Ambrose and I start by reviewing his commitment. After a bit, as best I can tell, we talked past each other. Every now and then, the Spodek Method doesn't resonate and this conversation looks like one of them. His description of how he sees the world and my read don't seem to overlap. I suspect he felt I didn't understand him or his world. I read him as guarded, not sharing his personal views and feelings. I think it might be interesting and possibly fun to hear it as a third person. I tried to understand what he was saying and tried to clarify. He sounds like he was doing his best to speak to be understood. It just didn't reach me. He described how the black community operated, but I felt like he viewed me as unable to understand, being empowered and entitled, whereas people in that community were traumatized and not taught what they could do. His main point, as I understood, is that they "need more steps." I just couldn't get what he meant. I felt like he was trying to explain while keeping me separate and excluded, not explaining to include me. Sorry I couldn't write more clearly what to expect. Again, I suspect it might be fun, as a third person, to understand both of us better than we understand each other. Enjoy!
I met Ambrose through recent guest Scott Hardin-Nieri. Regular listeners likely noticed how I've been hosting more guests leading religious communities. I'm drawn by a few things. One of the main reasons is that I find many who want to speak and act more on sustainability. Another is that I find that when they act, they do so out of motivations and emotions that feel closer to mine than mainstream environmentalists. I admit my perception may be biased, but from religious actors, I feel joy, glory, duty, and passion. From environmentalists, I feel less rewarding emotions. I find Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce more inspiring than hugging trees. Ambrose is taking on leading the intersection of two demographic groups many wrote off or consider uninterested, actively apathetic, or even anti-interested in environmental stewardship---blacks and Christians. He doesn't find them uninterested. On the contrary, he is organizing and supporting increasing numbers of sub-communities. I believe evangelicals and conservatives have the potential to lead stewardship in the United States. I believe they are held back by people not connecting with them on their values, which seems crazy because they, like everyone, values clean air, land, and water. I think people don't listen to them, which makes leading them difficult to impossible. In this episode, Ambrose shares trends he sees, work he's doing, and his results working in black religious communities.