Badass Women in Green Profile: Jamie Margolin on Building the Zero Hour Movement and Centering Intersectionality to Fight our Climate Crisis

by Devin Murphy

Badass Women in Green Profile: Jamie Margolin on Building the Zero Hour Movement and Centering Intersectionality to Fight our Climate Crisis

This blog is a part of a four-part series highlighting our phenomenal Badass Women in Green recipients who will be honored at our ceremony on November 13 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco, CA. You can purchase your tickets here.

Jamie Margolin is a badass woman in green. In between her international travel to Denmark and Mexico, where she continues her global climate advocacy, we caught up with Jamie and asked her a few questions before her speech at our Badass Women in Green Awards on November 13th.

CLCV: What role do all women need to play in this effort?

Jamie: Women's role is to disrupt the patriarchal system that is the reason why we are in this climate crisis. It's not just about the gender of the people in power who are causing the climate crisis, it's about the patriarchal extractive way of going about the world and treating people that is the reason why we're in this process and is what we need to dismantle. Patriarchy is at the root of the climate crisis, I recommend every single person read The Chalice and the Blade, which beautifully explains this.

CLCV: What do you think is most significant about the work CLCV does?

Jamie: Changing politics and changing laws. We are not going to solve the climate crisis without changing our laws and democracy.

CLCV: Tell me about your environmental activism and Zero Hour.

Jamie: I co-founded Zero Hour is the summer of 2017 along with several other amazing youth of color in the United States. I have been a climate justice activist locally in Seattle since 2016 but I only started my national work in late 2017. Zero Hour is a movement that centers the voices of diverse youth in the conversation around climate and environmental justice. We are a youth-led movement creating entry points, training, and resources for new young activists and organizers (and adults who support our vision) wanting to take concrete action around climate change. Together, we are a movement of unstoppable youth organizing to protect our rights and access to the natural resources and a clean, safe, and healthy environment that will ensure a livable future where we not just survive, but flourish. We as an organization organize mobilizations, events and campaigns that work to change the national narrative on climate change and make the world and leaders listen to youth on this issue.

We’re called Zero Hour because #ThisIsZeroHour to act on climate change. We are not a happy go lucky group of kids holding up signs, we are youth that mean business and are sounding the emergency alarm on the climate crisis. We organized the first ever Youth Climate March on July 21st of 2018 in Washington DC and 25 other cities around the world along with a Youth Climate Lobby day on Capitol Hill & in local governments around the country where we delivered a platform of what we the youth need in order to have a livable future: http://thisiszerohour.org/our-platform/.

CLCV: Why is climate change the most important issue we face?

Jamie: Because it threatens all life on earth and our survival as a species and civilization.

CLCV: What does climate justice mean and why does it matter?

Jamie: Climate justice means addressing climate change as the systemic intersectional that it is. It means bringing marginalized communities to the front of the climate conversation and realizing that climate change does not impact everyone equally. Climate justice matters because without climate justice you cannot solve the climate crisis. In order to solve climate change you have to get to the roots of the issue, which are the systems of oppression that led to us to get to this point of planetary destruction in the first place: Colonialism, Patriarchy, Racism, and Capitalism.

CLCV: When and how did you learn about climate change and its impact?

Jamie: I was born after 9/11, so not only has extensive airport security always been a reality for me & the entirety of Gen-Z but so has the fact that life as we know it is coming to an end thanks to climate change and rapid environmental destruction. I can’t pinpoint the first time I heard about climate change, there was never an ah-ha moment. As a young person, I am always asked and expected to plan for my future. “What are you going to be when you grow up” “what are you going to do with your life” -- how am I supposed to plan and care about my future when my leaders aren’t doing the same, and instead leaving my generation and all future generations with a planet that is inhospitable and impossible to sustain civilization. So first, existential dread drew me to this issue. I learned about its impact through documentaries, the news, online, and looking out my own window at the subtle yet at the same time not so subtle destruction of the Pacific Northwest and our natural life systems.

You can see and hear more from Jamie at our Badass Women in Green Awards on November 13 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. Read more here for more details.

Posted on October 28, 2019 in Groundswell Blog.

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