Students Taking on Oil and Petrochemicals Campus Organizer Position
Student organizing has been an essential part of many social movements, from Students for a Democratic Society and The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in the 60’s to the more recent climate change and divestment movements. Additionally, colleges and universities serve as local leaders, providing jobs and education for their surrounding communities.
The Center for Coalfield Justice (CCJ), the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), and our numerous allies throughout the Appalachian region formed the People Over Petro Coalition (POPCO) in mid-2019, to present a united front in the effort to stop and reverse the buildout of the petrochemical industry along a 500-mile stretch of the Ohio River Valley. As a Coalition we are committed to the idea that no matter where these projects are proposed, we will join together to fight them; that nowhere is a good location for projects that will threaten the health and safety of the people who live in the surrounding area. The colleges and universities in the region have started facing decisions about their part in this buildout. Shell and Exxon come to campus to recruit workers, give substantial donations, and have been influencing curriculum. With the backing of universities, however, the buildout of this region will be near-impossible to stop. We need to spread the truth about what the industry buildout will mean for college campuses and communities in proximity to the plants: air pollution, cancer, and environmental degradation. Because of this, we are offering paid organizing positions to 6 student organizers at 6 different universities to start campaigns in this region. These students will receive one-on-one advising and support from PLAN’s US Coordinator for Plastic Free Campuses.
The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) cultivates, educates, and inspires the Student-Led Zero Waste Movement. We inform students about the Waste Crisis and equip them with the necessary skills and resources to implement zero waste solutions in their campus communities. We empower our generation to be changemakers.
About People Over Petro Coalition:
POPCO is a member-driven coalition working to reverse the expansion of the petrochemical industry in the Appalachian Basin and encourage a clean, renewable, and regenerative economic foundation. We support good union jobs with family-sustaining wages without devastating low-income communities environmentally and economically. We believe people – our health, welfare, safety, and environment – must be respected and protected first, over petrochemical interests.
Please send a cover letter & resume to firstname.lastname@example.org before Sept. 1 to apply.
Logistics: There are 6 open positions, we are seeking to hire one student at 6 different universities in the Ohio River Valley Region.
Campaign organizers will establish a campaign on their campus to educate and inspire their peers to action. Student organizers for this project will work with PLAN staff to create a campaign plan that takes into account current initiatives and momentum on campus. One of the primary goals of this project is to build awareness and networks in opposition to the petrochemical buildout in this region. Campaign plans can range from: rallying students in support of strategic community action in opposition to the industry buildout and/or advocating for and supporting the implementation of post-fossil fuel systems on campuses using the Break Free From Plastic Campus Pledge and case studies.
Please note this opportunity is open to both remote and in-person students. We will be navigating the new organizing world together and have resources for people to do online events and socially distant activism. There will be no favor of in-person schools over remote schools.