Seven students traveled from Old Dominion University on Oct. 18 for the annual “Power Shift” conference in Pittsburgh. The conference featured more than 10,000 youth leaders, all gathering to bring awareness to climate change.
The conference featured various workshops, keynote speakers and more than 200 training sessions in activism organization. The training sessions then culminated in a march through downtown Pittsburgh on Oct. 21 for a “Greener Economy”.
Some topics included anti-oppression training, workforce democracy, social media maximization and energy strategy. Participants came from diverse fields including social and economic justice as well as environmental action.
Erin Fagen, a senior marine biology major at ODU, organized the group. She currently acts as the regional recruitment coordinator for Power Shift, but is also the campus coordinator for Greenpeace and works as the environmental project manager for Terrascapes.
Fagen said she hopes this summit will give other budding activists at ODU the opportunity and the training they need so she can “pass the torch.”
Brit Nicholson is a member of the doctoral program at ODU for modeling and simulation after earning his degree in geologic oceanography. According to Nicholson, he has always had a concern for climate change.
“I’ve been doing volunteer environmental works my whole life, but I’d like to do more than that, I’d like to contribute more to the community than that. I’d like to figure out how to be a better organizer and leader in the environment and I’d like to learn that at Power Shift,” said Nicholson.
Also in attendance from ODU were Maeha Karlow, Miriam Notvana, Jerrica Rawls and Sean Davis. Jon Aldridge of Newport News and Robbie Barton of Virginia Beach accompanied them.
Power Shift is an annual rally that began in 2007 in Washington D.C. The 2013 summit was the first to take place outside of Washington D.C.
By Amanda Kirk