Five (SUPER)stars for Eugene
Welcome to Eugene, the so-called Anarchist capital of the US. Brace yourselves, because this one was a WHOPPAH- we had five (as in 1.2..3…4….5!) prime organizations in the lovely lobby of the McDonald Theater.
So let’s get crackin’ with…
M.E.C.C.A.- Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts
MECCA brought us both smiling faces and an art show replete with prime examples of community arts programs at their finest. On entering, everyone was greeted by some exceptional art made possible by this volunteer-run program that brings recycled arts education to children and adults through partnerships with schools, workshops, and classes in their wonderfully colorful headquarters.
While the national struggle for Peace and Democracy may sometimes feel like listening to Bassnectar in your grandpa’s 1990 Ford Falcon that he shot through the door speaker when his favorite Tim McGraw song was interrupted, Peaceworks adds a dash of sanity to the struggle. Through facilitating alternative pro-peace media, providing counter-military recruitment, actively engaging the community with speakers and events, and maintaining a positive, locally oriented approach, Peaceworks is one of the most well-known and respected activist organizations in the Eugene community. Their spread at the event was also impressive, with petitions, pamphlets, peace paraphernalia, and a positive outlook courtesy of the idea that peace begins on the individual level, and we all have the ability to effect change on that scale.
Global Exchange is a national organization that fosters the growth of local groups concerned with issues in their backyards. One of the biggest issues in Oregon’s backyard right now is Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and those who desire to build pipelines for it. Global Exchange steps up not only to educate and protest LNG, but also to help communities plug in to alternative energy through a paid internship program that links up budding alternative energy gurus with local community projects to foster real alternatives to fossil fuel. Perhaps the Wobble Factory should figure out how to harness the heat of a sea of churning bodies to power sound next time…
Victory Gardens offers healthy organic food, community building, exercise, landscaping, education, increased self-sufficiency, and lots of savings on veggies all though their program that links neighbors and gardeners to end the grass oligarchy. Radishes are WAY sexier than grass—didn’t you know?
Whitebird provides health care for many in the Eugene community, including especially its homeless and low-income residents. These people deserve boasting rights for their ability to teach volunteers about health care, counseling, crisis management, and advocacy. Whitebird has been a pillar in the Eugene area for years and has proved itself invaluable in its services. Reciprocation from the community is essential to Whitebird’s continued ability to reign supreme over any other health care option available to its clients.
We hope you’ll tune in for Portland and Seattle, where we promise not to mention ‘90s cars or Tim McGraw again.