Trebbe Johnson, Founder and Executive Director
Trebbe began thinking about bringing attention and beauty to wounded places in 1987, when she interviewed Oneida engineer David Powless and he told her of his belief that the steel waste he had received a National Science Foundation Grant to recycle was but “an orphan from the circle of life.” Other pivotal moments were reading Camus’s “Myth of Sisyphus” as a college freshman, meeting a man who meditated in front of a nuclear power plant, and doing a vigil for a favorite maple tree as it was cut down in her Brooklyn neighborhood.

Before founding Radical Joy for Hard Times she pursued this work by guiding a week-long retreat in a clear-cut old-growth forest on Vancouver Island, British Columbia; leading a ceremony at Ground Zero, New York two months after the September 11 attacks; and writing an article about how one might live in the neighborhood of a nuclear waste facility.

Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and is currently working on a new book, Aphrodite at the Landfill: Making Meaning, Beauty, and Even Joy on a Challenged Planet, about the act of beauty as the environmental activism of the future. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

Alison Cornish, Community Network Development

Alison is a Unitarian Universalist minister, and comes to Radical Joy for Hard Times with a background in parish ministry, nonprofit management, multifaith work, advocacy for the marginalized—and a passion and commitment to care about, and for, the Earth, which has shaped her theology and activism over the past two decades.

A graduate of Wellesley College, the University of York (UK), and Andover Newton Theological School, Alison has also engaged in ongoing study with Gaian teacher Joanna Macy, and is a graduate of the GreenFaith Fellowship program, which is dedicated to preparing clergy and lay leaders for the challenges of ministry in a time of climate change. Alison lives in Philadelphia, and is married to Pat Moran, an artist and art installer. She is amazed and delighted to be living alongside the Schuylkill River, and in her spare time, volunteers at the Fairmount Water Works, the country’s first municipal water system; and looks forward to getting on the river in a small boat—and maybe even in the river as it continues to be cleaner and healthier!