Regenerating Paradise is a nonprofit organization formed in the wake of the Camp Fire with a mission “to weave the social fabric that regenerates us.” We define ‘regenerating’ as a process of rebuilding and recovery that, as in regenerative agriculture, replenishes rather than depletes. We look to the residents of The Ridge, our community, for our resources, with the intention “to co-create and cultivate communities that make use of our abundant gifts and that work for all life.”
WHAT WE DO
Strategic Planning Assistance: Support rebuild projects by offering knowledge, ideas, and shared resources.
Facilitating quarterly day-long gatherings of Ridge community actors and activists to facilitate the rebuilding in coordinated way.
Grant-writing, fundraising assistance, public relations, networking, and communication.
Highlight rebuilding efforts to draw in participation and resources.
Our core group is comprised of Paradise locals and disaster-experienced supporters who are impassioned to listen to and work for our community. Our talents and interests are diverse, but we hold core values of hope, stewardship and resilience. We support and are supported by a ring of collaborators who share their experience in post-disaster environments, community organizing, and regenerative systems. This group is committed to nourishing our interconnections and to keeping vibrant the spirit of resilience and camaraderie.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Allen Myers was born and raised in Paradise California as a third generation member of the ridge community. He left Paradise and gained a global perspective. He traveled the world for a number of years, living and working with communities as he documented those stories and lessons in an art project called, Nomadsight. He is a storyteller and founder and director of The Earth Day Film Festival. He cares deeply for his community.
Julian’s goal is to support increased capacity for wellbeing of people and planet. As a community-building facilitator, Julian is helping communities to design ways in which they can capitalize on their potential and develop their future. Among many things, Julian is a master planner and designer and a active student and practitioner of Vipassana meditation.
Julian Martinez first moved to Paradise, CA in 1987 at the age of 5. Growing up in an area affected by both snow storms and wildfires engrained a strong sense of duality in him that he applies to just about every aspect of his life. Julian is a self-taught entrepreneur with a background in Behavioral Health, Forest/Soil Health, Business Development/Management and most recently, Construction Management. After losing his home in the 2018 Camp Fire, Julian moved into the construction industry to help assist in rebuilding the Paradise and surrounding communities. Julian’s current focus is on integrating new construction methods and materials to meet the needs of those still struggling to find permanent housing after the fire.
David Leon Zink
David Leon Zink has an ear for music, business and community. He works from home as a consultant in the areas of management, marketing and federal grant writing for firms serving both nonprofits and for profits – work that supports his calling as a performing songwriter and recording artist. David serves on the boards of several local orgs active in arts and culture, organic gardening and regenerative practices, and connecting communities with trails. A Butte County native, David and his soulmate of 38 years live in Magalia, California.
Bob Stilger, PhD, is an activist-scholar who focuses on fostering connection, strengthening leadership and regenerating community. Over the last two decades, Bob’s attention has been drawn to questions of how we create the lives and communities we actually want in times of disaster, crises and collapse. Bob and his nonprofit organization, NewStories joined us in Paradise in early 2019 to help us discover new ways of working in community which could help to regenerate paradise. Bob’s 2017 Book, “AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future Where Do We Begin,” provides a roadmap for work in communities after disaster.
Susan Dobra, PhD, is a writer, editor, and educator who has taught at the university level for over 40 years; served as editorial director of the magazine Magical Blend; and worked as a grant writer and nonprofit consultant. A published writer, she currently teaches in the Philosophy Department at California State University, Chico. Until the Camp Fire, she lived with her partner of 20 years in Paradise, California, where they sang together, grew organic vegetables, hosted a weekly open mic, and participated in a range of community service organizations.
Mary Bellefeuille moved to Paradise in 1978. Earning a Business Management degree came in very handy, as she has managed her husband’s construction business since 1980. Raising three children in Paradise, Mary became very involved in the schools, youth sports, church and the community. Over the years, Mary has been involved with Paradise Ridge Youth Soccer, Paradise Little League, and Paradise Piranhas Swim Team, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Youth for Change, California Vocations, Paradise Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Club of Paradise. Mary serves on the Paradise Recreation and Parks District Board of Directors and works at Enloe Medical Center as an Employee Events Planner and Recognition Specialist. Her passion is helping this community become the best that it can be for all the people residing here.
RACIAL EQUITY & INCLUSIVITY CO-CHAIR
Asya Abdrahman is an Oakland and San Francisco artist/curator, world builder and multi-disciplinary artist who considers the intersection of cultural identity, human rights and the environment in her work. Of Somali, Eritrean, and Ethiopian heritages, she fled her East African homeland during a time of regional wars. Abdrahman’s work promotes cultural and ecological survival, advanced through her use of human, technological, natural, found, and recycled resources.
In addition to exhibiting her art, Abdrahman is the founder of Kindness Grocery Coop, Sun Village Artisan Corner, Wisdom’s Exchange, POST11NINE, Pay It Forward (PIF) Cafe in collaboration with The Exploratorium and SF Coffee Cruiser. Abdrahman produces and curates exhibitions at Pro Arts Gallery and Alena Museum. Her work was featured at Museum of African Diaspora in 2016. In 2019/2020 her artwork was featured at Ashara Ekundayo Gallery (Oakland, CA), Marin County Civic Center (San Rafael, CA) , Five Myles Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Gallerie Renee Marie (Benicia, CA), and YBCA. She was an XIR (Explorer In Residence) at New Energy Nexus where she offered clean energy and zero-waste micro-business classes at a local mobile urban art and economic project, Sun Village Artisan Corner, to overcome the barriers to food security and clean energy in underserved communities.
WEB & CONTENT CREATOR
Annie answers to the Earth. Her actions are built on a belief that a global shift must first begin as an inner shift. She is a dancer, farmer, bodywork, and creator who feels most at home in the forest. Annie is remembering her essential wild nature and cultivating practices to deeply listen to and advocate for Earth.