Mid-June News

For many in our community, grades are being submitted, graduates are being celebrated, fiscal years are coming to an end, and summer is beckoning. We hope that the end of the school year is a smooth one and that you will enjoy your summer ahead!

We, at GPSEN, are entering our own new leadership cycle for 2017-2018. Please join us in welcoming our new Board Members:

Karen Carrillo, Columbia Slough Watershed Council
Serena Dressel, PSU Student Sustainability Center
Janine Gates, City of Portland
Neeraja Havaligi, GPSEN Fellow
Renzo Meza, Latino Network

They will join our nine current Board members to help guide and implement our strategic plan, along with our many committee members, advisers, interns, and volunteers. We also thank Nicole Baber, LeRoy Patton, and Kim Smith, for their service, as they step down from the Board. LeRoy and Kim will remain as Senior Advisers, supporting the advancement of our sustainability mission. Lin Harmon-Walker, current Board President, will transition into our Interim Director role at the end of September, as Kim takes a year off to explore personal and professional development opportunities. We are all in this together, so we hope that you will find ways to engage in GPSEN in the coming year, as well.

Events tend to quiet down over the summer, but there are still plenty of opportunities below, including community events, trainings, jobs and internships, and new curriculum resources. Are you looking for a job? There are plenty! Please, check out the details below.

June News

I imagine that you are all reeling as much as we are from the tragic murders and racism on the MAX on Friday and today’s news that President Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.  It is hard to fathom the long-term consequences of these violent, irrational, and short-sighted acts.

And, yet, we try to carry on and continue to envision and strive for a better world. As Metro Councilor Sam Chase said at our Metro Council presentation today, we must double our efforts to achieve our goals.  You might already be facing crisis fatigue, but are you ready to be heroes?  Know you matter… and we are all stronger together.

To celebrate that spirit and revel in the good work of groups across our region, please join us in the global celebration of World Environment Day on June 3, at our Global Goals Fair at the Hawthorne Hostel. Focused on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we will be highlighting groups that are doing great work to address issues from poverty to peace.  Be sure to come enjoy local community organizations, live music, free beer from Hopworks, a French food cart, raffle prizes, and opportunities to network.  More details below.  We hope to see you there!

Mid-May News

What a month! In contrast to the news that can get us down, we have so much gratitude for all of the organizing efforts and participation of folks in the many events and trainings offered. From the focus on food diversity at our College Network event at PSU and food security at our regional faculty training at PCC to meetings to explore alternative economic models and civic engagement opportunities in our community, innovation and collaboration abound.

Did you see that the U.S. Department of Education announced the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools? Big congratulations to the Portland Waldorf School, in Milwaukie, OR, for their LivingLAB focused on holistic, personalized, and experiential learning.

Now, onto the end of May and the beginning of summer. The UN’s World Environment Day will be celebrated in Portland on June 3, at a Global Goals Fair the Hawthorne Hostel. Focused on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we will be highlighting groups that are doing a great job to address these different goals. Be sure to try to make it to out for community organizations, live music, free beer from Hopworks, a food cart, and opportunities to network.

May News

May blessings to you and yours! Please join us in welcoming the newest member of our GPSEN family: Leah Constance Rome Macek. Leah’s parents, David and Lisa, are doing well. They both do such amazing work with their respective non-profits, the Northwest Earth Institute and SAGE. She is a lucky girl to get to be raised by such kind parents, committed to our Earth and community. We are happy to dedicate our efforts this month to sweet little Leah.

So, how many of you made it out to the March for Science or the Climate March? Per usual, Portland sure knows how to represent! So much of our work depends on the dedicated researchers and educators who advance innovative practices and policies across our region and beyond. Hopefully, such collective actions energize and inspire you to carry on.

Mid-April News

Spring greetings!

Did you get a chance to check out our Earth Week special edition? What a vibrant community we have, with many exciting events this month!
Really proud to learn that Portland and Multnomah County are committing to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050.

As Senator Jeff Merkley says, “Despite efforts to roll back key climate action by the Trump administration, Oregon continues to be on the front lines for bold climate action.” To lead on the federal level, Senator Merkley is introducing the 100 by 50 Act, to slow climate change by ramping up clean and renewable energy to at least 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. “It’s a bold plan, but one we can and must achieve to save our beautiful blue-green planet.”

We sure hope our GPSEN partners and RCEs around the U.S. can support this new plan and continue to educate in ways that increase the skills and awareness we need for a sustainable future. Check out the details below for more opportunities.

April News

Dear Earth,

As you reawaken with your verdant leaves, beautiful blossoms,and rich fertility earth handsacross species, please know that there are many of us fighting hard to protect you. Please forgive us for those who trangress against you, in ignorance of the powerful interconnectedness that we all share.

We celebrate You this month, through film, art, storytelling, workshops, lectures, field trips, and activism. As you provide for us, we are here for you. May the many offerings below reflect your vibrant abundance and remind us all how to honor your gifts and teach us how to live in harmony.

Mid-March News

The year is flying by and spring is right around the corner!  May the emerging green buds give you faith in the renewal of life.

In celebration of life, please join us in welcoming a new member to our GPSEN family: Simon Everett Tokarski. He is a healthy bundle of joy and his parents, Laura Kutner Tokarski, GPSEN Board Member and Director of Trash for Peace, and her husband, Steve, are “beyond happy”.  We dedicate our work this month to creating a sustainable future for Simon.

To support such solutions, don’t forget to join us for our “Politics and Pints” networking event tonight.  From venting to brainstorming, there will be worthwhile opportunities to connect and share ideas.

