Powershift: The Conference That Inspired My Environmental Career
by Eva Resnick-Day
June 22, 2016
I work every day in my dream job: fighting climate change and creating a democracy that works for the people. And it all started with a conference called Power Shift.
Before I became an organizer, I was a student — helping with small-scale environmental projects on campus like clothing swaps and recycled fashion shows. I knew I wanted to fight for environmental protection, but our efforts never seemed to match the scale of the problem.
With global climate change getting worse each year, it was clear that “reduce, reuse, and recycle” was not going to cut it.
My freshman year, I proposed some larger-scale campaigns to my school’s environmental club. At first, I was met with resistance — folks were afraid that we’d never be able to win. But all of this changed when we attended Power Shift — an environmental conference and training for students who want to help solve the global issues that threaten our planet.
I will never forget the bus ride back from Power Shift. Charged up with a new sense of power and possibility, our student group finally felt empowered to tackle larger environmental issues.
Right there on the bus, we decided to start the Pittsburgh Student Environmental Coalition, the first group of its kind in the area. And less than a year later, that group helped pass the world’s first ever fracking ban in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a year of incredible changes for us on campus and across the city, and it all started with Power Shift.
Going to my first Power Shift conference in 2009 helped inspire a career for me in the environmental movement. Now, my job is to expose the way that fossil fuel money is corrupting our democracy and blocking action on climate. I work with folks across the country, building a people-powered movement to show that change is not only necessary but possible.
Power Shift is a huge opportunity for students who care about the environment — many of my current colleagues got their starts there too!