Introducing Greenpeace USA’s Movement Support Hub

by Hannah Strange

May 21, 2014

As Director of Greenpeace's new Movement Support Hub, I've been asking myself the same question every day: how can Greenpeace connect more deeply with our allies?

The Rev. Lennox Yearwood, CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, speaks out against the Dominion Cove Point LNG Plant export proposal.

© Robert Meyers / Greenpeace

The answer to that question the answers come to me from all over the movement. The Cowboy and Indian Alliance can use our on-the-ground action support and online organizing resources for their week of Reject and Protect actions. We can support grassroots strategic planning meetings through funding and experiential input. We can meet with Environmental Justice leaders to align the campaigns and funding streams of the Big Greens and grassroots groups. And we can send our online campaign team to Mountain Justice Spring Break to train activists on how to get good online coverage for their nonviolent protests.

Lincoln Memorial R&P

The Reject and Protect movement led an action at the Lincoln Memorial, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. The Cowboy Indian Alliance led the action on the national mall with signage and a large replica of the proposed pipeline.

Really, the ways we can help are limitless. The Movement Support Hub, Greenpeace’s new initiative to collaborate with grassroots activists and communities, is making them happen.

Right now, were turning our attention to climate change. It’s a wicked problem with impacts that go from the massive and global to the very local. While Greenpeace’s key climate campaigns coal exports in the Pacific Northwest, stopping Arctic drilling, pushing big tech companies to go green work on big, structural solutions, the local scale can’t be ignored. How can we lend our resources and expertise to people and communities dealing with impacts to their homes and lands?

Concerned Oregonians and Washingtonians paddle in Bradbury Slough off the main stem of the Columbia River, near Mayger, Oregon, Oct. 20, 2012, to draw attention to the dangers of Ambre Energy's Morrow Pacific coal export proposal.

Concerned Oregonians and Washingtonians paddle in Bradbury Slough off the main stem of the Columbia River, near Mayger, Oregon, Oct. 20, 2012, to draw attention to the dangers of Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific coal export proposal.

Whether it’s an environmental justice organization organizing to shut down a coal plant or incinerator in a city, or a coalition collaborating against mountaintop removal in Appalachia, or a rural town seeking to halt fracking, grassroots groups are the front line of innovation and strategy in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Their leadership is essential, and we want to give them all the support we can.

Through the Movement Support Hub, Greenpeace is building relationships within the climate justice and social justice movements and finding ways we can support their work. Our history as a campaigning and activist organization means we can provide trainings on nonviolent direct action, campaigning, and organizing. Our online team can coach people on social media best practices, and our research team can advise on opposition research techniques. And we are committed to building capacity by lending staff time and promoting stories through our online and social media assets. We’re even stepping into the funding space, providing mini grants to cash-strapped grassroots organizers.

Activists raise their hands to volunteer to shave their heads to show solidarity with the families affected by mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.

Activists raise their hands to volunteer to shave their heads to show solidarity with the families affected by mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.

Even more importantly, building relationships with a more diverse range of groups will allow for more alignment, mutual learning, and collaboration between Greenpeace and our allies. We’re committed to the learning and culture change that is required within our own organization.

We’ll be sharing stories about the Movement Support Hub on the Greenpeace blog under the Movement News heading please follow along!

By Hannah Strange

Hannah Strange is the director of Greenpeace USA's Movement Support Hub.

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