Waking Planet PO Box 955 New Paltz, NY 12561

Date: July 22, 2002 Contacts: Barbara Upton, (845) 626-4488

For Release: Week of 7/22

Ibrahim Mubarak, Secretary/Spokesman, or Jack Tafari, Chairman of Dignity Village (503) 281 1604

New World Flag to Be Awarded to Portland's Homeless Community

Dignity Village, a self-governing, green, urban village of approximately 60 formerly homeless individuals in Portland, Oregon, will be the first recipient of the Waking Planet New World Flag. It is being awarded in honor of the ingenuity, compassion and environmental integrity the village exemplifies, according to Barbara Upton, Founder of Waking Planet and creator of the New World Flag.

Jack Tafari, Chairman of the village council, said, "We're deeply honoured to be among the first recipients of the New World Flag. A lot of us here have caught the vision and are working hard to turn things around in our own lives and to turn things around in general, to find a more sensible, equitable and sustainable way to live in harmony with each other and our mother Earth."

Dignity Village began in December of 2000, when eight people who had little more than five tents and a dream came together to create a community rather than just another tent city. Today, Dignity boasts of an organic farm, solar and wind power, an elected village council that meets weekly to enforce the village's laws, and a schedule of shared chores to keep the site clean and safe. There is also a growing cadre of volunteers and supporters who are inspired to help those who are working so hard to help themselves.

"I read about Dignity Village in Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures," said Upton. " I was so impressed with the forbearance and vision the village residents have shown in creating a community that can be a model not only for other tent cities, but for towns and villages across the country."

"Dignity Village beautifully represents the qualities the Waking Planet New World Flag represents," said Upton.

"When people enter this community they sign an agreement promising to respect and care for themselves and one another. This is the ingredient often missing in contemporary society. Dignity's residents are a living example of what can be accomplished when the values of connection, caring, belonging and trust are embraced," she added.

"The Waking Planet New World Flag represents a world where peace, justice, racial harmony, and environmental integrity reign. The flag depicts the sun and the moon and a blue earth glowing with ecological soundness. The earth is surrounded by a rainbow spectrum of figures representing the beauty that results when all people are respected for their inherent dignity and worth," Upton explained.

The Waking Planet New World Flag will be presented to the people of Dignity Village on July 27th at 10 a.m. Geeta Desai, of Wappingers Falls, New York, is Outreach Coordinator for Waking Planet and will be making the presentation.

Dignity Village's philosophy of respect and care for the individual is paying rich dividends. Many who move on stay connected to the village as friends and volunteers.

"To date, over 1,200 people have ventured through Dignity Village and about 55% found work and 35% got housed," explained Ibrahim Mubarak, Secretary and spokesman for the village.

"This is because in modern cities, space is so valuable that none can be spared for the poor with the virtual disappearance of low income housing. There is no room indoors for the poor in cities anymore. This is a great example of why we in the city of Portland, in the state of Oregon, in America as a country, and in other countries of the World need a Dignity Village or places like it." "When a baby gets hungry," Mubarak continued, "instantaneously it seeks its mother's breast. Once the baby finds the breast it starts sucking and nothing comes out, so the baby starts sucking a second time and gets the same result. And a third time and a fourth time and then finally on the fifth try, the milk emerges. What I'm saying is that the baby didn't give up and got his just reward."

"So people also get paid for their efforts and this ceremony in receiving the New World Flag shows the great effort and achievement that Dignity Village has done in this ongoing struggle of the homeless."

If you would like to donate time or money, contact Dignity Village at http://dignityvillage.org . To learn more about the New World Flag go to http://www.wakingplanet.com