Thousands of young environmentalists from around the country are heading to Pittsburgh, planning to strengthen the green movement by involving more people of different races and backgrounds.
The four-day Power Shift conference beginning Friday takes on some traditional issues in a new way. Organizers are fighting coal mining, fracking for oil and gas, and climate change, but doing it through sessions such as "Racism and the Climate Movement," ''Sex and Sustainability," ''Young Leaders from Puerto Rico's Frontlines," and "Lessons from Transgender Activism."
Power Shift, the Sierra Club and other groups are making a concentrated effort to reach working-class black, Latino, and Asian communities, seeking to change the typically mostly white and upper-class membership of national environmental groups. The meeting in Pittsburgh is the first Power Shift conference outside of Washington, D.C., where conference organizer Energy Action Coalition is based.