It was a November day during the 2014 Salish Sea Bioneers that Phillip Jones decided to take direct action regarding the Athabasca tar sands instead of watching from afar. Inspired by the concepts of pilgrimages that friends had considered, he decided that since he could ride long distances, he would simply pedal to the open pits himself. The spark lit a fire, and over the following days and weeks, others arose to the same call.
Originating from the Cleveland Ohio area, Phillip is an engineer at a leading aerospace company with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University. Now living on Whidbey Island, Washington with his wife Hannah, he is a composer of piano music as well as an avid hiker and mountaineer. He is a high-mileage, all-weather, all-season commuter cyclist and backcountry touring enthusiast accustomed to the long days and steep climbs of cycling in Cascadia.
Other projects he has helped initiate through the years include The Ndoto Project, a Kenya acting nonprofit devoted to putting Kenyan students through college in their home country.
Erika Lundahl is a writer, nonprofit communications and events planner, and musician. Originally from Oregon, she moved to Seattle two years ago to work with YES! Magazine. She has coordinated events and fundraisers with YES! Magazine, The Domestic Fair Trade Association, Wild Futures, and Cascade Harvest Coalition. Her writing has been featured in Christian Science Monitor, Truthout!, and Bill Moyers website, among others. Currently she works at Mountaineers Books, and serves on the board of Salish Sea Cooperative Finance, a local lending cooperative designed to refinance student debt. Her band, Animals of Grace can often be found playing in Seattle on weekends. She is passionate about climate justice, and the intersection of environment, feminism, and new economic models.
“I am interested in seeking out and creating stories of collective agency in the face of environmental crisis. The Road to Athabasca is one of these stories.”
Derek Hoshiko works for Climate Solutions and is a co-organizer of Cascadia Climate Collaborative. He worked for YES! Magazine as Online Marketing Manager for three years, and with Seattle Good Business Network, a member of BALLE since moving to the central Puget Sound in 2004. In 2007, he co-founded Web Collective, Inc., a Seattle-based employee-owned cooperative that served web solutions to hundreds of values-aligned organizations, agencies, and businesses. As the climate crisis has deepened, Derek has sought to take actions that are relevant to the scale of the problem, and he believes that making a pilgrimage to the tar sands has the potential to create meaningful change.
Derek works with individuals through story and conversation to engage their passions and to bring integrity more fully into their lives so their values truly serve them. He enjoys helping people navigate our changing world, to make social change fun, and to help people go beyond changing light bulbs—or just change their light bulbs. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Colorado at Denver, where he later completed a Master’s degree. Derek lives on Whidbey Island with his wife and children.
Heather Elder is a graphic artist who flew her Atlanta nest to settle in the beauty of Seattle in the hopes of making more beauty to share with the world. She sold drugs in a past life (as a pharmaceutical advertising copywriter) but woke up one day into a dream of drawing for a living. When not hand drawing letters, Heather lends her design and illustration skills to change-based helpers and organizations. She also draws and paints some for herself in the wee hours of the night. And rides her bike. And loves to eat ginger and sweet potatoes. Often together.
“I was drawn to this project, first, by the beautiful humans who were already involved. Secondly, I believe in the power of storytelling to change the world. Our stories inform our values and our culture, which is currently corrupt. We need new, life-affirming, non-exploitative stories to be told so people can trust that there is happiness to be found in ways of being that are not based in consumerism. The Road to Athabasca project is one of these kinds stories, and I wanted to use my gifts to help make this story visible and compelling to others.”
Amanda Creech is a filmmaker based out of Atlanta Georgia. She is involved with the Food Not Bombs movement and passionate about creating sustainable food communities.