Tangible Hope, one of our three tools of Eco-Theater, we define as progress towards climate and environmental justice that acknowledges loss while inspiring new possibilities.
Tangible Hope can be found in all sectors of society, from science to politics to activism. It can be found in an individual, a community, or an idea. Tangible Hope is everywhere!
We uplift Tangible Hope in our community and include it in our processes and plays, crafting spaces and stories that activate people to imagine what's possible instead of stopping at the problem.
How do I identify Tangible Hope?
You'll know it when you see it or hear about it. Ask yourself: Is it tangible (as opposed to elusive)? Does it make you feel hopeful about climate or environmental justice? Then it's probably Tangible Hope! Here are some of our favorite examples:
FOREST FOR ALL NYC
Forest for All NYC is a new coalition dedicated to NYC’s urban forest, “a complex system that includes the more than 7 million trees across public and private property[,] the soil and tree roots, biodiversity that live in this forest, people who take care of the trees, and the policy and funding that enables the urban forest to be sustained.” In June 2021 they released the NYC Urban Forest Agenda, a first-of-its-kind report that provides a visionary roadmap for New York City’s urban forest. Local stakeholders coming together to champion, grow, and steward city trees?! Yes please! @forestforallnyc
MORE BIKE LANES
An international study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that temporary bike lanes and biking infrastructure constructed provisionally during the pandemic has led to significant increases in biking, generating a host of health and environmental benefits. We love all things bicycles (check out our Ghost Bike project in development), and share a cyclist’s vision of a city with no cars! Read about the study here, and support your local bicycle revolutionaries like @bikenewyork and @ridersforblacklives.
BLACK BIRDERS WEEK
#BlackBirdersWeek was conceived by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman and co-organized by a group of Black birders, scientists, and conservationists like Corina Newsome. The original week of virtual events and awareness-building activities, organized in response to 2020’s racist Central Park birding incident and a history of exclusion and under-representation of Black folks in STEM and in nature spaces, garnered national attention and continues to inspire similar initiatives like #BlackinMarineScience. Follow #BlackBirdersWeek and @BlackAFinSTEM to find out how to support this joyous and pivotal action towards dismantling white supremacy in the environmental movement!
BRONX RIVER ALLIANCE
Bronx River Alliance serves as “a coordinated voice for the river” and works “in harmonious partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, educational and economic resource for the communities through which the river flows.” With festivals, water clean-ups, parkland reclamation, riverside classrooms and canoe trips, the Alliance is a leader in NYC’s regenerative future. Follow @bronx_river
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ALLIANCE
NYC’s Environmental Justice Alliance is “a citywide membership network linking grassroots organizations from low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in their struggle for environmental justice.” The EJA features community-centered resiliency campaigns like the Waterfront Justice Project, led by Jalisa Gilmore, “exposing the vulnerabilities of coastal communities overburdened by industrial and chemical facilities”, and Just Transitions and Energy, which consults and lobbies to ensure that NYC’s energy future is equitable. The Alliance is a powerhouse team of superheroes from some of the best environmental justice organizations in Lenapehoking, and we’re inspired by their leadership!
BLACK-LED FOOD JUSTICE MOVEMENT
Across the country, Black growers and activists are realizing a sustainable, justice-focused farming future that’s good for Black neighborhoods as well as the climate. In Lenapehoking and New York, Black leaders like Karen Washington (Black Urban Growers, Root and Rise Farm), Leah Penniman (Soul Fire Farm), and Sandy Nurse (BK Rot) are reclaiming ancestral farming practices and countering food apartheid with direct community uplift. NYCers, also check out East New York Farms!, Brooklyn Rescue Mission, and Hattie Carthan Community Farmers Market!
MARY ANNAÏSE HEGLAR
Mary Annaïse Heglar is a climate justice writer known for her essays, her Greentrolling of fossil fuel companies, and the climate podcast Hot Take. Through her hopeful, no-bullshit approach, Heglar reminds us that personal shame about our individual environmental actions is unproductive, that corporations and systems of injustice should be the focus of our accountability, and that "home is always, always, always worth it."