Catching up with a movement

Hey. My name is Jason and I’m thrilled to join the Climate Generation team as the new YEA! MN Program Coordinator. I’m sitting at the desk that used to be where my friend Nicole Ektnitphong worked. I know I can never fill her shoes, but I’m honored to carry on the work she held for the last two years. (Big love, Nicole!)

On my first day, it’s clear that my job is to catch up. And catching up with a movement is not easy! The youth leaders of YEA! MN have been building a shared analysis of the roots of climate change and inequity. They’ve been practicing story-telling and relational organizing, and prepping for a lobby day. And they tell me they’re more than ready to take on more leadership.

So I gotta catch up.

As a start, let’s get to know each other. Here’s an introduction to me:

Where I’m from

Suburban boy,
From a rainbow church

Church family taught me a lot.
Aunt Varina’s stories showed a Black church that struggled hard for respect
Aunt MaryAnn taught me peace only comes with justice
Mom taught me the world is much bigger than my suburb

My siblings: all boys
I am a boy with feelings
I learned to cry again when the pressure got too much
Pressure of wrestling singlets, and college applications,
Pressure of our segregated cafeteria, and loneliness

I learned to be a do gooder
because I care about people,
But I didn’t learn until recently that this was also because I am yearning for love.
I want people to be happy
so that they can love me again.

But in a world where my neighbor can’t find a job
My friend’s family was deported,
Where my people burn coal to fill some emptiness and
My fellow Earthling is flooded out of their home,
Loving Jason is not everyone’s top priority.

So I do this for me, and for all living beings.
I come to this work to find my place again
in the web of life.
To join with all beings who yearn for justice,
who yearn for love.

I am with you.
Until we have all remembered how to love our Earth
and ourselves.

I’m so thrilled to build with you. Reach out to me at yeamn@climategen.org or 651-233-4949.

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