Carl Anthony Interviewed by KQED’s Michael Krasny on the Intersections of Race and Urbanism

February 19, 2018

Interviewer: Michael Krasny, KQED San Francisco

Environmental and social justice activist Carl Anthony draws on decades of experience as an architect in his new book, “The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race.” The book, part memoir and part tutorial, grapples with questions of urban democratization and sustainability in the context of shifting social norms and changing environmental realities. In this interview Carl Anthony joins KQED’s Michael Krasny and Earth House Center President, Paloma Pavel, to discuss his life’s work and strategies for enhancing equity in a changing world.

Carl Anthony, founder of Earth House Center; co-founder, Breakthrough Communities Project; author, “The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race”

Paloma Pavel, president, Earth House Center; co-founder Breakthrough Communities Project

February 2018 Interview

PLAY/PAUSE            A U D I O   P L A Y E R               VOLUME


The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race

Presented in cooperation with

Book release October 10 

From the author, Carl Anthony:

As a youth I longed for a new story about race and place in America. My lifetime search yielded discoveries of ways to heal the wounds of racism, build equity, and bring people together to protect and restore our shared environments. 

Earth’s life-support systems are at risk from runaway growth leading to climate change and species loss. The nature of the city is changing radically, and it is now better understood as part of a metropolitan region with new problems, like inner-city gentrification. It is also a place where new strategies for alleviating poverty, creating opportunity, and building equity can emerge. Too many people are disconnected from the experience of belonging to a human community within the natural world. How can we bring forth the will to heal, restore, and repair the damage? We can start by widely sharing stories of challenges faced by our parents and ancestors and the contributions they made to American infrastructure, culture, and economy. This book is intended as an introduction to these narratives. May we listen to one another’s stories, particularly those of the most vulnerable among us, with open hearts.

More info from my publisher, New Village Press

EVENTS  celebrating the book and the community mobilizations it calls for.

For more information please visit



Climate Justice Report

Now available in both print and free PDF formats.

Edited by M. Paloma Pavel, PhD, with the Breakthrough Communities Team

Foreword by Carl Anthony

Summary  In the face of global crisis and in response to California’s leadership in the field of global warming, climate justice advocates and organizations in California are writing a new chapter in the struggle for social justice. We are living at a critical moment in planetary evolution. After four hundred generations, the period of the Earth’s stable climate is ending. The evidence of this change is now widely documented: melting polar ice caps, sea level rise, extreme weather events and widespread flooding and drought.

The runaway economy itself is in crisis, driven by the myopic short-term goals of the world’s largest corporations in pursuit of private profit. The majority of the world’s people are living in poverty, being uprooted and forced away from the land and into the cities in search of livelihoods. Already at risk, these populations are placed in greater danger by the current global climate crises. In response, a global climate justice movement is emerging, demanding fairness in the distribution of the benefits and burdens of climate change processes.

This book presents the highlights of what the San Francisco Bay Area Six Big Wins Coalition accomplished and a brief summary of our planning efforts. After many letter writing campaigns, power analyses, turn-out sessions for public meetings, a highlight of the process came when we introduced the Equity, Environment and Jobs scenario into the regional planning debate. This was a major accomplishment. Social justice advocates had never before created a unified transportation and land use plan for achieving equity throughout the nine-county region. Our scenario called for greater investment in operating local transit services, increased allocation of affordable housing in transit-connected suburban communities of opportunity, and a regional grant program creating incentives for local cities to zone for affordable housing and implement protections against displacement.

This book presents a rare opportunity to see and understand how grassroots groups from historically disenfranchised communities perceived the challenges of California Assembly Bill 32 and Senate Bill 375 and how they responded and rose to the challenges, bringing about breakthroughs in public policy. The work undertaken by individuals and groups on the front lines, over a three-year period is recounted in their own voices—with passion and enthusiasm, with the knowledge and authority of communities that have been working collaboratively on a range of issues for a long time.

Order on Amazon (450 pages — 8.5×11 — includes color photos and charts)  $85.00

Download book free of charge as five large PDF files:

Published by Human Development Books, in cooperation with

Sample illustrations from Climate Justice:



Video: Maria Shriver Comments on
Random Kindness Book

On November 9, 2016, Maria Shriver posted a Facebook video review of Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, co-written by Paloma Pavel, Director of Earth House Center. Click the image below to watch the video.





Random Kindness and Breakthrough Communities
Featured in Huffington Post Article

Human Kindness: Waking Up In Tough Times

By Aaron Ableman — December 19, 2016 — Huffington Post

In the chaos of the US election, the Syrian war and global ecosystems collapse, my partner and I had our first child. No, I’m not joking. Not 10 days after the election polls closed and the proverbial “stork” arrived carrying our new girl in its wings. But when the innocent kindness in her eyes probed deep into my heart, I felt a new faith in … well, everything! With every breath, the matrix of violence and corruption fell away like Neo when he saw through the physical world to the truth behind existence. This baby was medicine in sick times, a symbol for the unexpected rise of love in a predictably falling world.

