What The Grandmother Pledge Is All About


“One day a female Beluga whale was born into captivity. A dozen years later, in the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada, this Beluga whale would give birth to her very own baby Beluga, but the baby Beluga’s health would soon begin to fail. The Mother Beluga did not know what to do. The handlers nor the experts knew what to do. So, out of desperation a Grandmother Beluga whale was brought in; one of the few captive Beluga whales originally born in the wild.  As soon as the Brandmother Beluga was settled into the aquarium, she immediately began to teach the Mother Beluga how to mother. As soon as the Mother Beluga began to mother, the baby Beluga’s health began to improve.”

 Inspired by

Dr. Gabor Mate’s

                                                                                    Bioneers' Plenary Speech 2012


While many of us are keenly aware of the importance of building a resilient community, many times we undervalue our connections to our fellow humans as a significant piece of this resiliency.

Today, Grandmothers and Grandfathers are an ignored resource that amounts to thousands of years of collective experience and knowledge. At the same time, we have the youth and disenfranchised on the streets with a different set of emerging skills, also being undervalued in society.

This growing gap between the generations and its negative impacts on family and our community's overall wellbeing are all too recognizable.

This is why we are simply asking Grandparents to ‘take a stand and sit down.’ There has never been a better time than now to sit down and get to know those around you, and we have even made this process easy for you through The Grandmother Pledge. You can make a stand by simply coming downtown when it's most convenient or you can get more involved by taking advantage of The Grandmother Pledge Workshops.

As one of our Grandmothers pointed out, “Think of The Grandmother Pledge as a sort of triage on the streets.” It is a program dedicated to connecting the disconnected by encouraging and fostering community engagement and awareness.

While there is a clear need for non-profits, churches, and governmental agencies to deal with the rising number of disenfranchised and homeless, there are not enough programs, grant writers, funds, or administrators to take on these issues at their core.

Like the Grandmother Beluga, our Grandparents are the connection to all that came before us. Grandparents give society a sense of continuity. To lose this connection, we lose our sense of place.

How to Participate

First, take The Pledge. It doesn't get any simpler than this:   I, (Name), pledge to hold the space of grandmother or grandfather in the heart of my community. Any time, for any length of stay, wherever, however, called.

Just make it a point to come to the Boardwalk on Commercial Street and enjoy the social scene or better yet, bring your favorite art project or board game.

Or you may choose to get more involved and deepen you commitment to the Grandmother Pledge by joining us at the next:

The Grandmother Pledge Workshop

Saturday, February 23rd,

11am-12:30pm, Nevada City Hall Chambers,

317 Broad St., Nevada City

The workshop will be addressing misconceptions and myths around homelessness; addictions; mental/emotional and anger issues; and social-skill building. Resources and tools that foster trust and relationships while establishing clear boundaries will also be shared.

Also presenting during the workshop: lessons learned by Hospitality House’s Outreach Coordinator, Jeffrey Dupra, Officer Shane Franssen of the Nevada City Police Department, Homeless Representative, William Peach, and Janice O'Brien of Sierra Roots, a homeless advocacy organization.

The Grandmother Pledge Workshop is open to men and women of all ages. Coffee, tea, and snacks available to participants.

The goal of The Grandmother Pledge is to build a stronger sense of community, awareness, and safety for the public, merchants, and visitors.

Please RSVP at mail@nevadacityboardwalk.com