- ABOUT US
- OUR WORK
Developing a shared analysis of the ecological crisis and its impacts on urban communities of color.
National movement building for a just transition out of the climate crisis.
This Thursday, join Movement Generation, environmental and public health advocates, and unions like the National Nurses United and UNITE HERE 2850 in a march across the Golden Gate Bridge on THIS THURSDAY at 12PM in support of the Robin Hood Tax and against the Keystone XL pipeline.
The ROBIN HOOD TAX is a small tax of 1/2 of 1% on Wall Street financial transactions that would generate hundreds of billions of dollars per year for education, health care, housing, jobs, and to fight climate change.
KEYSTONE XL is a 1,700 mile pipeline to transport dirty crude oil from Canadian tar sands to refineries in Texas. It has been called “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet” by NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and will also have devastating impacts on local ecosystems and communities, in addition to destroying more jobs than it will create.
National Nurses United took a stand against the Keystone pipeline in February 2013, saying “Nurses care for patients every day who struggle with health crises aggravated by environmental pollution in its many forms. As a society we need to reduce the effects of environmental factors, including climate change, that are making people sick, and endangering the future for our children. That’s why we oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.”
This past week, UNITE HERE 2850 – which represents hotel, food service, and gaming workers in the East Bay and North Bay – became the latest union speaking out against the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Wei-Ling Huber said, “Our members are working people, immigrants, and people of color – exactly the communities most affected by climate change and toxic spills. We are standing up for a world where our members and their children can have good jobs and healthy communities.”
Movement Generation is excited to support our union brothers and sisters as they oppose the false solutions of austerity cuts and extreme energy, and in advocating for local living economies that meet the needs of our communities. We’ll march together in our brand new stylish MG t-shirts! (If you don’t have one already, email us (contact info below) with your size and we’ll bring you one to purchase and wear!) Several cars will be leaving from the East Bay, so please let us know if you need a ride.
Contact Brooke Anderson at
email@example.com or 510-846-0766
MG is excited to announce the launch of the national Our Power Campaign: Communities United for A Just Transition! We are launching this campaign as a co-anchor and leadership body member of the Climate Justice Alliance - a new collaborative of over 35 community-based and movement support organizations rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities throughout the US.
Together through the Our Power Campaign, we are creating transition pathways out of dirty energy, towards solutions that create meaningful work and livelihoods in the US. Communities are implementing real solutions to climate change that chart a path towards more democratic, ecologically rooted economies. Through theOur Power Campaign we are winning clean community power, zero waste, food sovereignty, public transit, housing for all, and restoration of ecosystems and watersheds, especially in regions disproportionately impacted by the deepening economic and ecological crises.
The Our Power Campaign is being rolled out in three “Hot Spot” communities — Black Mesa, Arizona; Richmond, California; and Detroit, Michigan — and will expand to a dozen Hot Spots across the country by the end of 2014. The Hot Spots are frontline communities that are home to key grassroots groups poised to take on dirty energy interests while leading real models of grassroots solutions.
Read the full overview of the Our Power Campaign, hear about the hot spots, and learn more about the Climate Justice Alliance by visiting the Our Power Campaign online at ourpowercampaign.org!
The Our Power Campaign launch will continue through the Our Power Camp!
From June 14-18, in one of the Our PowerCampaign hot spots, Navajo community members of the Black Mesa Water Coalition will host the first Our Power Camp in Arizona – a skills sharing and strategy camp for communities impacted by coal and other dirty energy. This camp marks the first of many Our Power Camps. People from all over the country, including a majority from communities along coal’s chain of destruction in the Southwest, Appalachia, the midwest, and beyond, will come together at the Our Power Camp to learn from and exchange with the Black Mesa community. Attendees will share stories of struggles and victories in communities impacted by dirty energy, host and participate in workshops on topics such as direct action and land-based resilience, and will hold collective strategy sessions.
MG has been a part of the planning team for the camp, and is excited to join our allies and comrades in Black Mesa to learn and share.
For more info on the Our Power Camps click HERE.
