Since 1985, Earthways has initiated or helped to develop projects in four main categories: Social Justice, Environment, Arts & Education, and Consciousness & personal growth.
1. Social Justice Projects focus on empowering disadvantaged people, especially women and girls, and indigenous peoples. Various social justice projects that were developed in past years at EarthWays include: Asetena Pa, The Atomic Mirror, Guatemalan Organic Agriculture with Mayan Women, and SEE (Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs). A few of the more impactful projects from the past include: The International Accountability Project (IAP) is a public interest advocacy organization, established in 2003, that offers legal support to a global network of people who are seeking to hold international financial institutions and multinational corporations accountable for violations of environmental and human rights. We also work to defend the rights of communities around the world threatened with displacement by international development projects. Just Vision highlights grassroots Israeli and Palestinian efforts to build a base for peace in the Middle East. Through educational curricula, documentary film and innovative online and face-to-face encounters, Just Vision increases awareness of these peace workers, and acts as a hub where they can gain access to one another as well as to audiences abroad. Just Vision aims to become the primary resource for teachers, journalists, policy makers, community leaders and students seeking information about Israelis and Palestinians who are working together in visionary, non-violent and future-driven ways. The Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) Program was created in September 1994 as an affiliate of EarthWays. SEE’s mission is to foster social and environmental justice in the following program areas: 1) Education; 2) Community Affairs; 3) Local and International Social Justice; 4) Animal Rights; 5) Environmental Preservation and Deep Ecology; 6) Peace, Justice, and Tolerance. SEE is designed to make activism easier by removing the obstacles which often bog down project directors, their staff, and volunteers.
2. EarthWays Environmental Projects are working to prevent ecological destruction, protect wildlife in its natural habitat, and promote the importance of a sacred connection with nature. Various environmental projects that were developed in past years include: Ballona Wetlands protection, John Seed Directed Grants, Panacocha, Burma Rescue, Touch the Jungle in Ecuador, and WildRescue. A few of the more impactful projects from the past include: The Ballona Wetlands ecosystem is crucial to the health of the entire region. Its loss would be catastrophic for southern California. It is a vital part of the Pacific Flyway, and contains some of the only wetlands remaining between Pt. Mugu and Tijuana, and the last remaining coastal wetlands in the L.A. basin. The purpose of this project has been to encourage and catalyze Los Angeles’ urban population to preserve this natural gem to benefit the 8 million people of L.A. County. Wetlands are recognized for their ecological importance. Wetlands absorb and filter pollutants that would otherwise degrade lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and aquifers. Coastal marshlands buffer the impact of storm tides on populated uplands. Wetlands stabilize shorelines. California has lost 95 percent of its once extensive wetlands, The Green Schools Initiative was founded in 2004 by parent-environmentalists who were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were and mobilized to transform the environmental health and ecological sustainability of K-12 schools in California. A growing body of research shows that the poor environment at schools is a detriment to children’s health and learning. It is essential to protect children’s health – at school and in the world beyond school – and we work to catalyze and support “green” actions by kids, teachers, parents, and policymakers to eliminate toxics, use resources sustainably, create green spaces and buildings, serve healthy food, and teach stewardship.
3. Art & Educational Programs are exploring new paradigms emerging from the interaction of personal consciousness, spiritual wisdom, contemporary science, and ecological awareness. Art & Educational projects initiated at EarthWays in the past include: Celebrating Sacred Space, World Festival of Sacred Music (WFSM), and World Wheel. The World Festival of Sacred Music was first produced in 1999 with the Encouragement of the Dali Lama to mark the new millennium with hope and commitment to peace and universal responsibility through music. It encompassed 80 events in the LA area over three weeks. There have been five festivals from 1999 to the present; each has brought world music and its many sacred qualities to diverse neighborhoods, while knitting together different ethnicities using music as a common language. The Foundation for World Arts in association with EarthWays Foundation, and the UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance produced the 1999 Festival. Over the past decade WFSM has brought together tens of thousands of people of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, including artists of all types, community and religious leaders, educators and students—with a combined total of 260 multidisciplinary events presenting the work of 8,000 artists in 210 diverse venues across Los Angeles and a total attendance of 350,000 people in attendance.
The World Wheel (Earth Mandala), created by artist Vijali Hamilton has been an artistic forum for global understanding consisting of monumental stone sculptures and ceremony performance events circling the globe. The project focuses on spiritual ecological issues activating an awareness of the interrelatedness of all life. Through active participation with local artists, performers and community, World Wheel addresses the people’s deepest personal and social concerns, working creatively with them to resolve cultural conflicts. World Wheel provides a transformative experience for the community. The first World Wheel took seven years straddling the 40th latitudinal parallel beginning in Malibu, California and continued on to the Seneca Reservation, New York. In October of 1993 the culmination of this journey was in Japan at the ancient Shinto shrine of Tenkawa. The second World Wheel circles the equator forming a nine pointed star with its center as the center of the earth. The first sites are in the Andes and Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. The following sites were Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Australia, South Pacific ocean, Kiribati; culminating in California.
4. Conscious Activism is engagement in the world that expresses and reveals our most profound understanding of the nature of reality. Ocean Song is an EarthWays Conscious Activism Center in Sonoma County, California, as is The Malibu Pueblo in Malibu, California. Please refer to the “projects” section of this website for more information in this category.
Andrew Beath’s books on the topic of Conscious Activism include: (1) Consciousness in Action, the power of Beauty Love and Courage in a Violent Time (2) The New Creation Story: In the Beginning (3) The New Creation Story: Consciousness (4) The New Creation Story: The Ecological Epoch and can be found at www.consciousnessinaction.com and www.newcreationstory.com