -- in a very supportive environment.

      This year's class will begin on September 17th.

      I'll be making the keynote presentation "Effective Environmental
      Leadership for the 21st Century: It's Time to Move Beyond 1970s
      Environmentalism". (I'm an unpaid advisor, presenter, and mentor for
      the program.)

      Each class consists of about 25 participants, from a wide array of
      backgrounds and life experiences.

      For example, one of this year's participants, who I had the
      opportunity to have dinner with a few weeks ago, was born in Vietnam,
      raised in Paris, and has worked in Brazil, Texas, and New York City
      before moving to Santa Clara County.

      At lunch today, we interviewed a young woman who is a relatively
      recent grad from UC Berkeley who currently works for VTA, and was
      involved with a variety of environmental and social justice projects
      during her years in college.

      Another man we interviewed last week just completed a cross country
      bike ride -- with his family and others -- on their electric bikes to
      call attention to sustainability issues and projects across the
      country. His sister is also likely to enroll in this year's class.

      A couple of years ago, we had a woman in the class who was a graphic
      designer by training. Her Be the Change class project involved
      organizing the first Earth Day event at her daughter's school.
      Although she initially encountered resistance from the school
      administration, she persevered and was successful. In fact, she was so
      successful that she was asked to help arrange similar events for other
      schools in the school district. And, after that, she was hired by the
      San Francisco Unified School District to help establish sustainability
      programs throughout the school system.

      The testimonials I have heard from people who have taken the course
      have been truly inspirational.

      The tuition for the class is $1,600 for the entire year. Flexible
      payment plans can be arranged. Some limited scholarship funds are

      Time is running out to apply for this year's class and the number of
      enrollees is approaching the limit of around 25 students.

      But there's still room for a few more candidates who want to become
      more effective in bringing about positive change within their
      community, agency, organization, business, etc.

      More information is available at Acterra's website:

      Anyone interested in knowing more about the program and how to enroll
      in it, should contact Rebecca Araiz Iverson, Director of the Be the
      Change Program at (650) 922-1787 or rebeccaai@... ASAP.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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