Meet the 2018-2019 Cohort Members! They will be working together, creating stronger groups and making change in their communities.

The newly accepted cohort participants were asked to share their answers to the following two questions: – What motivates you to organize? – What book/music/ movie/ art has inspired you lately?

350 Montana

Visit their Facebook page and visit their website to learn more about 350 Montana!

Carla Abrams

Wild. Life. motivates me to organize. I have always loved nature, and animals. I have worked with many types of wildlife as a field biologist: Osprey, albatross, bats, monkeys, and frogs to name just a few. A lot of very endangered frogs. Wildlife is under siege from all fronts. Global warming and human greed are taking an incredible toll. This is why I fight. And organize.
Something that inspired me is the documentary “Albatross “ about the toll plastic is taking on a bird population, Jane Goodall ‘s film, entitled “Jane” about her early time studying chimps (charming, sweet and motivating) ,music: Pearl Jam’s song Unthought Known, Patti Smith’s book M Train, which is about life, loss and coffee.

Carla

Marta Meengs

The first reason of what motivates me to organize is the seriousness of the situation of Climate Chaos.  Closely following is the second reason which is a deep respect and awe of the incredible life on this planet.  My third reason is that working with other folks, who care deeply and want to take action, helps prevent the despair that sometimes accompanies this sobering issue.  

 I will say that my first major inspiration was Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything”, with her intelligent explanation of the many issues of climate change and just what obstacles we face.  I also appreciate “Yes” magazine as it emphasizes the importance of caring about each other and our community. Lastly, certain spiritual books, meditations, and talks help me to stay centered with compassion and to keep the good kind of equanimity (opposite of indifference!).   

Marta

350 Juneau

Visit their Facebook page to learn more about 350 Juneau!

Bob Schroeder

Compassion motivates me.  As an American in 2018, I see our present situation as a juxtaposition of unbelievable comfort and prosperity and spaciousness on the one hand and unspeakable injustice on the other.  I am fortunate to live in a beautiful environment with a supportive community. At the same time, the world is inexorably heating up, faster and faster. Our social and political structures are not supporting the changes need even to mitigate the disaster of rapid climate change, much less to address its causes.  Our national leadership seems to enjoy causing suffering to others.

I am most fortunate to be able to use my energy and resources on things that matter.  To the best of my abilities, I will work to alleviate the suffering resulting from greed caused climate change and environmental destruction.

Latest book that fascinated me: Arundhati Roy, “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.”  For its unflinching humanity in the context of the unspeakable suffering of the down and out in India, especially those whose lives are tied to the Kashmir disaster.

Bob

Heather Evoy

I am motivated to organize in Alaska around climate change because I am born here, plan to raise my family here, and want to help make Alaska an inviting and hospitable place to live for my fellow young families trying to build lives here.  Most importantly, as an indigenous person, I want to help keep healthy traditional values and ways of life alive and thriving in an ever changing environment. Alaska, and especially Alaska Natives, are on the forefront of modern climate change and we need to draw on the resiliency, strength and knowledge of our ancestors to adapt in the current times. Building networks throughout the region with various user groups and agencies, that can share similar concerns, will lead to better cooperation and more equitable management and adaptation decisions.

 

I was most recently motivated to look for other ways to get involved in my community after watching a HBO documentary about refugee families and their journey from their home countries. as they go through Europe, to hopefully find safety, asylum and citizenship. I feel truly blessed and honored to live the life I do and raise my children in a safe environment where we can exercise our rights to stand for the causes in which we believe. With a rapidly changing climate I truly feel there will be more and more conflict across the globe, increased natural disasters, and scarcity of resources that will increase the number of people and families that continue to be displaced from their homes. The transgenerational trauma that comes along with displacement and other social injustices will have to be acknowledged and dealt with, sooner rather than later, and I want my family, community and friends to be best suited to help adjust and cope with such rapid changes.

Heather

350 Riverside

Visit their Facebook page and visit their twitter to learn more about 350 Riverside!

