At the Kamloops Food Policy Council (KFPC) we often think about mitigation, adaptability, and emergence. We think about how we live in these times, steward the land, and respond to our ever-changing world and climate. These are things I spend a lot of time thinking about, and part of what brought me to the KFPC. It’s where I get to put my Green Social Work values and theory into practice. The emerging theory of Green Social Work is somewhere we can look to, a place where environmental and social justice meet. As shared by Lena Dominelli author of Green Social Work: From Environmental Crises to Environmental Justice (2012), “the social and environmental justice dimensions of this topic bring marginalization, structural inequalities, human rights, and active citizenship into the heart of the green social work agenda and call for the creation of new models of intervention within a framework of preserving Planet Earth.” (p.5) Social work is often seen as the connection between people and the social world, the natural world is often not part of the conversation. For me, my connection to the earth has been one of my greatest sources of healing and connection.
Maybe for many of you as well.
As we take steps in our own lives and organizations to make changes toward a more socially and environmentally just world, we also exist here and now where emergencies are occurring more frequently. The evident and disastrous changes to our planet can bring about so many feelings, such as grief, anger, and deep uncertainty. Holding space to feel these emotions and share them with others can provide something for us right now we may not have known we needed.
At our last network meeting on June 1st, we delved into emergency response, preparedness, and climate grief. The City of Kamloops is a well-known host community to evacuees in the Interior, but what does this mean for us as community members here? What does it look like to be more prepared and build capacity in our community to be resilient in the face of an emergency? What does it look like to provide holistic wrap-around support for those displaced by these disasters?
These are all questions we are digging into in our emergency response work here at the KFPC and alongside many others. There are no simple or quick answers to these questions, but there are small steps we can take to lean into this uncertainty through connection and preparedness. Some things we can do include talking to each other about how the changing climate affects us, including our fears and our hopes for the seasons ahead. We can check in on our neighbours, especially our most vulnerable neighbors during heat waves and evacuation alerts. We can learn about preparedness and what may be helpful in an emergency such as to-go bags or in-home preparedness. Living in an uncertain world is not an easy journey, but it is one we are all on together. For me, I try to make more time to stop and smell the flowers, sow seeds, connect with those dear to me, tend to my inner garden, and consciously lean into preparedness while living each day here and now.
This summer, the KFPC will be engaging in preparedness activities, we would love for you to take part! Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about events and discussions happening: https://kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com/join-our-network/.