by Gabrielle Arkett
As an organizer, an artist and a human being, I spend a lot of time thinking about love. What it means to love people, the world we live in and the work that we do. I am a firm believer in Che Guevera’s idea that “…the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.” (Man and Socialism in Cuba, 1965). When I say love, I am loosely using M. Scott Peck’s definition of extending one’s self for the growth of something- a person, an idea or a movement (The Road Less Travelled). I work very hard to bring this ethic of love into the social justice work I do.
I want to attend Power Shift because I can see that the organizers are using strong principles of love. From the anti-oppressive principles that form the basis for the event, to the campaign to end fossil fuel subsidies and return $1.4 billion to the people, to the focus on community organizing after the conference, the principles and goals of Power Shift are strongly in line with my own. The organizers have great love for the environment, the people living in it and for the movement they are helping to create- as do I. Because of this, I believe Power Shift is going to be a key part of the environmental justice movement in this country, which I want to be part of.
Another thing I like about Power Shift is the thought of the community-building that will happen that weekend and is already happening throughout the organizing process. Power Shift will be a national conference, but people are going to learn skills that they are going to bring back to their local communities so they can organize and fight for issues that matter to them and the people they love. Communities are powerful things: they are places of love and of action. They can be small and local, or large and national, even international. At Power Shift, people with diverse experiences, from small communities, are going to come together and create one big community through having conversations, learning and sharing experiences together. That is an amazingly powerful thing. I’m excited to meet all the incredible climate justice activists in this country and to maintain relationships with them, so that the giant environmental justice community we create can lovingly work together to make the f***ing revolution happen. In short, I am super stoked for October 26th. Let’s shift some power!