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Jul 30, 2020

Update on Reverse the Trend

Selina N Leem, Youth Activist- Marshall Islands
Selina N Leem, Youth Activist- Marshall Islands

Dear Supporters,

We would like to thank you for your support. After the GlobalGiving Campaign, the project exploded. We received a 10,000 USD grant from the Prospect Hill Foundation. The grant and your generous support has enabled us to purchase adobe spark software and fund Lovely Umayam to prepare the pilot episode of the docuseries in collaboration with youth from the Pacific.  It has also been used to support Danielle Samler and Christian Ciobanu's involvement in the curriculum development. In addition, we are also supporting our summer interns.  It will also be used to pay graphic designers to create a landing platform for the global youth advocacy network.

This grant has also energized the team to conduct outreach and form partnerships with different organizations. We formed partnerships with Peace Boat US, Marshall Islands Student Association at the University of the South Pacific, and Youth Nuclear Peace Summit. Additionally, a young Marshallese activist named Selina N. Leem has agreed to serve as a spokesperson for the project.  

We are also continuously meeting with other groups, including Zero Hour NYC and other climate organizations, to help us with developing the program. Moreover, we have been in touch with an amazing youth network called Amplify. The coordinators of Amplify are helping us with the online curriculum. 

To help promote the project, we have been hosting a series of webinars. Our first webinar focused on championing creativity and advocacy towards a nuclear-free world in the time of crisis. Speakers included: Kayla Reifel of the Alaska Youth Congress for the Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; Rooj Ali of the Youth Nuclear Peace Summit; Honoka Taniguchi of the Nagasaki Youth Delegation; Emilie McGlone and Rico Robertson of Peace Boat; Alei Rizvi of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Molly McGinty of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; and Lovely Umayam of Bombshelltoe.

The second webinar was on protecting our planet in the nuclear age: examining the relationship between the climate change and the consequences of nuclear testing. The speakers included:H.E.Dr. Satyendra Prasad of Fiji; Dr. Tara Drozdenko of the Outrider Foundation; Selina N. Leem, Lovely Umayam of Bombshelltoe, and Danielle Samler of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy.

In addition to these public events, we have been hosting a series of closed webinars for Pacific youth and partners/prospective partners. These webinars enabled us to explain in more details about the project, including expectations, requirements, and how partners can help with advancing the project.

We are also building our relationship with the Nagasaki Youth Delegation. In this regard, we hosted a virtual dialogue on American and Japanese youth perspectives on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A recording will be shown on 9 August 2020 at 6:30pm on http://hiroshimanagasaki75.org. As a result of our collaboration with the Nagasaki Youth Delegation, several of its members are assisting us with the project.

As we move forward with the project, we are planning a zine creative workshop for youth and a special webinar for the international day against nuclear tests on 29 August. We are also launching a social media campaign to promote the project.

Stay tuned for more updates about our amazing project. Together, we are building momentum toward empowering youth to address climate change and nuclear weapons, the twin existential threats facing our humanity.

Best,

Christian N. Ciobanu

Lovely Umayam of Bombshelltoe
Lovely Umayam of Bombshelltoe
Championing Creativity and Advocacy, Panelists
Championing Creativity and Advocacy, Panelists
Protecting Our Planet
Protecting Our Planet
Re-Evaluating the Atomic Bombings, Panelists
Re-Evaluating the Atomic Bombings, Panelists

Links:

Mar 2, 2020

Outcome of Youth Activism on the TPNW Program

Collage of Photos, including Group Photo
Collage of Photos, including Group Photo

We did it!! I am pleased to let you know that in mid-February of 2020, we and our partners launched the Youth Activism on the TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons) Program.  The coordinators were Emily Rubino of the Peace Action Fund of New York State; Eust Eustis of the Treaty Awareness Campaign; Molly McGinty of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; and Christian N. Ciobanu of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

We brought 15 students (11 from New York and 4 from Boston) to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)’s Forum on How to Ban Bombs and Influence People. This forum was held at Salle Olympe de Gouges, 15 Rue Merlin, 75011 Paris, France. 

Upon arriving to Paris, the youth participated in an informal orientation, where they received the itinerary and met with one another.

During the second and third days of the program, the youth attended the ICAN Forum. At the Forum, Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, delivered the keynote address.

Following her moving address, the forum convened a series of panels, which focused on activism 101; the risks and consequences of nuclear weapons; detoxing from deterrence; how activists can work with parliamentarians and members of the financial community; how art can be used as a social justice tool; and how activists have challenged established narratives from various actors in the world such as the military, climate change, nuclear weapons, patriarchy, big business, and colonial powers. A list of the speakers can be found here.

Throughout the Forum, Susan Chapas, an intern of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, interviewed students about their thoughts on nuclear disarmament. These video clips will be available soon.  

The participants felt empowered and are thinking about how they can shift the discourse on how nuclear weapons are discussed and engage in conversations with the public about the TPNW. Additionally, many young people shared that the Forum was the first time that they had heard about the intersectionality of climate change and nuclear weapons. Usually, they only hear about these issues in separate siloed discussions.  

The participants also appreciated the fact that many of the panelists and participants of this program were women. A young person shared that women’s empowerment is vital, but unfortunately lacking at many disarmament forums. Thus, it was important for her to hear from strong female activists and participate in a program composed of young women. 

Stay tuned for more exciting developments - the participants will be involved with the Youth Assembly of the World Conference 2020, NPT Review Conference, and will be participating in many international disarmament initatives.

Your contribution truly helped all of these students. 

Group Photo of Boston and PANYS
Group Photo of Boston and PANYS
Panel Discussion at the ICAN Forum
Panel Discussion at the ICAN Forum
Participants
Participants
Participants at Venue
Participants at Venue
Setsuko Thurlow with banner of hibakusha names
Setsuko Thurlow with banner of hibakusha names

Links:

 
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