Why I am an activist – by Willow Lark

I’m a second year environmental engineering student at SDSU. I have been volunteering with various environmental organizations in California for years as a way of boosting my expertise in the field in an interdisciplinary way as well as being a steward for our community and planet which is in dire need of attention. I was attracted to San Diego 350 because I saw that they were leading the environmental movement in San Diego, mobilizing the community and constantly being present in political matters related to the environment. After hearing Bill McKibben (the founder of 350.org) speak during a Democracy Now! podcast about how we need to mobilize for climate change in the way we would mobilize in a wartime emergency, I realized that the 350.org campaign is very much aligned with my philosophy that slow incremental environmental change– the type that has been supported by our governments for too long –is not enough. Hence, I sought out our local San Diego 350 and wanted to get involved.

I first noticed that there aren’t too many students involved in San Diego 350. In fact, the first meeting I went to, I was the only youth. During that meeting we were brainstorming different organizations to partner with for the PCM and I mentioned that I know many of the environmental organizations at SDSU and UCSD, being involved with many of them in one way or another. I was disappointed that no one from the environmental students organizations were present at San Diego 350 meetings or events, but it inspired me to get students to at least form coalitions with other environmental organizations, student and non-student led, in order to push the next generation into their important role in the struggle for environmental justice. From there I hope to see a large student contingent at the PCM this April.