68 pages • 2 hours readEd. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ed. Katharine K. Wilkinson
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Sanders describes a friend of hers named Chris Foster; Foster was a student at UC Davis in 1991 and tried his best not to participate in the “regular” aspects of society. He would forage for food from fruit trees and co-ops and sleep outdoors. When these efforts didn’t help his sense of all-consuming dread surrounding climate change, he fell into a deep depression and began failing his classes. He began to pursue a PhD, but his depression and foraging continued and his family became concerned about him; they believed that his sadness was the result of childhood abuse. He attributed his depression to a memory of a trip to Mount St. Helens: One minute he was among evergreens and the next a space where everything had been cut down. He decided then that he never wanted to participate in any of that type of destruction.
Sanders met Foster in 2004 at Brigham Young University, where he was a professor. They became friends, and while Foster was feeling more and more discouraged about climate change, Sanders began her own journey into activism and despair. She felt guilt and anxiety even while participating in environmental protests, using public transportation, and eliminating single-use plastics from her lifestyle.