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.
For Hampton University in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Earth Day marked a new day in history for the school: Hampton's inaugural Environmental Justice & Sustainability panel. Over 100 students came out to the panel discussion Monday evening to hear from professors, fellow students, and local non-profit organizers to learn about environmental and climate justice and how they can take action on their campus, in the local community, and beyond.
In honor of the third year anniversary of the Deep Water Horizon Disaster, USF's Student Environmental Association (SEA) and campuses across the country partnered with Oceana to fight against offshore drilling and seismic airgun testing in the Gulf. The action took place on Saturday at the Earth Day Tampa Bay event at the USF Botanical Gardens. Seismic airguns are used to find oil deep beneath the ocean floor and have devastating impacts on the environment and marine wildlife.
As the end of the semester nears and many of us gear up for finals, graduation, tying up loose ends, and making plans for the coming chapters in our lives, it is time once again to remind ourselves and those we love: self-care matters.
This week we started our action to get the President of MSU to meet with us to talk about the current energy plan. Because she denied our request to meet, and we are instead meeting with the Vice-President, we have decided to send her letters (increasing in number by day) and wind-turbines constructed of boxboard until she agrees to meet with us. Here is my letter, the first one to be delivered to her:
On Friday, March 1st, 60 Vassar students rallied outside the Board of Trustees' gathering to encourage the trustees to divest from fossil fuels.
For several hours on Friday night, Vassar students cheered the trustees and welcomed them into the Alumnae House, where their gathering was being held. We passed out an Open Letter to the trustees, welcomed them with smiles, and chanted "Divest please, Vassar trustees!" as the trustees entered the building. We held up signs with slogans such as, "It's best to divest," "Fossil free! Yes divest!", "We trust our trustees! (to divest)," and "Invest in our future."
This is the introductory blog post from Cultivating Intergenerational Leaders, our Summer of Solutions program in Washington DC. Grand Aspirations is sharing stories from our local programs to keep the powershift community updated on our work!
Greetings friends! This is Josephine and Jeremiah from the DC program, Cultivating Intergenerational Leaders. We are a new program that is working on creating a project that will engage middle and high school youth, college students, and senior citizens around issues of food justice. Last month, we hosted the January Gathering, where program leaders from other cities such as Arleta, CA, Reno, NV and the state of West Virginia came together to participate in a training to prepare us to organize and host a Summer of Solutions program in our home communities. This training was held at the Steinbruck Center at the Luther Place Memorial Church, which works to provide youth, students, and adults with the tools to address the root causes of poverty.
Virginia climate activists aren't letting up on Keystone XL after Sunday's hugely successful climate rally in DC. John Kerry came to the University of Virginia yesterday to deliver his first official speech as the Secretary of State, and UVA students with CCAN and Central Virginia 350 turned out to urge him to oppose the dirty oil pipeline.
Armed with a huge banner and chanting "No tar sands pipeline!" the group drew attention from passersby and Secretary Kerry himself, who walked by with a wave to acknowledge our message. During his speech, Kerry came out swinging on climate change. He made the economic case for climate action, tying rising seas and higher temperatures to greater costs from extreme weather and other climate impacts.
On Tuesday, more than 4,200 students at UNC Chapel Hill demonstrated overwhelming support for divesting the university’s $2.1 billion endowment from the dirty coal industry. The referendum passed by a huge margin with 77% of UNC students voting in favor of coal divestment.