The Rights of Nature movement is the first movement I’ve found in 40 years that places nature in its rightful place – seeing us as part of the Earth – while also gaining a foothold across the planet. To this end we have begun a Rights of the Ohio River group. Our goal is to get legal entities like cities along the Ohio River along with states to recognize the rights of the Ohio River. In recognizing these rights they accept that the Ohio River has personhood statis. This gives the River the possibility within our legal system to demand that the legal entities, corporations and individuals have the responsibility to treat the Ohio River with respect. It gives the Ohio River the right to sue if it this doesn’t happen. We have given Corporations these type of rights and they don’t even truly exist, while the living breathing Earth around us is deprived of their rights even being recognized.

To join the Rights of the Ohio River group or to learn more about it contact Jim Schenk at jschenk@imagoearth.org

CELDF (Community Environmental Legal Defense Foundation) has created a “Democracy School” to help people understand the problem with our present system to protect the Earth community.

Democracy School is a stimulating and illuminating virtual course that teaches and activates an empowering new approach about how to re-frame exhausting and often discouraging single-issue work – such as opposing fracking, over-development, and pesticides, or advocating for worker rights, housing access, and protecting water – in a way that we can confront corporate control and government interference on a powerful front: the people’s right of local self-governance and Nature’s rights.

Democracy School is open to anyone – but we recommend finding a school hosted within your community to create meaningful dialogue and networking around the issues that are most important to you and your community.

You can watch a Democracy School if you go to CELDF on Youtube.


We are Earth, and learning to live in community can help us remember.

We need to see ourselves as part of this amazing Earth, not as the owners and users of the Earth.  Community Earth Alliance hopes to help people learn to fall in love with the Earth, which is really no different than falling in love with ourselves, because all of us are Earth.   We, CEA, have focused a lot of our energy on housing, the place where we live, but we also strive to see every part of our lives as a celebration of interacting with our fellow Earthlings.  How do we, with every action we take, enhance the Earth, and thus enhance ourselves?  This is what we need to learn to do in a culture that believes we can own the Earth as if it is separate from ourselves.  I am Earth and all the plants and animals, rocks and water, are all part of me and I am part of them.  As Thomas Berry says, “we are the Earth, conscious of itself’.  We can truly celebrate our deep connection.  We really are one. 

And this is what Community Earth Alliance hopes to share.  It is seeing ourselves in this community of humans but also of all species that will help us become aware of our oneness.

We especially do this through our assisting Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage to become a model of living sustainable in an urban setting. This is critical now with over half of our species now living in cities.

We are also doing this through our awareness that all species are part of our community, and so helping people recognize the right of the natural world is a focus we are also taking.

Jim Schenk, Community Earth Alliance Director