I’ve been accepted into an incredible program that will level up my community organising skills. I need a few extra dollars to get me there.More than ever we need people to take action on climate change,
the International Panel on Climate Change has said we have 12 years before we blow our carbon budget
. But just telling people they need to take action isn’t going to cut it; we need to help bring communities together, and show they how to use their power in strategic and effective things ways. This work is known as community organising. While I have been organising in some capacity for years, there is only so much you can learn while your running at full speed. After finishing my honours research last year, my brain is ready to learn how to be a more effective organiser, and I’ve been accepted into the Community Organising Fellowship,
run by the Change Agency . I’m one of 25 people selected to be part of the 2019 course, from a large pool of applicants. This program will give me the skills to effectively organise within my community and build power to influence decision makers.
I’m also super lucky to have received a scholarship
to take part in this program, thanks to Climate Action Network Australia
, but I still have to front $1,500 for the course, and pay for flights to get to the intensive week long workshops
in Melbourne and Sydney.
I have spent the better part of the last six years volunteering my time in the climate movement, and after spending a large part of this year volunteering with Greenpeace in Antarctica, and then Canada, I have run my savings dry. I am deeply passionate about climate justice, and promise to use the skills that this fellowship will teach me to work as hard as I can to fight for climate justice. Activism is truly exhausting, but, for me, watching climate change unfold while remaining inactive is unthinkable.
Over the years I’ve tried most things under the sun to get action on climate change. I’ve blocked things
, climbed things
, disrupted things
, dressed as giant lumps of coal
, dressed as an angel
, written reports
, organised hundreds of meetings, attended thousands of meetings, written blog posts
, risked my safety
, spoken publicly
, put myself in super uncomfortable positions
and quite literally pained the town
. If I had a dollar for every banner, sign or poster I have made and put up, I reckon I'd have a few grand, but turns out governments and corporations won’t pay people to hold them to account.
The thing that I’ve learned through all of this is is the deep and substantive changes we need to address the climate crisis will only ensue when we have enough people standing up and working together. Research shows that you only need 3.5% of the population to be active in taking peaceful civil resistance in order to overthrow a dictator, luckily in Australia we don’t have a dictator, so that number is probably lower, but clearly, we need more people active.
Since returning to Australia I have been volunteering with a group called Tipping Point, which aims to do just that. I’ve helped set up Stop Adani groups in Indooroopilly
, West End
, and which are empowering locals to fight back against a mega-mine threatening the land of Wangan and Jagalingou people, the Great Barrier Reef, the climate and the planet. These groups are pumping, and supporting these groups has been empowering and rewarding.
But I know I have so much more to learn about community organising, to better support these incredible groups and the Stop Adani campaign and grow the movement. That’s why I need your help.
If you believe in change, if you know that this work is important, if you also see the better world behind the wall, I hope you can share my vision for how to reel it in! Please don't give me money that would have otherwise gone to another worthy place, only if you can really afford it.
Love & power Zoe