How we share our core values can look very different.

Yet, a county social worker, a politician, and a farmer might very well be working toward the same essential good.

Story Nora Mounce

March, 2020

The character of the place we call home dramatically impacts our personal worldview. From quotidian experiences like finding a good dentist to fighting traffic, where we live matters. In the far-flung environs of Northern California, the mutual sense of pride and identity attached to home is even stronger juxtaposed to an increasingly polarized nation.

As an instructor of cultural anthropology, I teach my students to observe our community for microcultures or significant groups that share values and norms around a particular hobby, religion, or occupation. During their semester-long research project, students attend local Shamanic ceremonies and AA meetings. They go duck hunting and interview tattoo artists. At a glance, it seems as if anthropology cares more about documenting differences between various cultural groups than finding what’s universal. But looking back at my students’ projects, I see far more affinity than variation in core values about family, community, and quality of life in the North Bay. I want to share what my students continue to learn is important throughout our community:

Clean water matters. Protecting native species matters. Helping the homeless and mentally ill matters. Drug rehab programs matter. Respecting local tribes and sacred lands matters. Having the freedom to pursue creative occupations matters. Feeding our family healthy food matters. And most central of all, engaging and contributing to our community matters. How we share these values can look very different. Yet, a county social worker, a politician, and a farmer might very well be working toward the same essential good.

As you flip through our Spring to Action issue this March, we hope you find threads of common ground and shared perspective woven throughout our colorful pages. From female farmers leading the industry to creative solutions to California’s housing crisis, our March issue was created to celebrate the myriad ways we come together and spring to action for our community every day.

With love + luck,

Nora Mounce
nora.mounce@sensimag.com

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