Hello friends, loved ones, and allies!
By way of introduction, we are Jess, Seth, and Anastasia. We are each changemakers and leadership coaches with roots in the movement for climate justice. We believe that a better world is possible, and that deep interconnection is the key to bringing it forth. That is why we’re launching the Radical Support Collective (RSC for short).
The RSC supports organizations and individuals to do joyous, purposeful work that is in deep connection to their movements, community, and the world. We use the tools of ecological thinking and coaching to support our clients to both create and be a reflection of a world in which everyone is thriving. We will provide this support through one-on-one coaching, team coaching, trainings on community resilience and strategic resistance, and healing work for body/mind/spirit.
Radical Support happens when everyone sees their role in movement work clearly and is fully supported to live their lives as a reflection of the thriving world they seek to create. We believe that radical support is the fertile soil from which our boldest, most beautiful visions can grow.
We are bursting with excitement for what’s emerging! This blog is to tell you how we got to this place, what our vision for RSC is, what we’re doing about it, and to invite you to be a part of our journey.
It all started in a tiny cottage…
Five climate justice organizers packed into two bedrooms and a couch for four nights in 2015 while attending a training for leadership coaches. We were there to learn a coaching model that facilitates clear, focused action for meaningful, sustainable social change.
We spent the evenings huddled around the kitchen table grappling with big questions about our movements for social justice, a stable climate, and a healthy environment: Are our organizations making real progress for climate justice (didn’t seem like it)? Why did we see so many of our fellow organizers “stepping back” or burning out altogether (#capitalism)? Why do our organizations and teams so often replicate the oppressive systems and unhealthy norms that got us into this mess in the first place?
At that table, we didn’t find definitive answers to those questions, but we did give voice to a more visionary question that we’re hungry to explore alongside our communities: What would be possible if the fundamental culture of organizations and social change movements was a culture that fostered radical support?
We know the beauty and the challenges of changemaking well. Like so many of our allies and peers, we have been lit up by our vision for what is possible, only to talk ourselves out of acting on it. We have declared our dedication to equity and justice only to get tangled in the fear and worry that comes with saying “yes” to building a new world. We have felt alone.
The seed we planted in 2015 in response to this shared experience was to form a collective of activists/coaches with diverse skills dedicated to a common purpose of cultivating radical support in social change movements. We wanted to support the people who commit their brilliance and energy to creating a world where everyone can thrive. Our vision is that each person who is choosing to do this extraordinary work has the support they need to bring forth their vision for a better world and go beyond the places they get stuck.
Now, almost three years later, the horizon looks darker than it did in 2015. The living systems that support all of humanity are unraveling. The last four years since 2014 are at the top of the list for warmest years in recorded history*. Meanwhile, instead of acting with the future in mind, the President of the US is hell-bent on turning people against each other across party lines while dismantling the laws that would protect human rights and the livability of the land. Xenophobia, racism, and white nationalism are continuing to tear apart lives, while even our “progressive” leaders twiddle their thumbs. Sh**’s bad!
A Holistic View
Humanity has a lot of work ahead. Which is exactly why now, maybe more than ever, is the time for our movements to start seeing how we’re all deeply interconnected and dependent on one another -- at the movement, organizational, and individual levels. There are many different ways we’ve heard this notion articulated: a “holistic” worldview, general systems theory, the buddhist concept of interbeing, fractals, or even just connection.
The truth we see is that each of us is a node in a system of ecosystems: our families, organizations, movements, the land we live and depend on, our communities, and the world. Each of us has the potential to have a meaningful, lasting impact on each of those ecosystems -- and the ecosystems they connect to. Our actions matter because we are inherently connected to the handful (or millions) of other beings in our ecosystems. Every action we take, every decision we make, affects the whole system in unpredictable ways. That might sound like a lot of pressure, but the good news is that we are also held by those ecosystems-- we have a team, a family, a community whose actions also create our world. They can have our back, just like we have theirs. Seeing and strengthening the truth of these complex connections and growing our capacity to hold it all is what will get us through this dark time to a world where everyone thrives.
If we choose to see ourselves and each other as whole, complete, interconnected beings, we could radically change the ways our movements work. We would no longer live on the brink of burnout (or in burnout) because of a culture we are upholding where we’re expected to carry the weight of the world on our own shoulders. Instead, we would be supported by our peers and organizations to be in constant connection with our shared purpose and each other regardless of the challenges ahead. That connection would fuel our vision for what’s possible through our collective work.
We founded the Radical Support Collective because we want changemakers to experience a sense of joy and purpose in their work that stems from deep connections with their movement, community and the world.
What We Do
Our new organization, The Radical Support Collective, supports movements for social change through this ecological lens. We see that each of us is a crucial member of a complex, deeply interconnected ecosystem. We support people to do their work in a way that reflects a world where everyone thrives and to do it from the understanding that their life is bound up with every other team and individual -- even our perceived enemies.
We will work alongside each client, co-creating a system of support that weaves together one-on-one coaching, team coaching, trainings on community resilience and strategic resistance, and healing work for body/mind/spirit. Over the next year, we will start by offering an online course, a coaching group, and our first in-person workshop.
How YOU Can Help
There is still so much for us to figure out about how we’ll grow this seedling into a fruiting tree. We need a viable business plan, support to continue to develop and articulate the model we envision in this blog, and we need to create our first product as a collective (most likely an online course). As a team of three white climate organizers and coaches, we would love to invite at least two more members of different identities and skill sets into the collective so we can more fully support the diversity of needs and experiences of the movement spaces we serve.
We have quite the adventure ahead of us, and we want you to be a part of it! Here’s how you can join in:
Fill out this 2-minute survey to join our support network. We will reach out to you for more in-depth feedback, business advice, client referrals, and invitations to test out our new programs before they launch.
Sign up to be one of the first people on our mailing list where we’ll share updates and ask for your feedback.
We appreciate your love and support as we bring this thing into reality!
We’re in this together,
* Source for warmest years: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201713