Amazing people are coming to the Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence. Check out their bios and workshop descriptions on our newly updated Programming Page!
Here’s a sneak peak:
Gopal Dayaneni is a member of Movement Generation. Gopal has worked for social, economic, and environmental justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, and speaking since the late 1980′s. He has been a campaigner for Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition on human rights and environmental justice in the high-tech industry and the Oil Campaigner for Project Underground, a human rights and environmental rights organizations which supported communities resisting oil and mining exploitation around the world. Gopal has also provided progressive organizations with support in Strategic Communications and Campaign Planning through the Design Action Collective and is an active trainer and organizer with the Ruckus Society and a member of the Progressive Communicators Network. Gopal is also an elementary and early childhood educator, working formerly as a teacher and as the co-director of the Tenderloin Childcare Center, a community based childcare center supporting children and families forced into homelessness.
Deirdre Lally is an organizer and organic farmer in rural central Pennsylvania. After years spent in campaigns against mountaintop-removal coal financiers, she learned that hydraulic fracturing for natural gas had come to her family’s home on the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, and began organizing. Since gas drilling’s arrival in PA in the early 2000′s, she has been involved in direct action campaigns to protect state forests from drilling, quick-response community support efforts such as Save Riverdale, and is now involved in a listening project in a heavily fracked county in PA and community outreach and movement base-building work with the Shalefield Organizing Committee.
Freddy Lozano: Born in Barranquilla, Colombia and a union leader and social activist since 1990, Freddy studied Industrial Maintenance in Colombia’s main technical institute. He has completed his seventh semester in the Simón Bolívar University Law School in Barranquilla. He has been president of the Puerto Bolívar chapter of the National Union of Workers in the Coal Industry (SINTRACARBÓN). In 2009, he received the first “positive” prize awarded by Public Eye in Davos, Switzerland, for his work supporting the communities affected by the Cerrejón coal complex. He works for the CERREJON company (owned by BHP Billiton, Anglo American, and Xstrata), which operates the largest open-pit coal mine in Latin America.
Nació en Barranquilla, Colombia y dirigente sindical y social desde 1990, Freddy estudió Mantenimiento Industrial en la principal escuela técnica de Colombia, actualmente cursa séptimo semestre de derecho en la Universidad Simón Bolívar de Barranquilla. Ha sido presidente por tres ocasiones de la seccional Puerto Bolívar del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria del Carbón (SINTRACARBÓN). El año 2009 se hace merecedor al primer premio “positivo” que entrega el ‘Public Eye en Davos Suiza por su labor a favor de las comunidades vecinas al complejo Carbonífero “El Cerrejón”. Es trabajador de la empresa CERREJON, multinacional (bhp billiton, Anglo American, Xstrata) que explota la mina de carbón a cielo abierto más grande de América Latina.
Marcel Jones is the Chair of the Black Student Union at UC Berkeley and resident of Afro House (part of the Berkeley Student Cooperative), Marcel Jones is a student organizer dedicated to communal resistance and cross-cultural coalition building. Marcel has experience participating in multiple organizing spaces including the UC Berkeley divestment campaigns from Israeli occupation and the Prison Industrial Complex. Current efforts that Marcel is working on include the No2Napolitano campaign, UC Prison Divestment, increasing resources for Black students, chairing a conference addressing the school-to-prison pipeline, and increasing people of color cooperatives. Coming from a power to the people mentality and an intersectional framework, Marcel believes in leading with dreams rooted in a critical analysis of our realities.
Are you interested in planning a National Divestment Day of Action? What about organizing a regional network of divestment campaigns in your area? Are you designing a multi-campus art installation, focused on the impacts of fossil fuel extraction? Bring your ideas for collaboration and movement-building to the Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence!
This year’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence, hosted by San Francisco State University, is a gathering of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network! We will be coming together in-person to share skills, stories, and strategies. During the final block of programming, students will break-out into ten focus groups to workshop proposals for projects, such as a National Divestment Day of Action or a multi-campus art installation. This will be a space for fostering cross-campus organizing and building stronger ties between divestment campaigns that will carry us through the rest of the semester and into next year!
Our goals for these projects:
Dig Deep– Organize! low-slow organizing, root causes analyses, intersectional movement building, anti-oppression, building organizing skills for the long haul, relationship-building within divestment/climate world and outside of it (we see this as the work necessary to “scale up” and grow the movement)
Link Up– connecting across campuses, with community and frontline groups, and with other justice movements; forming regional networks and the DSN; organizing convergences, meet-ups; cross-movement coalition building; organizing around shared targets (ie, fund managers)
Take Action– Mobilize! taking *strategic* action; direct action tactics, escalation, days of action, regional actions, mass mobilizations
Ready to submit your proposal? Click here for full instructions: Project Proposal Submission
We want your help to tell the (amazing) story of the next wave of the youth climate justice movement.
