Earlier this month, the Energy Action Coalition and other groups brought more than 8,000 activists, including high school and college students, to Pittsburgh for a Power Shift conference to energize the growing youth movement that is mobilizing to address global warming and environmental injustice, including opposition to fracking, the Keystone pipeline and universities’ financial investment in big fossil fuel corporations.
Many people look to inspiration from environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben, but the movement’s real strength comes from the growing number of young activists who are learning how to translate their idealism into political power. One of the leaders of this burgeoning movement is 34-year-old Kandi Mossett.
Born in North Dakota and raised in an area known today as the Fort Berthold Reservation, Mossett earned a degree in natural resource and park mmanagement from the University of North Dakota, worked in the National Park Service for three years, earned a master’s in environmental science and policy and joined the Indigenous Environmental Network as the Tribal Campus Climate Challenge organizer in 2007.
She works with more than 30 tribal colleges on projects ranging from initiating recycling programs and community tree plantings to small-scale community solar panel installations and community gardens, as well as mobilizing students around issues such as the Keystone pipeline and the devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing on Native American lands.
Thanks to her organizing efforts at Fort Berthold, activists were successful in shutting down a solid waste disposal pit in the community of White Shield and in relocating displaced residents of the Prairie Winds Trailer Court in the community of New Town, N.D.
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