“I, I Believe, I Believe That, I Believe That We, I Believe That We Will, I Believe That We Will Win, I Believe That We Will Win, I Believe That We Will Win!”
Some of you may be familiar with this chant from Utah State’s basketball team, however, the Dream Defenders used it to light up the auditorium at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Friday, October 18th to kick off Power Shift 2013. Over 10,000 youth from all over the U.S. attended this conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Now imagine that many people doing this chant…It was pretty meaningful if you ask me.
Our time at the conference focused on fighting the fracking industry, divesting from fossil fuels, demanding climate justice, and building a clean energy economy for our future. The idea behind our fight for environmental and social justice is to win over those who think otherwise and shift away from ways that are compromising our justice.
The energy and passion in the convention center each day of the conference was phenomenal. Whether it was getting pumped up from our keynote speakers (12-year-old Takaiya Blaney from Sliammon First Nation, Josh Fox, the director of Gasland, Bill McKibben from 350.org, and many more), getting inspired through building a generation of leaders during the panels about environmental and social justice, being moved by the stories told from the frontline communities in the Gulf Coast and the Appalachian mountain range, or taking action during the march for a green economy in downtown.
Through networking, learning from other schools and businesses, and collaborating statewide, we can continue to share the knowledge we received at Power Shift and enhance student efforts at OSU to make a difference in our community.
We still have a big fight ahead of us, but Power Shift made it less of a dream and more of a reality. We are not finished until we receive the respect we deserve; this is our moment!
Power Shift’s webpage: http://www.wearepowershift.org/conference/powershift2013