INTERVIEW WITH SHIRA BREEN OF YEA!MN
1) How do you navigate relationships with adult-led organizations?
In situations with adult leadership, its important to have extremely clear communication and make it clear if there is adultism present. It’s important for real relationships to form between the youth and the adults in the organization so that both parties can learn from the other and have equal amounts of mutual respect.
2) From your experience, what are the main reasons that high schoolers get involved with environmental activism?
High schoolers get involved in environmental organizations for different reasons: because they see how environmental issues personally affect them, because some issue tied in with the organization is extremely important to them, because they are inspired by the people who work at that organization, because they make personal connections with the adult staff, because they want to be apart of the community of the organization, because they eel the urgency of the issues, etc…
3) Why is it important to have an intersectional movement?
It’s counterproductive to have an organization that solely focuses on one issue. Because every single issue intersects, they all need to be addressed as they arise. That’s why it’s helpful to have people from different backgrounds and with different experience working together–then more intersecting issues can arise in the workplace, creating a need for dialogue that overall will benefit everyone involved…not to mention the progress of whatever social issue arises.