350.org leadership convergence climate justice

Learning about just, non-oppressive transitions & working with labor unions

Inspiration & action

A couple weekends ago I (Katie) was invited to California to take part in a leadership convergence of 26 local 350 groups from around the US and Canada. 350.org — in case you haven’t heard of it — is a global climate justice movement that has teams in 180 countries around the world. We are autonomous groups, coordinated loosely by regional and national campaigns, most famously the Stop the Keystone Pipeline campaign. As a volunteer board member for 350 Colorado and local 350 Boulder County organizer I was asked to represent our beautiful state, along with my south metro Denver counterpart Alisa Burcham.

Some of the workshops included:

  • Anti-oppression
  • Group & leadership structures
  • Volunteer capacity & coaching
  • Story of self
  • No KXL
  • Tar sands
  • Fracking
  • Fossil fuel divestment
  • UN General Assembly on climate change
  • Online organizing tools
  • Media & press
  • Fundraising
  • Working with labor & unions

Why are you telling me this?

Since 2011 my life has been transformed. When I quit my corporate contract job in Manhattan to join the Occupy Wall Street movement I had no clue that I would wind up traveling with CODEPINK, a badass women-led peace and social justice movement. Next thing I knew I was in Pakistan documenting an anti-drone warfare peace delegation.

When we moved here it became glaringly obvious that the urgent need in Colorado was to work on climate justice, helping people impacted on the front lines of climate change, and educating the community about the immediate issues we face. After the convergence in California I’m even more inspired to act. As we move into our next phase with 350 Colorado we are going to need the help of everyone in our community. I’m just a volunteer with some privilege and training (which I plan to put to good use), but there’s no reason why you need to be me to join me.

You can do something now!

We’ve seen the power of people: the Keystone Pipeline was considered a done deal in 2008, now it’s a national fight; the fossil fuel divestment movement has spread across the globe to hundreds of universities and institutions faster than any movement in history. And we know what climate scientists are telling us. What we face requires immediate action on a massive scale. But it’s actually really easy! All you have to do is say yes to giving a couple hours a month to a local group. No need for riot gear or special skills, whatever you bring to the table is immensely helpful. Guaranteed.

I know that each and every person has a place in this work. And I know that you know that Colorado is full of hard-working, passionate determined people. You’re probably one of them. So are you ready to do something?

Join us! It might just change your life, too.

Get involved nationally
Get involved locally in Colorado
Email me!
I’d love to answer your questions, chat about volunteering over coffee, or find a way to help you get plugged in. Don’t be shy!

From the peanut gallery: