March 12, 2012

Meet the Leadership Team!

Today, I’m excited to announce a major milestone for the We Are Power Shift community. When we launched last April, we knew it was essential to build a community that is not only responsive to the grassroots, but led by the grassroots. That’s why, today, I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to the the inaugural Leadership Team!

This team of 14 rockstar organizers from across the country has stepped up to help drive this community forward and take to the next level. Starting today, they will contribute as featured voices on the site, as a public face and support structure for the community, and as the behind-the-scenes strategic visionaries to shape where we go from here. They are an incredible team, and we are so thrilled to have them on board!

Meet the Leadership Team - you can read their bios and follow them on twitter to say hi! To help you get to know them better, throughout the week, Leadership Team members will be posting on the blog about a local issue that connects them with the movement.

The team has been having calls over the last two months, and there are some big plans in the works which we can’t wait to tell you about. In the meantime, we’d like to share a few things the team has been working on including new vision statements for We Are Power Shift and the Leadership Team, and a new set of Community Norms to guide participation in the community.

Vision Statement for We Are Power Shift

We Are Power Shift is a grassroots-driven online community that seeks to empower and serve as a hub for the youth climate movement. The site offers activists a forum for discussion and a platform to share resources, swap stories, strengthen relationships, and showcase our diverse movement to the media and the world. The community we create helps us to build political power, harness our collective energy, amplify our message and advance our vision of a clean, just and sustainable future. Join us!

Vision Statement for the Leadership Team

We’re here to make sure that the batteries are charged and the volume is turned up on our movement’s megaphone. The We Are Power Shift Leadership Team supports the development of this grassroots community and ensures that the site provides the space, structure, tools, and climate (no pun intended) for the growth of our movement. We work with the community to keep the site as dynamic, agile, and engaging as this movement’s leaders. By responding to the community’s needs and providing resources, references, and training, we hope to catalyze activism and solidify an online foundation for future victories.

If you have any suggestions or want to be more involved, please contact one of the Leadership Team members. We’d love to hear from you—share your ideas for discussion topics, on and offline projects you’d like community feedback on, additional resources to include on the site, or anything else that’s on your mind. Get in touch!

Launching this team has been a long time coming, and we believe it is a truly pivotal step for and our movement as a whole. Check back on the blog each day this week to hear from the the team members themselves, and get excited for them to lead the way to a bigger, more engaged, more powerful!

Leadership Team Members

celia.r.burke's picture

I was raised by two relatively progressive parents from Northern California with Southern roots; that's me in a nutshell. I've seen and experienced many different parts of the country but my heart belongs to the south and the west. My love of nature was fostered in my early Girl Scout experience, my love of humanity is just something I was born with, and these two loves were brought together when I learned about environmental justice my sophomore year of college. I'm a graduating senior at Howard University in Washington, DC, a blogger, an activist, and a nerd and proud of it.

elsner's picture

Gabe Elsner is a public interest advocate based in Washington, D.C. For the past five years, he has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations to elevate the voice of ordinary people in policy debates. Gabe understands that citizens need to stand up for true American values to restore democracy and to overcome the influence of corporate lobbyists and special interest groups. He joined the C&BP in June 2011 to help increase transparency and inform the public on critical issues, especially related to energy.

Caleb-Michael Files

Caleb-Michael Files currently resides in Kansas City, MO where he attends the University of Missouri - Kansas City pursuing a Double Bachelors degree in Political Science and Economics, minoring in Sustainability. Caleb manages social media for numerous organizations in Kansas City and enjoys teaching others its (social media's) use.

jess.glendinning's picture

Jessica Glendinning

Growing up in the mountains of Virginia, I was instilled with an early love of the natural world. I spent time post university as a band director/music teacher and digital designer, and in 2009 I found my passion for world-changing as a local organizer in Charlottesville. In a nutshell: Veg*n, designer, musician, writer/blogger, non-conforming, ruckus-raising, tree-hugging hippie.

Lael's picture

Lael has been forcing her friends to recycle ever since she was young and her enthusiasm for all things sustainable has translated into a full-blown career path. While she currently bikes to her nonprofit job in DC, she is a Michigander at heart.

richard.herron's picture

Rick is from Dresden, Tennessee and is currently a junior at Yale University, where he is proud to work with and learn from amazing people in the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and 350 Connecticut. Rick is a proud Tennessean (Go Vols!) and the son of Methodist ministers. He enjoys playing basketball, environmental humor (he is currently soliciting lyrics that rhyme with "positive feedback mechanism" for a climate rap), and thinking about what roles communities of faith should play in responding to the call to stewardship of the environment.

eahutton's picture

Erin Hutton

Erin Hutton is a freelance writer in Pittsburgh, PA ( Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains gave Erin a respect and love for the natural world that inspires her work. She writes about local food and cooking at

sashamacko's picture

Sasha Macko

While currently hailing from Berkeley, CA as the result of a cross-country road trip lasting most of the summer, I was born and raised in the mountains of Asheville, NC and would like to think that my Southern roots were planted deep enough to survive my New England education and my subsequent, and numerous, transplantings. I like nonviolent direct action, chickens, indigenous rights, environmental education, Thai Chi, Chai Tea, and, of course, my fellow rambunctious change-makers. Follow me @sasha_m.

Zack Malitz's picture

Zack Malitz, a New Yorker, believes that fossil fuels belong underground. He is an almost-graduate of CUNY Hunter, a proud contributor to Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution (, an online organizer at Water Defense ( and a persistent troublemaker. You can follow him on Twitter @Simply_Sriracha and @waterdefense

DavidR's picture

David Rickless

David Rickless is a student, writer, and artist living in Alabama. With ties to both the creative world and the environmental scene, he's interested in everything from clean energy, to street art, to organic mushroom farming. He publishes the blog and tweets on green news, politics, and activism @thegreenlens.

Maria Rosales's picture

Maria is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She is studying environmental studies with a concentration in policy. Maria works as the East Tennessee Organizer for Southern Energy Network where she organizes students to demand clean energy in East Tennessee.

Caroline Selle's picture

Caroline Selle

Caroline Selle is an environmental writer and organizer finishing her senior year at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She is currently working on a book about the activism around the Keystone XL pipeline.

Cindy Spoon's picture

Cindy was born and raised in Texas and is a senior at the University of North Texas. She is an environmental activist currently involved in local struggles against fracking and coal.

lizzystephan's picture

Lizzy Stephan is from Warwick, New York and now lives in Denver, Colorado working as a Public Interest Fellow at the Bell Policy Center. She majored in Sociology at Colorado College, where she worked on a variety of sustainability, endowment, and ballot-related issues. When she’s not working or trying to beat her Google Reader’s unread count, she likes to hang out with her friends, cook, run, and snowboard.

You can leave a comment with any thoughts or questions you have about the We Are Power Shift community (or just to say hi!). The rest of the team will be posting their intros over the next week, so keep checking back daily and get excited to help lead the way to a bigger, more engaged, more powerful!