Midwest Youth at the top of their game this year at Power Shift 2011

This year, at the Energy Action Coalition’s national Power Shift 2011 conference, the Midwest brought a huge delegation of motivated young leaders ready to fight and win the battle for a 100% clean energy economy and a more sustainable future.

IL, MI, MN, MO, and OH alone brought over 1200 youth, together with the other Midwest states the region brought just over 1500 attendees to fill the halls of the DC Convention Center, and on Monday 4/18, the streets of the city itself.

Throughout the four days of the conference, it seemed every which way you turned there was another Midwesterner not merely attending the event but participating in various leadership roles such as leading a training, handing out pamphlets, leading a workshop or participating on a panel.


The Midwest was also instrumental in helping Power Shift 2011 pull off the largest grassroots training in history. Back at the beginning of April, the Midwest put together the largest regional training for trainers and even recruited over 70 additional facilitators during the training just by phone banking! Those who went through the regional training for trainers went on to lead one of the many Power Shift 2011 Organizing trainings that occurred both Saturday and Sunday morning of the conference and gave students the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to create any grassroots movement.

All the hard work of the Midwesterner’s did not go unnoticed, much of the media coverage on the Power Shift 2011 conference included quotes from Midwest students and organizers.  Many of the quotes were centered on disappointment and disagreement with president Obama’s energy policies thus far.

Michigan State University student, Ashley Hall was quoted in The Nation article saying “Obama really needs to address the urgency of getting [the country] off coal and fossil fuels if he wants us to get out the vote for him in 2012.” And Brandon Knight of Detroit Energy Network shared a similar sentiment with the writers of The Los Angeles Times even mentioning the slogan he and his friends came up with regarding president Obama- “With or without you.”

Additionally, two Midwesterners, Connor Klausing and Matt Kazinka, both students from Minnesota, were quoted in The New York Times article on the conference.

All in all, the Midwest youth clearly showed their dedication to the national green energy movement and now these leaders stand inspired and ready to create real change in their local communities all working towards the goal of a 100% healthy, clean energy economy.