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.
My father was an intimidating figure in my house. His heavy presence did a lot of harm to our relationship and my family, and left me without meaningful mentorship for most of my life. My father did not have the support he needed when growing up, either, something that contributed to his own deep emotional trenches that were to be filled with substance abuse in his younger years. His leaning on capitalistic metrics of success in search of happiness and validation depreciated the significance of the relationships he held, and left me without support.
The same institutions that have corrupted our democracies and condemned the lives of millions also left me without a supportive parent. For this reason, I need climate justice.
I have found so much love and vigor in our community, it has given me space to reflect and work through my experiences to become a more whole person. This work has revitalized me. I want to support others as they bridge the voids in their lives because my vision for our world cannot be lived or created by damaged people. Ours is not only a movement of throwing away the bad and discarding the ugly, but of deep emotional healing and reconnection. This is a movement for change that reaches deeper than the individual campaigns it consists of, and into the lives of the people that comprise it.
Though I have only one year left before graduating, I have no intention to stop organizing. Boulder has a history of student activism, but one that is neatly buried by the existing administration and allowed to be forgotten. This is a student movement to build power, and I am determined to shift the way my peers within the CU system relate to our administration. I work to train youth organizers and activists, build community and deepen consciousness. Just as world leaders will not take steps necessary to steer us from destitution, my administration refuses to stand for justice and end its support of the most damaging industry in our history.
I pledge to remain committed to the movement for fossil fuel divestment and continue to organize for climate justice, because my dedication to this work cannot be bookended by graduation. I am dedicated to building the power of our movement over the long-term because injustice is not an investment. I will not graduate out of this movement. I take to heart this commitment, and hope that you will also pledge to fight for the future of current students and of generations to come. Will you join me?
With love and hope,
University of Colorado, Boulder
Class of 2016