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The Networker: Volume 17 No. 5

November/December 2012


SEHN Gives Thanks!

Dear Friend, I am delighted to bring you our November issue of The Networker, devoted to seven of SEHN’s most important accomplishments during 2012. Together, they are exciting examples of the ways that SEHN is making change—reaching new audiences, broadening our movement, and taking measurable steps toward a healthier world.

We've spent time in Moab, Utah listening to hundreds of women and men as they formulated a bold new Declaration for Protecting Future Generations; we’ve worked in California to outline the risks of toxins in consumer products and the regulations and laws needed to reduce these dangers; we've emphasized the need for using an ecological framework to address public health; we've launched a new work group and website to promote cumulative environmental impact regulation; and we've been featured in major media outlets including The New York Times, Huffington Post, and TIME Magazine.

The accomplishments below are tools that all of you can use to further our work. Please read them, use them, and pass them along. As always, SEHN relies on the generous financial contributions of supporters like you. Thank you!

The accomplishments described below are your accomplishments, too. I hope you will draw as much inspiration and pride from them as I do.

Thank you and happy holidays!

Warmly, Carolyn Raffensperger Executive Director


SEHN's Top 7 Accomplishments in 2012

1) Women's Congress for Future Generations SEHN co-convened the Women's Congress for Future Generations this fall to fulfill the special responsibility that women hold as the first environment for Future Generations. One product of the Congress is a living draft of a "Declaration of the Rights Held by Future Generations, and Bill of Responsibilities for Present Generations." This document is being debated, amended, and edited by an open invitation to all who feel called to contribute.

2) Major media SEHN staff were quoted in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, TIME Magazine, WebMD, AARP Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Mother Jones, and Yes! Magazine, among many other publications

3) Public outreach In 2012, SEHN staff were featured speakers at 60 events, including TEDx Maui, Bioneers, the American Public Health Association, the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, the Environmental Ministry of Mexico, Yale University, UC Berkeley, and many other major venues.

4) Ecological Model of Health SEHN looks beyond disease to measure the wellness of our bodies by the wellness of the places we live. Our "ecological health" model encompasses factors like nutrition, stress, and poverty to understand the medical complexity of daily life. In 2012, SEHN's analysis influenced organizations ranging from the New York Academy of Medicine to the AARP.

5) Green chemistry SEHN is a leader in reforming how toxic chemicals are regulated in California and nationally. We are active members of statewide and national coalitions that highlight the voices of community groups, parents, health professionals, and others to call for safer chemicals in our daily lives.

6) Principles of Perpetual Care SEHN is creating a space in the law for Future Generations and proposing new institutions such as 'Guardians for Future Generations'. SEHN developed the Principles of Perpetual Care for the Giant goldmine in Canada which has poisoned past and present generations, in addition to threatening ten thousand generations to come. The Principles of Perpetual Care are now being adopted by other communities faced with severely contaminated sites.

7) Cumulative Impacts The concept of regulating cumulative environmental impacts – not just a chemical-by-chemical or facility-by-facility approach – represents the future of environmental policymaking. SEHN's groundbreaking Cumulative Impacts Work Group holds regular conference calls for practitioners and updates resources on our website. This year, SEHN also prepared and published a paper synthesizing the current state of knowledge about cumulative impacts regulation.

Do you feel called to stand for Future Generations? Do you believe the health of our bodies is intimately tied to the health of our communities, ecosystems, and our political systems? Join with SEHN and become part of our community working for lasting, systemic change. Your gift is vital to continuing this work, and we are so grateful for your support.