When I got on the plane to DC to start my Greenpeace Semester adventure, I remember how excited I was about the idea of living in a big city for a while and maybe expanding my grasp on what the environmental movement was all about; I really had no idea how much the Greenpeace Semester (called the Greenpeace Organizing Term back in my day) would change my life.
I know it may sound cliche but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that doing the Greenpeace Semester was the single most important thing I’ve ever done. Learning to climb, traveling across and/or out of the country, and meeting Greenpeace campaigners (people whose names I’d become so familiar with from the inundation of emails about signing this petition or what have you) were the superficial highlights I had been anticipating before actually starting the Semester. But what I gained from it was so much more substantial; learning how to run a real effective meeting on my campus, feeling confident being interviewed by a local news station, gaining skills to efficiently build a group or organization, knowing when and how to use non-violent direct action, drafting campaign plans, powermapping, learning what powermapping even was, and recognizing that I, that we, have the power to take on corporate injustices and truly create a safer, cleaner, greener world. Continue reading