WHAT IS POWER SHIFT 2021?
Power Shift 2021 will be a massive national youth convergence between April 16-18 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana,* that brings together thousands of young people for three days of trainings, workshops, panels, and action. Power Shift is a place to explore the many ways in which injustices exist and are perpetuated; fill a toolbox with a movement’s worth of strategies and tactics; connect with others who share our interests, passions, and experiences; and imagine the ways in which we can work together.
Building on the legacy of Power Shift convergences in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2016, Power Shift 2021 will provide a new wave of young people with a powerful and engaging on-ramp into youth climate movement spaces and the work of Power Shift Network members.
Power Shift Network fundamentally believes that structural oppression, including environmental racism and the direct effects of climate disasters, disproportionately impacts Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC); poor people; and young people. Therefore, supporting and centering young BIPOC and intersections with other movements for justice needs to be the foundation of Power Shift 2021. We will center youth of color and those most directly affected by the climate crisis in the planning, programs, and post-convergence activation of participants.
Together, we can shape an equitable future and forge the path to get us there.
*If the COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from meeting in person, there will be a digital convergence over roughly the same dates.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND POWER SHIFT?
Power Shift 2021 aspires to be a gathering by and for the youth climate justice movement. We roughly define this as ages 14-30, and will focus most convergence planning for an average age of 16-25. This gathering is open to all ages. We recognize that many of us have learned from mentors of multiple generations, older and younger than ourselves, and that an intergenerational movement is a stronger movement. We encourage attendees who fall outside the age ranges above to be aware that not all aspects of the convergence may feel designed for them, and to be thoughtful about the ways they show up at Power Shift 2021 in support of young people.
HOW IS POWER SHIFT THINKING ABOUT COVID-19?
Right now, we’re proceeding with planning that holds open the possibility of an in-person convergence in New Orleans, April 16-18, 2021. If the COVID19 pandemic prevents us from meeting in person, there will be a digital convergence over roughly the same dates.
We will publicly announce our final decision about whether to convene in-person or digitally by February 2021, based on the latest CDC guidance, vaccine availability, and public health information.
WHAT KIND OF PROGRAMMING CAN I EXPECT AT POWER SHIFT 2021?
Power Shift 2021 will include a variety of workshops, panels, breakout spaces, and arts & culture programming. Our goal throughout is for content that:
- Connects with our shared humanity in a time of crises;
- Builds resilience and interconnectedness for ourselves, our communities, and our movements; and gives participants a justice analysis that is grounded in class, cross-movement solidarity, mutual aid, and systems change;
- Strengthens connections between young people in the climate justice movement and the work of movements for migrant justice, civil rights, abolition, and Indigenous sovereignty, in a way that is grounded in the lived realities that impact our everyday lives;
- Names the systems that create our crises: racism, colonialism, extractive capitalism, and patriarchy, and steers us toward reparations, land back, and a circular economy;
- Centers and holds Black and Indigenous healing spaces;
- Lifts up skills and lessons from ancestral and recent movement history, Indigenous resistance, labor movements, and direct lived experience;
- Prioritizes the needs of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region;
- Fosters an environment for attendees to build regional relationships and find local movement/political homes
We anticipate at least one third of the presenters/trainers/facilitators to be Black or Indigenous, and an additional third to be non-Black non-Indigenous people of color. We intend for the presenters/trainers/facilitators to also reflect a diversity of ages, socioeconomic classes, educational backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, races, and abilities, specifically prioritizing those who have traditionally been marginalized.
Programming will include a mix of hard skills, movement history, and generative space to be together.
Have wisdom or skills you want to bring to Power Shift 2021? A content proposal form will be going live here in November – check back for updates.
HOW IS POWER SHIFT INCORPORATING ACCESSIBILITY?
Acknowledging and addressing the many ways in which race, gender, ability, class, sexual orientation, religion, age, citizenship status, language, level of formal education, geographic location, and other identifiers are often used to exclude, isolate, and oppress us, we will strive to make the Power Shift 2021 convergence accessible to all. We’ll be posting more specifics from our accessibility plan soon!