Monday, September 17, 2007

Translating Personal Into Collective Actions

This weekend, I received a phone call from StepItUP2007. They're calling folks across the country, asking people to get organized, take action, and participate in the National Day of Climate Action on Nov. 3rd. The purpose of this nationwide rally is to grab our political leaders and candidates' attention and ask them to do something about bringing the U.S. into a clean energy future.

In the next two weeks, I'll be attending the Recycling and Sustainability Club meetings on my campus. I'm going to make a few announcements about this event so I can determine who wants to help me organize this rally at IU South Bend. I'm also going to ask student members of the Environmental Justice League Club for their support and involvement with this effort.

Lately, there's been a debate on whether voluntary behaviors have any effect on the environment. For the most part, this debate has focused on personal-lifestyle behaviors (e.g., using energy-efficient lightbulbs). Maybe it's time we broaden our focus. Why not translate our personal actions into collective actions? Sure, it means stepping outside of our individualistic comfort zone, but it also gives us the opportunity to collaborate with others who share the common goal of protecting the environment.


Meghan said...

I'll make sure and cross-post to your blog as the day gets closer. And maybe I'll be able to find someone doing something locally and help out. Our voices are louder when we're shouting the same thing at the same time...

Michelle Verges said...

Thanks, Meghan. I sincerely appreciate your support.

Your comment reminded me of something I was thinking about on my way home from work. I was thinking about democracy, what it means to form a collective voice, generated from scores of individuals.

We live in a democracy, right? Of course we do; it just seems like we're so independent that we've forgotten about the importance of civic engagement, making meaningful connections with others in our community.

I think Step It UP challenges our individualistic mindset and offers college students and community members an opportunity to voice their concerns loud and clear. And hopefully, IU South Bend will be part of this collective action!

Of course, I'll keep you posted on any developments. And I'll check to see if there's a campus near you that's participating with Step It UP.