“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead, American Anthropologist

How to Make the World a Better Place” is an ongoing program (2017-2018), spearheaded by the good folks at Heritage Presbyterian Church, of presentations and learning opportunities for people of all ages in the Benicia community.

Monthly presentations at Heritage Pres., (1400 E. 2nd St., Benicia), on specific world problems and how we can help to make them better:

  • Wed. May 30, 7 p.m. – HOMELESSNESS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Are there solutions to the problem of a growing homeless population and the limited stock of affordable housing in the expensive Bay Area housing market? Francie McInerney MacMillan, a leader of Vallejo Together, a volunteer organization focused on building community, will discuss how homelessness has been addressed and the possibility of affordable housing made possible. Flyer:HPC. BetterWorld. Homeless:Housing

NOTE: The Benicia Public Library has links to books and films in their collection as it relates to each of these events on their website.


  • April  – PEACE (personal, inter-personal, community, nation, world-wide) Speaker Sandhya Jha, Director, Oakland Peace Center. With the possibility of nuclear war on the horizon and the reality of ongoing wars halfway into their second decades, it can be hard for us to imagine what peace can look like. Join community organizer, pastor, author and peace activist Sandhya Jha, founder and director of the Oakland Peace Center, for an evening of connecting inner peace, community efforts to create equity, and national youth efforts to reduce street violence, gun violence in our streets and state sanctioned violence. This looks to be an inspiring and hope-filled evening with some concrete next steps for community members to consider.
  • March –  WHY CAN’T WE JUST GET ALONG? A frank discussion of privilege, prejudice and bullying and how these vexing problems can be minimized or even eliminated. Our speaker will be the Rev. Peter Champion, Interim Pastor at St. Paul’s Episcopalian Church here in Benicia, among other things, a trainer on changing racists thoughts and actions.
  • Feb.- WHO GETS TO BE AN AMERICAN? Discussion on refugees and immigration, vetting procedures, the path to citizenship and the realities of being resettled in America and the Bay Area. Speakers were Jude Stephens from Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program,East Bay and Nicole Germanov from Refugee Transitions in Oakland.
  • Jan. – GETTING HEARD BY DECISION MAKERS: Learning how to get your concerns addressed and “speak truth to power,” make positive relations with powerful people, and protest with grace and style.  Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Erin Shipp, Solano County Chair INDIVISIBLE, a national group that advises people on getting heard by political decision makers.
  • Nov. – CLIMATE CRISIS discussion featuring climate scientist Dr. Andrew Gunther
  • Oct. – SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE featuring UC Davis Dept. of Agriculture and Environmental Science professors Gail Feenstra and David Campbell
  • Sept. – LOCAL HUNGER ISSUES featured Larry Sly, Director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano counties, and Viola Robertson, Director of Benicia Community Action Council


ESSAY & POETRY CONTEST (in partnership with Benicia Literary Arts) Creative Benicians wrote how they think the world could be better. A booklet of selected works was published in March. Want a copy? Email: betterworldbenicia(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)



Email: betterworldbenicia(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign); phone church at: (707)745-6650.