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Volunteer Principles

Guiding principles for the Greenpeace USA volunteer community

We build our power by investing in one another and our communities

We believe the power of community is at the root of change, and that our biggest strength is in growing our numbers through genuine solidarity and true investment with each other. We work to create spaces of growth and learning and utilize our own voices to bring our people along. Part of this means we draw a line in the sand within our own communities, where we offer a choice: joining us in fighting for a people’s future and planet, or being silent and complicit to harm being done to us. 

Our fight goes beyond borders and is both global and collective 

We understand that the U.S. is a unique actor among a stage of international actors, and that global solidarity is a powerful tool that can be used to communicate injustices committed by the U.S. at home and abroad. Similarly, we know that our targets have influence globally, so we work across borders to build the world we need by uplifting the work of our local and international Greenpeace friends and allies.

We work to unlearn and dismantle white supremacy and colonization in all we do

We can’t talk the talk without walking the walk. We know that as Greenpeace, we have to actively work on dismantling systems of oppression internally, within our organization, and externally, with our public facing work. We are active in learning to dismantle systems of oppression that are ongoing. Learning is critical to our movements, and we learn through relationship building, education, and examining our own culture. 

We support frontline communities and center their stories

We fight for all that are affected by the climate crisis, but understand that marginalized communities face the most harm. We work to ensure that the voices of those on the frontlines of injustice are centered in the fight for our future and are foundational to our organizing.

We’ve adopted the Jemez principles and an Indigenous Peoples policy to guide our organizational commitment to change.

Our movement is people powered and open to those who seek it

In order to win, we need a diverse set of skills, tools, and personalities. Our power comes from mass mobilization, disruption, and coordination. Flexibility and rapid response is necessary for us to stay relevant and win, which is why we open our campaign strategies to all who care to help us. This is a movement led by ordinary people. Share and connect the issues happening in your community to our collective work.

We believe systematic change is necessary and goes beyond what our political and corporate institutions can offer us.

Having financial freedom is core to our identity. We never party with political parties, candidates, big corporations, or CEOs. We are united for the people, and that is central to our fight for systematic change. For us, that means no permanent alliances with those who possess political or corporate power.

We believe in collective liberation 

You come for one, you come for all. We know that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere — this mentality is central to our fight. Self-care, community care, and structural care are critical to liberating our communities from that injustice, which is why cross-movement solidarity is key to our success.

Our tactics and methods of resistance are rooted in love

We know it will take a diversity of tactics for us to win. Our heart lies in active “non-violent” forms of resistance to move us towards social change as well as to expose the injustices that need correction. We do not condone the tactics of oppressed people fighting for justice and our tactics of direct action will be conducted with the ethics of building beloved communities. 

We find hope and courage when there feels like none

Our battles for the future are as critical as they are difficult. We will lose some battles, but together we can win many more. The necessary bravery and resilience to continue fighting is at the core of who we are as movement. With radiant hope and courage, there will always be victories.

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