Voice, Courage, Action

Originally posted, Feb 13, 2013

By Mary Anne Rojas

Summer of Solutions Ithaca is seizing what was once considered to be unimaginable and inaccessible in our time. Reminder, with the histories of revolutions, thus, the ability to see ourselves in mirrors, our generation is doing the imaginable and accessible. This summer, Ithaca will be multiplying this effort for a Sustainable Future. As a generation, we are proving to confront our courage by creating spaces where fear is molded into endurance. In case you are wondering, a Sustainable future is a solution already. Now, what do we do?

As you may have heard, New York State announced yesterday afternoon that the February deadlines will be missed, the reason given being that more time is necessary for the state’s health review. This is a magnificent opportunity to move forward with action and reaching out to more communities to ensure our voices are heard. Today enriches our generations goal by making evident that action asks and promises solution. This morning marks the day when Governor Cuomo was due to release the SGEIS and in doing so move ahead with fracking. Today, communities are sending appreciations to everyone’s courageous commitments and amazing work; we are celebrating all efforts. Though, we are aware of this journeys extended commitment, we are in agreements that this is also a beginning to a beautiful solution.

This morning, Maura Cowley, Executive Director, Energy Action Coalition has demonstrated her voice, courage, and action by sitting in front of the White House, hence, getting arrested to show that our generation is determined to see President Obama take decisive action on climate change by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline. And as Maura Cowley, affirms, “As one of the youth leaders participating in this demonstration, today I stood for our generation,” Summer of Solutions Ithaca is in process to make sure she is heard. As a community, we encourage support.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to reveal the unwanted short and long term impacts of fracking, including radiation, air impacts, water contamination, well casing failures, etc. We will also continue to expose the harsh community impacts and negative economic realities of fracking. With voice, courage, and action, we invite all people to help direct attention to the fact that fracking is equivalent to a rapid destruction of the climate and that instead of fracking, Governor Cuomo must seize the opportunity to embrace clean, renewable energy and efficiency, making New York State a leader in the energy and economic future of the nation and the world.

Today, I saw myself in the mirror and realized that I was a solution to a larger problem. This problem is one that is affecting my generation, my family, and most importantly, our future. I must confess to myself that one day there might not be a mirror to remind me I am here. Today, I woke up with new perspective, one that extends the one I conceived yesterday and conserves a space for the one tomorrow, just as I encourage my generation to do so. Contemplate on how the culture we are finding ourselves in is colliding with the culture we want to strengthen. It is today in which Diversity manifests itself to be in us when we choose to save a place for the person being born today. Include your Mothers, Sisters, Fathers, Brothers, and Neighbors and witness the courage each individual manifests. What do we do now? This is an answer embedded in our action; the small grains in each of us that that advocates for questions until the answer is active. Summer of Solutions Ithaca is embarking with heart this summer, quilting together activists who have found purpose in building a future that assures a place for the growing generation.

While Ren and Reed led a workshop around divestment, specifically group recruitment, SMART goals, and canvassing basics, Mary Anne in Oneonta, NY ensured her purpose was active by giving a workshop at Job Corp, Oneonta on the importance of storytelling on Monday the 11th. The workshop was driven by the genre of poetry in hopes writing with strength elevates courage in sharing the fears we have as individuals. The goal was to explore a space in her generation where education should be a constant contribution to making our voices heard. Her students made available trust and active participation while she spoke about the horrors of being unheard. That day she left with more force by giving back to her community.

This Sunday on February 17, the force of this movement will come together in bigger numbers than ever before. Communities can only be so patient to ensuring they can see themselves in mirrors tomorrow. I hope you can share their stories from today — each person participating represents a key part of this fight. I also hope you can come to be heard yourself this Sunday when we gather for our big action on the National Mall. Bring your voice, courage, and action.

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