Solidarity Organizing Program (SOP)

We recognize that the sustainability movement has for FAR too long focused on ecology and even economic transition WITHOUT emphasising the essential shifts we need to make this world more EQUITABLE AND SOCIALLY JUST.  We seek to create a shift in the student environmental community towards a reverence and deep valuing of SOCIAL JUSTICE. We plan to accomplish this through TRAININGS with our students around racial justice, gender equity, disproportionate impact AND move to become community members in alliance with our local Environmental and Social Justice leaders.

UC Davis Fall 2014 Convergence, Theme: ACTT (Act Collectively, Transition Together: Systems for Justice), Attendance: 550-600 [Part of the Fossil Freedom Solidarity Organizing Program Pilot]

 

SOP originated out of the collaborative work done to create a Climate Justice action camp in the Summer of 2014 at the first Tar Sands mine in the US in the Book Hills in Utah. After this, the pilot program, Fossil Freedom Solidarity Organizing Program (FFSOP) was created to further such efforts in California. This program’s main outcome was a coordinated and staff-supported UC Davis Fall Convergence which was the first comprehensive approach to integrate Social Justice, Racial Justice and Gender Equity/Human Rights into the program, prioritizing voices of color and marginalized people in speaking roles. Gopal Dayaneni was a keynote speaker summarizing that, “If everyone leaves here today saying ‘Sustainability to me, means throwing down for #BlackLivesMatter, then we have done something useful,”. We hope to use this convergence as a template for future events.

 

Fall 2015 Leadership Retreat at UC Hastings Reserve. Jackie Fawn (Attendee, second to right) guided us in a solidarity pose for the Apache Stronghold. 45+ attendees trained in Campaign Organizing and Anti-Oppression.

 

In October 2015 we received funding for phase 2 of the program, renaming it to Solidarity Organizing Program (SOP). Under the direction of Emili Abdel-Ghany CSSC successfully trained 45+ students from across California on basic principles of Anti-Oppression modeled after the Peer Education and Community Empowerment program at UC Davis’s Cross Cultural Center.

 

Program Director, Emili Abdel-Ghany

Biography: Emili graduated from UC Davis ’14 in Community and Regional Development, B.S.. Since then she co-coordinated the UC Davis Fall 2014 convergence for CSSC through the pilot program called “Fossil Freedom Solidarity Organizing Program” in addition to about three other related trainings and mentoring a team of students at UC Davis. Between January 2015-October 2015 Emili fostered the foundations for phase two of the program now known as Solidarity Organizing Program. Since October 2015 Emili has worked as Program Director with the following accomplishments: Fostering deeper relationships with Food and Water Watch (by extension Porter Ranch) organizers in LA bringing some students to renewable energy actions in LA, various student relationships at UCLA, LAVC, UCSC, UCSB, West LA College, RCC, Delta College, planned the Fall Leadership Retreat incorporating “home group” mentors and “safer space” creation and co-facilitated a 4+ hour long Anti-Oppression training with some original materials, represented CSSC at Bioneers and the Brower Youth Awards events, partnered with a CSSC alumni to host a climate themed Open Mic through Vision LA fest where like-minded youth co-performed with residents at Amity Foundation, a halfway house for those exiting prison & coordinated two Beehive Design Collective events on college campuses. Emili looks forward to the direction that CSSC is going and would like to support fair wages for all workers in CSSC.


Field Organizer Program
We are looking to support students in their efforts to connect with their local communities who are on the frontlines of our extractive economy. If you are an undergraduate student in California who is already interested in or is doing this work and would like to contribute to pushing the sustainability narrative from a traditional “environmentalist” lens towards one that is more intersectional through trainings and community partnerships/relationships please consider applying to be one of three Solidarity Organizing Program Field Organizers. In addition to competitive wages, we can also provide authorization for school/internship credit and guidance on this process.

 

Resources Produced