May the various events and resources below contribute to your good work this month.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the many opportunities in April, too.  With a plethora of Earth Day/Week events in the works, be sure to get your information into the newsletter in plenty of time, so we can help promote your events.

March News

The world is changing so quickly, there are times when it hardly feels possible to catch up on the news or decide on clear next steps.  Sadly, many of us are experiencing increasing scales of stress, ennui, and cynicism.  Let’s not give up, though!

Below, you will find opportunities to learn, to engage, to vent, and to focus on solutions.  In this vein, we, at GPSEN, and many of our partners continue to commit to envisioning a brighter future and exploring innovative and effective ways to make that happen.  From our “Politics and Pints” networking event and NWEI’s new book: A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World to multiple film screenings, hands-on activities, and SAGE’s invitation to Give Forward, find a way to boost your spirit in the community of others.

To learn more about efforts going on in our region and around the world, check out the recording of our new RCE Mentoring Webinar.  Learn about U.N. sustainability initiatives, the history of GPSEN, and new regional networks joining the sustainability movement.  A companion handbook is also available.

We truly hope that these events, tools, and resources will help you and your communities.

Mid-February News

Buzz continues about our Sustainability Symposium. Thanks to all who completed our evaluation. Here are a few highlights:

  • We had over 120 people attend, with a lot of vibrant energy.
  • Much knowledge was learned from the many speakers, but we will shorten the event next time and diversify speakers, including more social justice topics.
  • Folks want more time between sessions to interact, more space to engage, and more food and refreshment options (OK, beer and wine at the reception).
  • Plus, “an on-line forum for continued discussion could feed the flames.” We will look into how to offer that. Thanks for the suggestion!


It is clear that there is a desire for more opportunities to connect and innovate in our region. Your feedback will definitely inform future events.

We are also thrilled to share that our new Hope and Resilience Workshop was a big success. Thanks to Kathy Stanley and Rebecca Lexa for developing this powerful workshop, full of eco-psychology activities that helped participants gain the skills and personal resilience needed to address sustainability issues on personal, community, and global levels.  We will definitely offer it again in the future.







Next in the workshop series is “Facing Climate Change,” to be offered in April.  More details to come.

And, there is plenty to do this month and next.  Be sure to check out the details below on the various events and resources that available to you.

February News

WOW! So much gratitude for the great team of people who helped plan Friday’sSustainability Symposium and to all of you who attended.  We hope you enjoyed learning about cutting edge sustainability projects and research in our communities. The presentations, workshops, tables, posters, our keynote speaker, Amy Pearl, and the award-winner presentations were all top notch.  Again, congratulations to our Sustainability Leadership Award winners:

  • Chelsea Fain and Sherrie Pelsma, Community Energy Project
  • Joel Magnuson, Economics Instructor, PCC
  • Ibrahim Ibrahim, Student, Muslim Education Trust
  • Christian Ettinger, Founder, Hopworks Urban Brewery

We also want to express our utmost respect and appreciation to Portland Community College and the Port of Portland for their generous sponsorship of the event and to our different table sponsors (Solar City, Marylhurst, UNA Portland, and EcoFaith Recovery).  Really proud of everyone’s contributions!  You helped make this signature event happen!

We will follow up with an evaluation survey soon and really welcome your feedback.

Next up is our new Hope and Resilience training on February 10. Thanks to Kathy Stanley and Rebecca Lexa for developing this powerful and much-needed program during these troubling times.  This pilot workshop will help college students gain the skills and personal resilience needed to address sustainability issues on personal, community, and global levels, using eco-psychological tools.

Note that the response has been huge, so registration is now full.  There clearly is a need for this important work, so we will create a wait list and will offer this training again in the future.  Be sure to check out the details here.

Blessings to all in this coming month.

Mid-January News

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

There are many inspiring lessons from Dr. King, but, today, let’s reflect upon one of his messages: “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” How can we be good people and create a sustainable future? GPSEN continues to explore how to advance our motto: “Educate ~ Empower ~ Engage.” How can we achieve this vision, together?

For starters, our Sustainability Symposium, on January 27, will highlight how leaders in our region are inspiring innovation. Co-sponsored by GPSEN, PCC, and the Port of Portland, we are excited to offer a great line-up, with Amy Pearl as our keynote speaker, in addition to cutting-edge presentations, workshops, a poster session, table displays, a networking reception, and insights by our Sustainability Leadership Award winners. Be sure to register today!

Plus, we will be piloting our new Hope and Resilience training on February 10, to support how to address sustainability issues on personal, community, and global levels, using eco-psychological skills. Be sure to share the details with college students in your region.

Lots of partners are also published some amazing reports from 2016. Don’t miss Portland State University’s Impact Report 2016. If you want your story shared as well, please let us know.

GPSEN believes in the power of education for a sustainable future. Let’s continue to connect and think about how to increase our collective impact!

January News

Welcome to 2017!

We sure hope that it is starting out well for you. 2016 was a big, daunting year and 2017 will likely have its own roller coaster curves. However, we are confident that we are stronger when we work together. So, let’s continue to build partnerships and discover synergies for a better world.

We definitely saw the power of collective impact in reflecting on this past year and all that you and our GPSEN team accomplished. For details, please check out our 2016 Annual Report.

2017 is already starting out big, with our upcoming Sustainability Symposium, on January 27. We are excited to have a great line-up of speakers, with Amy Pearl as our keynote speaker, in addition to presentations, workshops, posters, table displays, a networking reception, and an awards ceremony. Be sure to register today!

Plus, we will be piloting our new Hope and Resilience training on February 10. Keep an eye out for the details.

GPSEN believes in the power of education for a sustainable future. Let’s continue to connect and think about how to increase our impact!