RECLAIMING TRANSIT FREEDOM
Co-Hosted by Movement Generation & ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment)
Saturday June 8, 10am-4pm
East Side Arts Alliance
2277 International Blvd Oakland, CA 94606
This is a 5 min bike ride or 20 min walk from Fruitvale BART, or on the 1 & 1R bus lines
RSVP by June 3rd! See details below.
Access to and freedom of mobility is a major part of what makes a community truly resilient & self-reliant. In order to get to the places where our families work, learn, play and pray people need to have transportation that is affordable and accessible. Unfortunately, most metropolitan transportation systems are designed in a way that discriminate against poor people and communities of color. We must fight for transit freedom as a critical right and needed service for our communities in a way that decreases our dependence on fossil-fuel powered individual vehicles, and challenges the Transit authorities to transform our transit systems to be ecologically smart and racially and economically just.
In this day-long training we will learn about the racial and economic inequities built into the Bay Area’s public transit system as well as current social justice campaigns working to reclaim public transit for our communities. We will also highlight the movement for building, fixing and riding bikes as one mode of transportation that can provide free, ecological and self-reliant transportation for many folks in our communities, both young and adult. There will be a skill-share on basic bike maintenance and rider safety with instructors from the Bikery and Bikes 4 Life, two people-of-color-led bike cooperatives in Oakland.
Earth Skills Trainings are FREE and open to the public.
Donations are encouraged, but not required.
Immediate Opening May 2013 – Posted until June 14 or until position is filled
Click here to download the pdf: OP national coord job desc d2
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a new collaborative of community-based and movement support organizations uniting frontline communities to forge a scalable, socially and economically just transition away from unsustainable energy and false solutions to climate change. Fostering healthy, resilient communities will help to address the root causes of climate change while enabling us to adapt to the impacts already underway. CJA’s members are rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities throughout the U.S. We are applying the power of deep grassroots organizing, direct action, coalition building, civic engagement, policy advocacy, and a variety of communications tools to win local, regional, statewide, and national shift. CJA is launching a national Our Power Campaign to win real solutions to the climate crisis – solutions that will foster quality jobs that meet people’s needs while caring for natural resources and ecosystems. We are flexing Our Power at the local, regional, and state levels and building to affect national policy to bring about a just transition. We are launching the campaign in three pilot ‘Hot Spots:’ Detroit, Michigan; Richmond, California; and Black Mesa, Arizona. They are a racially and ethnically diverse mix of rural and urban communities, and are home to key grassroots groups poised to take on the extreme energy economy driving climate change.
CJA seeks to catalyze a broad-based, scalable campaign for transition away from industries that undermine the well-being of human communities and environmental systems – like dirty energy (or as we call it, “extreme” energy), industrial-scale manufacturing and agribusiness – and towards local energy, food, water, transit, waste, and housing systems that foster equity, democracy, and community resilience. The campaign will support local organizing through peer-exchange, trainings, direct action and coalition work to advance policies to end extreme energy and promote climate-protecting jobs.
National Coordinator Position
The Coordinator provides leadership and drives the development of the Our Power Campaign. The Coordinator is responsible for supporting workgroups, fundraising for the national campaign, and general organizational development of the campaign. The Coordinator will report to the Steering Committee and will be working closely with the Co-Chairs Cindy Wiesner of Grassroots Global Justice, and Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan of Movement Generation. Start date negotiable in July 2013. Location negotiable. Preference for candidates located in Miami, FL; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Los Angeles, CA, Flagstaff, AZ; and Detroit, MI. The percentages on key responsibilities reflect priorities in the first phase; these will shift as new staff is hired and as the campaign evolves.
I. Campaign Leadership & Movement Building in partnership with Steering Committee (Approx. 40% FTE)
1. Develop and coordinate campaign strategy. Build the Our Power staff team.
2. Monitor landscape and strategic opportunities for the Our Power Campaign.
3. Oversee implementation and evaluation of campaigns
4. Cultivate relationships with strategic partners, policy makers, and other stakeholders
5. Identify and coordinate opportunities to promote Our Power Campaign and local models of just transition through public speaking, media, etc.
