Monday, November 10, 2008

The Brain Drain

About a year ago I started thinking about the brain drain at the Rainbow Gathering. My two cents on why it's happening is that this ongoing conflict with the United States Forest Service and their extreme harassment of gathering participants has fueled it. I'll save the details on that for another day. On to the topic of today's post.

The Rainbow Gathering depends on fresh ideas and new perspectives. While the percentage of first time attendees in recent years seems as high as ever, the type of first time gatherer seems to be predominately people who come in a more searching/needing/learning mode. The percentage of first time gatherers who come with skills to share seems to be at an all time low. By skills to share, I mean people who are holistic healers, yoga gurus, master drummers, experienced activists, peace keepers and other types of light workers.

Last spring I began a project in preparation for the 2008 annual gathering that took place in Wyoming. I started researching people with the skills I felt we needed. I printed up postcards on my computer with a brief blurb about the gathering and links to a couple of websites. I sent these out to a few hundred people over a period of a couple of months to people I found online in Southern California and the areas in and around Wyoming.

How did I do it? I would pick a topic - say acupuncturists and google them say near Denver and in a completely subjective process, I would pick five or six and send them the postcard. I did this anonymously for the most part, although towards late May I started sending the info via email messages.

I have no idea if any people came to the gathering from the information I sent out. I did hear from two people in response to the email that they were planning on coming.

One of the limitations of this project was that I started very late and many people with great skills plan their lives months if not years in advance. I'm putting this out in the hopes that more people will pick up this project. We need more people with alternative healing skills at CALM. We especially need people who know how to video police abuse. We need some master drummers because frankly, the drumming in Wyoming was a bit sad. I'm sure you can think of a lot of areas where a few people with great skills and good teaching style could help us in our quest (what ever you consider that to be).

So in the hopes of getting started early this year, I'm putting this out and hoping some people will join me in continuing the effort for New Mexico in 2009.

Here's the blurb that I used last year:

XXXth Annual Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes
July 1 to 7, 2008 in XXX
Silent Prayer/Meditation for World Peace
July 4 dawn until noon

The Rainbow Gathering is a totally free, non-commercial gathering of people. We invite all people to come camp with us in a magical mountain meadow in XXX, chop firewood, haul water, cook food and participate in workshops on non-violent direct action, yoga, alternative healing, and make music, create art and dance until your feet fall off.

Some say we're the largest non-organization of non-members in the world. We have no leaders, and no organization. To be honest, the Rainbow Family means different things to different people. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. We have a strong orientation to take care of the Earth.

Please join us in creating the world the way we want it to be. or


Anonymous said...

We invite all people to come camp with us in a magical mountain meadow in XXX...
A rather minor comment:
All i would say is that you shouldn't use "XXX" to say what you're saying here, since popularly, those X's give out an entirely different connotation.

Maybe you don't plan on using that in the actual call-out? Well, I didn't "get it".

Brittney said...

I hope to attend the 2009 Gathering and I would love to be able to help. I don't have many "skills" but I would still love to be of help :)