Members of Conscious Elders Network–determined to make waves into the future. Photo courtesy of Conscious Elders Network

This year, Radical Joy for Hard Times is honored to partner with nine pioneering organizations whose work inspires and complements our own. Beginning this month, we will profile one of these organizations each month in Radical Joy Revealed. Today, we’d like to introduce Conscious Elders Network.
Conscious Elders Network is an educational, non-profit organization composed of elder women and men who are committed to changing the world now, that they might leave a better legacy to future generations. Members come from a variety of backgrounds and use their skills, experience, and resources to generate partnerships and projects across the generations in a variety of fields.
As their mission statement declares: “Within our society, elders’ talents and experiences are largely untapped; their collective wisdom gained over decades of living lies fallow. In our nation, we see significant shortcomings in our institutions, both governmental and economic. The very systems we depend upon to address our social justice and environmental problems are in grave need of revitalization. As conscious elders, we inherently know that we can do much better. We have the benefits of time, talent, experience and know-how to guide making the needed transformations. Our vision is to initiate a cultural shift wherein conscious elders reclaim our place in providing education, wisdom, and guidance within our communities. We become catalysts of a social movement in which all generations collaborate in evolving changes for our common betterment. In so doing, we find a new and rewarding sense of meaning in our lives, and we create a new elder culture in the process.”
Among their programs and projects, CEN offers workshops, such as Sacred Activism: Engaging as an Elder in a Diverse World, coming up on October 25; runs an active website with book reviews and news about members’ actions; and Community Conversations, online conversations on a variety of timely subjects.
Several members of CEN participated in this year’s Global Earth Exchange, and we look forward to keeping our members informed about their initiatives. Radical Joy for Hard Times is honored to partner with this organization that is changing the way people think about elders–and how elders think about themselves.

Trebbe Johnson
Trebbe JohnsonFounder
Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. Her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty, will be published in Fall 2018 by North Atlantic Books. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places.