II. Alliance Fundraising and Financial Management (Approx. 40% FTE)
1. Work with Fundraising Workgroup to develop the national fundraising plan; lead implementation
2. Build relations with foundations and other potential donors
3. Complete grant applications and reports
4. Propose yearly and project budgets to the Steering Committee
5. Monitor cash flow with fiscal sponsor
III. Organizational Development
and Planning (Approx. 20% FTE)
1. Ensure work is connected to the mission and vision.
2. Lead Strategic Planning and overall direction, growth and health of organization.
3. Develop member agreements and working principles and help cultivate healthy group dynamics.
4. Monitor committees and ensure work is connected, coordinated and well informed
5. Supervise staff & work with co-chairs to hire new staff and consultants.
6. Approve organization materials, websites, and tools.
1. Leadership experience with national coalitions or networks.
2. Direct experience movement building, and grassroots organizing and social justice campaigns.
3. Experience in local/regional economic development, food sovereignty, energy democracy, zero waste, public transit, and/or climate justice and environmental justice issues. Knowledge in climate policy is a plus.
4. Project coordination (including working with offices or staff in multiple locations).
5. Organized and attentive to details. Able to work remotely and manage multiple work groups.
6. Experience with fundraising and grants management.
7. Flexibility and positive attitude. Solution oriented and ability to move work forward.
8. National travel required approximately once or twice per month.
Competitive salary and benefits. Range $45,000 – $50,000. Full time exempt employee.
CJA/OP is a values-based alliance with a deep commitment to building transformative culture and challenging racism, sexism, homophobia and oppression in all its forms. CJA/OP is an equal opportunity. People of Color, working-class people, differently-abled people and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.
Please send a brief cover letter, resume, salary requirements and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org Please include in your cover letter why you are interested in the Our Power Campaign, your familiarity with movement building, a description of your campaign leadership experience and other qualifications for the position. Please send your application materials as either a Word doc or PDF.
For more information on the Climate Justice Alliance and Our Power Campaign: ggjalliance.org/JustTransitionCampaign and movementgeneration.org/programs/national-climate-justice-movement-building
 CJA’s Steering Committee 2013: Asian Pacific Environmental Network; Black Mesa Water Coalitionl Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy; Communities for a Better Environment; East Michigan Environmental Action Council; Grassroots Global Justice Alliance; Indigenous Environmental Network; Jobs with Justice; Movement Generation; and Movement Strategy Center.
Miya Yoshitani, Associate Director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), joined the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance delegation to the World Social Forum in Tunisia in March. This is her compelling blog reflection, originally posted at ggjalliance.org. Visit GGJ’s website to learn about report back conference calls being held this week!
“We will not stand idle. We will not allow the capitalist system to burn us all. We will take action and address the root causes of climate change by changing the system. The time has come to stop talking and to take action.”- Climate Space Declaration, World Social Forum 2013, Tunisia
I’m trying to admit something here. I was wrong. Maybe not exactly in the way you might think, but it was still bad. Not Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck bad, but damaging in its own way, and after returning from the inspiring and eye-opening experience of participating in the Climate Space of the World Social Forum in Tunisia – the country that overthrew their entrenched dictator, Ben Ali, and sparked the “Arab Spring” – this past March as part of the delegation with Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ), I feel like I need to come clean.
I was a climate denier.
Not in the traditional sense. I have been in the environmental justice movement in the United States for well over 2 decades, and I was introduced to the facts of global warming when I was a student organizer in college, so I can’t say that I was uninformed. I knew it was serious when I was still a teenager. But as I became more and more focused on the deep inequities of environmental racism and on the local fights that low-income communities of color around the US and in the Global South are fighting everyday in their neighborhoods and communities to meet basic needs and protect their lives and livelihoods, I began to make certain assumptions about global warming. That is when it started.
In my defense, I was young and impressionable, and I wasn’t alone. Many of us held the assumption that the issues were too complex to integrate into local organizing, that impacts would not be felt anytime soon, and that the Big Greens would cover this one – this, after all, was the kind of problem that they exist to solve, right? If there was ever any justification for the huge, DC-based environmental and conservation groups getting the lion’s share of all the environmental giving in the United States, then that had to be it.
