Fossil Fuel Divestment Pacific Northwest Network Spring 2016 Convergence

Project Size: Small, <$1,000
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $1,000

Letter of Intent:

The convergence will take place over the weekend of March 4th – 6th, 2016 at the University of Washington Seattle campus. The proposed agenda for the weekend begins at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday and ends at 3:00 PM on Sunday. The projected attendance event would be about 50 students plus 10-20 trainers and speakers. This convergence is important because it will help student leaders learn essential skills that they need to confront the climate crisis, as well as build connections within the movement, supporting their campus campaigns and even extending after graduation.

The convergence will be oriented towards establishing three main goals: (1) developing core teams of divestment leaders at every campus in the Pacific Northwest that build strong relationships with each other and other campaigns, (2) establishing a common political framework and long-term vision for the network within which these teams will work, and (3) training leaders in skills including relational organizing and an understanding of power. We aim to use the convergence as a space to build the fossil fuel divestment movement, run trainings on climate justice, structural oppression, and the just transition framework, and launch reinvestment in the Northwest.

Our total budget for this event is $9,200 to cover the costs of facility permits, audio-visual equipment rentals, parking permits, honorarium/travel for trainers, food for the weekend, cooking supplies, training supplies, and travel scholarships for campuses. Our highest priority costs requested from Divestment Student Network, DSN, are honoraria for trainers. See below budget and timeline for more details.

We expect an attendance of roughly 50 students from campuses across the Pacific Northwest, including Montana, Oregon, British Columbia, Washington and Idaho. These will be students who are already involved in active divestment campaigns and have shown a sustained interest in becoming leaders in this work.

Requirements and Preferences:

Environmental Impact: Our RSO alone has successfully lobbied for over $30 million in clean energy investments, the incorporation of environmental and social governance (ESG) factors in UW’s investment approach, the creation of an RA to research ESG issues, shareholder engagement on climate change issues, and the university’s divestment from thermal coal. This convergence will spread knowledge and skills for similar action to the rest of the region. The universities in the DSN Northwest Region could have an estimated amount of $100s of millions invested in harmful fossil fuels. While this event would contribute to further divestment of the fossil fuel industry, the impact we would have would be larger than that of just the financial impact; as we are spreading facts and perspectives that will shift moral, cultural and financial norms to ones environmentally and socially just.

Student Leadership and Involvement: This convergence will involve students at the leadership level. Students from around the region and from the University of Washington will be coming together to develop strategies and confidence to become leaders at their campus, their community, and in the climate justice movement. Through conversing with fellow student leaders, being inspired by established climate activists, learning techniques, and by hearing the success stories from students and activists alike, students gain important leadership experience and bring that experience back to their campus to empower others. One of this event’s three purposes are to train students to become powerful leaders.

Education, Outreach, and Behavior Change: In addition to spreading the word to the University of Washington through RSO teach-ins, flyers, tabling, and in-class speeches, we have reached out to 16 other colleges and to the greater DSN community. This student outreach will bring around 50 students to this event to learn and develop. Community organizations Idle No More, Rising Tide, Climate Solutions, Race and Climate Justice Initiative are all speakers and trainers that will present their stories and trainings to educate students on the history and current status of the climate justice movement. These speakers, structured networking, workshops, and informational panels will introduce the divestment theory of power and change, a strong political analysis around just transition to reinvestment, tell a story of the unique intersectional status of the Northwest, of climate policy, and of the race and climate justice, and will include conversations on structural oppression and our power. Students will leave the event will new knowledge and perspectives that will encourage them to be aware and involved in their campus and community.

Feasibility, Accountability, and Sustainability: Confronting Climate Change has been an active RSO on the UW campus for three years. We have held a strong and stable relationship with the administration, students, faculty, and with the Treasury. Through these relationships, we work hard to have the students’ concerns heard, have collected a petition against investment in fossil fuels, and encouraged the University to divest from thermal coal, which they did in Spring of 2015. Along with this accountability, we are a part of and working closely with the DSN. This network is assisting us with the organizing and fundraising aspects of the convergence. This assistance comes with some accountability of its own. We have weekly calls with organizers at DSN to give updates on progress, to be held responsible for any tasks we needed to get done, and to receive guidance on how to have a successful convergence. The DSN has also provided us with a fiscal sponsor, Alliance for Global Justice. We provide this sponsor with detailed budgets, updates, and fundraising goals. Confronting Climate Change has shown accountability and feasibility through these relationships and organizational responsibilities. 

Budget:

Item Cost
Travel for trainers $2000
Honorarium fees for trainers $1000
Housing for trainers $1000
Scholarships for traveling cost/housing of attendees $1500
Food $2300
Facilities $1000
Assorted supplies  $400
  Total: $9200

Checkpoint Schedule

Our planning schedule is spread between several divisions, but this is a general outline of checkpoints in our process leading up to the convergence.

 

·      January 10th

o   First outreach to potential attendees

·      January 15th

o   Confirm speaker and trainer lineup

o   Begin grassroots fundraising

·      January 18th

o   Convergence weekend schedule draft

o   Weekend menu established

·      January 27th

o   Pay for plane tickets (attendee scholarships, trainers)

·      February 6th

o   Confirm housing options

o   2nd major grassroots push

·      February 10th

o   Food expenses paid

o   Registration deadline

·      February 20th

o   Final attendance confirmation

·      March 4-6

o   Convergence Weekend

 

Primary Contact First & Last Name: Ariana Winkler