Community approach to economic, ecological challenges focus of program

Posted December 30, 2010 in Newburyport, Press hits

See the full article here.

NEWBURY — Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, explores the roots of economic and ecological challenges on society today in a program on Sunday, Jan. 9, at 4 p.m. at First Parish Church, 20 High Road (Route 1A), Newbury.

Collins’ presentation will explore how we got where we are today and how we can help ourselves prepare for the economic and ecological changes that are upon us.

His approach focuses on using community-based, small groups to understand and address concerns. Many of these groups inspired by the concept of common security clubs ( have formed across the country.

“These challenges often leave people feeling isolated, vulnerable and anxious,” the Rev. Chris Ney, minister at Central Congregational Church in Newburyport, said . “In small groups, people can help one another find connection, information and the avenues they need for a new kind of security, based on mutual aid and support.”

In response to this concept, Seacoast Community Empowerment Circles are forming in the local area. There will be an opportunity for those who are interested to sign up.

Chuck Collins is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including “Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality Insecurity,” co-authored with Felice Yeskel. He also co-authored with Bill Gates Sr. “Wealth and Our Commonwealth.”

His appearance is sponsored by First Parish, Central Congregational, First Religious Society of Newburyport, New Eden Collaborative, Pennies for Poverty: 2 Cents for Change, The Poverty Program, Transition Newburyport and the Greater Newburyport YWCA.

Following the program, all are invited to participate in the Local Flavor Community Potluck Picnic at 5:30 p.m. The picnics are monthly local food, no-waste events that feature good food, discussion and music. For more information on the potluck, visit