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Learning and Applying Grassroots Organizing Skills

Since Spring 2019, Environmental Studies’ Impact Internship program has been partnering with Missouri Sierra Club to provide meaningful opportunities and skills for WashU students to help address real environmental issues in Missouri. One of the Spring 2022 Impact Interns with Missouri Sierra Club, Brooke Bergman, shares her experience as a Grassroots Organizing Intern below. 

I had a great experience as a grassroots organizing intern at the Missouri Sierra Club. I am extremely appreciative of my supervisors who helped me along the way and made my time at the Sierra Club meaningful. Additionally, all of the staff have been extremely welcoming and supportive. It was amazing to learn from such dedicated people who have experience in a multitude of fields such as conservation, legislation, democracy, marketing, etc.  

Although I did not have the chance to interact with Sierra Club members in person, through phone banking, I have had meaningful discussions with community members about issues ranging from protecting Eleven-Point state park to defending Missouri’s initiative petition process. I have also had the opportunity to connect with people all across Missouri, not just in Saint Louis. For example, I worked closely with a staff member to help Kansas City equitably and justly transition to 100% renewable energy. In addition, a Letter to the Editor that I wrote about the detonation of a power plant in Springfield was published in the Springfield News-Leader!  

Overall, during my time with the Sierra Club, I learned valuable skills for organizing a campaign, creating a fundraiser, communicating why an issue is important to me, holding legislators accountable for their actions, and ensuring that green transitions address issues of equity. In advocating for the planet, people, and animals I continue to find my own voice. I strive to help others find their own voices and lean into their own power so they too can protect what means most to them.