Nicole Cairns

Organization: Online Deputy Director, Power Shift
Location: Washington, DC

Nicole Cairns's Posts

Meeting Bidder 70

Post authored by Tabitha Skervin, a student leader with MSU Greenpeace is fighting to shut down Michigan State's massive on-campus coal plant.

Hi. My name is Tabitha and I care about earth. I care about our home- I care about the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. I care about that which sustains me and it which sustains other living things....I also care about people. I care about people more than I care about trees, soil, grass, pandas, cows, bunnies- I care about people's access to their basic need to clean air, water, and food. I care about the people who are oppressed through their withdrawn access to clean air, water, and food. I hate the institutions that care about neither people or the earth.

Though I have always cared about people a ton, I didn't always care about the green things and the other stuff I live with. But my eyes were opened to the connection between people and the earth. My senior year of high school, my AP Environmental Science class turned my world upside down. That year I realized the connection between a healthy earth and healthy people. That our bodies will only go as far as how healthy the things are that we put in them. I also learned that there are individuals who would rather us have sick bodies if that means more money.

It was at that point, that I knew I wanted to do something about it.

When I went to college, I knew that the activism spirit that I had felt since I was young had to bloom soon- I decided to dedicate my major and my time to learning how the system worked so I could find the best way to take. it. down. My sophomore year, I realized that the only thing stopping me from taking down the system now wasn't 4 year in school- it was me. It was that year that I joined Greenpeace and Amnesty International at Michigan State. Through those groups I learned one of the most valuable lessons one can learn at my age- that there is power in my voice.

Seeing the Signs

I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to come on board with Power Shift staff four weeks ago. I joined the team well into the planning and preparation processes so the entire staff was already moving full-force ahead.

I'm a 'veteran' when it comes to environmental communications, but this is the first real campaign or organizing work I've done. I'm used to working under deadlines, but in the organizing world, your deadlines are always "two days ago" and your to-do list never shrinks.

Sometimes it's easy to lose focus and forget what the mission is. It's easy to get discouraged and tired from the long hours and stressful work.

The other day was the first day I really felt that. After writing all day, I hit writer's block and simply couldn't write another word. After struggling with the same sentence for 20 minutes, I forced myself to get up and go outside to clear my head.

Power Shift Action: Help Make Big Polluters Pay

WE NEED YOUR HELP: The Monday following Power Shift 2011 will be our movement's moment to flex the political muscles of thousands of trained, energized youth, and bring the nation's attention to the dirty money industries corrupting Congress and polluting politics.

WE NEED YOU to make this moment possible. Do you have experience with steering crowds? Do you have a bike? EMT training? A love for Actions? We have a role for you. We need your help and skills to make this happen.

Sign up to volunteer for the Action on April 18th!