Campus Organizing Fellowship
Are you passionate about creating social change? Do you want to develop the skills to be an effective leader, communicator, and organizer, no matter what professional field you enter? Citizens' Climate Education is a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization that empowers citizens to build political will for climate solutions. We have over 450 chapters across the United States and over 90,000 members.
The Campus Organizing Fellowship is designed for students who want to start their own campaign or student group on climate change. With support from CCL staff and higher ed allies, campus leaders educate the community about climate solutions, organize students in lobbying activities, and engage directly with public officials. Campus leaders commit at least five hours a week to their campaign and at least two academic semesters. In order to become a campus leader, you must have prior CCL or leadership experience. You'll also need to fill out an application form. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Those who apply by May 15, 2018 will start in June 2018 and finish in May 2019.
Benefits of Being a Campus Leader
- Experience to put on your resume and Linkedin profile;
- Training in leadership skills;
- A foot in the door towards environmental or nonprofit careers;
- A network of climate activist peers;
- A letter of recommendation for future internships, jobs, graduate school, scholarships.
Requirements of Being a Campus Leader
- Attend the CCL intro call.
- Attend bi-weekly check-in calls with the Campus Leader coordinator.
- Attend monthly Campus Leader calls.
- Attend at least three CCL webinars.
- Establish goals and create an action plan for your campaign.
- Devote 5 hours a week to the campaign.
- Start a website or Facebook page for your group.
- Attend a CCL regional or national conference.
- Complete field reports of activities.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about becoming a campus leader:
1. Do you have the time and the energy to do this work? Organizing a climate campaign is a lot of work. Can you commit to five hours a week to helping the climate? How will this compliment your academic work and advance your professional goals? Can you get academic credit for it as an independent study? Do you have the personality to get other students interested in your cause, make presentations to community leaders and committees? Do you have the determination and persistence to keep going when success seems far off?
2. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish as a campus leader? Obviously our goal at CCL is to build political will for carbon fee and dividend. The methods you pursue may vary depending on your skills and the needs of your community. Here are typical goals for a campus campaign:
- Starting a campus chapter or group
- Getting students to participate in CCL's meetings, conferences, and lobby events
- Build awareness about carbon pricing and rally support for a state or federal level policy
- Getting the President's endorsement
3. What is your strategy? Different goals require different strategies. If your goal is to obtain the President's endorsement, that might start with a meeting with the sustainability director to learn about the President's track record on climate change and endorsements. Check out the endorsements page for information. If your goal is student engagement, you might start with talking to your friends and members of existing environmental groups. I've created this Action Plan template to help you define your goals and your strategy.
4. Should you start a group? If your goal is something short term and specific (such as getting the President's endorsement), you may not need to officially start a student group. If you are part of an existing environmental group, you could convince them to devote a semester to carbon pricing or create a sub-committee on carbon pricing. Most campus leaders work on awareness building activities on their own or with a few friends for a while before officially starting a group. It's helpful to do some initial outreach to determine the level of interest in your campaign, and test out if you are ready for the commitment of leading a group. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in starting a CCL campus chapter.