This past weekend, JYCAns joined thousands of others in Oakland in a massive march for climate justice!
The march is part of a global climate march on the eve of the Paris UN Climate Summit, in which leaders from across the world will convene to (hopefully) negotiate a global agreement to address the climate crisis. Previous negotiations have failed, but there has been much momentum and many victories, big and small, for the climate justice movement in the last year. These victories, like stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, are the direct result of a growing movement organizing more and more effectively and showing up in the streets in growing numbers! So what better time to show up in the streets and send a message to world leaders than on the eve of possibly the most important summit in history?
Indigenous people, who are way too often on the front lines of environmental and climate injustices, led the march. We were honored to follow their lead and march in solidarity with them.
Climate justice is obviously a critical issue for all of us, especially youth! While the odds of meaningfully addressing the crisis at the scale it requires in the time it requires to stave off the worst effects are formidable, we learned last weekend at the OG Fall Retreat how people power showing up in the streets in overwhelming numbers has tipped the scales to push through social change over and over again in the face of seemingly impossible odds. So we put our activist boots on and hit the streets to once again help make the impossible possible.
Wow, what an incredible retreat! Retreats are when we are reminded most of what makes JYCA so special. At retreats we go deep into our social justice inquiry and leadership training work, we foment deep bonds, we connect with nature, and we have lots of fun!
We welcomed in Shabbat together, talked about what's going on in our lives - the good and the challenges, we delved into workshops on the topics of: story-telling as a tool of organizing, gender identity, and climate justice. We got really pumped up for the climate justice march happening next weekend in Oakland; many of us are planning to be there! We went for hikes, we played music and sang, we did Havdalah together, we played lots of games, we did an amazing bonding activity, and we stayed up late (but not too late) talking and deepening our friendships. It was an amazing time!
JYCA (Jewish Youth for Community Action) is an innovative leadership training program dedicated to empowering Jewish youth and contributing to social justice.