Let’s Talk

Dear Friends,

Did you know that there are 13 other independent, local, nonprofit conservation corps in California and another hundred plus across the country?

As we tune into the summer Olympics, I am reminded how nice it is to be part of a team.

We each have our style of doing things and our own local challenges and opportunities. Sometimes we even have a little friendly competition.

But overall, we know we are all pulling in the same direction. I know that I can turn to other CEOs and Directors for advice and assistance. We are all working to create more opportunities for young adults to serve the community and build better futures.

Lately, we have all been working together to center our Corpsmembers’ voices in our decision making and create more avenues for them to interact with one another and speak truth to power.

One way we have been doing this is through the Corps Conversations web-series hosted by the California Association of Local Conservation Corps. In April, Corpsmembers from Greater Valley Conservation Corps in Stockton and Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps interviewed CA State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman.

Later that month, Corpsmembers from Sequoia Community Corps, San Jose Conservation Corps and Conservation Corps of Long Beach had a frank discussion about what it meant to serve on the front lines of the pandemic this past year.

Then in May, our very own LA Conservation Corpsmember Manny moderated a conversation between two other Corpsmembers from LA and one from the San Jose Conservation Corps and Danielle Owen, Director of Government Relations at The Corps Network, the national association of the over 130 conservation and service corps in the country. They tackled some complicated questions about the goals and intentions behind the Biden Administration’s proposal for a Civilian Climate Corps and got honest about the type of support they feel they need to be successful.

This afternoon at 2 p.m., Corpsmembers from Orange County Conservation Corps, San Jose Conservation Corps, and San Francisco Conservation Corps are going to talk with CalRecycle Director Rachel Wagoner about how we can work together to get to a zero-waste world.

There has never been a more important time for us to slow down and listen to what this generation has to say. There is no team without them, and there is no success if they aren’t designing the strategy.

That’s why I hope you will take a listen to some of these conversations and take the opportunity to tune in down the road as we create more virtual and in-person dialogues with the voices at the center of everything we do.

Your in Service and Gratitude,
Wendy Butts, CEO