PowerShift Young & Rising to train & mobilize hundreds of young organizers

February 15, 2019 (OTTAWA / ALGONQUIN ANISHINABE TERRITORY) — Hundreds of young people from across Canada began gathering in Ottawa yesterday for the four day PowerShift – Young and Rising gathering. Geared toward people between the ages of 18-35, the event is a four day organizing and movement “bootcamp” at the University of Ottawa – with events at the All Saints event space, and the Bronson Centre – featuring keynote addressing from leading young activists, skill shares and trainings.

“This weekend, we’re kicking off a new phase of the youth climate movement in Canada,” said Sophie Birks, one of the organizers of the gathering. “From the Green New Deal in the United States, to student climate strikes around the globe and the fight for Indigenous rights across Turtle Island, young people are already at the forefront of this fight. Over the next few days, we’re going to be supercharging that youth leadership in Canada.”

With a federal election scheduled for October 2019, organizers are hopeful that PowerShift will serve to unite and energize youth organizing towards voting day with a range of programming focused on how youth can maximize their political impact before, during and after elections.

“In 2015, young people were critical to Justin Trudeau’s election. They voted for him, but now, four years later, we haven’t seen any of the ‘Real Change’ he promised,” adds Tina Oh, also on the steering committee of PowerShift. “Young people in this country want to see a bold, visionary plan to tackle climate change, respect Indigenous rights and transition Canada to 100% renewables for all – this weekend, we’re coming together to develop the plans, strategies and skills to make that happen.”

And, PowerShift won’t be all learning. Organizers have planned two public actions for PowerShift attendees during the four day gathering. On Sunday, dozens of youth are expected to take to the Rideau Canal for a mass “skate-in” canvass building support for a “Green New Deal”-style police for Canada. And, on Monday, hundreds should gather on Parliament Hill for a march and rally demanding bold climate action and respect for Indigenous rights.

A full schedule for PowerShift – Young & Rising can be found here.

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Media Contact on behalf of all organizers:

Loujain Kurdi, 514-577-6657, lokurdi@greenpeace.org