History of Creating Our Future (1987-1991)
In the spring of 1987, Sat Santokh’s daughter Snatam had joined the environmental club at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley California. Shortly afterward, she brought her fellow club members to meet with him to help them clarify their plans. The meeting went very well, and the next time they met, students from two other Marin high schools also came. An even larger group of students from all the Marin high schools attended our third meeting.
Then we held a meeting that included my friends Ram Dass, Shams Kairys, John Steiner, Chellis Glendinning, and Marc Kasky. We decided to organize two experimental workshops that summer that we called Creating Our Future (COF). There were about fifty high school students at each workshop, which were so powerful for all concerned that we decided to launch COF as an ongoing organization.
This was made possible by the support of Jerry Garcia, who was on our board of directors, along with Bob Weir and Ram Dass, both of whom played an active role in our board meetings and summer camps. Over the following years, Jerry and Bobby did a variety of benefit concerts for COF.
COF flourished, and before long we were averaging three workshops every month with twenty-five to thirty-five students attending. Within a couple of years, there were regional clusters of COF student groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles area, the Sierra Foot- hills, Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Original Statement of Purpose (circa 1987)
We are young people working together with experienced adult advisors to end environmental destruction and to achieve social justice. We are committed to learning the skills needed to work together and have a meaningful impact on the world. We are training ourselves and other young people to be empowered social activists, and to be conscious, effective world citizens while learning to care for ourselves and one another. We hope to gradually create a network of concerned young people, first regionally, then nationally, and ultimately worldwide.
COF provides a base for working together towards our common goals. Mostly we are high school students assisted by experienced leaders in the fields of environmental, social action and spiritual consciousness movements.
Our unique approach is characterized by the collaborative relationships that exist between our young people and our adults and by our combination of action, training, and meditative practices. Participants are developing skills in meeting process, project planning, centering -- both in group and individually, public speaking, systematic analysis of issues, fundraising, direct action campaigns and other events, and listening to ourselves and to others.
Our generation of high school students represents the future of our planet. We know that our birthright is being squandered, and a growing number of us are rising to the needs of the times. We want to do more than simply express our concern; we are looking for ways to work together in order to have a meaningful impact on the world. We want to find ways to use our whole beings to work against war, to halt the destruction of the environment, to achieve social justice, and to live in harmony with the planet and all its beings.