The days after she was born, I asked myself: how can this world carry so much suffering and so much joy all at once? In the face of untold fears, will I choose kindness or despair? Deep down, I knew that I no longer had the luxury of giving up on the world or hiding away until someone else plays the hero. There was a whole new responsibility (and motivation) for busting through the concrete of hopelessness like a resilient flower on the edge of a trucker’s highway. I went searching for others who were also emerging to see through this time of great “emergency”.

read more…


Health in All Policies

This video, produced for the California Department of Health, introduces a “systems” approach toward health improvement. A narrow emphasis on medical issues only, to give just one example, would not reveal that a lack of grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables in a given neighborhood, will effect the long term health of the residents of that neighborhood. Narrated by Carl Anthony. Produced and directed by Paloma Pavel.


What the SF Bay Area Can Learn from Katrina

In the center of the storm.
Photo: U.S. Navy

The “Voices from the Storm” performance and event at Oakland Tech, ​March 17 at 7PM,​ brings life to the stories of communities of color that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Check out the Katrina Bill of Rights, from our archives, put out by the African-American Leadership Project: This document demands that the restoration of our cities equitably involve and include displaced communities of color.

Currently, we are working with the Resilient Communities Initiative to prepare for the effects of climate change in the Bay Area. In particular, we are learning about levies and other infrastructure being adapted for future sea level rise in vulnerable and underserved communities.

For further information about natural disasters, city planning, and race, stay tuned for Carl’s forthcoming book, “The Earth, The City and the Hidden Narrative of Race”
More info about the event in our newsletter:

Also,please join us for an arts and culture dialogue after the “Voices from the Storm” event, meet Carl and learn about how these themes are connected to his forthcoming book. 


Random Kindness Conference Audio

We invite you to listen to the audio recordings of our Random Kindness Online Conference, held in February, 2015, celebrating the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, which includes a new foreword by Desmond Tutu.

Random KindnessFebruary 9th-15th, 2015, was National Random Acts of Kindness Week, and February 17th celebrated Random Kindness day. This year we have launched the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty. The re-release of the book is accompanied by our global Random Kindness Community Resilience Project, building justice and resilience throughout vulnerable communities in the face of climate change. Book proceeds go to climate and nuclear refugees from Fukushima.
Conference Hosts: Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel, PhD

Post-production Media Team: Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth and Dennis Rivers
Continue reading →Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Book Launch and Community Dialogue in NYC

Building Climate Justice & Just Resilience M. Paloma Pavel, PhD With Carl Anthony and Guests Saturday Sept. 20, 2014, 10am Milano School of International Affairs The New School, Manhattan 55 W. 13th St. Room 205, Dorothy Hirshon Suite 10:00 am Refreshments and Reception 10:30 am -12:00 pm Book Signing and Community Dialogue Join us for the launch of the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, with a Foreword by Desmond Tutu, and for a community dialogue on building Climate Justice and Just Resilience. M. Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony (co-founders of Breakthrough Communities) are traveling from California to New York to host this event for UN Climate Week. Guests include Lynne Elizabeth of New Village Press, more to be announced. Continue reading (PDF)…

Superintendent Sheila Jordan
Receives 2014 Carl Anthony Legacy Award
presented by Genesis

Date: August 23, 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 8:00-10:30 am
Location: St. Theresa Little Flower Catholic Church, 30 Mandalay Road, Oakland

Genesis, the San Francisco Bay Area regional affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation (national community organizing network), annually presents the Carl Anthony Legacy Award for Bay Area justice, sustainability, and equity heroes. This year, Genesis has announced that Sheila Jordan, Superintendent of Alameda County Office of Education, will be the recipient of the 2014 Carl Anthony Legacy Award.

Sheila Jordan has been a courageous champion for the Free Bus Pass for Youth of Alameda County, helping to win $15 million of Transportation Expenditure Plan funds for Youth Bus Passes. Genesis will be honoring Sheila’s vision and hard work to provide at-risk students and all students the tools they need to build productive lives.

We invite you to join with Genesis in the celebration of our community visionary leader, Sheila Jordan. Breakthrough Communities is deeply inspired by the work of the Gamaliel foundation nationally, and its regional affiliate, Genesis. For more information on these remarkable organizations, visit:

Warm Regards,

Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel, PhD
Co-Founders, Breakthrough Communities

PDF of this ItemFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Citizens With Buckets Take Control of Air Quality

Communities for a Better Environment assists residents of Richmond, Calif., (and other communities) in their efforts to fight air pollution from a large nearby oil refinery. Their efforts were recognized in a 2002 Ford Foundation report titled, “Sustainable Solutions.”

Part of the Ford Foundation’s Sustainable Solutions video.
Produced and directed by Paloma Pavel. 2002.



Sustainable Solutions:
Building Assets for Empowerment
and Sustainable Development

A book from the Ford Foundation focusing on the themes of the World Summit for Sustainable Development (held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002), inspired Earth House to create a video edition. The initiatives featured exemplify the creative efforts of people and communities worldwide who are developing and implementing working models for a sustainable future. (29 min.)


Uniting in Faith, Fairness and Action

The MOSES* community gathers in Detroit
*Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength
2005  — 28 minutes

MOSES Executive Producer: G. Ponsella Hardaway
MOSES Producer: Victoria Kovari
Producer: Paloma Pavel  —  Videographer: Richard Butler
and Earth House Staff
Video on Web by Earth House, Oakland