History of Earth Charter US

History of Earth Charter US

The Benchmark Draft of the Earth Charter was released in March 1997 at the Rio+5 Forum

After Jan Roberts, Founder of Earth Charter U.S., learned about the Earth Charter at a drafting session in Assisi, Italy in July 1999, she formed an Earth Charter steering committee in Tampa, Florida to organize simultaneous Earth Charter Community Summits in 12 cities connected by satellite to be held on September 29, 2001. Roberts’s nonprofit organization, the Institute for Ethics & Meaning founded in 1996 became the entity for leading the EC effort. In 2000, Roberts was invited to the international launch of the Earth Charter campaign at The Hague Peace Palace where the Earth Charter Community Summits were recognized as the major effort in the United States .

A National Advisory Board for the Summits was formed to help guide the development of the Summits. The Tampa Steering Committee was central to the organizing effort which was not only task oriented but also intent on making the task fun. Eventually, volunteer organizers in 12 cities organized Summits, which were connected via satellite broadcast. The organizers were Kat Gjovik, Seattle; Bruce Novak & Linda Osborn, Chicago; Susan Curry, Philadelphia; Ann Zill, Portland, ME; Andy Robson, Oshkosh; Joshua Cooper, Honolulu; Bob Kochtitzky, Jackson, MS; Phil Thompson, Austin; John Gibson, Indianapolis; Al Albergate, San Francisco; Stanley Ingman, Denton, TX; The live connection generated a national energy for the Earth Charter movement. Allegany Franciscan Foundation funded the satellite connection with a $50,000 matching grant making the critical live satellite connection among the cities possible.

Following the launch of the Earth Charter Community Summits, organizers from across the country gathered in Tampa to create the Earth Charter Community Alliance an informal network of people working to make the Earth Charter’s vision for a caring, sustainable and peaceful world a reality in their communities.

In 2004 the Institute for Ethics & Meaning partnered with Earth Charter USA, founded by Rick Clugston in 1996 in Washington DC. Clugston and Roberts became Co-Directors with Clugston heading up Research and Resources and Roberts leading Community Initiatives. In 2005 the Institute for Ethics & Meaning was dissolved and Roberts incorporated Earth Charter US to reflect the organization’s dedication to the Earth Charter. In 2009 Rick Clugston, former Director of Earth Charter USA and member of the Earth Charter International Council became Executive Director of Earth Charter US.

The incorporating board of directors for ECUS in 2006 included volunteers and donors who generously gave of their time and money to keep ECUS alive. They included long time Earth Charter summit organizers Andy Robson (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) and Esther Castain (Los Angeles); long time volunteers Genie Skypek, (nurtured Earth Scouts), Judy Ryan (organized our finances), Ben Keyes, Rita Iacino and George Sherman (stepped in wherever necessary); and Duncan Broyd (advocate for Sustainable Business Awards). Our financial benefactor who fueled all our volunteer efforts with the generous donation of both time and finances from Day One is Lorna Taylor. Among other donations, Lorna financed our 2005 Summit Speakers Event that brought a whole new audience to Earth Charter US; funded 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Earth Charter International Council Member Wangari Mathai’s reception and speaking event; and has underwritten our ECUS Internet Campaign that is designed and managed by Joe Trippi and his team. Lorna, as present Chair of ECUS, is an outstanding example of how one person who backs her heart interest with her financial resources can help a grassroots organization not only survive but thrive.

Join Earth Charter U.S.

Business or Organization? Endorse Here