by Jeff Mann, Online Director, Energy Action Coalition
Ever wonder what keeps WeArePowerShift.org ticking behind the scenes? It’s not magic, it’s the passion and dedication of this community and the hundreds of youth climate organizers who come back daily to contribute blog posts and comments (okay, plus a little magic).
But there is one group that deservers some extra recognition. Last spring we launched the WeArePowerShift.org Leadership Team and over the last year this incredible group of grassroots organizers from across the country have played an invaluable role, above and beyond the blog posts you see. They have been true leaders of the community, working tirelessly to recruit new participants, lead trainings, and shape the direction of WeArePowerShift.org.
Today, I’m excited to announce a new phase for the WAP Leadership Team. In order to better support all of you as participants in the community, we’ve decided to re-structure the Leadership Team around the issues that you care about. Starting today, each member of the team is taking on a topic/issue area to lead, and will be the point person for keeping the community up to date on that topic and for supporting community members who want to share their work and ideas.
New Leadership Team Roles
I was raised by two relatively progressive parents from Northern California with Southern roots; that’s me in a nutshell. I’ve seen and experienced many different parts of the country but my heart belongs to the south and the west. My love of nature was fostered in my early Girl Scout experience, my love of humanity is just something I was born with, and these two loves were brought together when I learned about environmental justice my sophomore year of college. I’m a graduating senior at Howard University in Washington, DC, a blogger, an activist, and a nerd and proud of it.
Gabe Elsner is a public interest advocate based in Washington, D.C. For the past five years, he has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations to elevate the voice of ordinary people in Washington, DC. Gabe understands that citizens need to stand up for true American values - to overcome the influence of corporate lobbyists and special interest groups and restore a democracy of, by and for the people. Gabe is the Co-Director of the Checks & Balances Project, an energy industry watchdog group, in June 2011 to help increase transparency, expose the fossil fuel echo chamber and inform the public on critical issues related to the energy debate.
Caleb-Michael Files currently resides in Kansas City, MO where he attends the University of Missouri - Kansas City pursuing a Double Bachelors degree in Political Science and Economics, minoring in Sustainability. Caleb manages social media for numerous organizations in Kansas City and enjoys teaching others its (social media’s) use.
Growing up in the mountains of Virginia, Jessica was instilled with an early love of the natural world. She spent time post university as a band director/music teacher and digital designer, and in 2009 found her passion for world-changing as a local organizer in Charlottesville. In a nutshell: Veg*n, designer, musician, writer/blogger, non-conforming, ruckus-raising, tree-hugging hippie.
Lael has been forcing her friends to recycle ever since she was young and her enthusiasm for all things sustainable has translated into a full-blown career path. While she currently bikes to her nonprofit job in DC, she is a Michigander at heart. Views expressed are her own.
Rick is from Dresden, Tennessee and is currently a junior at Yale University, where he is proud to work with and learn from amazing people in the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and 350 Connecticut. Rick is a proud Tennessean (Go Vols!) and the son of Methodist ministers. He enjoys playing basketball, environmental humor (he is currently soliciting lyrics that rhyme with “positive feedback mechanism” for a climate rap), and thinking about what roles communities of faith should play in responding to the call to stewardship of the environment.
Erin Hutton is a freelance writer in Pittsburgh, PA (EAHCreative.com). Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains gave Erin a respect and love for the natural world that inspires her work. She writes about local food and cooking at CommunityCucina.com.
Sasha currently hails from Berkeley, CA but was born and raised in the mountains of Asheville, NC. Her experiences with organizing range from organic farming to email blasting, and she currently is working with high school students to fight climate change with the Alliance for Climate Education. She likes nonviolent direct action, chickens, indigenous rights, environmental education, Thai Chi, Chai Tea, and, of course, her fellow rambunctious change-makers. Follow Sasha @sasha_m.
David Rickless is a student, writer, and artist living in Alabama. With ties to both the creative world and the environmental scene, he’s interested in everything from clean energy, to street art, to organic mushroom farming. He publishes the blog ThroughaGreenLens.com and tweets on green news, politics, and activism @thegreenlens.
Caroline Selle is an environmental and social justice writer. She is currently working on a book about the activism around the Keystone XL pipeline.
Cindy was born and raised in Texas and is a senior at the University of North Texas. She is an environmental activist currently involved in local struggles against fracking and coal.
Lizzy Stephan is from Warwick, New York and now lives in Denver, Colorado working as an organizer with New Era Colorado. She majored in Sociology at Colorado College, where she worked on a variety of sustainability, endowment, and ballot-related issues. When she’s not working or trying to beat her Google Reader’s unread count, she likes to hang out with her friends, cook, run, and snowboard.
Vision Statement for the Leadership Team
We’re here to make sure that the batteries are charged and the volume is turned up on our movement’s megaphone. The We Are Power Shift Leadership Team supports the development of this grassroots community and ensures that the site provides the space, structure, tools, and climate (no pun intended) for the growth of our movement. We work with the community to keep the site as dynamic, agile, and engaging as this movement’s leaders. By responding to the community’s needs and providing resources, references, and training, we hope to catalyze activism and solidify an online foundation for future victories.
If you have any suggestions or want to be more involved, please contact one of the Leadership Team members. We’d love to hear from you—share your ideas for discussion topics, on and offline projects you’d like community feedback on, additional resources to include on the site, or anything else that’s on your mind. Get in touch!
We hope this new structure for the Leadership Team can help take this community to the next level and make WeArePowerShift.org and even more incredible resource for our movement.
Starting today, if you are blogging on one of these topics and need some extra support writing your post, you can reach out directly to that member of the Leadership Team. Or, if you are writing on another topic, need technical support, or just have general questions/ideas about participating in the WeArePowerShift.org community, you can get in touch with the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.