Katy Gurin

I’m motivated to organize because climate change threatens nearly everything I care about, from biodiversity to public health and safety.

Something that has inspired me lately was Feminism and the Mastery of Nature by Val Plumwood.

Katy

Claudine Custodio

What motivates me to organize is the satisfaction of a successful event where attendees learned something and are ready to give their support. For 350 Riverside a lot of the feedback when we do informational tabling is “well I didn’t know that” or “that’s interesting”. It feels good to be able to bring awareness to local issues and connecting them to the greater goal of combating climate change.

“No Is Not Enough” by Naomi Klein has inspired me.

Claudine

350 Tacoma

Visit their Facebook page and visit their website to learn more about 350 Tacoma!

Kenra Brewer

As an INFJ personality type, I work tirelessly (okay, I do get tired) for ideals I believe in, which fall under the broad umbrella of Make the World Better. When I came out as bisexual at 15 years-old I experienced many injustices at the hands of my family, my religion, my church community, my high school, and the treatment center I was sent to. After I was told by others that I only deserve love if I fit into a certain mold, I came to the strong belief that this was wrong. Now I am a firm believer that everyone is worthy of love and hope to help create a world that reinforces that view.

The Common Good by Robert Reich, and The Handmaid’s Tale and Orange is the New Black TV series have inspired me lately.

 

Kenra

Daniel Villa

I am motivated by the desire to preserve and protect what is left of our natural ecosystems and fellow Earthlings.  Upon moving to Tacoma I saw that I could help in the fight against climate change aa there was so much fossil fuel infrastructure in the port.  Feeling the effects of climate change first hand, in the forms of air pollution from forest fires, increased temperatures, and heavier rains, has now become another motivating factor.

I read the book “This Is an Uprising” in the early days of 350 Tacoma around August of 2017.  Fascinating to read so many examples of powerful movements around the world. The documentary about Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”, was particularly inspiring.

Daniel

350 Austin

Visit their Facebook page and visit their website to learn more about 350 Austin!

Dana Wen

The people motivate me to organize!

When I think about our climate goals, I imagine the incredible change we can achieve and the positive impact that will have on people’s lives. I’ve seen how renewable energy can make a huge difference for a single family. It’s exciting to think about how that impact will be multiplied as the fossil-free revolution sweeps through cities, states, and nations.

I’m also inspired by the talented individuals on our 350 Austin team. Their commitment and positive energy give me the strength to continue forward. I’m proud of all that we’ve achieved as a group and look forward to celebrating future successes as we continue our fossil-free campaigns in Austin.

Art that has inspired me lately:

I love the bold colors, shapes, and personality of Yayoi Kusama’s artwork. A highlight of my 2017 was visiting one of her enormous pumpkin sculptures on Naoshima Island in Japan (see photo). Kusama’s personal journey as an artist is also very inspiring. As a young woman in 1950’s Japan, she suffered from debilitating mental illness and used her artistic practice as a survival tool. She moved to New York City, where she became famous for her collaborations with Andy Warhol and Pop artists. The best part: She’s still alive and making art today! Her work is helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness, especially in East Asian cultures.

Dana

 

Ellie Fogleman

I am awed by the world around me – there is so much good on this planet and so much that deserves protecting. When I feel overwhelmed or hopeless, I can usually rekindle hope and find grounding by practicing gratitude and imagining what’s possible. I go on nature walks; I rely on family and friends; I paint or do yoga; I snuggle my cat. And I often come back to the concepts in Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything.” Climate change is scary. We are running out of time, the obstacles are massive and systemic, and the path ahead is uncharted. But we have a chance – not only to avert complete global disaster – but also to build a sustainable, kind, more inclusive world for everyone. That motivates me to keep working.

Music that inspires me:

I’ve been listening to a lot of “Mountain Moves” by Deerhoof. It’s a really creative, unique album. The themes center around empowerment, uniting around a common cause, speaking up, and being heard.

Ellie

Climate Action RI (CARI)

Visit their visit their website to learn more about CARI!

