SustainUS

Dear Power Shift Network,

I'd like to share a story with you that I've been trying to tell for a long time. It's the story of becoming a human concerned about plants and animals and resources, despite my origins in an enormous city where resources abound.

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Last weekend, over 1,000 youth leaders converged in DC for XL Dissent - the largest-ever youth sit-in for climate justice. 398 young people were arrested for taking a peaceful & principled stand at the White House, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. This action just didn't just make waves in DC - it also blew up in big ways on social media.

The Energy Action Coalition team was on-site and jumped in with friends at 350.org and SustainUS to take photos and sling memes - trying to spotlight the diversity of youth leaders who came from around the country (and as it turns out — the world.). Check out some of the deeply inspiring youth activists we met, who shared their stories with us at the pre-action training, as well as some of the inspiring speakers at the rally itself.

Most all of the memes are available on the XL Dissent Facebook Page - where stories of the youth resistance against KXL continues!

375 This meme captures one (of two) huge non-violent direct action trainings that happened the night before the action. This image mash-up totally popped on facebook and revved people up - with over 5,000 shares, and over a third of a million views. Photo and meme by Mary Schellentrager.

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All good things must come to an end, and the Community Organizing grant from Grand Aspirations is no exception. But to quote another piece of folk wisdom, as one thing ends another begins, and that Soulardarity is very nearly prepared to launch into a fundraising campaign for a community-owned city-wide infrastructure project (and, hopefully, pay salaries) is evidence of this statement’s truth.

Brandon Knight, discussing a potential solar investment opportunity with these chickens

Brandon Knight, discussing a potential solar investment opportunity with these chickens

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United States youth active at the United Nations climate change negotiations with the youth-led organization SustainUS call for the presidential candidates to address the American public on how they will tackle climate change. For the past 10 years SustainUS has been sending passionate and talented US youth, mostly college students, to UN summits on climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity, and women's rights. In that time we've organized and built relationships with young people from all over the world who share our passion for maintaining a healthy planet for all. Many of the young people who attend the international climate negotations every year come from small island states and parts of the Global South that are far more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than anything we could imagine here in the US. These are our friends and they're counting on us to get the world's largest economy, the US, to adopt national policies that further reduce our carbon emissions and support climate resilience.

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