I have spent the last 24 hours or so becoming more involved with Ohio’s PowerShift.  Intensely.

PowerShift, what’s that? you may ask.  Well, that’s a good question.  It is what got me involved in my present activities; it is my inspiration; it is my pride and joy!  This past February, more than 12 000 young people from around the country converged in Washington DC out of concern for environmental, social, and political issues.  There, we heard lectures, made speeches, did workshops, talked, discussed, networked, and finally stormed Capitol Hill and invaded our Congresspeoples’ offices (strictly speaking, in a non-violent and democratic American way).

It was such a success and such an awesome and inspirational experience, that the coordinators have sanctioned 11 regional PowerShifts across the USA, one of which happens to be taking place in Oberlin, Ohio.  It is urgent that we have this gathering before Copenhagen, and having worked to push my Copenhagen cause on everyone I come into contact with, I was eventually asked by Ohio’s coordinators if I would like to speak at the event.  You bet I do!

PowerShift has altered the course of my life–it enhanced my understanding of climate change and galvanized me into action.  It put me in touch with awesome and committed young people across the nation.  The hope, the idealism and good will at the conference was literally palpable.  So was the sense that we could collectively effect change.  At one point, I stopped in Union Station to eat a donut shortly before lobbying my Congressmen and -women.  Wearing my PowerShift bag and shirt, a lot of people started waving to me–random strangers–and cheering me on.  It was magnificent!  That’s what I want to involve others in, and that’s why I am happy to participate in and promote the PowerShift in Ohio.

My only issue is that Cincinnati is not very involved.  I believe there were 4 or 5 UC students at PowerShift in DC (I was not one of them at this point), so I am actively trying to recruit others–or at least, spread the word around town.  Yesterday, I began by drafting a preliminary flier, notifying the directors of Student Activities and Leadership Development, calling or emailing professors at UC and Xavier, and putting fliers all around campus.

The conference begins October 23 and takes the whole weekend.  If your curiosity happens to be piqued, you may explore the PowerShift website, and even register for a regional event.  I hope you will–prices go up starting this Friday (Oct 9th, 2009) and I want YOU to be a part of the most awesome phenomenon that has ever happened!