Student participants in the Greenpeace Organising Term.
Sounds like a typical Greenpeace action -- but it's actually a
trainingsession, a part of the "
Greenpeace Organizing Term" project which takesstudents from
around the United States and teaches them how to be moreefficient
and effective environmental activists.
(If you're a student enrolled at an American university, you can
Thisyear, seven students were chosen from around 125 applicants.
AmyFaulring, one of the coordinators of the project, says "We´re
lookingfor commitment, passion, people who see solutions and see
themselves asactive in creating them." Applicants fill out an
onlineform which asks questions like "Martin Luther King Jr. and
Henry DavidThoreau were willing to go to jail for their beliefs.
What are youwilling to do in our struggle to protect the
See the world you're saving
Asidefrom being schooled in Greenpeace action techniques,
students also geta behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Greenpeace
operations in the US andat least one other country. This year, they
travelled toAmsterdam to visit Greenpeace's worldwide headquarters
and participatein the commemoration of the bombing of the Rainbow
Warrior, by creating a
giant human peace sign and rainbow inParis.
(You can click these links to hear two
Podcasts, one about their expriences as campus activists and
the other about their work to
stop Kimberly-Clark from clearcutting ancient forests, or
subscribe to all Greenpeace podcasts here.)
EmilyRowan of of Wesleyan University is studying natural
resourcesconservation, and found out about the project through her
hiking clubat college. "You get to see how Greenpeace fits in with
theenvironmental movement in general and what an historic
Rohini Banskota is this term's only high schoolstudent. She
applied when she read about the GOT in her weeklytrawl of the
Greenpeace International and Greenpeace USA websites."It's an
intense dream for us, lots of information, you have to workand
concentrate and focus really hard. We get exposed to alldifferent
parts of Greenpeace: meeting the media folks, the scientistsand the
action folks, the photographers and videographers..."
"Greenpeaceis misunderstood in my community," says Anca
Giugiurlescu"and I'll be going home with a much better
understanding andappreciation. I hope I can change some minds."
Real action, real campaigns
Thetraining isn't all theoretical. The studentsparticipate in a
real Greenpeace campaign, and many of them continue the work upon
return to their universities.
This term, thestudents are participating in the campaign to
convince Kimberly-Clark,makers of Kleenex, to stop clearcutting
ancient forests to make theirproducts.
"It takes 90 years to grow a box of Kleenex" says JoshKeenan, a
political science major at New Mexico University.
"When you tellpeople that, it really puts it on their conscience
and makes themthink. If you care about this issue, it's not just
about not buyingKimberly-Clark, it's about letting Kimberly-Clark
know why you're usingyour consumer power to vote against them. It's
only by a combination ofeconomic penalties and people making
themselves heard that anything'sgoing to change."
Dunnebacke in a supermarket action against Kleenex (Kleercut)
Pastteams have participated in the nationwide work of lobbying
universitiesto join the energy revolution by procuring green energy
and installingon-site renewable sources. Among the victories have
beenground-breaking commitment from the
University of California at Berkeley and, most recently, a 100
percent green energy committment from
Somestudents earn credit for their coursework with Greenpeace,
and DianaSilbergeld, another coordinator of the project, hopes that
policy willexpand to more universities. "There are some great
professors outthere who work with us. We need more of them."
BritneyDunnebacke, from South Carolina, summed up her
experience: "I just wantto keep doing this. We're getting people
interested and educated andhyped up... We're also having a lot of
Discover all the ways you can help our work.