We are recruiting for a team of “social media storytellers” – people who fan out everyday of the national convergence and help spotlight the conversations, and people, who are building and evolving the fossil fuel divestment movement. We’ll be meme-ing, blogging, tweeting, photographing, instagramming, and more.
We’re having a special “social storytelling training” on Friday, 4/4 – the first day of the National Convergence, at SFSU. The training will feature a introduction to movement storytelling, hard-won tips on breaking through on social media, and a lesson on how to make your own memes. It will also be a really good chance for all of us to get to know each other and start jamming.
Joining this team is a great way to meet fellow divestment activists. We’ll be getting together everyday of the convergence to hang out and tell amazing stories. No skills needed – just passion!
Interested in joining this kick-ass team? Please fill out this form!
Hey Everyone! We’re excited to announce that registration for the 2014 Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence has been extended until March 16th! This convergence is an in-person meeting of the fossil fuel divestment campaigns from around the world where we will learn from from climate justice leaders, build our own organizing skills, and strategize together as a movement. Please register your school as soon as possible, we can only accept 300 students so it’s going to be first come first serve.
There are travel scholarships available for students in need. In order to be eligible for a travel scholarship, you must register by 11:59pmPST March 8th and apply for the Scholarship by 11:59pmPST March9th. If you need ideas/help brainstorming how to raise funds check out this awesome Fundraising Toolkit!
As a reminder, please register together as one school and not separately, this makes work on our end much easier. We are also increasing our student cap for each school to 5 students per school. If you would like to bring more than 3 students you may fill out the form twice to accommodate. The planning team members would love to see divesters from all of your schools attend, so please check out the information below, forward it to a friend, and get a group registered to attend the convergence.
We are also excited to announce a few of our confirmed speakers and panelists.
- Tim DeChristopher
- Henia Belalia — Peaceful Uprising and Deep Roots United Front
- Melvin Willis – Richmond CA Youth Community Organizer
- Fredy Lozano — Colombian coal miners’ union
- Deirdre Lally — Shalefield Organizing Committee
We hope to see you all there!
- The Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence Planning Team
The Keystone XL pipeline is set to bring toxic tar sands from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast, where it will be refined for export. As young people we’ve had enough: approval of the pipeline would ensure that our generation takes on the risk of oil spills, increased toxic pollution from refineries, health disasters, and a exacerbated climate change.
We are young, awaiting a future fraught with uncertainty. This will not deter us from participating in an act of civil disobedience. Indeed it has compelled us to organize one.
We ask you to join us in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, March 2nd for this action
SIGN UP HERE: http://xldissent.org/sign-up/
A fossil fuel divestment meet-up with campus divestment activists from across the country will take place prior to the action training from 1-4 PM on March 1st at the Thurgood Marshall Center.
By Lydia Miller-Jewett
This January I returned to my school, Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, from a semester abroad program. There are innumerable differences that one suddenly notices upon returning to a familiar campus after a while away. They are of varying degrees, from brand new buildings, to subtly changed decoration. But few changes can be as exciting as hurrying across campus for a class and suddenly seeing orange squares go by, pinned on back packs and coats!
The orange square has become more and more visible on our campus and I have been lucky enough to watch this happen. What has made this even more exciting is that I remember at the Power Up Convergence 2013 when the orange square was presented to us with the hope that it would become a symbol of the movement — a movement that is connected, not separate from others. It is always important to remember that having a solid symbol doesn’t mean everything else is also just as solid, but it is quite an amazing step. And this step toward solidarity is just one of many.
To have a Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence happening again, sure to be only better than before, is another of these steps. A lot of good happened during our time on Swarthmore’s beautiful campus. We started the weekend out in what was probably the best foreshadowing for what we have been focusing on so much more during this past year – we stood in solidarity with Swarthmore’s team as they confronted a trying board meeting, something we all can certainly relate to. And this is what I mean. We started it out by supporting others, recognizing that we are all in this together, and that we understand each other. But throughout the weekend we also had the unique and necessary opportunity to learn what differences we were all facing… different tactics, thoughts, starting places, and emotions…
We began some incredibly important conversations that are imperative for the success of this movement. We set the space to start looking critically at ourselves: the inclusiveness (or lack there of) in the movement, the privilege… the marginalization. We must continue to constantly check our selves… ask if we are working with or detrimentally speaking for our brothers and sisters. These are the things that we must continue to tackle as this movement solidifies. Because it is solidifying. It is making progress. WE are making progress. And with the Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence 2014 as proof, the space for coming together and continuing to make this progress will just keep growing with us.