In the midst of winter I always find myself looking for extra places and people full of light and positivity to help counteract the constant darkness. I love winter, but it can still be easy to get caught in all the darkness, especially when the school days are longer than the hours the sun is shining. With the changing political climate, the darkness of winter seemed to come upon me a bit earlier this year, and it has become ever more important to find and appreciate those people and places.
YEA! MN has been an especially important place for me lately, helping to ground myself and keep my motivation flowing to continue moving forward and working to create change. As an intern with the YEA! MN program I’ve started spending a lot of time in the Climate Generation office, and I have begun to see all the pieces of the organization and how they come together, which I had not previously been able to witness. Seeing the workings of a nonprofit from the inside has allowed me to understand that I am not alone in these feelings, and I am not alone in finding the importance of these people and places that give us light.
I was also not alone in finding November challenging, nor in in finding a grounding place in YEA! MN. Here are some of the YEA! MN Core member’s reflections on this time and what the Core brought to them in November:
It’s been a busy few months for me in the Core – we have already done so much, including a performance at Climate Generation’s 10-year anniversary, network meetings, and my own work at school doing outreach and planning for a Green Team meeting. The Climate Generation 10-year Celebration was a wonderful event, but more than that, it reminded me of the reasons I do climate justice work: for the people. November also marked the beginning of broader network meetings. As a Core member I did a lot of outreach in my school to get students interested and invested in going to the YEA! MN network meeting, and this was a challenging but exciting experience. Personally, I also worked on learning more about climate change, as well as creating a groundwork for an environmental club. That includes working on a budget and outlining the timing for facilitating meetings. Overall, I am excited for the rest of the year in the Core, which has already been a hugely gratifying experience.
In November, YEA! MN Core meetings provided me with a much needed space to ground myself and my vision of the future. In light of everything going on in our country and the world, I needed an outlet to productively reflect and refocus. We spent time learning about different organizations and movements that are working towards a just future for the climate and communities around the world. I keep coming back to this when I feel despair about what’s to come, and try to remind myself of all the amazing organizing that’s already being done. This month’s meetings have shed some light and positivity during a pretty dim time.