Angel Lopez

What motivates me to organize is the need to let people know that they are not alone.  There is no need to forget our culture or background in order to coexist. That is not what being human on Earth is about.  The bulk of my school years were in the 90s. I look back and see the tug of war between exploitation of cultures and the exploitation of Mother Nature.  I am in my mid-thirty’s and still have loads of energy to support the sustainability of Earth and help bring back its balance.

I get my inspiration from anything that embraces the struggles and complexities of life and anything that composes the aesthetics of different cultures.  I used the word “anything” intentionally because it makes me feel good about being alive and all actually depict that we have a fighting chance. Here are some that pop immediately to mind: The Graphic Novel “Ricanstruction” by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, Star Wars Episodes 7 & 8, music by Calle 13 and Kendrick Lamar, and the songs “Dragonfly”, “I Don’t Wanna Wait”, “Blind to You”, and “True To Myself”.  

Angel

 

Kendra Anderson

As I get older I want to enjoy the fullness of life more and more. I’ve worked for 40 years in organizations and companies where I sometimes felt I was making a difference or was needed but often felt disconnected from the mission. When I turned 60 I decided I was done with that, and was going to spend the rest of my life working for something that moved me to my core. I quit my job and decided to organize full time as a huge challenge and vehicle for personal growth and because the one and only Earth we have and the people that inhabit it, have been under violent assault for eons. To be honest I don’t often have hope for our survival on this planet but my survival at this time depends on me throwing my whole self into the fight.

I always rely on Ann Lamott’s book Plan B when I’m anxious or worried about the future. I also was motivated by the movie RBG and her strict schedule of learning and studying her work. She inspired me to take time every morning to learn more about climate change and human nature. The last movie that inspired me this summer was the Mister Roger’s movie Won’t You Be My Neighbor and his undying message of love which has helped me lead our local climate action group. I take his message with me always and try (sometimes not very successfully) to look at people and situations through it.

Kendra

 

350 Indiana-Calumet

Visit their Facebook page and visit their website to learn more about 350 Indiana-Calumet!

Becky Noteboom

I am motivated to organize by the beauty of the planet and the destructive choices of humans. No matter what condition Earth is in when my future children grow up, I want them to know that I fought for them.

Lately I’ve been inspired by a lot of podcasts focused on how changing our everyday actions (what we buy, what we eat) can impact the health of the planet. I don’t believe that these things alone aren’t enough to change our course, but they are relatively easy things that many people can do.

Becky

Clamae Nyre Bullock

What motivates me to organize is the major impact BP and others have had on my life. I’ve just lost 2 people back to back, to cancer and I know at least two others with aggressive cancer as we speak. While I understand that cancer can be naturally occurring due to genetics I believe that the cancers I have seen spring up are rooted in the pollution here.

A movie I Am particularly interested in at this time or a movie series rather is The Purge.

Clamae

350 New Orleans

Visit their Facebook page and visit their website to learn more about 350 New Orleans!

Meg Logue

I am motivated to organize by a deep desire to protect the people and places that I love and bring about transformative justice. I choose to focus my efforts on the climate movement because it is a uniquely intersectional cause, the urgency of which cannot be overstated — climate change represents an immense threat to life as we know it and will exacerbate existing inequities and crises.

I am inspired by Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale — a story of fierce resistance under unimaginable systems of oppression.

Meg

Marion Freistadt

I guess I don’t even consider myself an organizer. I just decided when I retired that I was going to fight climate change. It is the number one existential issue (well maybe not number one, since there are so many other things to worry about, like nuclear and guns). but I feel that if we don’t save the planet, there won’t be other issues left.

Getting involved with 350 and related groups, I see how important it is to reach out to any group I’m involved with to try to engage others. This is essential. No single person can do it alone. I’d like to learn to be more effective, since I have the tendency to either shut down or blab too much under adversity.  Also, I’d like 350 and our group to be more successful.

