WE’RE BUILDING A POWERFUL, SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY OF CLIMATE JUSTICE ORGANIZERS. TAKE THE PLEDGE TO SHARE YOUR STORY, COMMIT TO ORGANIZE FOR THE LONG-HAUL, AND WITHHOLD DONATIONS FROM YOUR UNIVERSITY UNTIL THEY #DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS.
One of the most powerful things about the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement is how it has mobilized and trained thousands of students and young people to organize in the fight against the climate crisis. Our targets expect us to stop organizing after graduation. They are waiting for our leaders to graduate so our campaigns will weaken, but we refuse to graduate out of the movement. The state of the crisis demands that we continue organizing for climate and social justice long after we leave campus. Through the Organizing Pledge Project, we are sharing stories about what brings us to this work, and why we are committed to organizing for the long-term.
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Dear classmates, fellow students, and fellow organizers,
My name is Alyssa Lee and I graduated from UCLA in Spring 2014. During my college years ,I was involved in countless groups that served to represent UCLA. I was a dedicated member of the Solid Gold Sound Marching Band and played the UCLA Fight Song more times than I can reasonably count. I was an active sister of Tau Beta Sigma, the honorary band sorority that worked with Girl Scout troops in LA and promoted women in leadership. I was a grantwriter with the Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA and helped to raise over $19,500 for a free clinic that served the homeless in the Greater Los Angeles area. I was an active member of over nine campus organizations. I have cheered for our athletics teams through the heat and the rain. I know how to sing all of our many fight songs (and the harmonies!). If you needed to know where to go on campus to book a room, get some funding, hold an event, I was the person who you asked. I knew the ins and outs of campus and I was proud of it.
My name is Hayden Higgins and I am an alumni of Davidson College. I graduated in 2012 and currently live in Washington, DC, where—in my scant free time—I volunteer with a grassroots citizen’s group called DC Divest. As a member of DC Divest, I have given speeches, lobbied councilmembers, and asked for signatures in the freezing cold, all as a part of the divestment movement for climate justice.
With so much emphasis being put on the “Green” movement, the mentality around what being Green is has been lost. It seems no longer to be a personal moral decision to live sustainably, but a corporate logo to instill confidence in a brand. Greenwashing is a serious issue as more and more people are seeking out the morally responsible product. There are no larger corporations that are abusing this than the oil industry. Companies that are determined to pollute our atmosphere and destroy our environment are now targeting the climate movement.
Dear fellow youth organizers,
My name is Sara Blazevic and I am a senior at Swarthmore College.
I am an organizer with Swarthmore Mountain Justice, a part of the movement for fossil fuel divestment and climate justice. The fossil fuel industry and college administrators are waiting for student organizing to subside as we graduate, but I am writing to pledge my commitment to this movement for the long haul.
Dear Southeastern Seniors,
My name is Doug Miller. I am now 25, and was born in Tallahassee Florida where I now live. I graduated from New York University in May of 2012, and became an organizer with the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network in May of 2014. The fossil fuel industry and college administrators are waiting for student organizing to subside as you graduate, but I am writing to affirm my commitment to you and to our movement for the long haul. I’d like to ask you to do the same.
My Fellow Climate Activists and Justice Organizers,
I am an organizer with Fossil Free CU, a campaign in the movement for fossil fuel divestment and climate justice. I began organizing for divestment two years ago, and know that the fossil fuel industry and my college administrators are waiting for student organizing to subside as we graduate; I am writing to pledge my commitment to this movement for the long haul. Through this, I speak not only to the great challenge that lies ahead, but to the revitalization that comes through movement building. Our movement has a lot of work to do if we are to overcome current and future global destitution, but I believe in the soulful healing that can happen along the way.
Dear student climate justice organizers everywhere,
My name is Miles Goodrich and come May, I will graduate from Bowdoin College. The turning of the tassels at commencement will mark the end of one chapter in my life. It will not, however, mark the end of my organizing for a just and sustainable future through fossil fuel divestment. I am graduating from Bowdoin; I am not graduating from the climate justice movement.
Dear Fellow Climate Justice Organizers,
My name is Michaela Steiner and I am a student at Northern Arizona University, class of 2016.
Dear friends, family, and fellow youth organizers and fighters,
My name is Lina Blount and I’m a Bryn Mawr Graduate from 2013. I studied Growth and Structure of Cities, with a minor in Environmental Studies. And in the Spring of 2011 I helped found a divestment campaign at my campus.
Dear Fellow Climate Justice Organizers,
My name is Nathan Malachowski, and I am an alum of Allegheny College Class of 2014. Now I am a community organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement working to block the construction of the proposed Bakken Pipeline, which would threaten Iowa communities and the health and well-being of current and future generations.
My name is Sonny Lawrence D. Alea, I am an alumni of San Francisco State University (SFSU), class of 2014. I began my organizing journey helping with the Fossil Free SFSU campaign, which is part of the growing movement calling for institutions around the world to divest from the fossil fuel industry and stop profiting from climate change. The fossil fuel industry and many of our schools’ administrators are hoping that the movement loses momentum as student organizers graduate from college, move on, and eventually forget about the campaign. I however, will not graduate from this movement; I pledge to only grow as an organizer and do what I can to help strengthen this movement towards victory.
My name is Sean Estelle and I am an alumnus of the University of California, San Diego (Class of 2013). I am the National Divestment Campaigner for Energy Action Coalition, and I’m building a long-term movement for student power to transform our institutions of higher education until they are as truly committed to issues of climate justice and social justice.
To my fellow young activists, artists and organizers:
I’m a recent alumnus of Swarthmore College, where I co-founded the fossil fuel divestment campaign and worked on it for three years.
Dear Fellow Fossil Fuel Divestment Organizers,
My name is Jason Schwartz and I am a student at San Francisco State University. I am a fifth-year senior and will be graduating soon. I am also an organizer with Fossil Free SFSU and the Divestment Student Network, both part of the movement for climate justice. The fossil fuel industry and college administrators are waiting for student organizing to subside as we graduate, but I am writing to pledge my commitment to this movement for the long haul.
Dear fellow organizers for climate justice,
My name is Emily Kirkland, and I am an alumna of Brown University, Class of 2013. As a student, I organized with Fossil Free Brown, and I continue to support the campaign as much as I can. The fossil fuel industry and college administrators are waiting for student organizing to subside as we graduate, but I am writing to pledge my commitment to this movement for the long haul.