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Changed

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Author: Lara Petersen

in awe of all they brought
and the energy leaving the room
missing it already

we end with reciprocal gratitude, sweaty hugs
and what’s the next chapter?
what change will be brought by those empowered?

I can feel the momentum created
and know that it can’t be stopped
an overdue change has become inevitable

________

Yesterday was new for me. I received so much gratitude, so many heart-felt hugs, and even a standing ovation (during which I turned bright red); at first I felt really embarrassed by all of it, like I didn’t deserve their thanks.

But I won’t fall into that trap. Yay me! And Jeffrey, and Chrystie, and Gregor, and Sarah, and John and Daron and all of Seventh Gen! We all made this week happen. The gratitude and enthusiasm of the Change It students as they left yesterday is our reward, and we should relish in it!

Greenpeace should too, and I know they are. They created an amazing week that so many students told me changed who they are and who they want to be. Thanks to Katie, Phil, Diana, Lindsay, Josh, Amy, Gabriel, Eric, Nick, Renada, Elizabeth, Beka, Kate, Shadia… I can name more if you’d like the complete list.

Towards the end of our last day there were some spontaneous closing words from a few dozen students which verified that I’m not imagining this energy, this change, it’s real. It was palpable in that room yesterday.

And so I couldn’t stop talking about it on my trip back to VT. Ask my cabbie to the airport, my waiter at dinner, the person sitting next to me while we waited for the delayed flight back to Burlington… they’ll all tell you that they heard there were over 100 students in DC this week who are on their way to changing things, and that they believe it to be true.

[In fact, side note, Phil and I went to lunch after the event on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, and we met the president’s tailor! Georges is a wonderfully charming man of 72 who has tailored the suits of every president since 1964 (Johnson). He congratulated us on Change It, said we were doing good work and to keep it up (plus I think he’s going to give Phil a discount on swanky men’s attire).]

This is just the beginning. You can’t stop energy like this, and I can’t wait to see the actions of these students unfold on campuses and out into the world.

Much love to all of them, all of Greenpeace, and all of you!

Giddy with pride, Lara

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