Reflections on the VT Environmental Summit

Sunday’s VT Environmental Summit, co-hosted with Toxics Action Center, was a real highlight of my time working with VPIRG so far.  Over 75 people joined us at Vermont Technical College to spend a day meeting new people, learning more about the issues we all care about and how we can make the biggest impact working towards solutions.

Keynote speaker, Tom Gilbert, set the tone for the day – calling for commitment to community building while sharing a number of examples from his own work at Highfields Center for Composting and from his 20 years of social justice organizing.  His remarks inspired me and grounded me once again in the value and power of human relationships to shift paradigms.

Our goal in hosting the summit was to build relationships, share knowledge, and train and inspire Vermonters interested in making a big difference on environmental issues. The workshop leaders did a tremendous job of giving a baseline understanding on issues of the day.  Expert skills-trainers gave activists the skills needed to be successful. And, organizers wrapped up the day by diving into action in collaborative springboard sessions to plan with activists the next steps for current campaigns.

Spending a full Sunday with us, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, was a lot to ask.  But, I hope everyone who participated came away feeling as inspired and ready to be part of the solution to problems and agents for positive change in their communities.



Liz Edsell
VPIRG Field Director

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