Dara Sheik, LCSW
Hometown | San Luis Obispo, California
Education | Undergrad - University of California, Riverside; Economics
Graduate - Silver School of Social Work at NYU
Interests | Playing Tennis, the Lakers, Richard Linklater's 'Before' Movies
Why I Care -
In the documentary 'Blackfish' by Gabriela Cowperthwaite there is a scene where we hear the mother of a whale crying as her offspring is ripped away from her by those who would do such a thing. The heartbreak (and anger) I felt for that helpless mother having her child ripped apart from her by human beings for the primary purpose of financial profit...
And upon reflection, I realize that I personally contributed to that animals emotional pain and suffering because I had given my money to those people. We can point our fingers at many polluting capital owners; their greed and merciless behaviors in the pursuit of domination over others, but the reality is that I contribute to them every time I consume one of their products. My materialistic way of life and my consumerism is a choice I make each day; it is a way of life I actively participate in on a daily basis.
In my experience, many of the greatest experiences in life are truly free - friendship, love, intimacy, creativity, laughter, empathy, teamwork, serenity, faith. It seems that my consumerist way of life is a low level search for spirituality. It is my failed attempt to substitute for the natural wonders of life with a product or a distraction.
The emotional pain that we brought on the mother whale in Cowperthwaite's doc is an example of the kind of suffering that we collectively as humans are now inflicting on all living things - plants, animals, and humans. By polluting nature we are causing natural ecosystems to breakdown and this is contributing to global emotional suffering.
Therefore, it is time for me to look in the mirror and see how I am contributing to the problem. Changing my ways of daily living will be difficult; hence I need the support of others who also have the willingness to change and grow.
Climate Solidarity is here to help each of us in our efforts to become more conscious of our ways of living and to provide space for healthy expression of our feelings. To gain the support of our fellow human beings in our efforts to express ourselves and change. For those who realize that the fundamental problem is not the product we buy but that we keep buying. I imagine buying less and being more.
Co-founder & Creative Director
Hometown | Danville, California
Education | Undergrad - Cal Poly, SLO (Major: Communication Studies, Minor: Psychology)
Interests | Yoga, Running, Mindfulness, Reading, Movies
Why I Care -
The environment has always been something I have been concerned about. Growing up, there was always the idea of a climate crisis looming in the back of my mind. However, it always seemed like it was in the far future. A post-apocalyptic type dystopia that would never exist in my lifetime. As I became older, and the urgency for change seemed more present. The daunting thought of a world changed from the inevitable climate crisis no longer seemed like a plot to a movie I would never see, it is my reality. It is everyone's reality.
My heart breaks with every disaster I see on the news, the evermore frequent they become. The Octobers I once enjoyed for their chilly days are quickly disappearing. Climate change is here, it is happening, and it is effecting all of us. Everyone has a connection to the fires, floods, and storms that are so common yet broadcasted as if they could never have been predicted (plot twist-they can, have been, and will continue to be predicted).
Even more, my heart breaks for those effected by the climate crisis who do not have the resources to fight back or to protect themselves. I acknowledge the ways in which I am privileged when it comes to the climate crisis. I can afford to buy organic food, I am able to shop sustainably, my health would not be effected by a sudden power outage controlled by a corporate control room, I have the resources and support and the ability to fight the climate crisis head on.
Climate Solidarity was an idea born out of compassion and empathy for those feel drained or overwhelmed with the persistence of climate change. We believe that community support is one of our greatest tools in addressing the ways we deal with this crisis. Through genuine emotional and spiritual connection, we hope to give everyone the hope and confidence needed to fight the climate crisis.