Today is the 50th Anniversary of EARTH Day….what does this even mean…fifty years…where will be in fifty more years? Where will we be in a few years? In a year? Where will we be? What will our Earth look like? Will we have listened to her..have we actually woken up?
I don’t know about you but I am pretty sad and depressed about where our world is now and how this whole covid-19 thing kinda had to happen for us to WAKE UP! However, I could wallow and feel useless or I could take this time to reflect, to show appreciation to the experience I have had thus far and a lot of it has to do with the Power of Organizing and the Earth. I do think that we all can do our part, what will you do?
If not now, when?
Also, I wanted to share this beautiful and timely song my favorite musician and band released today (ironically, I became interested and so connected randomly during my time with NEC and saw him first in 2016 during the Up To Us Tour (Boulder Theatre) in 2016 with Shailene Woodley, Trevor Hall and so many other incredible artists. It was definitely fate, enjoy!
Ever since I was young, I have been a nature lover. I spent much of my childhood at a sleep-away camp in Charlevoix, MI called Camp Sea-Gull. While there, I was privileged to have a safe-haven and beautiful place to call home every summer. I learned how to backpack, took some really cool trips around Michigan and Canada area and found my love for nature even more so.
Fast forward years later, when I got involved and took a step into this wild world of social work. 2016, I was lost, I was not sure where my life was going. I was sick of the same old stuff and was looking for “wide-open spaces.” I was ready for change. I wanted to do more, I wanted to make a larger impact. So I applied to jobs and came across one in particular; working as a Field Organizer with New Era Colorado NEC for registering voters across the state in the 2016 Election. Around the same time, I decided why not move to Colorado, nothing to lose.
So I picked up everything and made the move to CO. I was excited, I was ready. A few weeks later, I had a few interview with NEC; video and in person. A few weeks later, I was on-boarded on to the team “Delta Force.” I met my team-mates, we learned the ins and outs of what we were going to do, how we were going to do it and what this all meant. We learned about the issues affecting the state and being so new to CO, it helped me become educate myself on state level and locally, what actions we can take (many regarding climate crisis issues). Shout-out to Delta Force!
For 9 months myself and the team, went across the state with our clipboards, pens and VR forms. There were days I had multiple shifts where I was charged to approach strangers and ask them, “Hi, how’s it going…are you registered to vote where you live right now?” I remember during this time, I was exhilarated, my body was alive and my spark was alive. I also had some fears, “Could I keep up with the pace, am I cut out enough to do this, can I really do this?” I learned how to step outside my comfort zone even more, get more + more comfortable speaking to strangers. Speaking to folx from all walks of life, all economic backgrounds, those that are homeless, disenfranchised, LGBTQ and everything else. Majority of the time, folx were interested in speaking with me. We had a great conversation and I got a number of VR forms filled out to get them registered to vote. Other times, it was disheartening and some people had no interest whatsoever or bashed the candidates. Some days were pretty tough, exhausting but you know what nothing comes easy from not taking the work we need to.
You know what’s even harder, not speaking up. Not being a part of this beyond important time in HUMANITY. Voting and having the “access and ability” to VOTE is nothing to be taken lightly. We see those that are oppressed across the board, $ is not allocated enough to nonprofits and movements that can make some serious change. The most important thing we can do right now is speak up, to find our VOICE, become leaders, build movement and continue to lift those that are not part of the conversation.
Now in 2020 (big year for the election) it’s crazy how much I have grown from this experience. I will never forget and wanted to take some time to reflect and show gratitude for now only mother earth, being able to use my voice for the voiceless for those in the shadows and how this kind of work will literally be our saving grace, and for humanity.
The entire experience was beyond eye-opening, and I will never ever be the same. I am not sure when I will become back involved, what this will look like but I know at some point probably sooner than later, I will lace up my converse (maybe comfier shoes) I will knock on those doors, I will talk to everyone that comes in my path about the power of organizing and how this has completely changed my life for the better. If you want to continue this conversation, please reach out to me. I am ready when you are.
Please take some time to check out NEC and consider donating, getting involved. If you have any Q’s, please lemme know! neweracolorado.org