By Sadie Lawrence
Where We Are From
By Sadie Lawrence
We are from the dirt
A small seed
That has grown
From the earth
To a magnificent, towering oak
We are from the ashes
A fiery phoenix
That has risen
From the remains
To emerge burning and powerful
We are from the clouds
A thundering storm
That has formed
From electrical charge
To rain down strength and beauty
We are from the ground
A pounding river
That has washed away doubts
From the bank of our past
To flow clean and clear on the path to the future
It is my belief that we are all made from the same stuff. We are formed from the stardust leftover from when the universe erupted into existence. And we are all humans. We all want the best for ourselves and our children, our future.
Since I joined KSEC last semester, I have felt increasingly empowered to make my small part of the universe heard. I organized an art gallery last semester revolving around the theme “Problems and Solutions in the Community.” I also helped plan a Determination Rally with the Young Earth Activists Club at my high school advocating against the pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. And now I am working with KSEC’s Political Working Group to plan the Rise Up Kentucky Rally on February 12th in Frankfort.
This rally is all about making youth’s voices heard. We may be from fewer years, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about the looming future. In fact, I’ve heard from many of my peers and from personal experience that the future gives many young people a lot of anxiety. We’re not sure what to do next. We ask which stepping stone will be the most stable and sturdy? What will happen if we choose the wrong one?
When I am unsure about the next step to take, it’s easy to shut down and try to take comfort in knowing someone else could always fill my place. There are always other people with more passion and more knowledge. “It won’t matter what I do anyway. I’m just one person in a world of 7 billion.”
But the thing is, every single person counts. Every single person’s stardust is needed to make up the universe. Without it, the world we live in would be very different. Right now, this generation and those to come are being threatened by a changing climate, air and water pollution, and an economy that extracts our wealth and our health.
For me, KSEC gave me a way to combat that anxiety and gave me actions I can take to address the problems at hand. I have ways to contribute and ways to show people that I am not apathetic about my future. This is one of the goals of the upcoming Rise Up Kentucky Rally: to learn new tactics to resist threats. We are showing that KSEC has enabled youth in the past. That we have empowered young people before, and we are continuing to now. That our fight for the future won’t stop. And that there are ways for our stardust to shine in a darkening world.
By Nicole Funk, KSEC, University of Kentucky
On October 12th , 2016, the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC) hosted its first annual Local Food Day of Action.
Universities across the state celebrated the day with events and activities to raise awareness for the importance of local food and to promote local food on campuses.
Students at Northern Kentucky University chalked their campus with messages about the Local Food Day of Action. At Murray State University, students tabled to promote the day, allowing students to learn more about local food. Students also tabled at the University of Louisville to educate others on why local food is beneficial, how the university has progressed in their embrace of local food, and introduced more of the campus to KSEC's organizing work. Visitors were able to fill out a survey about the kind of local food they would like to see on campus. Finally, at the University of Kentucky, students baked pumpkin chocolate chip muffins using local eggs and flour as well as squash and pumpkin grown on UK’s South Farm. The muffins were handed out to students to raise awareness of and appreciation for local food.
These Kentucky-wide activities helped spread KSEC’s message of support for local food. The Day of Action allowed students across the state to find out why food grown and produced in Kentucky is so valuable.
Here’s to hoping this day will inspire students, faculty & staff, and community members to bring more local food to our campuses!
By Cara Cooper, KSEC Organizer
Events and actions also took place at Morehead State University where their newly revived environmental club Environmental Eagles screened the documentary Dam Nation (Kentucky has dams on many of our waterways at a great detriment to the natural environment), and at Northern Kentucky University.
Beginning with Kentucky's campus communities, KSEC works toward an ecologically sustainable future through the coalescence, empowerment, and organization of the student environmental movement. We are a unified front moving forward on environmental justice through activism, development, and education. We believe in holding campuses, corporations, and governments both responsible and accountable not only in maintaining the environment but allowing ecosystems to live and prosper. We seek to expand our reach and engage our communities by building relationships with non-student driven organizations which stand in solidarity with our cause. By using our unique position as students, we demand that our universities practice sustainability by utilizing clean, renewable, safe energy.
By Sammy Meador, Intern, KY Student Environmental Coalition
The Young Kentuckian is a blog of the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition where youth share their work and ideas for Kentucky's bright future.
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