by: Eva Malis
Perspectives from organizers across CSSC regarding Fall 2014 Convergence at UC Davis!
What do you do on the planning team and why do you do it?
I am the treasurer of the UC Davis CSSC chapter, and I lead the finance team for the Fall 2014 convergence! I wanted to be treasurer last year to get more comfortable and experienced with finance. I volunteered to be on the financial team for convergence because I have a bit of experience writing grants and fundraising and I felt it was my job as treasurer to work on the financial component to convergence. Although fundraising is challenging and definitely not the most glamorous job, I have found it empowering to be able to tap into all of the resources available to us on campus and to have been met with such support and enthusiasm from so many. This position has given me so much perspective on how much time, energy and money goes into projects like this, and I feel grateful to be working with such an awesome team!
What will be special about this Fall 2014 convergence?
Every convergence is unique and awesome, but what I love about this convergence is how inclusive it will be. The theme is Think Collectively, Transition Together: Systems for Justice, incorporating environmental, social and economic justice issues into the dialogues and programming. I think it is so important to recognize the interconnectedness of all of these issues and to encourage solidarity and collaboration between interest groups, campaigns and people. Related to that, the amount of support from the students and communities in Davis makes this convergence really special. I look forward to this convergence bringing together groups and people locally, fostering connections between visitors from other places and showing everyone who attends a really good time with the awesome speakers, workshops, food, music, poetry and conversations that we have planned!
UCLA, Class of 2014
CSSC, Statewide Divestment Field Organizer; Fossil Free UC, Member
What do you want to see this semester’s convergence accomplish?
I am excited to see this Convergence have an explicitly justice-based theme. It has been really exciting seeing the theme and character of the CSSC Convergences shift and adapt over the years since I first started attending them in 2011 (My first Convergence was actually at UC Davis in Spring 2011!). We have seen amazing workshops about alternative and eco-friendly practices like aquaponics and No ‘Poo, but more and more, CSSC is trying to cultivate a systems perspective that not only addresses our personal mental and physical needs but also those of our entire community. I have every confidence that the organizers at UC Davis will be able to create a unique and much-needed space to address issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, as both lenses and foundations when it comes to environmental advocacy work and to inspire truly transformative actions and movements.
What’s your favorite part about convergence?
Obviously, my favorite part is meeting new friends. When I first began attending as a college freshman, I really dove deep into learning – I loved attending workshops about completely new topics and learning new things from such impressive presenters who were students just like me. That really inspired me to become more involved on campus and to be as informed as I possibly could, which brought me to where I am today. Now, after attending five Convergences, I’m definitely more interested in what happens between the workshops, talking with people I haven’t gotten to meet yet at mealtimes and mingling with speakers after panel sessions. Basically, creating connections across cities and even states that I might never have made otherwise. That’s the real beauty of Convergences and any event that brings people together in beautiful spaces like Davis.
What are some topics that this convergence will cover?
While I am not one of the Convergence planners, I know a bit of what’s going on based on some of the events I am helping with. There are a few different tracks that are available with workshops and panels that go along with them, including “TOGETHER: Creating Change and Community,” “Systems for Justice: Labor, Education, Prison Industrial Complex, Privatization, Environmental Justice and History, Capitalism. Colonialism,” and “Fossil Freedom.” There will be some amazing panels with a variety of speakers, such as “Inter-generational Lessons,” “Research for Social Change,” and “Fossil Freedom Youth Leaders.” One of the workshops I’ll be doing is “Occupational Health and Labor Justice in Environmental Issues” which will be part of the Systems for Justice track! It’s an issue I’ve been becoming increasingly passionate about over the last year and the timing couldn’t have been better. I am excited to see it among a surely incredible repertoire of workshops in this track at the Davis Convergence.
What do you do on the planning team and why do you do it?
My role on the planning team is Convergence Coordinator. Along with Emili, I am primarily in charge of managing speakers, Convergence outreach, and programming in addition to guiding and assisting the rest of the planning team with their work. It’s a lot of work, but knowing I have the entire team to support and work with me gives keeps me going. I do it because it’s the least I can do to give back to the Earth. Being on the planning team helps me express my care and compassion for the well-being of this Earth.
What inspired you to get more involved?
What inspired me to take on such a big role in Convergence planning was that I wanted to contribute and show my appreciation to the CSSC/Convergence community that brought me up intellectually and shared with me so much knowledge. This Davis Convergence will be my sixth Convergence, and I wanted to show what I love about Davis and Convergence to the rest of the CSSC community.
What is the importance of convergence?
Cssc convergences provide a unique space for students to grow as leaders, get inspired and learn from other youth. Convergences welcome individuals from all backgrounds and different levels of knowledge and experience. Whether you are a freshman who has just learned about climate change, or a long time organizer, the Cssc convergence will be worth your time! This will be my fourth convergence, and undoubtedly will be another incredible opportunity to shape my journey in having a positive impact on society.