Building Political Power

We're the Ones We've Been Waiting For

Day in and day out the energy at Power Shift HQ is growing. Deadlines are coming and going faster than we can imagine and, every time we look up, another day has come to an end and we're one step closer to Power Shift 2011. Each and every one of us is reeling with excitement about what's about to happen in just 21 days as we take part in the largest environmental organizing training in history.

It's amazing to see that this energy isn't just in our offices. Power Shift attendees are finding incredibly creative ways to share their stories, take action in their communities, and… to simply get here.

At last weekend's regional training events in the Northeast and California, organizers shared their stories about how they got involved in environmental activism.

Crossposted from Greenpeace.

Here's a nice, shot, submitted to Democracy Now! by an anonymous pilot of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV - a.k.a. "drone").

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The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is gearing up for the 2014-2015 school year, and it’s shaping up to be as strong as ever. In a few weeks, we are hosting our Fall Summit, which will be a great opportunity for Kentucky youth to learn about our work and get plugged in. Plus, we'll be camping, eatin good food, and having lots of fun. Until then, here's a recap of our already busy semester!

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As youth delegates from SustainUS, we work to represent the youth of the US climate justice movement within the United Nations' debates on climate change. In this capacity, we travel to the UN climate change negotiations every year. There, we aim to make change both in the outcome text of the negotiations and in the media narrative surrounding international climate policy. This December, we will attend COP20 in Lima, Peru, and we’re already full of ideas for what we’d like to see. Ask any one of us and we can tell you what we’re hoping for on a personal level.

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Over at Energy Action Coalition, we’ve had tremendous fun with bringing together “Storyteller Teams” at big events. What’s a storyteller team, you ask? It’s a grassroots team of people who are dedicated to using the power of social media to share and promote movement stories from a conference or event. We’ve had kick-ass Storyteller Teams at Power Shift ‘13 and the SF Divestment Convergence, and together, these teams have reached and inspired hundreds of thousands of people.

Storyteller Teams don’t just happen on their own - they require some planning and recruiting and training and good old cat herding. Below are 9 tips (or rather, lessons we’ve learned) for recruiting and unleashing completely all-star storyteller teams.

Post by Mary Schellentrager and Joe Solomon, Energy Action Coalition

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534 On Tuesday, the White House’s United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released its third National Climate Assessment which represents the most comprehensive evaluation to date of the impacts of climate change on the American people across the nation. This dire new report shows that every region of the country is already impacted by climate change — from drought drying up farmlands, to extreme weather devastating communities, to dirty air and extreme heat days sending people with asthma and respiratory diseases to the emergency room. It also follows a series of other reports released in the past year by the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which highlight these impacts globally, what we can expect if we don’t act, and what our options are to avoid the worst of these scenarios. 

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This article was originally published on the Huffington Post on Friday, April 25th, 2014.

We cannot build a thriving future out of burnout and exhaustion.

We cannot build a thriving future out of weary hearts, tired minds and burnt out bodies.

But we're certainly trying to, by the looks of it.

I know this from my work as an organizer in the climate movement -- because that's how I was doing it. That's how we all were doing it.

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By Eliza Sherpa & Sarah Arndt (Skidmore College)

In the following editorial, we attempt to apply the study of whiteness to environmental action. We assert first that American society maintains systems of racism and colonization that center and privilege whiteness while oppressing and marginalizing other identities. As a result, the U.S.-based environmental movement is implicated in a racial system. We believe the movement fails to adequately acknowledge or respond to the racialized nature of the politics and processes with which it engages. This failure manifests at multiple levels, including on our own college campus, Skidmore. While the environmental community on campus has attempted to foster an inclusive space and increase diversity, it has failed to do so largely due to misguided approaches. It is necessary for campus environmental activists to identify, examine, and change the ways in which our actions are influenced by racialized and colonizing economic and political systems. This begins with each of us as individuals learning and actively engaging in the constant process of becoming better allies.

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438 By Julia Ho, Emily Alves, Megan Odenthal, Jamal Sadrud-Din, and Georgia McCandlish

At 11am on Saturday morning, 5 student representatives from the sit-in against Peabody entered a conference room in Brookings Hall to meet with Chancellor Wrighton. Forty-five minutes later, we emerged from the meeting with an increased sense of resolve and passion to a crowd of 50 supporters.

The meeting, which occurred on Day 5 of the sit-in, came just a day after ‘Students Against Peabody’ publicly revealed their demands. In the meeting with Chancellor Wrighton, we articulated our demands: 1. Remove CEO Greg Boyce and Peabody from the Board of Trustees 2. The Chancellor must attend community-organized tours of Peabody extraction zones and issue a public statement about his experiences 3. Increased student voice on the board of trustees.

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