View this email in your browser
Year in Review
December 2020 NCRN Newsletter 
Empowering the Rights of Communities!
Recognizing the Rights of Nature!

2020 Vision! 

Take a moment to pause and reflect on the year that is coming to a close.

For many, thankfully, the end of 2020 is near, as there has been much heartache and suffering from losses due to COVID-19, job and economic insecurity and little to no relief for the marginalized. There has also been a visible outpouring of kindness and compassion within and among communities. Though the government as part of the corporate state continues to maintain the status quo, more people are stepping up to “serve, love, give” in their neighborhoods, communities and across the nation and world.

We in the Community Rights and Rights of Nature movement are a caring and resilient bunch. We understand that in this movement of which we are a part, there are no big wins, losses or breakthroughs, just pressure continually applied to dismantle the "fixed" system. We strive to envision, create and enact a just and sustainable world that respects the inherent dignity of each living being and honors Nature upon which we depend. Many of us have felt stretched to our limits and have experienced bouts of burn out - but still we endure and move forward.

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter, learn more about the amazing network that you are a part of, and feel supported and connected to the growing Community Rights and Rights of Nature movement!

Much appreciation for your continued efforts and support, 

The NCRN Board - 
         Susie Beiersdorfer (Pres-OH)
         Tom Groover (Vice President-CO)
         Doug Darrell (Secretary-NH)
         Kara Scott (PA)
         Markie Miller (OH)
         Nancy Ward (OR)
         Heidi Berthoud (VA)
         Stacey Schmader (Treasurer-PA) 

         Ben Price (advisor) 

2020 Highlight!

WELCOME our newest State CRN: Virginia Community Rights Network
In July, VACRN was established to support “local efforts to recognize and legally secure the Rights of Nature and Communities to a healthy environment through self-government at the city, county, and state level.”

VACRN will challenge “the injustice of illegitimate corporate rights that impede local and direct democracy, through educational training, workshops, campaign strategy development, and public outreach.”
The Network continues previous Virginia work done in Buckingham, Nelson, Augusta, Charlottesville, Richmond, Campbell County, and the Town of Halifax – which passed a “Community Bill of Rights” in 2008 to protect against chemical and radioactive trespass. 
We've compiled our state updates into a pdf. 
We hope you enjoy reading all the exciting updates and projects undertaken this year by our amazing network. Please don't hesitate to connect directly with one of our Community Rights Networks for more information or to get involved. 
2020 Annual NCRN Retreat
Connecting in the Time of COVID-19
We were fortunate to conduct our 2020 NCRN Vision Retreat on the weekend of November 13-15, 2020. Three of us drove to Bowmanstown, PA and three other Board members “Zoomed” in. We had applied for and were awarded in October, a Mountain Watershed Association Direct Support fund grant for $2500. "The Direct Support Fund is made possible by The Heinz Endowments and the 11th Hour Project and is a project of the Mountain Watershed Association. For more information or to apply please visit"

Retreat Highlights

- A new Mission statement:
      Empowering the Rights of Communities. Recognizing the Rights of Nature.

- 2021 All-State CRN call series will continue to be held on the last Wednesday of each month

- Electronic Newsletters (December 2020, April 2021, August 2021, December 2021)

- Explored creating and implementing a “Rejuvenation Workshop” 
         Exploring ways to relieve Activist Burnout

We've got a brand new website!

Connect with the NCRN and learn more about our State Community Rights Networks! 
We're launching a shared  Community Rights events calendar in the New Year! If your CRN is hosting - or attending - an event that aligns well with the Community Rights and Rights of Nature movement please send the details to the NCRN! 
Information on both virtual and in-person events can be submitted via email to
In 2020 we launched a series of online monthly calls in an effort to better connect the State CRNs. In 2021; however, we look forward to creating a more engaging virtual environment in the next series. While some calls are open to only state CRN members we are adding public calls to the rotation in 2021. 
In Remembrance   
"A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again." ~ Maya Angelou 
Together we remember all those who are no longer physically with us. Below are two great souls who left us this year. Their contributions, spirit, and profound words will continue to light our path. 
(Left) William “Reekumąnį/ray-ku-ma-nee” (Walks With The South Wind) Greendeer of Cashton, Wisconsin, passed away Thursday, November 5, 2020. He was a citizen liaison for the Ho-Chunk Nation. Bill was a medicine lodge member. He was proud of his culture, preserving and sharing his customs. Bill was passionate about the Rights of Nature and an extremely talented artist. Plant a tree in memory of Bill here