Like acid rain, or CFC’s and the ozone layer, they would push for regulations and international agreements, they would get some mediocre laws in place that advantage corporations, but at least they would get governments to act semi-rationally and turn this ship around. And for many years, as I turned my attention away from DC, away from the IPCC, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, and all the rest, I convinced myself that this was someone else’s job.
Please don’t judge me. Denial is a disease.
And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I wasn’t fighting climate change. As an organizer with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) based in Oakland CA, I was organizing low-income immigrant and refugee API communities who were fighting big developers, manufacturers, and Chevron, one of the biggest corporations on the face of the earth and biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in California. In the environmental justice movement, our local fights have been the frontlines of the fossil fuel resistance in the United States. Period.
I am proud to have been part of that ongoing fight. We learned real and important lessons about explicitly developing the leadership and power of low-income immigrant and refugee communities and communities of color, about bringing the voices of impacted communities to the forefront of environmental health and economic justice fights, and about winning real policy solutions for the community across a range of climate related issues including transportation, land-use, affordable housing, food sovereignty, water rights, incineration and zero waste, and forcing multinational corporations to mitigate pollution that is devastating the health and well-being of countless low-income communities of color.
For all my pride, I did start to feel a nagging wariness about the comprehensive failure of international climate negotiations somewhere around 2001. But I had just had my second daughter, 9/11 happened, I moved out of the country, and admittedly, things got a little hazy there for a while.
Then, around the time that I returned to the US, to APEN and to the regular company of adults, in 2007, I had a moment of clarity – this s*** is crazy. Not only were international climate negotiations going backwards, like some kind of Al Pacino Dog Day Afternoon hostage situation, but national climate legislation was also going nowhere fast. Public opinion about climate change had gone backwards and the right wing media machine was in overdrive.
When I left, I really believed that we could leave the “easier” work of stopping the world from mass suicide by carbon to the paid lobbyists and meanwhile we would continue the hard work of organizing local communities for power and environmental justice. How difficult could it be to talk politicians off that ledge based upon their own self-interest? Very difficult, apparently.
But I was missing the point so thoroughly, so embarrassingly, I am only making my admission public in the hopes that others can learn from my mistake.
The point is, that the climate justice fight here in the US and around the world is not just a fight against the ecological crisis of all time, it is the fight for a new economy, a new energy system, a new democracy, a new relationship to the planet and to each other, for land, water, and food sovereignty, for indigenous rights, for human rights and dignity for all people. When climate justice wins we win the world that we want.
We can’t sit this one out not because we have too much to lose, but because we have too much to gain.
“We are in the battle for a different world” was how Pablo Salon from Focus on the Global South, and former Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations under Evo Morales, began his summary of the week’s events at the Climate Space of the World Social Forum in Tunisia.
Listening to the incredible work and stories of grassroots social movements on the frontlines of climate change and fossil fuel resistance around the world, I felt this more strongly and deeply in the Climate Space than anywhere I have ever been. Mass organizations like La Via Campesina representing over two hundred million peasants and farmers, or the Alliance of Progressive Labor in the Philippines, or Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), and APEN and GGJ, we are bound together in this battle, not just for a reduction in the parts per million of CO2, but to transform our economies and rebuild a world that we want today.
As organization after organization representing peasant farmers, trade unions, faith groups, indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees, and many more in the Climate Space got up and made presentations, facilitated discussions, and shared campaign stories and ideas, an amazing picture emerged that articulated clear, inspiring, and necessary alternatives to the system that is bringing us climate change today, as we speak.
For example, one workshop described the ‘one million climate jobs’ campaigns in multiple countries from South Africa to the UK, to the US and Canada. Responding to the convergence of mass unemployment and the climate crisis, these campaigns demand changing the prevailing economic model and transitioning to a low carbon economy to create new decent jobs in clean energy, transportation, construction, food and water systems, health care, waste management and other sectors of the economy that contribute both to the reduction of carbon emissions and the advancement of social equity at the same time.
