Building Relationships and a Movement for Environmental Justice

Relationships are at the heart of movement building. I believe that in order to win long-term change, we need to cultivate sustaining relationships to support the long-haul work that will get us there. We need one another to weather the storms of our world and move forward our visions for our communities. I’m excited to tell a story about a blooming, powerful relationship between YEA! MN student leaders, myself, and a local environmental justice organization: Tamales y Bicicletas.

In YEA! MN, we weave and hold a broader learning arc around environmental justice. This year, YEA! MN student leaders Addie Welch, Kendra Roedl and Liam DelMain have come together to intentionally navigate their relationship with the East Phillips neighborhood (which is where the Climate Generation office is located). Throughout the fall and spring, I’ve spent time cultivating a relationship with Tamales y Bicicletas leader Jose Luis Villasenor and listening to the stories that are fundamental to the work of a small, yet powerful organization. As the YEA! MN coordinator, I saw connections between the important questions YEA! MN student leaders were asking and the work that Tamales y Bicicletas was trying to build in the local community.

IMG_4897This growing relationship between YEA! MN student leaders and Tamales y Bicicletas brings us to exciting work ahead of us. Together, we are bringing a breadth of wisdoms, experiences and knowledge. Together, we are more powerful. We’re creating momentum for environmental justice in East Phillips and more broadly among young people around the Twin Cities. This partnership has illuminated the need for, and power of, cultivating and sustaining relationships.

Photo from a recent Toxic Tour Bike Ride organized by Tamales y Bicicletas (April 2016)

There are many upcoming opportunities to build relationships in our local community. Join us! Here are two gatherings that YEA! MN student leaders and Tamales y Bicicletas are holding together:

IMG_4889Toxic Tour Bike Ride

Wednesday, May 18
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Starting @ Greenway Building Parking Lot
2801 21st Ave S, Minneapolis

Bike through East Phillips, learn about major polluters in the neighborhood and hear community stories about visions for environmental justice. Free meal provided by La Loma at the end.

Photo from recent Toxic Tour Bike Ride organized by Tamales y Bicicletas (April 2016)

Environmental Justice Listening Session

Tuesday, May 24
6-7:30 pm
Location: to be determined.

Join young people and local community members in sharing stories about environmental justice. This event is a follow up to the Toxic Tour Bike Ride in the East Phillips neighborhood, but it is not necessary that you participate in the bike ride to come. Snacks will be provided, as will opportunities to become further involved with environmental justice movement building.

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