With the chapter beginning its fifth year, I have been thinking a lot about transitions. This theme may be particularly salient for me as I am finally leaving the role of Chair. Our Vice Chairs, Li-Ya and Simon, and I had our first of several planned meetings last week to discuss the process of transition to the two of them as Co-Chairs for 2022. I realized as we talked that what we are focused on is not just the role of Chapter Chair but more broadly on our respective visions for the future of the chapter. To say that we are growing is an understatement. Our membership list has tripled since the start of 2019! There are very few other chapters in the country that are larger than ours to which we could turn for ideas about how to organize ever-increasing numbers of people for climate action. Even fewer (any?) are in states where the political environment is so dominated by fossil fuel companies and their money. As always, we will continue to have to make it up as we go.
What I hope is that every chapter member who reads this month’s blog post will take some time to reflect on what you would like to see the chapter do in the coming year. What kinds of action would be most motivating for you? Which ones do you imagine as having the biggest payoffs? What new ways of reaching out to the public have you been thinking about?
The same goes for our chapter meetings. Only those few members who remember our earliest meetings at Tree House will recall that at the outset we spent most of our time doing nothing but practicing presentations with each other. We didn’t do any business, because the chapter was not yet involved in much of anything. We did not have speakers. We didn’t have a segment from the Creatives or from the Self Care for Activists group, because the whole idea of local working groups was a couple of years in the future. The way our monthly meetings are organized now is, by my count, the fourth different model for meetings that we have tried. What we need to know is how members of the current chapter feel about it. What do you like, and what would you change - and why? Lots of you spend hours in meetings in one or more working groups every month now. What role does the monthly chapter meeting play in your life as an activist? Are there other kinds of meetings altogether that we should have?
Imagine a chapter that continues to grow to 400 or even 500 members. What then? How should it be structured? How can we keep that many people connected with each other and in what ways?
If you have ideas about anything that has to do with the future of the chapter, I invite you to spend a few minutes writing them down in the Discord channel titled 2022 Strategic Plan Ideas and Input. A living, thriving chapter is always growing and changing. What we become and how much our chapter can contribute to the global movement for change will depend on the energy, the ideas, the creativity of our members. Please share your own vision for the future of the DFW Chapter as we move together into 2022.
Roger Knudson, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Miami University Chapter Chair, Climate Reality Project Dallas Fort Worth Chapter (859)866-3962 Pronouns: He/Him/His