Chapter Chair Update

Ann Gadwah

October 2019

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Photo Caption: Ann Gadwah, Chapter Chair of Sierra Club Connecticut, and Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club.

Greetings and welcome to the best season here in New England! We are so blessed to live in a state where nature provides us with such a grand show every autumn. Watching outside as the trees give us a beautiful lesson in letting go, I think about the Sierra Club. I think about our motto of Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet. I think about where we are, where we have been, and where we are going. Big changes are happening in our world on the macro and micro level. And here at Sierra Club Connecticut, we begin to let go of the old to make way for the new. 

What does it mean to explore and enjoy Connecticut? To me, it could mean participating in one of Sierra Club’s outings. Or better yet, maybe it means becoming a local outings leader, helping others enjoy and explore a unique part of our state. Maybe it’s helping people who haven’t had much access to the outdoors find inspiration in nature, like through our Inspiring Connections Outdoors program. Our natural world belongs to everyone, and it is our inherent responsibility to make sure everyone has equal access and opportunity to enjoy it. Sierra Club Connecticut is looking to make this a reality here at home. 

What does it mean to protect the Earth here in Connecticut? Well this past month, Connecticut Youth Climate Strike and Sunrise Movement, supported by allies and friends, rallied in front of the Capitol on September 20th. Inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s call to action, Sena Wazer and Mitchel Kvedar put together an inspiring program of music, speeches, poems, and theater that truly hammered home the need for immediate climate action. Beautiful job! I rest easier knowing we will leave the world in your very capable hands. 

Nationally and locally, the Club has been soul searching, doing the extremely important heart work of taking an honest look at ourselves. We celebrate our successes in the past but also recognize where the Club has failed, particularly regarding being inclusive of all people. Going forward, we seek opportunities to work with non-traditional allies, with diverse communities, and with those who will be on the front lines of climate disruption. We will work to support social and environmental justice causes and to recognize that the fight to save our planet encompasses the struggles of all. 

I invite you, as members, volunteers, and supporters of Sierra Club Connecticut to reach out with any and all causes and issues important to you to see how the Club can help you. We are a people-powered, grassroots organization, looking to make big changes in our state and in our world. We are truly more powerful together. 

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin” -John Muir

If you are interested in volunteering or if you have any causes and issues you would like to share with us, visit Sierra Club Connecticut Chapter: Become a Volunteer.

Ann Gadwah is Chapter Chair of Sierra Club Connecticut.