“You are not alone.” This is this week’s podcast message for kids who feel driven to become youth activists. Bringing more than mere words to this promise — guest Jamie Margolin.
Our Future Now! Co-hosts Natalie Mebane and Jonah Gottlieb are joined by Margolin, a youth activist and founder of Zero Hour and author of the newly released book Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It.
Margolin, who is 18-years-old, had a calling to fight for a healthy planet starting in the second grade. Saving the world, and making her voice heard, has been a journey ever since. One that has met with success. One that continues. To pave the way for kids just beginning to get into activism, be it climate work or otherwise, Margolin wrote her new book as a step-by-step guide and resource.
“I am one girl who is still early in my journey of organizing and activism,” Margolin says. The wisdom her book imparts is intended to be a launching point and set of starter tools.
Below is a guide to key points in the podcast:
- At 1 minute 30 seconds: Jamie Margolin talks about going to the Power Shift Conference a few years ago to make connections for a Youth Climate March she was organizing. Margolin recruited Mebane, who was working for the Sierra Club, to serve in the position she still holds today – Zero Hour’s Fundraising and Adult Mentor.
- At 2 minutes 20 seconds: Mebane talks about the first time she worked with Zero Hour, which was a Lobby Day that included meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders and shooting a video with him.
- At 3 minutes 40 seconds: Mebane talks about how she went to the first Power Shift Conference after graduating from college back in 2007, where she got inspired to get into organizing and fighting for the environment. In many respects, her early career in activism mirrors Magolin’s journey.
- At 4 minutes 40 seconds: Margolin talks about the most indispensable piece of advice Mebane gave her, which is “finding your why”. That became the title of the first chapter in Margolin’s book. She talks further about the inspiration for her book, which was about responding to the question people have about how to become an activist. Instead of continuing to respond on an individual basis, she decided writing a book could be a teaching tool for the masses.
- At 6 minutes 15 seconds: Margolin and Mebane talk about some of their favorite moments working together, which included prepping Margolin to testifying before Congress.
- At 7 minutes 35 seconds: Gottlieb talks about his experience facing wildfires in his community, which are supercharged by the climate crisis and the government’s inadequate response to the growing threat. It turned him into an activist. Last year at a lobbying training event for young people before they meet with members of Congress in Washington D.C., Gottlieb met Mebane. The effectiveness of the event helped lead to the creation of the National Children’s Campaign.
- At 9 minutes 40 seconds: Margolin talks about how her book consists of chapters dedicated to interviews with young people who are becoming politically engaged on different issues. It gives readers a window into the different paths young people can take.
- At 11 minutes 15 seconds: Mebane talks about how anything can inspire people to take action, such as what we are seeing with the nationwide protests against police brutality since the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- At 12 minutes 10 seconds: Margolin talks further about the type of concrete, helpful actions people can take with regards to police brutality that go beyond using hashtags on social media.
- At 14 minutes 45 seconds: Margolin talks about how people can connect with her through social media and how to order her book.
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The Our Future Now Collaboration
Our Future Now, a National Children’s Campaign Podcast is co-hosted by Jonah Gottlieb and Natalie Mebane. Gottlieb and Mebane are also co-founders of NCC. Gottlieb, a high school senior from Petaluma, California, is also the captain of One Planet Living and the co-founder and president of Global Awareness. Mebane is the Associate Director of US Policy for 350, an international movement looking to end the use of fossil fuels while promoting renewable energy.
Our Future Now is a collaboration between Parentology, the National Children’s Campaign and Goal 17 Media.
The National Children’s Campaign (NCC) is a national nonprofit organization that amplifies the voices of America’s 74 million children and youth, making sure our nation’s political leaders prioritize issues –health, education, climate and environment, child welfare, gun violence, child immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, and youth civic engagement — that matter to those who are too young to vote.
Goal 17 Media is a media network producing podcasts, videos and documentaries that inspire individuals and contribute to the common good.