The climate jobs campaigns that are developing around the world are what inspired the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), a growing alliance representing grassroots leadership on climate change in the US, to develop our own approach to a just transition through our soon to be launched Our Power campaign, of which APEN is a co-lead organization with our local partner organization, Communities for a Better Environment. We have been organizing to show how a transition from a local economy dependent on the Richmond Chevron refinery, to an economy dependent on locally generated renewable energy and other local low-carbon economic strategies, will build the thriving and resilient communities we are fighting for.
Another workshop shared how peasants and small farmers, who are already suffering the worst of the climate crisis, are actually the ones who hold solutions derived from the real lessons on the ground. Agroecology, a system of farming that peasants and small farmers have been using and developing, has been proven by scientists to not only feed people better, healthier food but it also has the ability to cool down the planet. Food sovereignty, genuine agrarian reform, agroecology, respecting the rights of Mother Earth, defending peasant seeds varieties, slow food – these are all real solutions not only to the food crisis but to the climate crisis as well, at the same time stopping the harmful false solutions like genetically modified organisms, synthetic biology and “climate smart” agriculture.
This was the first time that the World Social Forum had an organized Climate Space, and I had the honor of helping to hammer out the Climate Space Declaration, a summary of the ideas being proposed through all of the workshops and discussions during the historic gathering. It was aptly titled “To Reclaim Our Future, We Must Change the Present. Our Proposal for Changing the System and not the Climate.”
Happily, I was able to bring the perspective of the CJA, mentioned above, which enabled us to integrate demands from communities at the frontlines of the climate and economic crisis in the US into this global declaration. It really struck me how much the demands and principles we have identified through CJA resonated and echoed the demands of these other global movements.
There was, of course, a need to articulate what the climate justice movement worldwide is saying no to, to prevent catastrophic levels of climate change, including the false solutions that are being promoted by industry and accepted as “reasonable” and “realistic” by most governments and even some powerful environmental groups. Ultimately, it is pretty simple: leave fossil fuels in the ground and stop burning them. As Nigerian environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey likes to say, “Leave the oil in the soil, and leave the coal in the hole.”
There were a few other big ones in the Declaration as well:
But what the Declaration and the Climate Space were brilliant at was naming specific strategies for “changing the system” that cool the planet as well as create the thriving, healthy and just communities around the world we want to see. Climate justice means saying yes to:
If climate change is an expression of an utterly failed and immoral economic system, or as my friends at Movement Generation here in the Bay Area say, a complete “mismanagement of home,” then we need to know what a well managed home looks like. The Climate Declaration helped us all get closer to that vision.
For me and my recovery from denial, one of the most important messages coming out of the Climate Space was that the main battleground for climate justice is not the United Nations at the UNFCCC. Instead, “We must nurture, support, strengthen and increase the scale of grassroots organizing in all places, but in particular in frontline battlegrounds where the stakes are the highest.” That is to me, that is to all of us.
We can’t afford to cede the design of the shift out of the carbon based economy, we have too much to gain from forcing our nations down the path of a just transition, and we have everything to lose if we don’t. That’s why we see so much incredible engagement of grassroots efforts all over the world starting to coordinate more effectively around a climate justice agenda, and why APEN and Communities for a Better Environment are helping build the Climate Justice Alliance’s Our Power Campaign through our struggle to stop Chevron’s dirty energy and instead implement clean energy strategies in Richmond, CA.
And finally, to me, the Climate Space in the World Social Forum was an expression of how far we’ve come in building international solidarity and the connective tissue between global movements, between environmental and social struggles, between rural and urban communities, between the many diverse and beautiful forms of resistance, and we’ve set out sights higher than just surviving.
What I heard was this.
Climate is not the property of the UN, or any government or corporation. It is the life and the hope of the people. We have all long hoped for the possibility of another world. Today, we take that hope and turn it into courage, strength and action – that together, we can change the system and win back our world for the people.
Tags: General Articles/Writings, What's MG Reading?
Miya Yoshitani has served as the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, APEN’s, Associate Director for the past five years and has been proudly supporting APEN to be a leading force for transforming the energy economy in CA and for climate justice for all communities.