I read a lot of fiction, mostly lightweight. There’s a great new, hilarious little book called “Hope never dies” by Andrew Schaeffer, featuring a fictional Joe Biden and Barack Obama as crime fighters. “A free state” by Tom Piazza about a musician escaped enslaved person. “The bible of Dirty Jokes” by Ellen Pollack–has a few good jokes, but mostly it’s a mystery, set in Las vegas, about growing up jewish in the Catskills

Joseph Romm has a streamlined manual “Climate Change” which has good talking points. We had a book club discussion about it, which was helpful and got some people to read something they might not have read. I’m a big fan of Peter Rowan (bluegrass). His new album, “the light in Carter Stanley’s Eyes” has some beautiful meditations on mortality.

Penny

350 Montgomery County

Visit their Facebook page and visit their website to learn more about 350 MoCo!

Christine Pendzich

What motivates me to organize:  Basically, I guess I want to put my shoulder to the task of building a more equitable land for us all to live in.  I think it’s just a crying shame that young people grow up in a society that doesn’t give them the education or even much of any kind of chance to be all that they could be.  The title of a painting by Henry Taylor sums it up for me, when he paints his childhood friend, Emory, in a wheelchair, on the streets:  “Emory: shoulda been a phd but society made him homeless”.   Life in the U.S. just wastes too many lives, when they all could be contributing to a safer, healthier, more prosperous society.

And, since the challenge of addressing climate change calls on us to re-think and re-do many parts of our society, working to address climate and societal change at the same time seems like a natural.  We need a lotta change.

Book/music/art that has changed my thinking lately:  One of the biggest eye-opener books I’ve read in the past 6-7 years is Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.  I’ve certainly been aware for a long time of the injustice of our justice system, but that book really pulled the facts and numbers together into a very clear and compelling picture for me.   I also thought that Jordan Peele’s recent movie, Get Out, was a very smart effort to show us what a surreal, waking nightmare racism is. I was amazed and impressed at how Peele managed to work humor — which can make the message more palatable to sceptics — into the movie very effectively.   My hat’s off to Jordan Peele.

Christine

Kristin Cook

I grew up with a father who cared deeply about civil rights and worked for our County’s human rights commission on fair housing issues.  We lived in a planned community that was purposefully built for racial tolerance and inclusion, called Columbia, (Maryland). That’s what formed my activist mindset.  Once I finally understood the severity of the climate crisis (thanks to Bill McKibben), I was motivated to volunteer and organize on this issue, especially because of the social justice issues that are at the core of it.

A movie that has inspired me recently: I was completely in awe of Marshall (the  movie about Thurgood Marshall).

Kristin

350 Eastside

Visit their Facebook page and visit their website to learn more about 350 Eastside!

Emily Powell

What motivates me to organize is that I see progress happening far too slowly in our country. The science of climate change is often ignored, and when it isn’t, the market can’t move quickly enough to make the kind of difference we need to see. We need common sense solutions, and equitable and just transitions for those most adversely affected by change, whether climate change or economic change in response to it. Our futures are not something to toy with, so mobilizing passionate people has become to only way to make our government, society, and private industry wake up to reality

Media that has inspired me lately: Everything remotely political or global that I can get my hands on. I find the world a complex and fascinating place. I’ve been reading books and watching videos about North Korean defectors, refugees, policy wonks, feminist scholars, etc. I’m on the search for real data. I’ve also been patiently trying to absorb somewhat conservative material, but it’s a slow process because it can be very frustrating to have to search so hard for compassion. I took a multiculturalism class this summer at Shoreline CC which has provided me with some fascinating reading material too, particularly about the religious privilege held in the United States by Christianity.

Emily

Sara Papanikolaou

What motivates me to organize is the mess we are handing down to future generations, who had no part in creating it.  Seeing Washington’s dwindling glaciers and smoke filled summers, I know this is the proverbial tip of the iceberg, so I feel there is no more important work than climate justice.
A book that I am currently enjoying very much is Michael Pollan’s ‘How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.’  I am slowly making my way through it, as I am also in grad school currently.

Sara

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