ISEC Conference by Alicia Klepfer

In early November several UCAN members trekked up to De Paul University
for a two day ISEC Conference. The Illinois Student Environmental Coalition set up trainings for students from multiple regions to attend, primarily set up into two sections. Saturday focused on community organizing tips and training, while on Sunday we heard from several speakers about different issues as well as different modes of change in the environmental movement.
For the sake of continuing the activist tradition, I shall say that my feeling word was motivated. While I had radically different expectations of what ISEC is, as well as the conference would entail, I came away feeling like I am one step closer to being an effective organizer. One of the most powerful things was addressing self- interest, which you seek to discover through one-on-ones. Just spending a couple minutes thinking about your parents, upbringing, roots, and passions gives you a strange desire to do whatever is necessary to save the planet that makes it all possible.
Looking back, I think simply being conscious of different issues and motivators makes all the difference in the world. When you look at a plastic water bottle, what do you see? Do you see something you drink out of and then chuck? Or do you see an entire veiled world of injustice and greed? Trainings such as this are a good wake-up call that certainly help maintain the consciousness that is needed to make activism not just “that club I did in college” but a life-style and something to apply valuable leadership skills to.
Unfortunately I can’t come up with any good puns. See Ross’s post below for an overload of punny hilarity.