On Sunday, 28 June 2020, 29 residents from the U.S. State of Florida attended an online celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Earth Charter. The event was organized by Earth Charter Educator Chris Beehner and associates Terry Ellis, Orla O’Reilly Hazra, and Sharon Joy Kleitsch. Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted plans for a face-to-face event, technology enabled a virtual experience that captivated the hearts and minds of attendees. Participants included familiar names such as Peter Blaze Corcoran, Hazel Henderson, Jan Roberts, and EC Board member Michael Bracken, along with attendees from every corner of the state. The 90-minute online webinar included recognition of prominent Earth Charter influencers, including Jan Roberts, followed by a summary of the history of the Earth Charter from a Florida perspective.
Afterward, breakout sessions included conversations about contemporary issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racism and discrimination, Florida-specific environmental issues, and the engagement of local governments, educators, and faith communities in the sustainable development conversation. These conversations were all framed within the context of the Pillars and Principles of the Earth Charter. As the meeting concluded, many of the attendees shared one word which summarized their experience: inspired, connecting/connected, hope, joy, encouragement, respect, unity, engagement, awakening, perseverance, community, mindfulness, and sustainability. The State of Florida experienced a revival in interest in the Earth Charter as a result of the event.