(Right) Debra White Plume, Wioweya Najin Win in her native Lakota, left her body behind on November 10, 2020. A brave advocate for her people, she was memorialized by the New York Times as a “prominent Native American activist who faced down police bullets, uranium mining companies and oil pipeline projects in trying to protect the traditional Oglala Lakota way of life.” In 1973 she stood with the American Indian Movement during an armed standoff with federal forces that took the lives of two of her comrades at Wounded Knee, and with the Standing Rock encampment to block trespass on native land. Her story is an inspiration to all who pursue justice for the people and the land. Read about Debra's legacy in Common Dreams
Profound Partnerships 
We're grateful for our partnership with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). CELDF assists communities across the United States and around the world to build sustainable communities as they assert their right to local self-government and the Rights of Nature. Visit them at
Don't miss CELDF Fast Fact series! Fast Facts are quick introductions to big ideas and concepts tackled by the Community Rights Movement! Check out our Fast Facts and find resources to more information to further your knowledge on the topics! Watch them all here.
A new Rights of Nature documentary depicts a defining battle where nature, democracy and capitalism face off in rural America – the fight for our survival is at stake. 
INVISIBLE HAND has won the Award of Excellence from the Accolade Global Film Competition for Documentary and Nature/Environment/Wildlife, and for Women Filmmakers. According to Accolade, directors Joshua B. Pribanic and Melissa A. Troutman’s “exceptional investigative journalist skills deliver a compelling and emotional film."
If you'd like to host a screening of INVISIBLE HAND contact Public Herald or the National Community Rights Network. 
Check out the LIVE Q&A that took place after the premiere of INVISIBLE HAND! Actor Mark Ruffalo, the films producer and narrator, joined Rights of Nature activists. 
Resources to Share
Embedded in the theory of racial supremacy is the theory of human supremacy over nature, which has brought environmental calamity upon us.
The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures

Over the past five years, organizers in seven Ohio communities have qualified ballot measures to recognize enforceable rights of ecosystems and human rights to water. All take the historic and bold step of elevating these basic rights above the legal privileges currently enjoyed by private corporations in the United States.

"PGE throwing another lawsuit at us to try to bring us to heel, when our community has overwhelmingly said 'hell no' multiple times."

How Wealth Rules the World: Saving Our Communities and Freedoms from the Dictatorship of Property 

Ben Price reveals that our constitution and legal system were intentionally designed to give more rights to the wealthy propertied class than the rest of us. Price exposes how this hamstrings our ability to effectively address a host of pressing social and environmental problems - and what we can do about it.

NCRN hosted a Q&A with author and CELDF organizer, Ben Price, on October 29, 2020 - watch here. 

Richmond Earth Series – Please join us for the Richmond Earth Series, where we host zoom sessions featuring speakers and videos on topics related to environmental justice, conservation, and Earth healing practices.  

Support the Movement - Build the Network

We're not a typical national organization - we support a growing network of statewide groups and local chapters seeking empowerment through rights-based organizing and educational opportunities.  

Thank you for supporting, following, and contributing to our work! Please consider making a donation to the National Community Rights Network or support our State members directly. Direct links to do so are included below. Thank you. 
Thank You and Happy New Year!
Wishing you and your community a just and sustainable future in the New Year! Thank you for following our work and we look forward to connecting with you soon.

Stay safe and be well,
         The National Community Rights Network 
Copyright © 2020 National Community Rights Network, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp