Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.
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Actions are our best tools for generating awareness—and not the other way around. There’s some fascinating evidence that makes the case for why actions are our best tools for generating awareness that comes from the pro-life movement. This resource is Chapter 29 from a book project called "Rough Waters Ahead: Holding on for Young & Rising Climate Change Activists." Sociologist Ziad Munson studied how anti-abortion activists first got involved, and Munson found that 23% of anti-abortion activists were pro-choice and 20% were undecided on abortion access when they attended their first event. What led these moderate of liberal-leaning people to join the pro-life movement? Munson argued that it was relationships and feeling part of a bigger whole that helped people gel into their anti-abortion beliefs. Munson also found that people who evolved into an anti-abortion activist were more likely to be at a significant turning point in their life, such as recently graduating high school or college, moving to a new city, starting a new family, or newly retiring. PowerLabs movement support group has also similarly found that direct, political actions change people’s minds and create new awareness—not the other way around.
Choose Both is a collection of movement builders, supporters, and mobilizers helping partners realize a more open, just, and habitable world. They believe that pursuing equity for marginalized folks is the only way to get there. They work with storytellers, campaigners, designers, and more transforming the way that organizations and initiatives take on racial equity as an impact priority. Choose Both identified 5 key decision-points where these partners can choose both equity and evidence to strengthen their impact. First, choose goals that both capture new visions and meet existing needs. Second, choose storytelling that’s both emotional and technical. Third, choose to reach both loyal audiences and new communities. Fourth, choose to both consider data and challenge bias. Fifth, choose reporting that both inspires your own community and accounts for others.
Join Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to learn more about their deep canvassing efforts, lessons learned, and best practices from their on-the-ground experience. During this webinar, participants will hear from the folks involved about how deep canvassing can be a powerful tool for bringing new people into the climate justice movement as well as how learnings might be applied to other climate deep canvass and relational conversation programs across the country.
Like many of you, the Lab team has been exploring how we can best support the climate movement at this critical moment, with nearly a trillion dollars on the table to reshape the climate and energy landscape following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and CHIPS & Science Act. Simultaneously, we know communities across the country continue to suffer from the impacts and fight build-out of the extractive, polluting fossil fuel industry – including many of my neighbors across the Southeast, calling on President Biden to oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
The climate movement has lessons for all social impact practitioners working to create a more just and healthy world. While the climate and mental health movements are getting increased attention separately, a small set of leaders working across these movements are prioritizing and integrating mental health and climate advocacy as a unified effort. From climate scientists to psychologists, these actors are creating bi-directional efforts that serve both causes. Importantly, they see these two global crises as inextricably linked, highlighting that people across these movements must integrate these fields of practice rather than working in silos. Beyond prioritizing mental health education and interventions in our initiatives, social impact practitioners across all areas often face personal challenges as we dedicate our time and energy to witnessing and mitigating the world’s inequities. In recent years, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have heard repeated calls for self-care in the face of what can be exhausting and painful work.
Stronger movements will come from continuous joyful acts of building community and the strategic investment in collective leadership towards a bright, just future for many generations to come. This report calls on others in the movement to learn, work together, be proactive, find connection and safety, and uplift hope. This report’s #WeChooseNow Climate Action Strategy convened over 150 frontline and allied leaders for community power building sessions across the Gulf South and Appalachia to affirm a path forward in repairing generational harms of environmental racism through collective governance to protect what is sacred and help our communities thrive. This report’s organizing strategy guide includes advice on relational and capacity building, funding, communication tools, safety and security, and policy and project support. Specifically, this organizing strategy will include a frontline organizing retreat, a leadership activation fellowship, a communication toolkit, a resource exchange portal, and frontline aligned funding.
Asian Americans have long been excluded from the national climate movement, activists and scientists told Axios. Asian Americans across the country are working to change that legacy of omission by leading climate organizations, protests and research. Climate justice activist Alexia Leclercq, who is Taiwanese with Indigenous ancestry, tells Axios that growing up in Texas, "upper class, white, mostly men" were always depicted as scientists or environmentalists. Although representation has "somewhat improved," Leclercq says the larger Asian American community is still "not included" in leadership within these spaces.
The climate movement has recently tried more disruptive direct action tactics. Some of these include protests by the group Just Stop Oil throwing soup in famous art and the movie How to Blow Up a Pipeline. Sociologist Dana R. Fisher argues that these tactics generally can have the effect of mobilizing more people to join movements (not persuading people in the middle. Further, more research is needed to understand the various political effects of direct action tactics. The intensifying effects of the climate crisis have grown the climate movement, and its focus has changed to more material effects on people’s lives. A diversity of tactics is necessary for movements to create lasting change. Rose Abramoff, a climate scientist, protested lack of climate action and eventually lost her research job because of it. Ilana Cohen, cofounder of Fossil Free Research and leader of Divest Harvard, helped push Harvard to divest from fossil fuel investments. Cohen argue that persistently organizing with creative tactics helped the campaign win.
In this Upstream Indisposable podcast episode, host Priscilla Johnson talks with Just Transition Alliance Executive Director José Bravo about building grassroots power and bringing restorative justice to frontline communities. José says, “There is nothing like knocking on somebody’s door and having a conversation, and building community. That’s super important because you start to understand that there are people who think like you, and there are people who understand where things should be.” Later, he describes how “There’s been a lot of game-changing solutions. In particular, when we’re talking about exposure to chemicals, I think that there are communities that are over-impacted by the exposure to chemicals. There’s communities that have literally the extraction of what will later become a chemical, the production of that chemical, the use of that chemical, and then later the disposal of that chemical. So, in communities of color and low-income communities in the United States in this case, we see that chemicals keep on giving at different parts of the cycle of production and use. And I think for us, it’s about forming local economies to scale.”
The protests in Atlanta against "Cop City" build on a history of organizers challenging prison construction as a force for environmental destruction. In defiance of the ongoing protests, the police and their contractors have started to cut down the forest, and the future of the encampment remains unclear. The campaign against Cop City is simultaneously an objection to building a new center for police training and a campaign to defend the Weelaunee Forest. The activists fighting against Cop City argue that police violence itself constitutes an environmental hazard, and that toxic chemicals associated with explosives that could be used on the site will destroy the air, water, and land on which myriad forms of life depend.