It’s been 200 days since the members of One Earth Village set out on their 3,000-mile journey across the country to advocate and educate about climate change.
On Sept. 15, over 40 members of the mobile community arrived at the Goshen College campus for the night.
Beginning in Los Angeles on March 1, 2014, members of the One Earth Village community have been marching an average of 15-20 miles a day. On Nov. 1 of this year, they will reach their final destination—Washington D.C.
The march was founded by the current program director, Ed Fallon, an Iowa native formerly involved in the state’s House of Representatives. According to the march’s website, Fallon became aware of the urgency of the climate crisis, and chose to take action by raising money from his political base.
In 2013, Fallon’s initiative raised a total of $150,000 and with that, founded the Great March for Climate Action.
Fallon addressed many challenges faced throughout their experience marching across the United States. He also addressed what motivates the marchers to keep going.
Said Fallon, “You keep going because there is this great community of people to help make it possible.”
Fallon also mentions the importance of the marchers and the people they meet along the way.
“Everybody has been so empowering for us, so uplifting and so encouraging that we need to keep going,” he said.
The marchers were welcomed by a hymn sing at the Eighth Street entrance to campus, and later in the evening participated in a potluck dinner with students, staff and community members. Dinner was followed by a discussion on climate change and climate action in College Mennonite’s fellowship hall.
Marcher Kat Haber, an Alaska native, was grateful for the hospitality their mobile community received upon arriving at Goshen College.
Said Haber, “The [Goshen College] community has embraced us with such openness and such energy.”
The One Earth Village continued their journey down the pumpkin vine trail. Their next destination: Shipshewana, Indiana.
Miriam Kashia, a three-time mayor of One Earth Village, said, “We are ordinary people on an extraordinary mission. And that’s because there is an extraordinary challenge on earth.”
As an organization not sponsored by corporate funds, they have been raising money and receiving donations from communities they pass through and through social media. There were opportunities during the discussion for community members to contribute toward One Earth Village’s adventure as well as a merchandise stand set up outside of Fellowship hall. All money from the purchases will be used in funding their travel necessities.
Karl Shelley, pastor of Assembly Mennonite Church representing the Voluntary Gas Tax social awareness group in Goshen, contributed their current savings of $250 towards the marching community.
This weekend, the marchers will be taking a pause from their march to head up to New York City to participate in the People’s Climate March, one of the largest mobilization of any kind for the climate action movement. Goshen College students will accompany the marchers on the trip on Sept. 20.
Visit http://climatemarch.org/ to learn more about the One Earth Village.