More than 12,000 young leaders converged in Washington, DC, for Power Shift 2009, from February 27 to March 2. These young activists from every U.S. state and many other nations went there to get further educated and trained, to shine the spotlight on climate change, the need for green jobs, and to lobby and educate to hold our elected officials accountable for building a sustainable, equitable, green economy now.
Two powerful Awakening the Dreamer Symposiums bookended this historic gathering, attracting 10% of the participants. The Symposiums grounded participants in the magnitude of what’s at stake, rooted them in the holistic framing of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just future, and provided them a powerful context for all they learned, enabling them to be more effective with all they set out to achieve.
The shortened version of the Symposium, distilled to its essence, deeply moved, engaged and empowered Power Shift participants. With over 450 participants for the first and over 650 for the second, the Symposiums precipitated many tears, spontaneous cheers, and deeply empowered spirits. During the Symposium when Van Jones talks about the power of one person and how a standing ovation starts “with one fool standing up”, at both Symposiums one person stood up and within a moment everyone in the audience was standing up and cheering. The enthusiasm radiating from these bright young people stunned the 30 Awakening the Dreamer volunteers.
The importance of these young adults’ participation and partnership in this great crisis/opportunity is more and more evident. They have stepped up to the plate, and are engaged in the demands of the times with huge commitment, creativity, and hope. The reverberation of Power Shift 09 is profound. Exciting potentials for further collaboration with the Awakening the Dreamer Initiative and this growing wave of young leaders are blooming. Power Shift 2009 showed decision makers, peers and the world that re-invigorating the economy and securing a clean energy future are one and the same – and young people are providing the political will.
For the 5-min video of PowerShift 2009 that Chuck Putnam put together click here...